Across the Adriatic from the ankle of Italy's boot, the old port town of Kotor sits at the base of Europe's southernmost fjords. Steep mountains drop into the narrow Bay of Kotor. The village tucked between is like a hidden kingdom protected by natural guards. The medieval old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site with four Romanesque churches and twisty, narrow streets, will remind you of Venice because Venetians built most of it.
If You Go: To reach the fortress you can drive or climb up. Old Kotor has many high-end boutiques, as well as restaurants and cafes that serve the local specialty: fish soup. Sailing and swimming in the bay are popular during the long, hot summer. For a splurge, take a luxury Cox & Kings tour of hidden spots in Dubrovnik and Kotor. Get other ideas in the upcoming book, The Hidden Europe.
Getting There: Kotor is approximately 50 miles southeast of Dubrovnik, Croatia. From Dubrovnik the ride by bus or car is about an hour.