Pictures of Perast

A little way outside of the town of Kotor, but still situated on the Bay itself, Perast has all the charm and quaintness of a little French town worthy of a song or two in Beauty and the Beast. Except it’s not in France, and no bakers were offended in the process of my visit.

Bit of Disney humour for you there.

Prior to rocking up in Kotor, I had very little clue as to what there is to actually do there. And to be honest, other than cats and hiking (both of which are very, very high on my list of least favourite things on this planet) there’s really not a lot.

Kotor has a kind of relaxed and sleepy but oddly not boring vibe, similar to what I experienced in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

There was one single convenience store in the whole of the old town which had more to offer than bread rolls and “the worst sandwiches in town“. That was actually a sign on display in the front window of a shop near to my hostel! They didn’t have any non-animal related sandwiches so I had a bread roll which is basically just a sandwich without a filling right? Anyway, it really wasn’t so bad. I may need to contact Trading Standards and get them done for false advertising!

So, having managed to successfully squeeze in my fair share of resentful hiking, hissing at cats and eating bread rolls in my first half a day in Kotor while still having time to take a three-hour nap, I figured I should broaden my Montenegrin horizons a bit.

Enter Perast, stage left!

According to the Internet Perast is a 20 minute journey from Kotor.

According to the Internet the bus picks you up from right outside of the city walls.

According to the Internet the bus runs from Kotor to Perast every 30 minutes in Summer, 1 hour in Winter.

Well, I’ll let you in on a little known secret here. The Internet is a big, fat liar!

Perast is actually more like a 30 minute bus journey, but it’s one of the most picturesque rides I’ve ever taken! The bus sort of travels around the perimeter of the Bay, and there’s only a few minutes during the whole journey that you can’t see the water. You get to take in all the little clusters of orange roofs dotted around the bay, and take a step a little deeper into real, everyday life.

The bus doesn’t pick you up from right outside the city walls. It used to, but apparently these days there’s some rule in place that prevents buses from stopping unnecessarily, so if the stop isn’t officially on their route then they can’t let you on. Sorry, you’ll have to walk. A lot of the drivers do still stop outside the city walls because they’re crafty little rule benders, but there’s no guarantee. So you’d be better off just walking to the bus station which is only 5 minutes from the Old Town anyway.

And finally, the bus runs from Kotor to Perast not every 30 minutes or 1 hour, but whenever the heck it feels like! I checked the bus times online (don’t ask me for the website as I’ve wiped that memory from my brain) and made sure I was there at least 20 minutes before. Walked up to the counter and asked the lady for a ticket to Perast, and she told me to buy it on the bus (which was apparently running late and would be here within 15 minutes) and her friend working the barrier will tell me which one it is.

Well.

One hour, fifteen minutes later and I almost kissed the driver as I handed over my €1.50 and he promised he’d tell me when to get off.

True to his word he did tell me when to get off.

“Perast,” the driver’s friend (not sure if employed or just along for the ride) grunted and pointed off to the left. Then the bus driver held up one hand and said “Bus come back, 5!”

Related: A Day in Kotor Bay

By this point it was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and I thought it kind of strange that he thought I’d be able to spend 3 whole hours in a town smaller than a village. It turns out by 5 he meant half past. As in, point five. The buses back were half past the hour.

I’d seen the odd picture of Perast in my hostel and on Google, so thought I knew what to look out for. Some nice little cobbled streets, a few fishing boats, some little islands floating in the bay and a tall tower with an orange roof.

What I did not expect was to walk off of the bus into the middle of what seemed to be a country lane with none of the above in sight.

When you get off the bus, Perast is sort of below you. You have to go down. There is a road that runs through the front of the town, along the bay, but it’s a one way road so the bus can’t go there. So for all intents and purposes, when you get off the bus from Kotor, just go down. Whichever way you can, just go down. Find a path, find a dirt road, find some steps. Just go down.

view of perast

So, what exactly is there to do in Perast?

Would you believe me if I said there’s even less to do in Perast than there is in Kotor, but it’s just as pretty if not more so?

It’s a teeny tiny town, and to be honest I don’t think it can even be called a town! In my mind it’s way more of a village. But then, I’m not familiar with what makes a town a town so can I really be the judge?!

There’s a museum, a small splattering of restaurants and cafes, a handful of hotels and guesthouses, a church or two and a small store that sells pizza flavour crisps. There are two islands – St George Island and Our Lady of the Rock – which you can take a boat out to visit. The best part? There are no cats (Perast 1 – 0 Kotor).

