best towns in Kotor Bay

10 Beautiful Towns in Kotor Bay Besides Perast & Kotor That You’ll Love

I remember when I visited Boka Bay for the first time years ago (before coming to live in Montenegro), the most striking towns in this area were considered Kotor and Perast. But since that time, the whole region evolved a lot, and new beautiful towns in Kotor Bay started to emerge.

So now, when I am back in Montenegro (in fact, this time we settled in the Bay), I am delighted to see so much change and so many new developments. I want to share them with you, so it becomes easy to plan a Montenegro itinerary and see not only the most popular tourist sights but also some lesser-visited places.

If you are coming to Montenegro not just to spend time on beaches on the stretch from Budva and Bar but also want to experience the country through its nature and some epic adventures, then make sure to devote some time to Kotor Bay.

You can drive it slowly for a couple of days following my guide to the Bay of Kotor or spend the whole vacation just here. In any case, make sure not to hurry as the entire area hides many interesting things and these beautiful towns are just a small part of the story!

How to Visit These Towns in the Bay of Kotor

To make it easier to visit all these towns around Kotor Bay, you’d want to rent a car and drive around.

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Best Towns in Kotor Bay Not to Miss

Dobrota – Resort Area of Kotor

Dobrota restaurant

Personally, this is my favorite place in the Kotor area for long walks and lunch or early dinner by the sea. 

Dobrota is a settlement adjacent to Kotor with many restaurants of different types (where to have a romantic meal) and many guesthouses where to spend a night. On one of our first visits to Montenegro, we stayed here briefly and it was truly one of the best experiences in this country. Waking up to the serene beauty of Kotor Bay and having the opportunity to enjoy an early morning stroll while it was still quiet was truly magical.

I recommend you check out this beautiful town before the sunset (best colors) or even on a rainy day when it is enveloped in fog. And yes, Dobrotta is also a very nice place where to base yourself a couple of days during the vacation. The close proximity to Kotor allows one to participate in the city’s nightlife, visit numerous restaurants, and enjoy shopping.

You will also find there a couple of interesting historical sites and spots for sunbathing and possibly swimming (both private and public), although sea in this area is not very clean. Don’t miss St. Matthias Catholic Church and a nearby smaller Holy Prophet Ilija Church with very nice views.

Risan – Second Oldest Town in the Bay of Kotor

Risan coast
Risan town

Risan is an ancient town with a leisurely pace of life that at first sight looks pretty unremarkable, although in reality has some interesting gems to discover. My favorite ones are Roman mosaics of the 2nd century, the ruins of the Ivelychiv captains’ Palace, the ancient Gabela street paved with cobblestones, the Church of Peter and Paul, nearby underground caves (where you can hike), and my favorite oyster farms.

Considered the oldest settlement in the region (okay, some argue and say that the oldest is Kotor and Risan is the second oldest town in the Bay of Kotor), it is always quiet and cozy, making it ideal for those seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of overcrowded Perast or even Kotor and particularly stretch between Budva and Bar.

During the day, you can enjoy sunbathing, lying on a sunbed on the pebble beach (because there are a couple of beach clubs here in the area), swimming in the sea, or embarking on fascinating excursions. Unlike Kotor, Risan lacks crowds — it’s simply a lively, beautiful, but quiet town!

There are also several excellent restaurants here serving local Montenegrin cuisine and a few grocery stores. The central square of Risan has historically been home to the central market (always open on Sundays from 8 to 12:00), where farmers bring fruits, vegetables, prosciutto, olives prepared in dozens of ways, homemade cheese, and kaymak.

Morinj – Tiny Cute Beach Town

Morinj town in Bay of Kotor
It is here in Morinj where you can swim directly with the fjord view

Morinj town is not really a town but more like a village in Kotor Bay as it is very tiny. I love it for its beach and lush Mediterranean vegetation that creates shade throughout the day which is great for those times when we feel like spending the whole day by the sea.

In July and August, it gets crowded very fast, but if you come early in the morning and reserve a spot (parking is the only thing that will be paid, no need to pay for sunbeds, just come with a towel), you’ll have a refreshing shade on hot sunny days.

Thanks to the many trees (laurel, pomegranate, blackberry, and fig trees abundant in the area), Morinj is a haven of fragrant aromas. Its sandy pebble beach (you’ll find it here) even though small, has crystal-clear water and shallow bay.

