Kotor, Montenegro
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One of the undoubted highlights of Eastern Mediterranean cruises is visiting beautiful Montenegrin city Kotor. It has been my favourite port of call on several Mediterranean cruises and is one place that I absolutely love returning to.

To reach the city of Kotor cruise liners have to sail down the bay of Kotor, which is actually a ria. Although, when sailing towards the city it looks exactly like you are sailing down a Norwegian fjord. It is an absolutely breath-taking sail, and I was treated to some of the most picturesque views of my life. Being up high on board your cruise ship means you have a perfect vantage point to be able to look down on some of the little towns and villages you sail past.

Kotor

At certain points it looked like the ship wouldn’t be able to fit down the narrow channel but around every corner the ria seemed to open up again and it was a wonderfully long sail that lasted over an hour with beautiful views on either side.il. Make sure you get a good spot on the deck for the sail into or out of Kotor, and don’t forget your camera because the views are to die for!

On the slow, meandering sail down the ria the steep hills changed from being covered in lush green trees and bushes to more rocky and barren, and the contrasts were stunning sitting against each other. The azure water was so calm, and the only waves were created by the wake of the ship gently edging ever closer to Kotor.

After a beautiful sail you’ll be excited to get off the ship and explore the city of Kotor. It is a city that has so much history which is immediately obvious when you step off the ship. In order to enter the heart of the city you have to walk through gates in the old city walls which were originally built by the Venetians.

MSC Liner in Kotor

The city walls were originally built in order to protect the city from potential invasions, and the walls climb high up into the steep hillsides that surround the city. Visitors can follow the paths along the walls and take the steep walk up into the hills. The views from the top over the city and the bay are absolutely beautiful, and well worth the climb. If you’re planning to embark upon this climb then make sure you take a bottle of water with you as it is a reasonably strenuous climb in often very warm conditions.

Kotor has a collection of adorable streets. Some are narrow and winding whilst others are spacious and lined with lovely boutique shops.

Kotor Streets

There are many cafés and restaurants within the oldest part of the city where you can enjoy some delicious Montenegrin cuisine and drinks. The prices in Montenegro are significantly cheaper than much of the rest of Europe so you’ll find you’re able to enjoy some amazing food at very reasonable prices.

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Three Cruise Destinations to see in 2013
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Kotor, Montenegro

Sailing down the magnificently dramatic ria towards the charming city of Kotor remains one of my favourite cruise moments ever. The beautiful, natural scenery is reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord and is utterly breath-taking.

The city of Kotor is quaint and welcoming. The cobbled streets and narrow archways are perfect for exploring and shopping in some of the adorable boutiques that are dotted around. If you prefer to really stretch your legs you can walk the historical city walls, built to protect Kotor from potential invasions, all the way up in to the hills and enjoy the view of the city and the ria from above.

Another reason Kotor is so hot for 2013 is that the prices of food, drinks and clothes are all dramatically lower than the majority of other European destinations. Perfect!

Kotor Montenegro

Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish capital is a perfect cruise port no matter what the weather or the time of year. The city has many wonderful attractions including the Vasa Museum, the imposing city hall building (which I highly recommend you venture inside), and The Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is one of Stockholm’s best attractions as it is one of the most well preserved medieval city centres in the entire world. The buildings are cute and colourful and it’s the perfect place to get lost wandering the streets.

In summer a boat trip around the archipelago is a must. Stockholm’s archipelago contains a staggering 30,000 islands and islets, many of which have beautiful summer homes for the people of the city.

Stockholm Sweden

Scotland

There are many reasons why you should visit Scotland, and 2013 is the perfect year to do so. 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, celebrating all of the stunning scenery and places that Scotland is blessed with. Scotland was also named as CNN’s ‘top destination for 2013’ and there’s so many reasons why.

There are many different cruise ports in Scotland suitable for ships of all sizes. If you stop in Greenock you can enjoy the beauty of nearby Loch Lomond, or the vibrant city of Glasgow only 25 minutes away. If you dock in Leith on the east coast of the country you’re within easy distance of Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh where you can visit the wonderful old town which contains the imposing Edinburgh Castle atop an extinct volcano.

Edinburgh Castle

2013 is the perfect year to embark upon a cruise holiday, all you need to do is decide where!

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