What’s the best way to get epic views of Kotor? Head up the mountain, up a bit more and just keep climbing! More precisely, climb the Ladder of Kotor.

Without a doubt, this is the best hike you can do in and close to Kotor, without going to Lovcen National Park. Not only do you get absolutely incredible views, but it also feels relatively off the tourist-track (or as far off as possible for Kotor).

Pack a picnic, head up the hill and soak in the breath-taking views of Kotor and beyond!

If you’re looking for other things to do in Kotor, or to find out where to eat in Kotor – check our articles here and here.

What is the Ladder of Kotor?

The Ladder of Kotor is a steep trail that leads from the Kotor Old Town to the top of the mountain. It’s referred to as a ladder because it enables you to climb from town and eventually it meets a road (The Serpentine of Kotor). Legend has it that the trail was originally built to enable military access to the town from the road above.

How to find and follow the trail to hike the Ladder of Kotor?

The official trail starts just next to the old town, the start is helpfully marked on Google Maps as “The Start of the Ladder of Kotor“! If you can’t find that, then navigate to the Old Hydroelectric Power Plant at the end of the Scurda River.

There is another option, you can also combine a visit to San Giovanni Fort with the Ladder of Kotor trail. For the San Giovanni trail, head into the old town and follow the signs. The main reason that we did not do this route is that you have to pay 8 Euros for the pleasure of accessing the fort, whereas the Ladder Trail to the top is totally free.

To follow the trail, look for red and white markings or red arrows. It’s pretty difficult to get lost.

How difficult is it to walk the Ladder of Kotor?

The trail is 4 miles up, and 4 miles back down. We are pretty confident hikers, and it took us less than 90 minutes each way. The recommended time for most hikers is 3 hours each way, so there’s absolutely no rush!

Under foot, it’s mainly gravel or small stones and whilst it is a climb each pathway is not super steep. The trail is most renowned for the vast number of “switch backs“, which whilst a little repetitive these switch backs do mean that the trail isn’t as hard as it would be if it whizzed straight up the mountain!

Even if you’re not super fit, or an experienced hiker, I would still recommend attempting it. Whilst it is strenuous to get to the top, you don’t have to go all the way. Even from 1km up the trail, you can still enjoy the wonderful views, so why not give it a go?

Is there anywhere to get refreshments on the ladder of Kotor?

There are two places to get refreshments on the trail. One is a house, the other is marked as “The Cheese Shop” on Google Maps. The Cheese Shop is famous for their homemade cheese. When we visited, they also had homemade cherry liqueur. Most remarkably, they have beer on draft. Apparently, the shop owners have to get their goods delivered by Mule! It’s run by a delightful couple who seem to be living the good life! Please stop in and grab a drink if you’re heading up the trail. Perhaps a coffee on the way up and a beer on the way down! The view from the terrace (shown below) is special. Bonus, they also have toilets.

What to Pack and Wear to climb the Ladder of Kotor?

Even though you can buy refreshments, we would recommend that you still pack lots of water and small snacks. We saw people walking up with no water, which just seems dangerous. Always pack for every eventuality!

In terms of clothing, much depends on how hot it is. Hiking gear would always be best but failing that then shorts and a t shirt will do just fine.

For footwear, definitely a sturdy pair of trainers or walking sandals as a minimum. Please do not attempt this in flimsy flip flops. But you don’t need walking boots!

Is the ladder of Kotor suitable for children or pets?

The trail could be suitable for dogs, but we would suggest keeping them on a lead or close by. There are lots of steep drops as well as cats and some goats in residence, so be aware of this if your dog likes to give chase!

For children, the trail may be tricky depending on their hiking experience. Babes in arms in a sturdy carrier would be fine as long as you watch your step. Smaller children may find this walk tough and there are quite frequent trip hazards.


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7 responses to “How to Hike the Ladder of Kotor”

  1. […] The ladder of Kotor is a spectacular hiking trail that winds back and forth up the mountain from Kotor’s old town. It’s truly the best way to get a view of the entire bay. Allow between 2 and 4 hours to hike to the top and back. For a full guide on how to hike the ladder of Kotor click here. […]

  2. […] ambience. Kayaking around the bay in a 2-person boat is a winner too! For active couples, you could hike in Kotor or head to nearby Lovcen national […]

  3. […] with medieval city walls, a fort and many churches to wander. The walls are free to explore. Hike the ladder of Kotor or kayak if you want something more […]

  4. […] for 1 night. From there, take a short break in Kotor to enjoy some good food, after a hike up the Ladder of Kotor and maybe a kayak around the bay. Next, take the short trip to Dubrovnik and spend the remaining 4 […]

  5. […] for 1 night. From there, take a short break in Kotor to enjoy some good food, after a hike up the Ladder of Kotor and maybe a kayak around the bay. Next, take the short trip to Dubrovnik and spend the remaining 4 […]

  6. […] with medieval city walls, a fort and many churches to wander. The walls are free to explore. Hike the ladder of Kotor or kayak if you want something more […]

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