And because of the location, the sun illuminates the sea here for up to 16 hours a day, however with all the trees, the entire beach area is in the shade. The cleanness of seawater owes its purity to the constant influx of fresh water from rivers and canals that teem with fish, crabs, mussels, and lobsters. 

Very near, is a Catovića Mlini restaurant, famous throughout Montenegro for its seafood specialties and finest wines. It is an expensive place (main dishes start from 25 euros per portion) but worth every penny for the exceptional culinary experience it provides.

Stoliv – Mountain Town By the Sea

Donji Stoliv panorama

Two distinct facets define Stoliv – Upper and Lower or as you’ll find it on the map – Gornji Stoliv and Donji Stoliv.

In Donji Stoliv (Lower part) life thrives next to the sea, a lovely spot for relaxation and time by the bay, be it in the restaurant or on the concrete platform. But a short hike upwards into the mountains brings you to the Gornji Stoliv (Upper part which literally translates to ‘Mountain Stoliv’) where ambiance shifts dramatically.

It’s like stepping into another realm, a bygone era frozen in time where many of its quaint houses stand remarkably preserved, reminding of their architectural heritage.

beautiful town in Kotor Bay
Donji Stoliv cafe

Both, Gornji and Donji Stoliv enjoy the health benefits of their surroundings, with the mountain slopes offering refreshing air known for its respiratory benefits.

Come here to hike, go to the beach (there are two small but nice beaches here great for swimming and relaxation), walk on a partially paved promenade, and just enjoy the quietness of a place.

Donji Stoliv also started to expand and build new properties, so it is now a fantastic place where to stay when on a trip around Montenegro. For example, a recently open Hyatt Resort on the Bay (I visited it personally and can tell it’s beautiful!) sits in such a prime destination next to the sea and coniferous forest.

Ljuta – Elite Fishing Village With a Pretty Waterfront

view of Kotor Bay

Kotor Bay best view

Ljuta is the next town (or better to say village) which slowly flows out of Dobrota. It is quieter and has more upscale houses (where many of them are also available for rent). 

My favorite thing about Ljuta (which, by ‘town standards,’ is very small) is its charming waterfront, which runs directly along the water’s edge. It feels like a scene straight out of a storybook with colorful houses adorned with vibrant flowers, facing the sea in an idyllic setting.

In winter, Ljuta is very quiet and unremarkable but from late spring to late fall, when it starts seeing tourists, it transforms into a vibrant coastal town, brimming with life, energy, and a sense of excitement. It is a place for photographers, artists, and anyone with an appreciation for aesthetics.

In Ljuta, you will also find CogiMar, the only seafood store in Montenegro of its size and variety, offering exclusive fish selections, cheeses from Italy, and different wines.

Orahovac – Beach Clubs & Seafood

best town in Kotor Bay

Next to Ljuta is another small town of Kotor Bay which I love and highly recommend looking at if you don’t like crowds and want some quality time in a beach club (obviously, in summer).

Not that other places along the Bay of Kotor don’t have beach clubs (yes, they do, Risan which I mentioned above also has some nice beach clubs), but Orahovac is in a league of its own. 

We like here Grota Beach Bar & Restaurant where from May to October they put sunbeds on the pier and you can spend a day there, ordering food and drinks from the restaurant. It is very similar to the popular concept that exists around beaches in Bodrum, Turkey. Another beach club is Bar El Cortez which is also right there on the sea.

Overall I’d say that Orahovac is one of the greenest areas in the bay, thanks to the presence of mountainous pomegranate groves and beautiful oak forests, including some oak trees that are over four hundred years old. It is a retreat for those seeking a tranquil spot away from the crowds of Montenegro’s major tourist destinations, where it is possible to bask in the sun, swim in the sea, and listen to the soothing sound of the waves in solitude.

For lunch or dinner, stop in one of the seafood restaurants here to eat oysters or fish, fresh catch of the day. 

Muo – Best Views of Kotor & Dobrota

guide to Kotor

Muo is a fishing village on the shores of the Bay of Kotor in the suburbs of Kotor itself. It extends along a 3-kilometer stretch of coastline at the foot of Mount Vrmac and has nice views of the settlement of Dobrota on the opposite side and Kotor.

