Ulcinj is the southernmost city on the coast of Montenegro, in fact the last major city of Montenegro before bordering Albania. This city is the main one in the Ulcinska Riviera. The majority of the population of Ulcinj is made up of ethnic Albanians, almost 70% of the total population. Local residents mostly speak Albanian, and it becomes obvious already at the entrance to the city. All road signs and signs are duplicated from Montenegrin to Albanian. In summer this part of the coast is especially popular with the Albanian population from Kosovo. Ulcinj, perhaps the most colorful city among all Montenegrin resorts, in the atmosphere of this city there is something eastern.
History of the city.
The history of the city has more than a dozen centuries and explains many features and even strangeness of Ulcinj. For example, why are the minarets quietly neighbors with a typical European fortress. More than 2,500 years ago, the first Illyrian settlements appeared in this region, that is, in the Bronze Age, people already lived here. This is indirectly confirmed by archaeological finds near the village of Zogaj. Old Ulcinj was founded in V BC by Greek colonists from Kohida and called it Kohinium. Already in 163 BC the city was captured by the Roman Empire - it received a new name of Olcinium and even a certain independence. After the fall of Rome, the city, which by that time was the capital of pirates and slavers on the Adriatic, became part of the Byzantine Empire.
In 1183, the city was conquered by Stefan Neman, under which it became one of the prosperous shopping centers of the Adriatic coast. And already in 1356 Ulcinj together with other lands of the Zeta goes under the control of the Balsic dynasty.
However, the unique geographical position, features of the terrain and climate made it a desired prey for the conquerors, so the walls of the city were destroyed during the next attacks, and were strengthened by new owners. In 1423, Ulcin was captured the soldiers of the Venetian Republic, renamed it into Dulcinjo and transferred to Venetian Albania. During the Ottoman wars, Christians took refuge in the city.
In 1571, nevertheless, the Turks conquered Ulcinj and turned it into a powerful bastion to fight against Venice. This era of government lasted until the end of the XIX century, until, finally, in 1880, the city became a part of Montenegro.
Take a walk from the main street of the city - Marshal Tito Boulevard to Hafiz Ali Ulcinaku Street, which will lead you to the sea through the historical center. The architecture of this street has strong oriental motifs. It is especially beautiful in the evening. Here there is a unique atmosphere, for example, the minaret of the main mosque Namazdiakh, built in 1828, and the clock tower erected in 1754.
After walking about 500 m, you will get to the fork. Go along the street to the left and you will go to the city beach. The Small beach offers an amazing view of the Old Town. The old town of Ulcinj (Stari Grad Uljcinj), like many others, suffered greatly during the last major earthquake in 1979, but most of it has already been restored. In the Old Town the city museum of Ulcinj is located. And from the observation deck you can make stunning photos of the city views, the sandy beach, houses and mosques towering above them.
Lifehack: the cheapest fruits and vegetables are sold on the market in Ulcinj, and when the season of watermelons and melons begins, cheaper price you won’t find anywhere else in Montenegro.
The swimming season on the beaches of Ulcinj lasts longer than in the rest of Montenegro - usually from the end of April to early November. And most importantly, this area is famous for its endless sandy beaches:
Lifehack: in the afternoon on Velika plaža and Ada Bojana beaches a strong wind rises, so these beaches are ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing lovers.
What to see in the vicinity of the city?
You can start studying the Riviera from the small resort village of Dobra Voda. It is surrounded by oak and olive groves and is known for its healing air.
Not far from the city there is the village Kruce, which is famous for the beach "Valdanos" and the bay, which crashed deep into the land. One of the boundaries of the beach is a sheer rock of unusual white color. Next to the olive grove there is a huge auto camping.
On a small island near the Kruce there are the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Olcinium. On the north side of the island, the parts of the fortress walls are preserved, and behind them there are the remains of small buildings and the church of the 12th-13th centuries. Another famous area is the lighthouse on Cape Mendra, built in the 13th century. And functioning until now. Its keeper conducts free and interesting excursions to the lighthouse.
If botany attracts you more than history, take a stroll through the olive forest, where there are about 74,000 trees. It stretches for 5 km from the beach "Valdanos" to the city itself. Another miracle of nature located near Ulcinj - a glacial lake. The reservoir lies between the Rumija mountain and the Ada Boyana river and attracts many eco-tourism enthusiasts. This is not surprising, because in this place you can feel a complete union with nature, enjoy the silence and watch the birds, which are more than 240 species on the lake. The area of the water mirror is more than 360 hectares.
On the shore of the lake, near the village of Sas, there are the ruins of the medieval town Svac. The city was founded by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, at the beginning of the 6th century, and around 1183 was conquered by Stephen Nemanj. Svac was an independent city and even minted its own coin. It is true that in 1241 the city was razed to the ground by the Mongols, but by the efforts of Helena of Anjou it was restored by the end of the century. However, in 1575 the history of the city ended - there were only ruins left. In the northern part of Svac, near the gate, there is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, built in Romanesque style in 1300. Previously, this place was the older cathedral, probably destroyed by the Mongols in the middle of the VIII century. This is evidenced by the remains of an ancient masonry near its western wall. Archaeological excavations in the vicinity of Svac is going to be continued.
How to get to the city?
If you are planning a vacation in Ulcinj, then it's better to fly to Podgorica Airport. But to get to Ulcinj from Tivat will not be difficult either. You can order a taxi or use public transport. From Budva to Ulcinj, you can also get by bus, but it's better to travel by car, as in the surrounding area you can also see a lot of interesting things.
Hotels in Ulcinj are ready to offer their guests accommodation of different levels. Quite large is the choice of modest hotels, designed for unassuming travelers. View all the offers you can by clicking on the link. Regardless of the cost of living, hospitality and cordiality are waiting for the guests of all hotels.
Picturesque, like almost all the coastal cities of Montenegro, Ulcinj has its own special appearance, its own special color. There are excellent beaches and the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing holiday and sunbathe on the biggest beach in Montenegro.
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