Perast is a beautiful small place in the Kotor Bay which in the past played a vital role in the defence of the Bay.
Seamen from Perast were well known in the Mediterranean and beyond.
Even the 17th century Russian royal navy learned the tricks of the trade here.
The town preserved most of its baroque look of the 17th and 18th centuries, considered its golden (Venetian) era.
People of Perast were scholars, merchants, sailors and artists.
Nowadays, it has only a handful of residents. And a ton of tourists. It is getting extremely popular and busy. But it is definitely a must-see if you are visiting the Bay.
But people are not coming just to see the town. To be honest, the town does not offer much. There are a few restaurants, a few shops,and a small Perast Museum. There are many churches, but most of them are closed. Only the St. Nicholas Church, located in the center, is usually open and very nice inside. It is a 17th century Roman Catholic Church. Also, you can climb its bell tower (1 euro entry fee) and take nice pictures from the top.
What people come to see, and leave in amazement are
There are two small islands in Perast, the jewels of Kotor Bay.
Each island has a church on it.
This island has a Benedictine monastery and a small graveyard on it. It is gorgeous, but unfortunately, no visitors are allowed (the monks like their solitude).
You can still enjoy its beauty, even from afar.
Ok, maybe not that far.
The best way to come close is to rent a boat. You will have no problem finding one (actually, local skippers will probably ask you too many times if you want a ride while you are in Perast.) The ticket is 3-5 euros per person.
The boats go to the other Perast island.
Our Lady of the Rock
This place is the main reason why people visit Perast.
It is just a magnificent and very unique place.
This is a man-made island.
It got its name because it used to be just a small rock (in the place of the present-day altar of the church) where a picture of the Virgin Mary was found in the 15th century.
Everything else was build around it through many centuries. The tradition of building the island continues. Every 22nd July, men from Perast fill their boats with rocks, which they throw around the island.
Because of the way that the painting was found and the events that followed, the painting is said to be miraculous and a church was built on the island.
Another amazing thing about this place is that the inside of the church is very rich. For centuries, people brought their valuable things to donate to the church, usually as gratitude for their answered preyers.
For 1 euro, you can (and definitely should) go inside the church and museum are next to it with a tour guide who will tell you all the interesting stories about the old objects there. There are things that sailors brought from all over the world, there are objects that patient and loyal women brought from their homes, praying for a safe return of their husbands from the sea.
After you finish the tour, explore the island a little bit. Don’t worry about missing your boat, they come every 5 minutes. Save your ticket, because there are a few different companies.
Enjoy the scenery.
Back in Perast, you can enjoy some swimming or have dinner by the sea.
Or you can visit a small town just around the corner, called
Risan used to be the main town of the bay in the ancient times.
Now it is not so popular.
It is probably the least visited town in the bay, so if you want to run away from tourists and see authentic local living, go there.
There is one thing in Risan that does draw visitors because it is just phenomenal- the ancient Roman mosaics.
They are located in the center of the town.
Next stop: Tivat