I think Muo is really one of the most beautiful places on Kotor Bay because of the views it offers and its convenient location. You can stay here in cozy houses built in a traditional medieval style right on the bay, overlooking the bay. It’s just a 10-15 minute walk to the old town of Kotor (or you can take a bus or taxi to go there) but prices for accommodation are lower.

Muo is the best place for people who want to hike on a trip to Montenegro and be close to Kotor while experiencing tranquility and medieval touch. There is also a pebble and partially concrete beach here as well as a beautiful promenade for evening strolls.

If you don’t stay in Muo, come to check it out, stroll along the water, hike to the top of a green hill Vrmac where it is such a pleasure to walk among the coniferous trees towards an old fort. And in the evening come back to dine on the water in one of the fishing restaurants.

Bijela – Quiet Town By the Sea

Bijela in Kotor Bay
drinking coffee in Bijela

I discovered Bijela for myself just this year when Mark and I returned to Montenegro for a change of scenery from Tenerife North. We rented an apartment here (30 seconds away from the sea, literally) and settled right on the Adriatic coast for a few months.

Before we came here, I didn’t know anything about Bijela besides the fact that it is a quiet village-like settlement in the vicinity of Herceg Novi.

But now, after spending our first month here, I can tell that it is more than just a village. Bijela is a hidden gem nestled along the Bay of Kotor, boasting stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and a tranquil atmosphere that invites relaxation.

There is no old part of town here or any beautiful streets where to hang out. But what makes Bijal special is the waterfront with a number of apartments and even hotels like Hotel Casa del Mare or Barka B’n’B (between them you’ll find many flats and airbnbs for rent).

You can plan a vacation stay here (especially in July and August) to avoid too many tourists (because it is quiet even in the midst of summer) or simply make a stop to walk along the waterfront and swim on the beaches here.

Tivat – Town With the Most Luxurious Feel 

waterfront in Tivat Montenegro

Tivat is probably the most luxurious town in the Bay of Kotor due to the high number of upscale hotels, apartments, and restaurants, where the majority of them are located next to the marina with expensive yachts that sway gently in the harbor, adorned in their finest attire. 

It is a nice town where to stay but also a nice town to visit on Kotor Bay, especially in the evening before/during the sunset when the sky ignites in a symphony of colors, casting a golden hue over the tranquil waters.

Come here to have an excursion aboard a Yugoslav submarine, delving into the maritime history of the region in an immersive way, venture into the depths of antiquity on a hike to Gornja Lastva, sip coffee or wine around Pine Marina, or simply spend a whole day in Buddha Beach Club with the largest infinity pool in Montenegro.

The pool activity is available mainly in the tourist season from May to October, but in winter, you can spend time here by the pool with drinks and food.

Better read my full guide to Tivat town to know about all the things to do in and around it.

Herceg Novi – Town of Fortresses & Extensive Promenade 

fortress town in Bay of Kotor

Another beautiful town in Kotor Bay that is definitely worth a visit. Much like Kotor, Herceg Novi boasts excellent restaurants and cafes, an ancient old town, immediate access to the sea, and a picturesque hillside setting that guarantees breathtaking vistas abound.

But unlike Kotor, Herceg Novi has very nice beaches and a long waterfront where it is possible to enjoy the sea to the fullest.

Since recently, after renting an apartment for the long term in Bijela, Herceg Novi became a new go-to town for us with Mark. We like to go there just to walk on the promenade, eat non-Montenegrin food (a choice of international restaurants is big), drink coffee on Pet Danica Walkway (lots of coffee houses there!), or hike up the hills for the views of the bay and Croatia.

When you go, I really advise you to explore the historic Španjola and Kanli Kula fortresses, wander through the charming old town, and stroll along the waterfront promenade. If you like cemeteries and abandoned places, there is an old White Emigrants’ Cemetery and the mountain village of Zlijebi.

For the full list of things to do, refer to my guide with all the interesting activities in Herceg Novi, if you haven’t seen it yet.

Map of These Best Towns in Kotor Bay

Do You Want to See More Than Just Kotor Bay?

Then here are a few other exciting places:

Kotor and Perast are not the only towns in Kotor Bay that are worth a visit. In fact, there are many more towns and villages not to miss! | best of Kotor | Bay of Kotor road trip | best of Montenegro

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