It is not always prudent to use superlatives about a destination, especially as Silversea sails to so many beautiful places around the globe. Superlatives often come back to haunt. Just when you think you’ve sailed into the most beautiful place imaginable, something that tops it comes along.
It would be hard, however, to top Kotor, situated in Montenegro at the end of Europe's most southerly fjord. The 2.5-hour transit from the Adriatic Sea to the Old Town of Kotor ranks among the world's most beautiful sailings, as beautiful as fjord-rich Norway but with the added bonus of abundant sunshine.
Disembark in Kotor and walk across the street through Gradske Zidine (the ancient Town Walls), along the labyrinth of winding cobbled streets, past piazzas and centuries-old stone buildings.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor’s medieval Old Town is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries. Those walls run almost five kilometres (three miles) and tower up to 20 metres (66 feet). They form a triangular defence system around the Old Town, rising up the hill to Tvrdjava Sv Ivana (St John’s Fortress).
If you're feeling energetic — or if you simply want to burn some calories — hike the 1,300 steps to the fortress. Midway up, you'll pass the tiny Crkva Gospe od Zdravlja (Church of Our Lady of Health), built in the 16th century to protect Kotor against the plague.
Prominent steeple of Crkva Gospe od Zkravlja (Church of our Lady of Health).
Steps leading up to St John's Fortress.
At the top, 260 metres (853 feet) above sea level, here's what you'll see: commanding views over the terra-cotta-tile rooftops of the Old Town, the meandering Kotor Bay fjord, your Silversea ship docked beside the city centre, and the rugged pine-forested mountains beyond.
Stunning view from St John's Fortress.
The most beautiful place you've ever visited? You'll have to be the judge of that.
We hope you'll discover the charms of Kotor on a future Silversea voyage.
Photos: Ralph Grizzle