Ulcinj (Montenegro) is a resort town located in the southernmost point of the country on the Adriatic coast. Many tourists mistakenly believe that the resort is located in the wilderness, but a rich history, seasoned with pirate legends, envelops it with a halo of mystery. It is not surprising that Ulcinj is recognized as one of the most mysterious and colorful resorts in Montenegro.
Photo: Ulcinj City
The city of Ulcinj in Montenegro borders on Albania. The area of the resort is not too large, but the area of the Riviera is 255 km2. The fact that the town is located on the border of a mixture of two completely dissimilar cultures gives it a special charm and color. It is in Ulcinj that the longest sandy beach, olive groves, whose age exceeds one hundred years and, of course, medieval buildings telling about the former glory of pirates, are located. The landscape is complemented by the oriental flavor of narrow streets.
The first mention of the city dates back to the 5th century BC, for a long time the settlement was a haven for pirates, as well as a stronghold of the slave trade. In different historical eras, Ulcinj belonged to the Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire. That is why the streets of the resort town so intricately intertwined historical and architectural monuments of different cultures and faiths.
The main attraction of Ulcinj is the beaches, the length of which is more than 17 km, while the urban coastline stretches for 30 km. Here you can find a place to relax for every taste. Such a variety of vacation spots combined with a warm climate make the resort one of the best in Montenegro.
Interesting fact! The number of sunny and clear days in the year is 217.
Useful information about Ulcinj:
- the majority of the city’s population is Albanians, about 72% of them in Ulcinj;
- the dominant religion is Islam;
- the number of local residents – 11 thousand;
- according to one legend, it was in Ulcinj that Don Quixote was captured, and one of the local residents became the prototype of Dulcinea of Tobos;
- since the main religion in the city is Islam, this imposes certain features in the behavior for tourists, it is not customary to make noise and behave defiantly, many women by the sea relax in clothes and do not swim;
- local cuisine is dominated by traditional Albania dishes;
- be sure to stroll the night streets of Ulcinj, as its night lighting is considered one of the most beautiful in Montenegro.
Interesting fact! Ulcinj is located on picturesque hills, surrounded by olive groves and beautiful lakes.
Photo: Ulcinj resort, Montenegro
Undoubtedly, tourists are most interested in the Old Town, where the Balsic tower is located, the Church of St. Mary (today the Archaeological Museum operates here), the castle of Venice dating from the 15th century. By the way, the hotel is open in the palace, so tourists have the opportunity to feel like a royal person.
Useful! In the Old Town there is an ancient fortress, from the walls of which a beautiful seascape opens. If you go to the pier from the old part of Ulcinj, you can enjoy views of the Big Beach.
Acquaintance with Ulcinj must begin precisely with the Old Town, most of the sights are concentrated here and many memorial tablets are installed that tell about various historical events. So, if you enter the old part of the resort through the northern gate, you will find yourself in the museum quarter, where the temple mosque is located, which now houses a museum with a rich collection of archaeological finds from different eras.
Next to the museum is another attraction – the Balsic tower, dating from the 12th century, today an art gallery works in its walls. There is a square in front of the tower – this is a quiet place where in the past there was a brisk trade in slaves, the second name of the attraction is Piazza Cervantes. The casemates of the defensive structure have still been preserved around it.
Opposite the wall rises the Balani – the creation of the hands of the Venetians, nearby is a spring built in the middle of the 18th century by the Turks.
The lower part of Old Ulcinj, no less interesting and rich in sights, can be reached through the southern gate. On the contrary, you can see the preserved foundation of the Church of the Virgin, and nearby there is a reservoir built during the reign of the Republic of Venice.
Further down the street, an ancient landmark remained – the powder warehouse of the Ottoman era. You see the old building, do not be surprised – this is the palace of Venice, for many centuries the city managers have lived here. And not far from the castle are the Yards of Balsic – a complex consisting of several buildings typical of Venice.
