On the south-eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, following the course of the river that once existed there, there came into being the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska or Italian: Bocche di Cattaro), an interesting feature both by its origin and its appearance. In the former river valley there came into the being the bays of Topla, Tivat, Risan and Kotor, along with the Isthmus of Kumbor and the Verige Isthmus. The Bay of Kotor known simply as Boka (“the Bay”) is the name of the winding bay of the Adriatic Sea and the region of Montenegro concentrated around the bay.
Gorgeous, breathtaking, majestic, divine; however hefty your thesaurus, the brain-blowing beauty of the Bay of Kotor will leave you struggling for superlatives. Hemmed in by commanding cliffs and shape-shifting between rippling gulfs and sparkling straits, the cobalt cove even manages to defy geographic description: is it a fjord? A submerged canyon? It seems there’s only one way to define Boka Kotorska: unmissable. Scattered with photogenic medieval towns admiring their reflections in peacock-blue inlets, the compact bay – or simply ‘Boka’, as it’s known in local parlance – is stitched together by a series of scenic, serpentine roads, making it easy to explore. As if determined to prove the ‘good things come in small packages’ adage, the region crams in everything from island monasteries and show-stopping citadels to adventure sports and extraordinary eateries, where waterfront views induce as much drooling as the fresh seafood. Whatever your bliss, you’ll find it at Boka.
The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. The narrowest section of the bay, Verige Strait, is only 340 m wide at its narrowest point. The outermost part of the bay is the Bay of Tivat (Teodo). On the seaward side is the Bay of Herceg Novi (Castelnuovo), at the main entrance to the Bay of Kotor. The inner bays are the Bay of Risan to the northwest and the Bay of Kotor to the southeast. The Verige Strait represents the bays narrowest section and is located between Cape St. Nedjelja and Cape Opatovo; it separates the inner bay east of the strait from the Bay of Tivat.
Boka has about 100 Catholic churches and chapels and about 200 Orthodox churches and chapels, as well as some Orthodox monasteries. The Cathedral of St. Trifun in Kotor is Boka’s oldest cathedral, built in 1166. The churches of St. George and Lady of Škrpjel (near Perast) were built on two of the bays islets in the first half of the 17th century.