Related: Montenegro, Will You Marry Me?

When I visited, all of the above were either closed or not available. Except for the shop that sells pizza flavoured crisps and the lack of cats.

The odd timing of my visit right in between lunch and dinner meant the restaurants and cafes were shut (if they were even open to begin with!), I don’t think the church even has a door and the museum looked like it hadn’t been so much as looked at in about two decades.

There were boats docked at the bay but nobody there to pay to take you, or to rent from. So the islands were inaccessible.

picture of boats at perast

It was like a ghost town, but less creepy.

Due to bus timings I ended up spending almost 2 hours there just walking up and down the same few streets (until it rained, then I took shelter in the bus stop!) and in the whole 2 hours I only saw 3 other people, not including the lady in the shop selling pizza-flavoured crisps.

It was a surreal feeling – like I had the whole town to myself, but at the same time it felt like I really, really shouldn’t be there. Like I was an intruder, trespassing on somebody else’s land.

Perast really is a beautiful little town though, well worth a trip from Kotor! And I can’t help but imagine it would really come alive in the summer months.

picture of a boat in perast picture of perast perast museum

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53 Comments

  1. 20th March 2017 / 11:58 am

    That sounds really surreal. It’s always slightly comforting when you see other tourists but interesting when you’re off the beaten track. As for the cats, I am the complete opposite and love so maybe I should stick to Kotor!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:40 pm

      I know! If I was outside of Europe I probably would have been absolutely peeing my pants at being there alone! Although I’m sure I heard a woman watering her garden at one point, so maybe I wasn’t completely alone.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:38 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  2. 20th March 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Wow. Your photos make it look like an absolute ghost town! It would be nice to see it when there’s more life to it.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:39 pm

      Definitely! But even the photos from summertime look kind of empty.

  3. 20th March 2017 / 5:50 pm

    Nice pictures!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:36 pm

      Thank you!

  4. LC
    20th March 2017 / 9:55 pm

    I also dislike cats. People think owning one means responsible pet ownership should just go right out the window and will let their beasts run wild, kill everything left, right and centre. That does sound like a creepy experience, but cool creepy!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:36 pm

      My dog once bit the head off of my next door neighbour’s cat. But she kind of deserved it (the cat, not the neighbour) because she kept coming into my garden to purposely antagonise them. There’s a reason cats are the chosen familiar of witches…because they are full of evil.

      • LC
        26th March 2017 / 5:03 am

        We say the same thing (about possibly deserving it, not being full of evil) of my baby brother, who got punched in the face by a kangaroo once… because he followed it around, pulling on its tail.

        It also may have been the most Australian thing to have ever happened.

  5. 21st March 2017 / 2:27 am

    If it weren’t for all of you adventurous travellers, I wouldn’t even know places like this exist. You’re right, those photos are picturesque and not a bad bus ride, even for 30 minutes.

  6. 21st March 2017 / 4:24 am

    Aside from the extremely interesting post and learning a little about Perast, I must say I just love your writing style! You obviously have a great sense of humour and this comes through very strongly and makes the information so much more enjoyable. Loved the photos and would genuinely love to visit this place although I am a bit curious about how it was so deserted. I also don’t like cats that much but I do love hiking – and if you take this up yourself, you might be amazed at how many more fabulous photos you could take. Many thanks for sharing.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:34 pm

      Thank you so much Nicole!
      I think it was just because there was so little non-tourism related business in the town that most people probably worked/schooled in nearby towns and villages, so off-season there’s no reason to be there! Also, it has a very old people/retirement-esque vibe which could explain it a little haha.
      I’ll admit I am getting more and more enthused by the idea of hiking with all this short little trips I’m taking. But the idea of actual exercise…yeah, no.

  7. 21st March 2017 / 7:16 am

    What a great find! I suspect a lot of people that head to Montenegro don’t get much further than Kotor but this just goes to show there is so much more to discover if you just get outside the capital. And you’re photos make it look like you were the only people there – no wonder the internet got everything wrong, you’ve been one of the first to report on the place for years!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:33 pm

      Podgorica is actually the capital, Kotor is just where everybody goes because it’s so bloody beautiful! There were a couple of other blogs that posted about it recently, but they went during peak travel season so everything was a lot more accessible and frequent for them.

  8. 21st March 2017 / 11:04 am

    It seems we have similar taste when it comes to cats & hiking so I if I ever visit Kotor, I will have to follow your lead and visit Perast! Honestly, this little town is so gorgeous! I love the cobblestone and alley ways. I can just imagine how beautiful and bustling it must be during the summer.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:30 pm

      I know, right?! I think in the summer what with boat trips and fishing it’d be such a lovely little place to stay.

