Category Archives: Montenegro

Balkan - Kotor - Montenegro

Hiking the Ladder of Kotor

When you are planning a trip to Kotor there are a few things you’ll definitely end up doing – walking the Old Town, going on a scenic drive around the Bay of Kotor and huffing and puffing as you trek up the City Walls. For those with a bit more time, wanting to avoid the crowds and looking for a little more adventure might consider hiking the Ladder of Kotor.

It’s a curvy and scenic hiking trail with 70+ u-turns leading you into the mountains above the Kotor for the best postcard views of the area. The trail is also known as the Ladder of Cattaro and used to be part of a historical route that connected the bay of Kotor with the smaller surrounding villages, my heart goes out to all those horses and donkeys that had to take the carts and people through the mountains.

The trail starts outside of the Old Town. To get there, walk down of Old Town’s North Gate. The road is lined with old buildings, take the path along the river and you should be able to make out the u-turns clearly.

Every step has a spectacular view that only gets better the higher you go, with colourful pomegranate trees lining the paths. Since it’s literally zig-zagging up the hill the trail is very easy to follow – but just in case there are red and white markings painted on the rocks to guide your trail. The trail is rocky and uneven – so unless you have feet of steel, ditch your flip-flops/sandals for proper shoes/trainers.
About 1/3 up you will find another trail going to the right to a small church and the Kotor Fortress – you’ll have to climb through a window-shaped arch in the wall to get there. So you can end your hike here and go down via the castle walls on the tourist route. Those who sweat all of the way to the top (940 meters) will be rewarded by phenomenal views of the Bay of Kotor and beyond and get to brag about it.
Halfway up you will hear a barking dog and then see a little stone house, don’t worry the dog won’t bite, his paws won’t let him use a mobile so he is one of the few that just gets excited to see people come by. His owners, the old couple that live there sell homemade cheese, pomegranate juice and other refreshments. On your way back you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the view and listen to the guy’s stories on how it’s to live in one of the most idyllic places in the world. The cows and mules you might run into are also theirs.
To return to Kotor you can take the trail towards the Fortress so you can hike down via the walls of Kotor, which will lead you directly in the Old Town. Alternatively, to avoid the swarms of tourists, prepare for sore glutes and follow the path back the way you came.