Perast is an idyllic little town by the gorgeous Bay of Kotor. The lake-like inner areas of the bay are surrounded by mountains ascending straight from the shore - a mere round trip around that part of the bay is a great experience on its own.
Perast had territorial significance during the era of Republic of Venice, marked by the numerous churches and small palaces in the area still today. Now some of the palaces serve as hotels, restaurants and a museum along the one-kilometer-long cozy seaside promenade.
Besides the island church, Our Lady of the Rocks, the promenade is pretty much the only attraction in the town. Perast is first and foremost an excellent day trip destination, since a few hours is all it takes to visit the sights.
Attractions and things to do in Perast
Island church – Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela)
There are two islands in front of Perast: Our Lady of the Rocks with a church and St. George (Sveti Juraj) with a monastery. The monastery doesn’t allow tourists, but the island church is easily accessed by a boat from the promenade – there’re plenty of boat ride providers offering their services. A two-way ticket costs usually 5 euros (in 2019), and the return schedule can be flexibly negotiated with the driver.
The beautiful church standing on the island includes a museum. The entrance fee (1,5 euros) is collected at the door. There’s an adjacent building for buying snacks, drinks and souvenirs.
The location is not really an island. Instead, it’s an islet that’s been enlarged by sinking rocks and boats with stone cargo around it.
St. Nicholas Church & Museum
The bell tower of the largest church in Perast, St. Nicholas church, stands out from the rest of the town scenery, unveiling the location of the church from far away. For an additional fee, you’ll get access to the church museum and the small adjacent chapel. For a euro, you’ll be able to climb to the bell tower with a panoramic view over Perast.
The Perast town museum is housed in Bujovic Palace. Among other things, there’re paintings, weapons and furniture on display.
Location: At the northern end of the seaside promenade.
More information: muzejikotor.me
Churches and palaces
At its peak, Perast contained a couple of dozens of churches and palaces. Palaces are in fact several-storey residences, built by wealthy families. Apart from the ones mentioned earlier, the only palaces open for public are the ones containing a hotel. Often the buildings have labels with their name and the century during which they were built. Here and there, there’re small closed churches.
Water sports and boat trips
There are rental kayaks and boat trips on offer on the promenade. Other options for water sports include SUP boarding and swimming holidays (link). Boat trips are up for negotiation with the island church connection providers as well.
The promenade contains a few nice-quality restaurants, usually with terraces right by the sea.
Below, there are some examples of restaurant and hotel prices. Costs of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
How to get to Perast
The closest airport, Tivat, is 22 kilometers away from Perast. Other nearby airports are Podgorica and Dubrovnik, at a distance of 100 and 67 kilometers from Perast, respectively. When flying to Dubrovnik you need to cross the border on your way to Perast, which may hold you up for 2-3 hours in the busy summer traffic. Do take that into consideration, when returning to Dubrovnik airport for your return flight.
There’re no direct buses from Perast. Instead, aim for e.g. Kotor (when coming from the South) which has bus connections to Perast every hour. Perast bus stations are situated in the middle of the promenade in front of St. Nicholas church.
If you’re driving, leave the car at either of the parking lots at both ends of the promenade.
Text and images: Jussi Ryynänen
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