If you want to spend a quiet weekend on the Montenegrin Coast, I would like to recommend Morinj, a small and picturesque seaside hamlet right in the middle of the Bay of Kotor, halfway between the towns of Kotor and Herceg Novi (5 km from Risan). It is well-known for its lush green mountains, pebble beach, clean (and cold!) sea water and old watermills (photo 1). A network of interconnected springs and creeks in the “hinterland” of the coast makes this resort very special. Moreover, Morinj has one of the best seafood restaurants in Montenegro, “Ćatovića mlini”, and also one of the nicest camping sites, called „Naluka“. There are no big hotels (except for the “Stone Bridge” Hotel in Gornji Morinj), but you can certainly find attractive private rooms or apartments in the village.
Arriving at the camping ground, it became clear that the tourist season has not been very successful so far. Only one third of the camping lots were occupied, although we remember that “Naluka” has always been overcrowded in July-August. It’s true, there were some camper vans from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The usual camping fans! Good tourism promotion of Montenegro, especially for individual tourists, has been neglected in Western Europe for several years and now we see the consequences!
We parked our camper van on the bank of the creek that connects the hinterland with the sea. It was a perfect place to have a rest and read a book in the shadow of fruit trees and willows (photo 2). Dinghies and motor boats passed by on their way to the bay and swallows were flying just above the water surface. What a beautiful spot!
Next morning we went for a walk to the upper part of the village, Gornji Morinj. During the winter, when there is hardly any sun in this part of Boka, the place is abandoned – but in the summer the village center comes to life again. Here you can still see original architectural entities: churches, old stone houses, round threshing floors (“guvno”) and even a kind of defense wall – all this is connected by a steep cobbled stone road that leads further into the high mountains. A nice walk!
We enjoyed a pancake in „Tramontana“, a nice restaurant with a terrace on the sea shore. It was rather quiet on the beach. Due to underwater springs, the water was much colder – but also cleaner – than in other parts of Boka. Great to cool off after a walking tour!
For the next day we had planned another highlight: lunch at Ćatovića mlini. This is not only an excellent restaurant, but also a wonderful place. When you enter (it is situated a few hundred meters away from the main road) you find yourself in a green oasis with exotic trees (even bamboo and bananas) and a wonderful garden. The building itself is an old mill (photo 3). It was tranquil and we found a place on the covered terrace over the river/stream. Watching the ducks and goose in the river and listening to the water running from the mill was a very relaxing experience. After a great seafood lunch (photo 4) we explored the surroundings, crossing over footbridges and climbing some stairs into the forest (photo 5 and 6).
Of course, nothing is perfect. That (Saturday) night we were disturbed by very loud music from the Tramontana terrace which kept us awake from 11 PM to 1 AM – and we were certainly not the only ones! The owner of the camping site told us that he has complained to the ministry and the municipality many times – without any result. Never mind, Morinj definitely remains a place to visit!