If you’re imagining yourself in picturesque ports packed with old-world charm, chances are you’d love a European cruise. When you choose to sail on a Carnival® cruise ship, you’re given the option to cruise to Kotor, Montenegro. While you’re exploring this enchanting village, consider bringing back a few of these top 15 souvenirs.
Few things represent a country like traditional dress, and for men in Montenegro, it is a type of cap (or Kapa). This round, black cap features a red top with an embroidered design modeled after Montenegro’s coat of arms. If you want to take home an authentic piece of Kotor’s culture, look for a kapa in any of Kotor’s markets or gift shops.
2. Olive Oil
There are many olive groves in Montenegro, so it’s no surprise that olive oil is an essential component of the country’s cuisine. If you’re a foodie, this high-quality, low-acid cuisine staple makes a perfect souvenir or great gift. You can find it at Kotor grocery stores and markets.
When bringing your olive oil or any other food item back to your Carnival ship, make sure it remains unopened and sealed for the remainder of your trip.
3. Vranac Wine
In addition to olive groves, Montenegro is home to an array of vineyards and one type of grape — the Vranac grape. Only found in Kotor and parts of Macedonia and Croatia, this grape yields a variety of flavors, from black currant and cherry to chocolate and is deep red in color.
Remember you’re allowed to bring one bottle of duty-free alcohol per adult back on the ship, which will be safely stored by Carnival staff until your voyage is complete.
4. Grape Vinegar
Another tasty kitchen item that’s native to Montenegro is grape vinegar. This concoction made from sour grapes offers a unique flavor for salads, sauces and pickling. Pick up a bottle of grape vinegar in Kotor groceries and markets.
If you’re a brandy connoisseur, you might enjoy rakija, a local, brandy-like spirit made from fermented grapes. Take a bottle home to share your travels with friends and family. Rakija is widely available in Kotor groceries and markets.
While you’re shopping in Kotor, you might notice colorful, knotted prayer bracelets called brojanica at various markets and gift shops. Although the number of knots may vary, many locals prefer brojanica with 33 knots, which represent the age that Jesus died. While traditionally black in color, these bracelets most often used by Eastern Orthodox Christians, now come in a variety of colors.
7. Montenegrin Honey
Montenegro features an unspoiled and diverse plant population, which is ideal for beekeeping and the manufacture of honey. The types of honey you can find in Montenegro include flower, sage, chestnut and black locust. Purchase a small jar while you’re in Kotor and bring it home for a delicious breakfast topping for cereal, toast or yogurt.
8. More Bee-Related Products
Where you find high-quality honey, you’ll also find other bee-related products. While you’re shopping in Kotor, look for bee pollen, royal jelly, beeswax candles and honey-based soap, lotion or cosmetics.
If you enjoy antique shopping, you’ve come to the right city! You can shop for jewelry and teapots fashioned from Balkan silver, religious crosses, kilim rugs, carved wooden boxes, glass vases and more beautiful objects at various stores throughout Montenegro and the greater region. Some stores even offer a cold glass of Montenegrin prosecco while you shop.
10. Artisanal Jams
Follow a friendly Balkan tradition and purchase a few jars of artisanal jam to take home as gifts. Figs, strawberries, blackberries and quince are native to Montenegro, so you have lots of options to choose from. You can find a variety of locally-made jams in Kotor grocery stores.
11. Feline-Related Souvenirs
If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Kotor, consider a trip to the local cat museum, and pick up a few mementos while you’re there. One look around this quirky, feline-centric establishment, and you’ll see cats on everything: book covers, newspapers, postcards, paintings and drawings.
When you buy a souvenir like kitty magnet or figurine, proceeds go towards caring for the city’s overwhelming stray cat population.
Lavender grows in abundance in Montenegro, so you can easily find it in many forms, from dried lavender stems to leaves to flowers, at shops and markets throughout Kotor. Just look for pretty bags filled with lavender. Lavender potpourri or fragrant sachets for your sock drawers and pillowcases.
13. Packaged Herbal Tea
Montenegro natives and locals use dried herbs to improve their health, so you might want to pick up a few packages of herbal tea while you’re in Kotor. Try mint tea for healthy digestion, chamomile tea for a good night’s sleep and sage tea for a soothe sore throat or cough.
14. Products Featuring Images of Kotor
When it comes to charm and beauty, few vacation destinations match Kotor, Montenegro. While you’re exploring the city’s medieval stone walls or majestic mountains pick up a few postcards, a calendar or a framed watercolor painting from local gift shops or markets throughout Kotor.
If you’re fascinated by the local culture of Kotor, explore the charming village on foot. Beyond the tour, you can also pick up some books about local history, geography, folklore and cuisine at the gift stores, markets and souvenir shops in town.
Whenever you decide to go on your next vacation, consider a cruise around Europe. And once you arrive in the unforgettably picture-perfect port of Kotor, Montenegro, you may never want to leave. Fortunately, any of these 15 souvenirs will keep the memory of your fantastic trip alive for years to come.