Perast is often called the city of millionaires. This is because almost any house here, even a destroyed one, costs over a million Euros. They say that it is here that the cottages of famous politicians, businessmen and stars are located. True or not — we don’t know, but it’s very similar to the truth. Especially when you consider the price of the houses.
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to visit the city on your own. The city is very tiny, and therefore there is no bus station here. If you wish, you can come here in a rented car or take a taxi. From Kotor to Perast it’s only 12 kilometers or 17 minutes. You can also get there by public transport from Kotor — you need to ask the driver to drop you off early.
Perast itself is a rather tiny city, you can see it in just a few hours. If you have time, we advise you to climb the tower of St. Nicholas, as one of the readers of our blog did.
Directly from the embankment of the city there is a fantastic view of the Bay of Kotor, the Church of the Mother of God on the Cliff and the island of St. George, which is associated with one beautiful legend about the Montenegrin Romeo and Juliet.
Interesting facts about Perast or how we visited the city
Since we are not very experienced travellers, we visited Perast during an excursion along the Bay of Kotor. By the way, this turns out to be cheaper than if you travel to the Our Lady of the Rocks, Perast and Kotor on your own, but there is very, very little time for everything. As they say: no rest for the wicked.
We began to enjoy the views of the city from the island, and then, sailing up to it by boat, we discovered Perast again. It’s noticeable that there are a lot of destroyed buildings in the town — after a long-standing earthquake, they have not been restored. And all because homeowners are strictly forbidden to change anything in the external appearance of the building. You cannot rebuild, you cannot add a balcony, even an air conditioner cannot be hung up. The buildings should remain the same as they were several centuries ago.
There are practically no beaches in the city, people swim right from the pier, frightening a huge trout, which swims near the shore. The main attraction of the city is undoubtedly the tower of St. Nicholas, which, if you desire, can be climbed up to enjoy the simply unreal view of the bay. It costs only 1 Euro per person.
To be honest, we got the impression that Perast is a town that is worth visiting only once — coming here is somehow not very attractive, but for the first time it was really interesting and unusual.
The town is very small. All the houses are lined up along the embankment. Besides the pier, there is only one small street. But walking along the embankment is pleasant, even despite the intense heat. The landscapes here are simply fantastic, and the old medieval town, not spoiled by air conditioning, creates an unreal, a little romantic mood.
Perast got the name City of Millionaires for a reason. As we said, each building here is worth over a million euros. Even those ruins without windows and a roof were recently sold for 1,400,000.
The water here is amazingly clear. A large fish swims in it right at the surface. It seems that it have no problems with tourists staring into the water with hungry eyes.
Despite the fact that the city has barely a hundred inhabitants, many legends are told about it.
Legends about Perast
For example, Perast used to be a rich trading city. Captains and even admirals stayed here. And then there was a war. When the city was taken, the queen cursed it before her own death, saying that there would be no more famous sailors here.
It is very pleasant to admire Perast from an outstanding pier in the sea. The view is so beautiful that I decided to add a small panorama to the site:
There is another legend. It’ll tell you about the man-made island that we saw from the embankment. Once upon a time there was an ordinary rock in its place. Local fishermen loved to fish from it. And then an icon of the Virgin Mary was found on the rock. Fishermen brought it to Perast, and the locals decided to build a temple on the site of the rock. A man-made island was made, the Church of the Mother of God is located there now.
The tradition to renew and expand the island has survived to this day. Every year, local residents load their boats with stones and drop them at a designated location. This is a national Montenegrin holiday. If you come across a local guide Gotsa — she will tell you how it all happens, because she participates in the holiday herself.
But the most romantic legend is connected with another island. Now there is a closed monastery there. Even for Montenegrins it’s almost impossible to get there. This legend tells the story of Montenegrin Romeo and Juliet.
Now Perast has become a resting place for the rich and famous. Films are made here (for example, Casino Royale with Daniel Craig). Also you can sometimes meet famous politicians or their children in Perast.
From the old traditions, only the ban on air conditioners and the custom of delivering fish early in the morning have survived. Fishermen sail past the city at about five in the morning and shout or honk. Locals go out and buy the freshest fish from the water.
After Perast we went further along the Bay of Kotor directly to the Kotor city.
- A selection of other interesting resorts in Montenegro
- An article about the sights of Montenegro — what to see?
- Detailed information about Perast on Wikipedia