Hiking to the Kotor Fortress

Kotor fortress hike drone

Kotor is the stunning town situated at the foothills of the mountains, with the Kotor Fortress overlooking the well preserved old town. Our stay in Kotor, Montenegro, was one of our favourite destinations of our travels so far! One of the best activities to do in Kotor, and something you can’t miss when you go, is to hike to the Kotor Fortress. The old fortress sits perched on the mountains above the town, with a winding trail up. There is a quaint little monastery half way up that is also worth checking out! Check out some of the picturesque photos and our recommendations around how to best enjoy this hike!

What to know before you hike to the Kotor Fortress?


  • Located in the old town. A quick google search will point you on your way.
  • Cost: 8 euros (but there’s options to go for free, keep reading!)

Distance: Approximately 1.2-1.5kms – however, the distance can be deceiving. The elevation is significant.

How long does it take?

  • Hiking to the Monestary: 20-30mins
  • Fortress: 45-1.5hrs (pending fitness and time taking photos)

How to get free entry:

  • Option 1: There is an entry point with paid entry, however this isn’t always manned. You can get free entry if you go early. I went around 7.30am and the gate was unmanned. I am unsure what time it is manned, but I wouldn’t leave it much longer. Otherwise you can pay 8 euros per person.
  • Option 2: Hike up the ‘Ladder of Kotor’ and then enter to the fortress through a ladder and a little gap in the wall (see pictures below). You can start this hike path from the end of the top of the river near the north gate to the old town (google maps is your friend here). The ladder of Kotor hike is slightly longer but less incline. However, it is also less picturesque. I went back down this way and found it an excellent option to decend. I originally found out about this option through some other travel bloggers (see here).

Beat the heat! If you are visiting Kotor in summer, it gets hot! We find hiking in hot weather and direct sunlight not as enjoyable, so we usually get started early to beat the heat. During summer in Kotor, the sun will rise above mountains around 8.15-20am. This gives you a good window to head up the mountain if you start around 7-7.30am. Depending on the day, it starts to heat up around 9.30-10am.

There is steep incline: Okay, it’s a short(ish) hike. However, the hike has moderate include the whole way up. If you take the main trail to the fortress it is basically stairs the whole 1.2kms. These stairs are well worn and can be slippery so take care and wear good footwear (this is not a thongs or sandals job!).

The other hikes in Kotor? Due to the mountainous landscape, Kotor has a plethora of awesome hiking opportunities. This includes a 4-6 hour summit hike and more! However, due to the heat of summer, we decided it wasn’t the best time to engage in a challenging hike like this. However, we would love to return in offseason to hike a bit more!



Take a look at travel content from Croatia! And follow all of our travel moments here!

Heading to Dubrovnik?

Keen for a short trip from Kotor and Dubrovnik? Consider heading to Mostar in Bosnia, one of our favourite stops yet!

Check out further highlights from our time in the Europe! Take a look!

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