Ulcinj is the southernmost city of Montenegro, located near the border with Albania on beautiful hills with rich Mediterranean vegetation. Here is a record number of sunny days per year for the entire Montenegrin coast of the Adriatic – as many as 217.
Picturesque, like almost all coastal cities of Montenegro, Ulcinj has its own special face, its own special flavor. People appeared on the territory of this city in the Bronze Age, the settlement was founded in the 5th century BC, during its long history the city was both a stronghold of piracy and the slave trade, and part of the Venetian Republic, and was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Each of these eras has left its mark on the city and its historical and architectural monuments, which are concentrated in the Old Town.
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How to get there
From the airports of Tivat and Podgorica to Ulcinj can be reached by bus through Bar or Budva.
The beaches of Ulcinj
Ulcinj and its beaches are one of the most attractive areas for recreation in Montenegro. The Ulcinj coastline stretches for more than 30 km, from the confluence of the Bojana River into the Adriatic Sea to the Old Ulcinj Cape, and includes the well-known Big Beach and Small Beach. In the mountainous part of the Ulcinj Riviera, Valdanos Beach and 18 picturesque bays are located. Due to its geographical position, it is this part of Montenegro that boasts the warmest sea, the largest number of sunny days per year and the largest variety of subtropical vegetation.
There is not a single factory or plant for 100 km around Ulcinj.
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The most famous local beach is Bolshoy, it stretches for 13 km and ends on the island
– the most famous nudist rookery in Europe. There are also several kitesurfer stations constantly operating on the coast.
The most beautiful panorama of the Old Town is the one that opens from the Small Beach. The name of the beach speaks of its size (its length is about 400-600 meters), but not of its significance for tourists. The beach is sandy, the sand is silky and healing, it has an increased natural radioactive background, and therefore has a beneficial effect on patients with rheumatism. In addition, due to natural factors, sea water near the coast is highly mineralized, and in combination with climatic factors, this creates an aerosol curtain along the sea edge, which is very useful for the treatment of chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
Ulcinj hotels are ready to offer their guests accommodation of various levels, but most of them are small pensions and apartments.
By the way, the cost of living in Ulcinj is the lowest compared to other resorts in Montenegro.
There are very few apartments directly in the Old Town, and living there is not so convenient – it is deserted in the evenings, not close to the beaches. In the city, when choosing a hotel or boarding house, pay attention to the location – the resort is very mountainous, and even 500 m to the beach can turn into a “pleasure” walk up the mountain, especially in the sun. The average cost of apartments is 30-50 EUR per day, depending on the season.
The doors of many cafes, restaurants and bars are open almost around the clock: they all work “until the last customer”. The menu is usually based on local products, very fresh and tasty. As in other seaside cities, there are many restaurants offering a wide variety of seafood dishes.
Most of the tourist cafes, which is not surprising, are located on the embankments – here you can taste both Montenegrin cuisine (chevapchichi, splash, traditional chorba and shopska salads, bureks), and Albanian. The closer to the center of the embankment, the more expensive the establishments.
Entertainment and attractions of Ulcinj
The Old City is divided into two parts – the Upper City (Citadel) and the Lower City. The citadel is not only a historical place, it has firmly entered the classical literature: it was here that the great Spanish writer Cervantes was imprisoned, it was here that he created the image of Dulcinea (the girl from Ulcinj), who, as you know, was adored by the legendary Don Quixote.
The Old City also entered the history of religion: in the middle of the 17th century, the famous expert on the Talmud Shabtai Zvi lived here. Studying the Talmud, a sacred book for the Jews, he came to a paradoxical decision: he converted to Islam under the name of Mahmud Efendi. In general, many knowledge is many sorrows…
Since the city passed from one ruler to another many times, its architectural appearance is a rather motley picture, in which, nevertheless, Muslim motifs prevail. The most striking illustration of the interweaving of cultures is the city’s Historical Museum, which is now located in a former mosque, which, in turn, was rebuilt from a church. Particular attention should be paid to the Palazzo Venezia, the Balsic Palace and the exotic Oriental Bazaar, known throughout the coast.
Not far from Ulcinj is the world famous Skadar Lake, which everyone who comes to rest in Montenegro strives to visit. The lake is very beautiful, with diverse, swampy shores in places. It is very interesting for those who like to observe the life of birds, many of which are rare. A dam was built in the northwestern part of the lake, which is the pride of the country and the embodiment of modern construction technologies. It is through it that the highway and the Belgrade-Bar railway pass. On the shore of Lake Skadar is the Albanian city of Shkodra with an ancient fortress, only 40 km from Ulcinj by motorway.