Montenegro Daytrip from Dubrovnik

A daytrip visit to the country of Montenegro seemed like a must while staying in Dubrovnik, Croatia in order to see the UNESCO Bay of Kotor and discover Eastern Europe's secret vacation getaway.
Bay of Kotor - the first stop was at a turnout for the view and a photo opportunity of the Bay of Kotor. The Boka is magnificent. Coming from sunny Croatia, the mood is entirely different with blue-greys of the mountains casting shadows on the water with a foggy haze hanging in the valley. In this area, there are also two small towns that the guide will tell you about, but unfortunately there is not a stop.
Kotor - next stop is the walled medieval city of Kotor. The guides will give you a quick overview and let you lose to explore the city for a little more than an hour. Kotor is similar but smaller than Dubrovnik with beautiful stone buildings and hidden alleys. There are also Catholic and Orthodox churches and a few museums to discover. The city is small enough to zip around, but unfortunately you will be visiting often with an entire cruise ship that has docked crowding the city with tourists. Also, there is not enough time to fully climb and explore the The Great Wall of Kotor that extend above the city.
Road from Kotor to Cetinje - back on the bus, the driver will start a long journey up the old historic road to Cetinje. The road is 1-lane and has 26 hairpin turns so it is definitely not for the faint at heart. Traffic negotiation is quite entertaining as the bus always takes precedence over cars which must backup into a pull-out but not everyone seems to know the “rule” and there was some honking and a German woman who had a fit trying to get the bus to back up. There are also cows grazing along the road and sometimes in the road delaying the journey. There is one stop at the top and the views at the top are extraordinary overlooking the Bay of Kotor.
Budva - descending back down the mountain, the tour continues to Budva. Budva is also a medieval walled town, but focuses less on the historical elements of the city and caters to the Eastern European tourists on vacation with cafes, shops, beach clubs and night clubs that have earned it the nickname Montenegrin Miami. The stop here is for ~ 1 hour and just enough for a walk around the city. The guide will tell you about the island of Stevi Stefan, the playground of rich Russians and Hollywood elite. There is no stop but this island is not open to tourists, only paid guests.
Review of the Tour - guide: Our guide was superb giving excellent commentary and telling engaging stories about the sites and Montenegro history. The driver was also great and professional especially driving those 26 hairpin turns on the mountain road. Itinerary Review: The day starts at 7am and you will return to Dubrovnik at ~7pm if the border crossing is smooth. You get exactly what you sign up for, but the entire day felt rushed. Most people wanted more time in Kotor and to stop at Risan, Perast & Cetinje as opposed to driving by, but it is already a long day. Though the view of the Bay of Kotor from above is breathtaking, it might be better to spend more time in Kotor, visit Risan & Perast, skip the mountain and go direct to Budva OR schedule in 2 days for this adventure. The trip up to Cetinje is 2 hours of driving with and additional 45 min lunch break up there. (Dubrovnik -> Kotor = 2 hours driving time / Budva to Dubrovnik 2.5 hours driving time) DayTrip Company: Viator – This is NOT a paid review. I took this tour on my own. Traveler Notes and Tips Border Crossings: The Tour Guide & travel books warned of long border crossing (sometimes hours). Our guide seemed to know the secret handshake and there were no delays. The border crossing throughout the Balkans were very thorough and long. Kotor and Budva are cruise ship stops, so there will likely be crowds. Go off-season if possible. Budva also has a boisterous holiday crowd and it’s more of a nightclub scene.