Bijela in Montenegro

Don’t Miss Bijela – Kotor’s Bay Secret Getaway Town

A quick guide to Bijela, Montenegro based on months of my time living there.

I would have never discovered Bijela for myself if we hadn’t come to live there for a few months. I drove through this town on multiple occasions when living in another part of Kotor Bay, but I never turned off the main road to see what hides behind the trees and apartment buildings.

But then we happened to settle there by chance by one of the lesser-known Montenegrin beaches and I began to uncover its hidden charm.

So here is my quick post-recommendation to visit Bijela and even possibly choose it as a place where to base yourself for a few nights. Compared to many other towns on the Bay of Kotor, it is still among the cheaper destinations and surprisingly not touristy at all (I mean, there definitely will be people in July and August but not as many as in Portonovi or directly Herceg Novi town). 


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Things to Know About Bijela Before Coming

must-do in Montenegro

First thing is that Bijela in Montenegro is a small town on Kotor’s Bay that comes alive from May to November. It is an excellent pick for where to stay for people on a budget or if you don’t need accommodation, just make a brief stop here for a change of scenery.

It is also ideal for tranquil family getaways, offering seclusion along the coastline. Most of the village’s buildings are situated right along the beachfront, providing easy access to the sea from any guesthouse within Bijela. It is also home to the largest ship repair yard, which evolved from significant shipyards dating back to the reign of Serbian King Tvrtko. Despite its industrial presence, the yard employs modern technology that ensures minimal ecological impact, alleviating concerns about pollution.

In winter, Bijela is still nice to visit but it kind of dies out as everything closes for the season (most hotels and guesthouses shut their doors, although I’ll mention one that stays open) which is why there is not much to do in the area other than walk along the stormy sea and take photos of heavy skies.

Winters in this part of Montenegro are also incredibly windy which can be quite unpleasant at times, but summers feel a bit less hot since the weather brings a pleasant breeze. 

Best Things to Do in Bijela

Despite its small size, Bijela still has a few interesting things to do, particularly in summer when it is possible to spend time by the water and all points of interest are open.

Among the most interesting activities are the waterfront promenade which consists of 2 parts (more on that below), beautiful hidden beaches, some unique dining options, and romantic inlets along the coastline where to relax and enjoy the scenery. So here are the best Bijela things to do:

Stroll Along the Shoreline in Southern Bijela

Bijela waterfront
Bijela in Kotor Bay

It feels a bit strange to divide Bijela into southern and northern parts. However, since the waterfront section of the town is partially blocked by the shipyard, you cannot wander by the entire seaside without passing through its backyards.

That’s why start with one part at first (southern) and then walk to another one.

Southern shoreline of Bijela starts by the park near the grocery store Idea1 and ends by another small park area near Montemar Apartment Complex (here is the exact walking path and distance that I mean). 

The road winds along the sea, where on one side there are small cute docks for boats and benches between them and on the other side, there are quaint cottages gazing out over the calm waters. 

It is nice to walk there in any season, but especially so from autumn to spring when the sea is somewhat stormy and heavy clouds hang from the sky. It will take you around 30 min to walk slowly in one direction if you don’t plan to make long stops for photography and dipping feet in the water.

Walk on the Promenade By Bijela’s All-Inclusive Hotels in the North

waterfront restaurant in Bijela
ladder into the sea

Not sure if you knew that but Bijela (northern side) has some decent (budget-friendly) all-inclusive hotels, hiding on the first line by the sea between trees and residential buildings. One of them is Carine Hotel Park and another one is Iberostar Delfin.

Both are nice picks for where to stay or where to walk nearby since the location is very scenic with beautiful quieter beaches around.

That part of the waterfront goes here and takes around 20 min of walking time one way. It faces mountains from a better angle, so you also get better opportunities for photos.

Also, exactly here on this stretch, you’ll find nice beaches (some with smooth entrance), both public and private, where it is possible to rent a sunbed for the whole day.

Spend a Day by the Waterfront Pool & Sea at the Delfin Hotel

pool at Delfin Hotel

Delfin Hotel, on the first line, has a very nice waterfront (almost infinity) pool where it is pleasant to spend a day

Depending on the season, it is open to outside guests (this is never available in July and August), so it is possible to come in on a day pass. For more accurate information, I’d recommend you contact the hotel directly in advance and ask about this option (do not rely on their website’s info).

Otherwise, consider Delfin as a place where to stay. They offer full board and all-inclusive options which is very convenient and prices are below average.

Savor the Vistas At Waterside Restaurants

Bijela best restaurant
drinking wine with a view

The same promenade, in the north by the hotels, has some lovely panoramic restaurants where prices are average for food and drinks. My favorite is Konoba Galija where we often stopped for a beer or wine with calm sea views.

Other places we like are Pizza Igrac Vise (prices are also quite reasonable here) and a more sophisticated waterfront Blanche Beach Restaurant which is part of Casa del Mare Hotel (if you go, try their seafood dishes, they cook them in front of the hotel, risotto, and in-house made desserts).

Try Fresh Oysters & Wine On the Sea

Many areas of Kotor Bay have nice oyster hatcheries, but the first one (from the Herceg Novi side) starts in Bijela where the sea conditions become ideal for oyster cultivation.

You’ll find here the exact location of the restaurant, although it is not really a restaurant in my understanding of this word, more like an eatery with a few wooden tables and umbrellas. But the vibe here is so relaxing and oysters are just so good!

eating oysters during a week in Montenegro
blue water of Kotor Bay

Go to the Church of St. Peter

This church is located on the hill away from the sea and main road. You can walk there or drive for a serene atmosphere and views of Biela from above.