Leaving the Old Town, you find yourself on the promenade. She is small, but neat and beautiful. There are many cafes, souvenir shops, live music plays, in a word – calm and sweet at home.
The attraction is located in the Old Town in Ulcinj in the building of the Church of St. Mary. The building has a rather interesting history – initially a church was erected on this site in the 14th century, instead a century later the church of St. Mary was erected, and in the second half of the 17th century the church was converted into a mosque. The walls of the building are decorated with ancient frescoes dating from the 16th century. The collection contains collections of artifacts from the period of the Roman and Ottoman empires. Museum exhibits date back to the Bronze Age, the antique pedestal of the period of the 5th century BC is of interest. A commemorative inscription is carved on it, indicating that the structure was created in honor of the goddess Artemis. Also in the collection are jewelry, weapons and household items.
- ticket price 2 euros;
- working hours: from May to November – from 9-00 to 20-00, from November to April – from 8-00 to 15-00;
- The museum is open daily except Mondays.
The attraction is surrounded by an olive grove. Directly opposite the church is an Orthodox cemetery. The temple was built at the end of the 19th century, but the history of the shrine begins in the 15th century (there used to be a monastery on the site of the temple built in honor of the soldiers who died for the country’s independence).
Interesting fact! The iconostasis and church walls were painted by Russian masters.
A fascinating story is associated with the temple. In accordance with Turkish law, no building in the city could be higher than a mosque. But the builders of the church of St. Nicholas acted cunningly – they built a part of the church inland, thus, the norms of the law were not violated.
Today the temple is an interesting attraction; several ancient relics are preserved on the territory:
- ancient church archive;
- old books, including prepress;
- rare works of art;
- ancient church clothes.
Good to know! The most interesting is the Three-Handed icon painted in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos. Another attraction is the book “The Sacrifice of Abram,” dating from the 18th century.
The city of Ulcinj is not rich in attractions, but this fact is more than paid for by the beautiful coastline and an impressive selection of entertainment.
The great beach stretches for 13 km, the coastline is 60 m wide. Stable winds create excellent conditions for surfing in this part of Montenegro. Black sand on the shore has healing qualities.
The small beach is smaller in area, but the most famous diving center in the city works here.
At the mouth of the Boyana River on the island, which received the status of a reserve, there is another place for recreation, where various water activities are presented. Safari Beach is marked with the Blue Flag – a sign of order and cleanliness. Valdanos beach is pebbled, which is rare for Ulcinj, it is surrounded by an olive grove.
Good to know! The resort has coastal areas that belong to private individuals – Birichi, Skalisty, Feminine and Ludwig.
A detailed description of all the beaches of Ulcinj and the surrounding area is presented in a separate article .
The choice of housing is large, but there are few hotels, most of all private apartments, guest houses, guest houses. By the way, real estate rent in Ulcinj is lower than in other Montenegro resorts.
A few tips:
- it does not make sense to stay in the center of the resort, since it is far to get to the beaches;
- keep in mind that the resort of Ulcinj in Montenegro is located on the hillsides, so be sure to specify when booking a property – which road leads to the beach;
- if suddenly it did not work out in advance to book accommodation, do not worry, there is a huge selection of apartments in the city, it will not be difficult to pick up real estate, you can do this after you arrive on vacation;
- if you rent a house directly from the owners, you can agree on a discount;
- camping is common in Ulcinj, so on many beaches travelers stay in tents for 2-3 days, accommodation in a tent city will cost only 2-3 € per day;
- the cost of apartments per day will cost 30-50 € (prices vary depending on the season);
- a room in a guest house can be found for 20 € per day;
- for a room in a 3-star hotel you will have to pay from 50 € for one night.
Cafes and restaurants
Most cafes and restaurants are located on the promenade and in the central part of Ulcinj. Typically, the doors of most institutions are open around the clock, all work until the last client. Given that the city is coastal, many menus feature dishes of fish and seafood. Be sure to try the dishes common in Montenegro – Chevapchichi, Chorbu, Shopska salad, splash, burek. And in Ulcinj you can get acquainted with Albanian cuisine.