  9. 21st March 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Wow! Its definitely picturesque!!! Too bad that there was false information on the internet. Did you check out blogs. Sometimes that I do particularly on Google. I just type the name of the place followed by ‘travel blog’ so I get some real information than those official websites which are more often too good to be true or outdated!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:29 pm

      Yep, I sort of cross-referenced a couple of blogs and the “official” website of the bus companies. But I don’t think many of the blogs referenced travel during off season, so where they’d stated the times for the whole year, they’d just gone from hearsay and not fact.

  10. 21st March 2017 / 3:08 pm

    I can feel you on the outdated bus information – it’s happened to me far too many times! The time that always sticks in my mind is a trip to Southwold – my boyfriend and I had taken the bus there from Norwich, made a note of all the bus times (both online and at the bus stop when we arrived)… and when we rolled up to the bus stop to catch the last bus back to Norwich, we were told it would’ve left about two hours ago! Luckily his parents were travelling back to Norwich from Bournemouth that day so they picked us up on their way, though it wasn’t quite the way I’d envisaged meeting his parents for the first time! Montenegro looks stunning – it’s never been on my radar, but that lake surrounded by mountains looks so picturesque. It’s always rather nice when you have a town to yourself and none of the crowds – though the only downside is the lack of places open!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:32 pm

      Oh wow, what a way to meet them! Plenty of opportunity for awkward silences there. But I suppose jumping in at the deep end is a good way too right?! 😛 Honestly, Montenegro is just stunning!! Plenty of gorgeous hiking opps too, I’m sure you’d love it 😉

      • 23rd March 2017 / 7:49 am

        Luckily they were really nice about it, but it definitely had the potential to be super awkward! With views like those in your pictures I’d certainly be up for hiking in Montenegro 🙂 At some point, I definitely need to explore more of Eastern Europe!

  11. 21st March 2017 / 5:54 pm

    I love it when the internet is wrong and things are actually super cool, mega amazing, stunning and outworldly! I love your photos, it really looks like a great place for snapping hundreds of pitoresque pictures. Lovely day trip I recon.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:28 pm

      SO picturesque! There were so many little alleys and stairways that would have been the perfect backdrop for one of those candid looking down/walking away shots. But I was alone so had to make do with people-less snaps instead haha.

  12. 21st March 2017 / 11:00 pm

    Oh wow you really did found a ghost town. Based on your pictures, the town looks so beautiful but so empty too. That must be frustrating when buses schedules along with inaccessibility to stores/restaurants/boats were unavailable. If I had to stay in that town for a few days by myself, I would probably go nuts. I hope the websites and the internet will update the information on Perast so that way it can make it easier for future visitors.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Tbh I think the websites are actually correct, but the times and frequencies only apply during peak season! As I was in off-season it seems that it was way more laidback and everyone just worked as and when they felt like, buses included.

  13. 22nd March 2017 / 12:10 am

    I’m so glad the guy was friendly and helped tell you when to get off. From the looks of the town, it definitely looks like something taken out of Beauty and the Beast. It looks like a blast from the past as you walk around it. The pictures you shot are stunning and worth the trek there.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:26 pm

      Yes, definitely worth it! Totally surreal feeling being the only one there in an inhabited town though.

  14. 22nd March 2017 / 1:57 am

    This really does sound like an adventure! You had me at cats and hiking, two of my faves too ha! Loving the photos and the fact that there was no people about makes them look even cooler. Id love to experience that kind of “ghost” town, but the bus thing seems way too complicated haha! What if I miss the bus?

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:25 pm

      That’s what I was kind of worried about! But I figured if worst comes to worst I could either walk it (it would probably take 2 hours) or hitchhike! Which would be an experience…

  15. 22nd March 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I’m gonna be visiting Montenegro in a month and had only planned Kotor. Now, I’m gonna extend it to Perast for sure. If its only 20 minutes away, why not?! It looks so empty and grey though … and resembles so much like one of those old towns in Croatia.

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:20 pm

      It’s a really nice half-day trip from Kotor! And honestly, there’s not a lot to do in Kotor off-season so definitely worth it for the change of scenery. I imagine it’d look a lot prettier on a sunny day too!

  16. 22nd March 2017 / 7:00 pm

    You have sold me on Perast. I have never visited Montenegro but this place sounds amazing! I like its quirkiness, especially its advertising (worst sandwiches in the world!).

