Vrmac Ridge Hike

Exploring Vrmac: Kotor to Tivat Hike

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So you’ve heard about the incredible views and inspiring beauty of Vrmac. Or perhaps you’ve just finished hiking the Ladder of Kotor and you’re thirsty for more adventure.

Views of Kotor and Boka Bay from Above

Whatever your reasoning for landing on this blog post, I’m glad you did. Hiking Vrmac is one of the best things to do in Kotor Bay and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this trail below.

Vrmac Ridge Hike Stats

Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Elevation: 785m
Distance: 11+ miles / 18+ kilometers (depending on which route you take. Some routes are much shorter, some are longer.)
Time on trail: 5-6 hours (depending on which route you take)

Vrmac Ridge: Kotor To Tivat Hike

There are many treks to explore on Vrmac Ridge, one of the most popular being the Kotor to Tivat hike. Scaling the ridge and crossing over from Kotor to Tivat, you’ll be able to admire both sides of Boka Bay.

Sveti Ilija

Start this hike from either side, Kotor or Tivat. Both options have their unique characteristics and advantages, but since this is a point to point hike, you’ll be able to experience the trek from both angles.

Know Before You Go

1. Rock slides

Since rock slips can happen during any hike, it’s always important to stay on the designated trail. We came across several rock slide areas, but luckily we were not in any immediate danger.

Vrmac Trail Rock Slide

2. Snakes

I didn’t know whether or not to mention this because I don’t want to deter anyone from hiking this trail. However, it is important to know that there are two kinds of poisonous snakes that live along the trail.

During our hike, we happened to see one and got quite close to it (not on purpose). It was a beautiful snake and with a bit of research, we found out that it was poisonous.

If you decide to hike Vrmac (which I highly suggest you do), just keep an eye out and watch where you step. The chances of seeing one on your hike are slim and they are not defensive creatures; just keep your distance. The snake we saw (the nose-horned viper) just scurried away when he saw us.

3. GPS

Carrying our phones with us and using the GPS helped us immensely during this hike. Since there are so many routes you can take, we used our GPS to follow the green path on the map.

Even if you don’t have cell service while traveling abroad, you can still use the GPS to find where you’re located. The blue dot will always appear and show you where you are on the map.

4. Daylight

We attempted this hike in the middle of November and it was a huge success. The only issue we faced was finishing the trail with enough daylight. Give yourself enough time to reach the top of Vrmac and hike back down before the sunsets.

Kotor to Tivat Hike

Note: If you want to experience the summit of Vrmac during sunset, I recommend bringing a headlamp with you and hiking down via Kotor. The hike down to Tivat is a lot trickier and difficult to navigate, especially in the dark.

Vrmac Hiking Map

Below, I’ve outlined the trail we took from Tivat to Kotor. From Tivat, we made our way up to the summit, also known as Sveti Ilija. After gawking at the views and eating our snacks, we started our descent. Along the way, we passed Fort Vrmac and eventually made it to the trailhead on the Kotor side.

Tivat to Vrmac to Kotor
Tivat to Vrmac to Kotor
Vrmac to Kotor
Vrmac to Kotor

In the sections to follow, I’ve included the GPS coordinates to each of these trailheads. Simply put them into Google Maps to find your desired trailhead with ease. Start your walk from either side: Tivat or Kotor.

Trailhead For Vrmac – Starting In Kotor

To find the trailhead for Vrmac in Kotor, follow the main road along the bay. Use the map below to guide you or click on this link to go to the Google Maps coordinates.

Fort Vrmac Trailhead

Once you reach this location, look for a green sign that says “Pješačka staza Vrmac”, which means “foot path to Vrmac”. Follow the sign and continue up several flights of stairs, past a few apartments and houses, until you reach the gravel path.

Kotor to Tivat Trailhead

You’ll know you’re approaching the mountain using the correct trail when you start traversing switchbacks. This path isn’t very steep but prepare for almost 40 switchbacks before you reach Fort Vrmac. From Fort Vrmac, you’ll still have almost an hour (4.7km) before you reach the summit.

Trailhead For Vrmac – Starting In Tivat

If you plan on starting your trek to Vrmac in Tivat, you can find the trailhead on the map below or use this link to go to the Google Maps coordinates.

Kotor to Tivat Hike - Trailhead

During our Kotor to Tivat hike, we decided to start in Tivat and hike to Kotor. There are several ways to access Vrmac from Tivat, but we chose the option shown above.

Unfortunately, this trail was not very well maintained and we found ourselves climbing through brush and overgrown weeds on the way up. Although we made it to the top, we were covered in scratches from the prickly bushes and rogue tree branches.

Tivat to Kotor Hike - Vrmac

My suggestion is to start your hike in Donja Lastva instead of using the same trail we took. You’ll have a much easier hike up and the road should be well maintained. You can find out more about the trailhead in Donja Lastva below.

Vrmac Ridge And Fort Vrmac

As you hike along the Vrmac Ridge, you’ll follow a rocky path with some of the best views in all of Kotor Bay. Take caution while on this trail because this is a road that’s still in service. During our hike, we were met by two cars that were venturing to the top of the mountain for sunset.

