Visit Ulcinj

Ulcinj is the southernmost town on the Montenegrin coast, well-known for its long sandy beaches, where the view to the sea makes the spacious horizon seem infinite. It is believed that ancient Ulcinj was founded by the Illyrians in the 5 century BC, and because of its strategic importance it has been the target of many conquerors: Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Turks, pirates, Italians… The town was first named Colchinium, after the Illyrian tribe Colchis, afterwards Dulcinium.

The Old town of Ulcinj, encircled by the “Cyclopean walls”, is reachable both from the north-east and from the bay. Among several squares, the famous one is the Square of Slaves, once a place where the pirates brought their slaves and sold them. It is believed that the famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes arrived as a prisoner to Ulcinj and spent five years there. Cervantes wrote his greatest work , Don Quixote, and called one of the characters Dulcinea inspired by the town of Ulcinj (Dulcinium). There is also the town museum, a small complex of three buildings situated around the Square of Slaves: the church-mosque form the 14th century keeps numerous archeological remains: Illyrian earthenware, Greek and Roman pottery, cathedral pillars and Turkish tombstones; Balsic tower from the 12th century, used for the art exhibitions, where the Jewish dissident and reformer of Talmud, Sabetha Sebi used to come and pray in secret; third building houses the ethnographic collection, featuring the hunting and fishing exhibits and local folk costumes. The Western part of the town hides magnificent buildings. The Castle of the Balsic was the residence of Montenegrin rulers, the Venetian Castle was reserved for the town governors.

There are several churches and mosques outside the city walls. Saint Nicolas church, an orthodox church was rebuilt in 1890, having functioned as a mosque during the Turkish rule. It’s a short walk down to the Pasha Mosque, the only mosque in the country with a working Turkish bath - hamam. Heading further up into the centre of the town, the next mosque you come to is the Namazdjah Mosque with a fine-looking clock tower from the 19th century. Next to it, the Bregut Mosque is the largest one. Close to this mosque there is a green market, the busiest on Tuesdays and Fridays, when the inhabitants of the surrounding villages offer their home-made milk products, fruit, vegetable, nuts and honey.

Where can you stay in Ulcinj?

There are several hotels in the vicinity of the Old town Ulcinj, mostly small hotels. The amount of private accommodation is much higher, private rooms and apartments situated on the hill above the town’s beach. If you’d like to stay in the Old town, you can choose between the palaces of the former Montenegrin rulers.

Ulcinj is situated 27 km away from the port of Bar and 81 km from the capital Podgorica, through the 4 km long tunnel Sozina.

What can you do in Ulcinj?

Visit of the Old town Ulcinj is a must. But if you would rather relax on the beach, Ulcinj is perfect place for it. Just in front of the Old town, there is Mala Plaza or small town’s beach. “Korzo”, local name for the promenade, separates this beach from several cafes and pizzerias. There is also so-called Ladies beach, hidden under the cliffs, only couple of minutes walk from the town. The women believe that water on this beach promotes fertility, thanks to the sulphurous spring which rises here.

Velika plaža or the Long beach of Ulcinj is the longest one on the Montenegrin coast, 12 km long fine sandy beach. Although one long unbroken stretch, Velika Plaža is actually divided into several individual beaches leased by the local people, each with exotic names such as Copacabana, Tropicana, Neptun and Safari, equipped with sunbeds and beach umbrellas; signposts along the main road clearly indicate the turn-off for each one. The Long beach is also very attractive surfing destinations. The adrenalin-filled ride on the surfboard is great experience either on Velika Plaza or the nearby Ada Bojana.

Triangle-shaped island Ada Bojana sits at the mouth of the river Bojana, 15 km from Ulcinj, on the Albanian border. It is surrounded by the Bojana on two sides and by the Adriatic sea on the third side. It is the unique place, a paradise for those who are keen on naturism. You can even enjoy the horseback riding on Ada Bojana. Not less gorgeous are the the sunsets on the island, when it looks like the sun dives into the sea but it still burns, spreading its yellow and red flames on the surface.

There are also several excellent fish restaurants near the island, serving seafood and fish from the river Bojana, as well as from the sea. Ulcinj itself has a small but decent selection of restaurants, pizzerias and cafés, either in the Old town or on the promenade along the Mala plaža.

Nightlife in Ulcinj

There is barely a restaurant or hotel in Ulcinj and surrounding that does not offer entertainment to the tourists like concerts, dance programs and shows, karaoke, lottery and other sweepstakes.

At night the Long Beach of Ulcinj turns into the stage for DJ’s, playing different music. It is also a host of different music festivals.

29.10.2013, Published by Globtour Montenegro