  17. 22nd March 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Love your pictures! I stayed in Kotor for a week and went on a few day trips that ended up passing Perast, but never stopped there. Montenegro is such a stunning country and this is definitely a beautiful spot. The bus thing is difficult though!

    • rhiydwi
      22nd March 2017 / 11:19 pm

      Oh wow I’m a little jealous of you! I was only there for 2-3 days tacked on to the beginning of my trip to Croatia but kind of fell in love.

  18. 22nd March 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Wow that looks like a true hidden gem that you are sharing there. Perast looks like a fairy tale lost in time. I love that the place is surrounded by so much water.

  19. 23rd March 2017 / 2:54 am

    Yay! I love hidden gems! It must have been fun (maybe, true, a bit creepy), to have a whole city by yourself. It’s such a change to fighting through crowds.

  20. 23rd March 2017 / 7:34 am

    You pictures of Perast are just so beautiful, tinged with that ghostliness. Its not often you get to explore somewhere that is a town that is so empty so your experience of it I imagine is very unique! It’s interesting to think what it might be like in the summer months. Thanks for sharing.

  21. 23rd March 2017 / 8:01 am

    We are going to Montenegro in June, so I am bookmarking this page. Fortunately, I like both hiking and cats, so I think I will have a better experience ;). Peras looks beautiful and how nice to have it to yourself, although I understand how the hustle and bustle of other tourists can make a place more fun. I’ll let you know if it is busier in the summer!

  22. 23rd March 2017 / 11:28 am

    Haha, really enjoyed this post. Your tone is really engaging and yup, as many times as I swear to get wiser, the internet always tricks me too. Regardless however, a really charming place and one that you did a great job capturing with your shots

  23. 23rd March 2017 / 8:02 pm

    That’s a pretty incredible experience, to be quite alone in a town (or a village, ha!)… I loved Kotor when I went (just for a day), I thought it was so charming… Perast looks really charming too, your photos are incredible and at least you have NO ONE in them!! I’m hoping to get back to Kotor, so if I do I’ll go check that ghost village and hopefully I’ll either be able to go to the islands this time, or I’ll have no one in my photos!

  24. 25th March 2017 / 5:30 pm

    Hum, we never can trust on the internet, about travel is a lot of mistakes here. it happens to me about Myanmar, everything that I read before I go wasn’t true 😀
    All the way by the water should be awesome, I love water, is my element. Even a lot of people doesn’t like empty places I do love so I think I should make it to Perast if I go to Montenegro!!

  25. 25th March 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Awesome blog post! I’m planning on going to the area later this year, and I’m glad to come across your post. Thank you for sharing – this place seems to be my kind of place to visit! Travel safe!

  26. 25th March 2017 / 10:11 pm

    It looks like such a pretty place but almost like everyone just left in a rush! I like the sound of pizza flavoured crisps but would have preferred more cats.

    • rhiydwi
      27th March 2017 / 12:24 am

      I know, right?! Totally weird seeing as it’s completely inhabited and is apparently just a normal town. They tasted a lot like ketchup flavoured Walkers, if you remember those haha.

  27. 26th March 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Had fun reading your post! 😀 Know the Montenegro cost well and loved Perast, I was there years ago. And I can only imagine your reaction to such a “laid back” attitude, which is totally typical for Montenegro. It probably adds up to its particular charm. Btw, your pictures of the town are great, enjoyed them immensely! 🙂

  28. 26th March 2017 / 12:47 pm

    It may be sleepy, but dang, it looks lovely! I’d love to take a book and spend a few hours reading by the water. Sounds perfect right now, considering I’m in a large city haha. Love your writing style too 😉

  29. 26th March 2017 / 9:44 pm

    I am going to Kotor in May so I will have to try and visit this little town. It does look beautiful and hopefully by May there will be more to do. It does look like a great place to explore even if it is just for a short time.

    • rhiydwi
      27th March 2017 / 12:19 am

      I think it’d be lovely to take a boat trip out to the islands! Especially come May time.

  30. 12th April 2017 / 6:17 pm

    I’m constantly looking for new places. Wow I didn’t even know that this exists.. Its so so stunning. Have to find out more details. Thanks for sharing Xx

    • rhiydwi
      12th April 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you so much for reading! Glad to have brought it to your attention 🙂

  31. Riely
    17th April 2017 / 8:28 pm

    It looks like a beautiful little city to town even with no persons in sight. Plus a bonus without cats-I hate cats as well! Too bad everything was closed or abandoned essentially. At least you tried and conquered what was of the town. Thanks for sharing.

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