Perast is usually described as a chunk of Venice that has floated down the Adriatic and anchored itself onto the Bay of Kotor. Its magic is truly hard to put into words. Reminiscent of Lake Bled in Slovenia, photography does no justice to its beauty. Therefore, here are my top 6 reasons why this tiny Montenegrin town should be right on top of your bucket list, so you can witness its surrealities in person.
Old Town Perast, Montenegro
1) Just one street:
There is only one street in Perast, right alongside the Adriatic Coast. However, despite having only one main road for both drivers and pedastrians, this tiny town boasts 16 churches and 17 formerly grand palazzi. Definitely need more than a few days to explore them properly!
2) Home to artificial islands:
Aside from its single street status, Perast is also home to two beautiful man-made islands:
* Our Lady Of The Rocks:
The aquamarine dome gleams in the distance, as visitors board small boats (€3 return) to this beautiful church built in 1722. The island began as a pile of rocks, and according to legend, in 1452, two fishermen (also brothers) discovered an image of Virgin Mary here. There is also a small museum dedicated to the history of Perast.
Our Lady Of The Rocks, Perast, Montenegro
* Sveti Dorde:
Sadly, this island can only be admired from afar. Legend has it that it is cursed to the point where locals refer to it as the "Island of the Dead". Sveti Djordje rises from a natural reef and is the smaller of Perast's two islands. It houses a Benedictine monastery shaded by cypresses, as well as a large cemetery.
Sveti Dorde, Perast, Montenegro
3) The Amazing Adriatic:
Neighbouring Croatia's coastline is no longer the undiscovered haven it once was for budget backpackers. However, the beauty of Montenegro's stunning waterfronts is still a well-kept secret. Since Perast has only one street, the entire coast spreads before the town like magic. Every turn presents a quaint alley, a cobbled road or a picturesque house.
4) Rebellious History:
The Ottoman Empire ruled over the Balkan regions for multiple centuries, however; Montenegro turned out to be significantly tougher than its bigger counterparts. The alps played a major role in blocking Turks out from invading their land, and Montenegro is immensely proud of its rebellious history.
5) Dinaric Alps:
Although the Adriatic's crystal clear waters are a treat for sore eyes, Perast combines the coast with churches, history and the formidable Dinaric Alps. If budget is not an issue, then adventure seekers can join hiking tours for a closer look (€50pp and above) - whereas the faint-hearted can enjoy the stunning backdrop from the comfort of their boats.
Perast gorgeous backdrop
6) Fresh seafood:
Food in Montenegro is lip-smackingly delicious, however; Perast offers some of the best seafood in the country. My personal favourites include cheesy lobster risottos, as well as freshly cooked haddock with grilled potatoes. Fishing traditions of the state mean many more fantastic seafood meals, along with some truly hearty homemade fare.
Lobster risotto, Perast, Montenegro