Vrmac Ridge Trail

Fort Vrmac is an old Austro-Hungarian fort built in the late 19th century. This empire was eventually used during WWII and is now an amazing series of structures for tourists and hikers to admire. You’ll pass by Fort Vrmac during your hike, which sits at the top of the switchbacks when approaching Kotor.

Fort Vrmac - Austro-Hungarian military fort

Sveti Ilija – The Top of Vrmac

The highest point on Vrmac Ridge is Sveti Ilija, which sits 785 meters above sea level. Take your time and enjoy Sveti Ilija when you reach this point. The views are unlike anything you’ll see in all of Kotor Bay.

Sveti Ilija Summit

To the west you’ll get an eagle’s eye view of the port town, Tivat. To the east, you’ll get expansive views of Kotor Bay and the surrounding mountains. And on a clear day, you’ll be able to see glimpses of Budva to the south.

Pack a lunch and some snacks to munch on at the summit of Vrmac. There is a slab of cement at the top that is perfect for an afternoon picnic. Please be sure to leave the area BETTER than you found it. Take any trash back with you that you brought up.

Hike to Vrmac

Donja Lastva To Vrmac

Unfortunately, we didn’t find out about Donja Lastva until after completing our hike from Tivat to Kotor.

Donja Lastva is an area just outside of Tivat to the north. There is a trailhead in Donja Lastva that leads directly up to Vrmac. Using this trail is much more straightforward than using the trail located in Tivat. It is also well-maintained and easy to navigate in comparison.

Donji Stoliv and Donji Lastva
Donja Lastva & Donji Stoliv

If you have the option, I recommend starting your trek in Donja Lastva and ending in Kotor. Use this link to find the coordinates for the Vrmac trailhead in Donja Lastva.

Vrmac: Kotor to Tivat Hike

Donji Stoliv To Vrmac

Another way to access Vrmac Ridge is via Donji Stoliv.

Mike and I stayed in Stoliv during our time in Kotor Bay. This was the cutest town and the perfect location for our adventures.

It took us a few weeks to realize, but there is a trailhead that leads to Vrmac in the middle of the town. Keep an eye out for the green signs on the side of the road that say “Vrmac”. These signs will lead you to Vrmac Ridge trails and eventually to the summit, Sveti Ilija.

Stoliv, Montenegro Hiking Trail

Transportation To The Trailheads And Back

If you’re anything like us, you might avoid renting a car when possible. Here are two ways to access these trails without a car and without emptying your pockets.


Thanks to public transportation, getting around Kotor Bay is extremely easy and affordable. The Blue Line bus continually circles around Kotor and Tivat, appearing approximately once an hour.

View of Boka Bay from Vrmac Ridge

Since there are very few bus stops, simply stand on the side of the road and wait for the Blue Line bus to approach. Wave your hand and the bus will stop to pick you up. The ride from Kotor to Tivat is €2 and vice versa.

Use the bus to get to and from your desired trailhead. Since we started in Tivat, we need to take a bus back when we finished in Kotor. The bus picked us up about 15 minutes after we completed our hike. Easy!

If you’re wary or hesitant about taking the bus, simply ask a local or the bus driver. Everyone we asked was friendly and helpful.


Another option is to take a taxi to or from the trailhead. Although more expensive than taking the bus, taxis are plentiful and decently priced compared to taxi rides in other parts of the world.

Other Activities On Vrmac

Vrmac isn’t just a mountain for hikers. There are plenty of things to do on this huge stretch of land:

Mountain biking is very popular in this area. If you’re an experienced rider, I recommend spending an afternoon exploring the many trails.

View of Kotor and Kotor Bay

Although I can’t be 100% sure, rumor is that geocaching is popular in Montenegro, too. *Cough cough* be sure to check in Fort Vrmac!

What To Pack

With limited resources on trail, it’s best to come prepared for this hike. Here are a few things we suggest to bring:

Camelbak: I recommend bringing a hydration backpack with you during this hike (or any hike for that matter). Hydration backpacks are awesome because you’ll be able to drink water without stopping to pull out a water bottle each time. There is also plenty of room in these bags for snacks and extra warm clothes if necessary.

We use the Vibrelli Hydration Backpack and have for years.

Water: Pack more water than you think you’ll need. This is a long hike.

Rain jacket: A rain jacket is especially necessary if you plan on visiting Montenegro in November. The weather can change at any moment and it’s always better to come prepared. We wear North Face Rain Jackets when we hike, but any quality raincoat will do.

Top of Vrmac

Food/snacks: It’s always a good idea to bring food on a hike to refuel your body. Sandwiches and chocolate bars are excellent trail snacks.

The Wrap-Up: Exploring Vrmac: Kotor To Tivat Hike

If you want the most comprehensive and stunning view of Kotor Bay in its entirety, add Vrmac to your Montenegro itinerary. Vrmac is easily one of the best hiking areas in all of Montenegro and offers so many trails to explore and so much to see.

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