The average bill in a restaurant for two ranges from 20 € to 35 €. Experienced tourists recommend buying products at local markets or in supermarkets where possible and cooking on their own.
Climate, when is the best time to go?
On the entire Montenegrin coast, Ulcinj is considered the warmest, the average annual temperature here does not fall below +10 degrees. The most hot weather captures the period from the beginning of summer to September – approximately +30 degrees.
Good to know! The beach season begins in mid-April, and ends in November.
From the point of view of weather and financial conditions, the most favorable period for travel is September. The average temperature remains at around 28 degrees, the water in the sea is warm enough for swimming, while the flow of tourists decreases, housing prices also fall. And in September, fruits and berries ripen.
In the summer months there is a tourist peak, respectively, prices for food, housing and entertainment are rising. On the beaches, the number of vacationers is sharply increasing, it is quite difficult to find a secluded place.
In the beginning of autumn, the velvet season begins, according to many tourists, it is September – the optimal period for a trip to Ulcinj. Even in November at the resort you can bask in the sun and drink freshly squeezed juice from oranges or pomegranates.
In general, the weather resembles autumn with only one difference – the sea is cool and you can’t swim yet, but you can organize a picnic on a secluded, deserted beach.
Planning a vacation in Ulcinj in winter? Take an umbrella and a raincoat. Prices are the lowest. In winter, on Lake Solana, you can admire a unique phenomenon – flamingos and pelicans fly here to winter.
How to get from Tivat to Ulcinj
From the airport in Tivat, you can get to Ulcinj in two ways by bus or by rented car.
In the first case, be prepared that buses do not come directly to the airport, so you need to walk to the stop. To get started, go to the highway “Adriatic Highway” (“Jadranska magistrala”), located a hundred meters from the airport. Then you need to turn left and walk another hundred meters in the direction of the resort. After that, you will find yourself at the bus stop. Here you need to wait for the bus, transport goes with a break of 30 minutes. Just because the bus does not stop, you need to wave the driver. Almost all drivers stop and pick up passengers.
Good to know! It is important to choose the right direction for buses. You need to wait for transport from the terminal.
If transport does not arrive for a long time, you will have to go to the Tivat bus station, it is located 800 meters from the airport terminal (you need to go in the direction of the city).
Check with the driver – should transport to Ulcinj, only after that buy a ticket, its cost is 6.5 €.
The road from Ulcinj to Tivat is more comfortable, because you do not need to wait for a bus on the highway. All transport leaves from the bus station. It is important to warn the driver so that he makes a stop near the airport. By the way, many drivers speak English and even understand Russian, so there will be no difficulties in communication.
Another way is to get from Tivat to Ulcinj by car. Roads in Montenegro are mostly free, but you will have to pay for travel along certain sections of the path. Distance Tivat-Ulcinj (88.6 km) can be covered in 1 hour 40 minutes.
Car rental points are available at every Montenegro airport. The cost depends on the season and class of car and starts from 15 € -30 €. Also, the class of the car affects the cost.
The only paid section is the E80 highway, which runs through the Sozin tunnel. This is the longest tunnel in Montenegro (a little over 4 km). The fare will have to pay 2.5 €. Payment is made at a special cash desk, there are six cash collection points; they work in two directions. Payment is accepted by card or in euros.
What you should pay attention to:
- a car on a manual gearbox will cost less than a transport with an automatic transmission;
- rent is reduced in proportion to the lease term, thus daily rent is higher than the rent by a month;
- be sure to specify – the service “car delivery to the airport” is paid or not.
Many tourists believe that Ulcinj (Montenegro) is in the wilderness and consciously choose other resorts. Nevertheless, this city is a great place for those who prefer to spend time on the beach and parties, but without a large crowd.
Video: walk around the city of Ulcinj.