Trebinje

Day Trip from Trebinje: Lake Bileća

25 May 2020
The town of Bileća offers little in the way of thrills and spills, although there might be a large amount of spills if you’ve imbibed a little too much šljiva already. Speaking of liquid, the main reason to make a beeline for the small town is a massive body of water found just outside, the marvellous Lake Bileća. It might not get the press that other lakes in the region receive, but it is only a matter of time before all that changes.

To get to Bileća, get behind the wheel of your rental car and simply drive 30kilometres to the north. You’ll know when you’ve arrived, this is a massive, massive lake after all, and even the most naive can’t mistake a massive lake for a small pond. If you’ve not got the luxury of the private car, there are plenty of buses that traverse the distance between Trebinje and Bileća, the journey takes 45 minutes and tickets cost €3. From Bileća itself you can jump in a taxi, or maybe even ask the bus driver to drop you off by the lake. You might get lucky.

There isn’t a huge amount to do at the lake itself, as tourism hasn’t really kicked off yet. You won’t find sporting activities, beach bars and fun, but you will find a beautiful body of water that stretches across 33km squared and is absolute definition of tranquility. The lake was created in 1968 when the Grančarevo Dam was constructed and now dominates a stunning landscape of lime stone mountains and karst formations, free from the meddling of those pesky humans. That is somewhat ironic, considering the whole ‘man made lake’ thing, but you get the point.

The most picturesque spot in this buffet is undoubtedly the curious island, giving Bileća the feel of a Lake Bled on steroids, or at least on a different type of steroid. The Church of St Elijah the Prophet sits on the island, surrounded by verdant nature and a sense of true serenity. If you’re going to find the big man anywhere, it’ll be here.

Lake Bileća is for those who aren’t afraid of silence. Mass tourism might make its way here one day but that day is years away still, so get on this train long before it leaves the station (not a literal train, for clarity).

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