The church is small but it has significant cultural importance. Besides relics, the main thing here is also the lush nature.

Join a Night Tour of Kotor Bay 

A very popular activity in summer in Bijela includes maritime pursuits like yacht or boat rides and fishing. It is possible to join one of the boat tours that depart from the Bura restaurant area near the Carine Park Hotel. By the building, outside you’ll see an info stand and a salesperson in summer selling boat trips around the bay for those interested.

But you can go on a boat tour from anywhere in the bay. The reason I mention Bijela is because there is a chance to join one unique night Kotor boat tour when you get to ride in a boat in the evening and visit Kotor City when lights are on. Hulkboats company offers these tours, but it is better to get in couth with them in advance to reserve a spot.

Best Beaches in Bijela

Bijela beach

Bijela beach

Beaches in the southern and northern parts of Bijela are very different. In the south they are very pebbly with small sharp rocks on the bottom (and many sea urchins too!), so you want to have water shoes just in case to keep your feet safe and feel comfortable.

However, in this tiny green area, in the shade of trees, you’ll find a concrete platform with a ladder directly into the sea. I liked going for a quick refreshing swim here (particularly in late May and September) with goggles to watch schools of fish feeding on aquatic plants.

Next to that platform, there are small patches of beach on both sides, each with very coarse sand. They are quite nice for chillaxing a few hours.

Other beaches in Bijela where to have a good time and spend a few hours or even the whole day:

  • Azzuro Beach – part of the hotels Azzuro where it is possible to rent a sunbed
  • Beach by Taverna Taraca – a small stretch of pebbly beach, but you’ll see there a wider beach area all the way to the Hotel Max
  • Bijela public beach – main beach of the town (free) with rather wide sand area (coarse sand with small pebbles)
  • Hulk Beach – a combination of a concrete platform with a ladder and a sand beach adjacent to it. It is possible to rent sunbeds for the day here from one of the guesthouses behind the beach across the road
  • Hotel Park Beach – a wide (coarse sand) manmade beach that is part of Carine Hotel. It is possible to rent a sunbed with umbrella here or stay with your own towel for free

My Favorite Bijela Restaurants

Bijela restaurants

Here are all the restaurants in Bijela that I tried (and loved). Some of them I mentioned earlier but putting them all on one list:

  • Konoba Galija – traditional Montenegrin food, cheap beer, and amazing views
  • Bura Restaurant & Chill – excellent for any type of a meal (very good breakfast here too), outstanding service & of course views
  • Igrac Vise – good budget pizza & cheap drinks by the sea
  • Kod Sere – good cappuccino on a budget
  • Fast Food Mandrapa – best place to eat traditional Montenegrin burgers (pljeskavica). They are located by the main road and are the cheapest street food among all places to eat in Herceg Novi the area
  • Simplefood – best place for sushi and some Asian dishes. Here is the location since google maps doesn’t show it when you look by the name. They are quite unremarkable, easy to miss, but sushi choice is huge and everything is very tasty! On the map, they are shown as a grocery story when in reality it is an eatery with tables.

Things to Do Near Bijela

Not only Bijela is worth seeing, but also its surrounding area with a few more possibilities for recreation. Thus, you can discover a bigger part of Kotor Bay when on vacation.

Whenever you are visiting Bijela, I also recommend you pop into Baosici, a nearby town with its own lovely promenade, many atmospheric seaside cafes, and also very nice beaches. 

From the northern part of the town (where the oyster farm is), walk further north towards Adriatica restaurant (it is also a nice place to dine but pricey). From this restaurant, across the road, you’ll see a staircase that looks like it leads to someone’s house, but it is not. It is a staircase and then a path to Josice Chapel, an old Orthodox church built in 1867 on the ruins of a 17th-century church.

Josice chapel
walk to the chapel
Orthodox Church

The walk up to the chapel is beautiful through an alley of coniferous trees and even offers some views. The church itself is interesting to look at as it features unique architecture with flat surfaces, domes, and towers. It includes a tall bell tower and has two altars painted in the 19th century with valuable Greek and Russian icons, including a notable 15th-16th century icon of the Virgin Mary with Jesus Christ.

On the way, you may be interested in stopping by Adriatica restaurant beach club which is open from June to September, and has a fantastic beach, food with drinks, and views of the fjords. 

beaches near Bijela
Beach near Adriatica restaurant by its beach club

Best Bijela Hotels & Apartments

As I mentioned above, Bijela is a nice place where to stay for everyone in Montenegro – families with kids, couples on getaways, people on a budget, and those wanting something special without spending much.

Here are the best hotels for different budgets (but all are affordable, not like accommodation options around Kotor):

  • Boutique Hotel Casa del Mare – a small family-owned hotel on the first line with a private beach, pool, and onsite restaurant. They adhere to their commitment to delivery outstanding service and be authentic in everything
  • Carine Hotel Park – good all-inclusive for mid-budget
  • Garden & Beach Stylish House – a mini house with a luxurious feel that doesn’t cost a lot, even in high season. There is private access to the beach and beautiful garden where to rest in the shade, kitchen and all amenities are included
  • Villa La Vita – is a beautiful, lovingly designed house with 5 different apartments with kitchens. Even in July and August they have prices €60-€70 per night for the apartment which is considered cheap for this type of accommodation at this time of the year
  • Studio Max – very good apartment with kitchen and easy access to the beach for less than €45 per night

Find Your Best Accommodation in Bijela

 

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