1 Dec 2020
Written By Jonathan Howe

9 Best things to do in Perast, Montenegro

Often called the quietest town in Boka bay, Perast is also known as the cradle of many legends, historical sites and the Mediterranean spirit. One of the most beautiful towns on the Montenegrin coast is located twelve km from Kotor, in the direction of Risan, at the foot of the hill Saint Ilija. If you are still wondering where to spend next summer, this ancient town is definitely a great choice and these are the best things to do in Perast.

Find apartments and houses for rent in Montenegro here.
Learn more about living in Montenegro and temporary residency in Montenegro!

1. Immerse Yourself in the History of Perast

This settlement has the most beautiful but also strategically the most important position in the Bay of Kotor.
The peak of its development was in the 17th and 18th centuries when over a hundred Perast's ships sailed the seas of the world. Even while under Venetian rule, it had a special autonomy and privilege in the form of tax evasion. The inhabitants were free to export their products and were excellent seafarers. All of this helped the locals to gain wealth and stand out from the rest of the country at the time.
In 1698, the first navigation school in the Balkans was founded in Perast.

Suggested Tour: Coast of Montenegro Private Tour of Perast, Budva & Kotor
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro

2. Visit the Church of St. Nicholas in Perast main square

The center of the town is dominated by the square with the church of St. Nicholas. Its bell tower is fifty-five meters high and is a symbol of the place. It was built of stone from Korčula island, which adorns the beautiful Renaissance facade. On the inside, there are valuable stonework and paintings by the Baroque artist Tripo Kokolja.
Due to a lack of funds, this impressive three-nave cathedral was never completed.
Seventeen more similar religious buildings are located in Perast.
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro

3. Climb to the Fortress of the Holy Cross above Perast

It is an unusual fact that in the past, Perast did not have defensive ramparts but instead a fortress above the settlement. The residents, from this fortress and the island of St. George, controlled and guarded the strategically important strait Verige for centuries, where the sea route to Kotor was the most endangered.

Fortress of the Holy Cross was erected above the town on the site of the oldest church of the Holy Cross, perhaps even from the 9th century, after which the fortress was named. The fortification played an important role during the Turkish attack on Perast in May in the 17th century. 

Above today's fortress are the remains of a Roman road that led from Risan to Akruvium (Kotor), so there was probably a smaller Roman fortress (castrum) at that place. From this point, you will be delighted with a beautiful view of the bay and the mountains around it.
Booking.com
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro

4. Visit the island of Our Lady of the Rocks

As soon as you see the island off the coast, you will want to go there right away. So what is stopping you? Rent a kayak, find a taxi-boat, or even better, hire a tourist guide and discover the pearl of the Montenegrin coast.

Suggested Tour: Perast Old Town and Our Lady of the Rocks Boat Tour
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro

5. Try Gastronomic Specialties from this region

After a regular meal made up of fish and the other kind of seafood, you should not miss a special dessert - Perast's cake. By culinary rules, this delicacy is actually a pie. As the housewives of Boka mostly made it on festive occasions, when they welcome and accompany their sailors, or celebrate some important date, unofficially, this delicacy got the status of a cake. This sweet, due to its structure and composition, can be kept fresh for days (even weeks!). Accordingly, sailors gladly carried it with them as a delicious, fragrant snack, which reminded them of home and the dear person who prepared it.

6. Explore the Baroque Palaces of noble families

The architecture of Perast combines baroque and traditional elements, and that connection is most noticeable in palaces. The walls of nineteen magnificent houses hide the stories of noble families from the 17th and 18th centuries. These palaces are silent witnesses to the power, prosperity, and glory that Perast had for centuries.
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro

7. Visit the Museum 

One of the previously mentioned palaces is today's museum of the city of Perast. It contains a large number of collections: historical, maritime, economic, and a collection of cultural development of Perast during the rule of the Venetian Republic (1420–1797) and the Austro-Hungarian rule during the 19th century.

8. Swim, chill out, and do nothing!

No words can describe the feeling of scattering the old stone palace's reflection while floating through the clear warm seawater. The ambient of this place provides with inner peace in the true sense of the word. If you ever happen to be in this town, treat yourself to at least one day of lounging in the sun, lemonade, and staring at all those shades of blue around you.

9. Celebrate a holiday with the locals

What adorns the town of Perast is the customs throughout the year. Many customs are related to church celebrations, but some carry a non-religious note accompanied by folklore characteristics.
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro
In the first place is the ancient custom of Fašinada, one of the most beautiful, most picturesque celebrations that is unique in the world. The custom, which takes us back to the distant past, has been celebrated continuously for more than half a millennium. A convoy of boats, decorated with branches and filled with stones, interconnected, is moving towards the island Our Lady of the Rocks from Perast. People throw stones into the sea and thus contribute to the expansion of the isle. 
9-best-things-to-do-in-perast-montenegro
This seaside little town is worth choosing if you want to enjoy solitude or with a limited number of people. During the summer, traffic is closed on the promenade, so guests can walk safely and enjoy the views of the coastal restaurants.
Read more Montenegro blogs