Ulcinj

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Ulcinj (Cyillic: Улцињ, Albanian: Ulqin or Ulqini) is the most southern coastal town of Montenegro.

Understand[edit]

Ulcinj, Montenegro

Ulcinj is the southern most major town along the Montenegrin coast before reaching the border with Albania. Well over a majority of the population of Ulcinj is ethnic Albanian. Together with the town of Tuzi it is one of the two major population centers of Albanians in Montenegro. Due to the town's nice location on the coast it is a major tourist destination of much of the Albanian population of Kosovo.

Get in[edit]

  •    Bus station (Autobuska Stanica Ullcinj), Totosi BB (40 minute walk from the old town),  +382 (0) 30 413 225. 24/7. Online time table. Services: Infinity Snack bar & Internet cafe, 24 hrs supermarket, free Wi-Fi and a toilet. Taxis from the bus station to the Old Town walls cost €5.
  • 8 buses per day to Podgorica, 2 hours, €6.
  • To Bar you can either take a normal bus or catch a 'combi' minibus ( about half an hour, hourly).
  • From Kosovo during the tourist season there are frequent buses leaving from the major cities. The price should be around €15. Rarely can these be booked advance on-line, but a stroll round a major city centre will immediately show what is on offer (e.g. try the Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina. Buses leave from both Pristina and Ulcinj (at 7pm each day, 11 hours), making about 4 rest stops on the way (BarPodgoricaPec (Kosovo)).
  • From Albania there are 'combi' minibuses that come from Durres in Albania to Ulcinj, although they most likely are not official bus operations, so you'll have to do some asking around.
  • There are also daily departures to Shkodra, Albania (06:00 and 12:30). These are, in theory, well connected with Albanian 'furgons' from Tirana and Durres. It takes 1 hour to Shkoder by "private" cab. If you are unable to find a bus or furgon you may try your luck in the area around the bus station. People may approach you (or you can just ask people) offering to take you to nearby Albanian towns and cities. During off-peak periods you may find someone willing to take you to Shkodra and bring you back the same day for around €20 to €30.
  • Also direct buses (three times per week) to Split, Croatia via Dubrovnik.
  • Buses to Novi Pazar, Serbia
  • Sunday evening buses to Skopje, Macedonia (via Shkodra (Albania) – OhridTetovo)

Get around[edit]

Ulcinj, Old Town

Ulcinj is a small city, you will have no problem getting around by foot, but keep in mind that some parts are very hilly. The hilly roads can become quite slippery when wet and many of the smaller streets have no sidewalks. If you're walking on such a street, keep to the dry areas and step aside when you hear an approaching vehicle to let them pass. Many people drive fast even with pedestrians on the road.

There are many stairs that lead down the hills that can be used to avoid long winding roads, but you'll have to look for the entrances, or use Google Maps Satellite imaging to guess where the stairs are; they're not marked and they often look like they lead into someone's home.

Car rental[edit]

  • MCR - car rental and airport transfers to and from Ulcinj. +382 (0) 67 515 477
  • Sixt - car rental and airport transfers to and from Ulcinj. +382 (0) 67 645 206

See[edit]

  • Old town (Stari grad). It's worth a visit. Much of the old town was destroyed in a large earthquake in 1979 but wealthy investors have recently been buying up the properties and restoring them. There are now only a handful of destroyed buildings remaining in old town and many nice restaurants, hotels, and even a museum fill the area. When you get to old town, walk along the wall facing the ocean and look through all the small holes in the wall that face out to the ocean. Also, stand in the archways and look down at the ocean crashing against the rocks below.
  •    Old castle. Overlooking the sea.
  • City Museum (Old town). open after May 1st, but it was closed when we visited May 28th despite the sign's hours saying it should be open..
  • The beach area makes for some interesting photos with crowds enjoying themselves on the sand and the towering mosques and churches just by the promenade.

Do[edit]

Ulcinj is a splendid central location for exploring Montenegro's South Coast region (from Bar to Skader Lake to Ada Bojana) and parts of Albania. The Ulcinj South Coast region boasts some of the most interesting adventure, historic and eco tours, and vacation beach stays in all of the Adriatic.

  • Velika Plaza Beach. There are good beach spots in the area, including some rocky ones in the southern part of town. The longest sandy beach in Montenegro, Velika Plaza, is located near by. At the Southern end of this 14km-long beach there is Ada Bojana
  • Ada Bojana (There are minibuses that take you from the market on Skenderbeu Ave in Ulcinj to Velika Plaza and even to Ada Bojana (if there are at least 3 people going there).). Ada Bojana, a triangular island with very nice beaches, formed where the Bojana river meets the Adriatic Sea. The island is a favourite spot for kitesurfers and windsurfers and it has a large a nudist beach for those so inclined.
  • Go for a walk after sunset when the main street fills with people promenading and taking some fresh air.
  • For the more adventuresome you can take the 'combi' towards the Albanian border (but not crossing it) getting off on the first road heading towards Lake Skadar near the town of Brajse. There is a small bus from Brajse that runs along this small road towards the mountains which if it's running you can take for €0.50, otherwise you'll have to walk or hitch hike. Once you get to the peak of the mountain range you'll be standing almost exactly on the Albanian and Montenegrin border. You'll be able to look out over one of the most magnificent lakes in Europe as well as get a good view of the Adriatic coast, Albania and Montenegro. Continue hitchhiking up the lake, you'll get to see some of the most rural untouched villages in the Balkans. The southern half of the lake shore is populated by ethnic Albanians while the northern half all the way up to the town of Virpazar is populated by Montenegrins. There is very little travel between the two communities so there are almost no buses that run the course of the highway meaning you'll either have to walk or hitchhike. The people driving the road though few and far between seemed more than willing to take hitchhikers. If you camp (which is a good idea) there are some camp sites about half way between Virpazar and Arbnez.

Eat[edit]

Ulcinj, Market

A few notes: fish restaurants calculate the price per 1 kg of raw fish. Example: One raw fish is about 500-600 grams, but when cleaned and cooked, it's around 200 grams. You get charged for 500-600 grams. If you see "scallop" on the menu anywhere, keep in mind that it's most likely NOT not seafood but meat (veal). The great majority of restaurants serve halal food, and thus pork can be rarely found.

Budget[edit]

  • Near the beach stalls sell kebab and hamburgers.
  • Fast food cafeRr. Hafiz Ali Ulqinaku (2nd floor, above small store). Serve quite good falafel, french fries, kebabs. The owner seems to be from Middle East so he knows how to do this kind of food right. €1-3.

Mid-range[edit]

Restaurants near the beach and long the main road falls into this category with prices of main meals of €3-7.

  •    Restaurant "Old Town" (beachfront). Amazingly fast prepared and good-tasting meals. One of the best options in the city. Big variety of food but mainly pizzas, pastas. Nice personnel, relaxed atmosphere. This place has a second floor terrace with fantastic views over the bay. €3-7.
  •    Restaurant Bella VistaRr. Hafiz Ali Ulqinaku. Extensive choice of food. Tastes quite good. But the portions aren't particularly large. They also have a daily menu which includes 3 meals, costs €10. Not a bad choice. €3-7.
  •    La TavolaRr. Hafiz Ali Ulqinaku. Popular among tourists spot. But the food is of nothing special, even below average. They also provide complimentary drinks after you paid the bill. €3-7.
  • Terra Promessa (In Old Town). Offering more reasonably priced food in the Old Town, but with spectacular sea views. Service is excellent and their staff can speak English, German, Russian, and Serb-Croat.

Splurge[edit]

  • There are lots of new restaurants in Stari grad (old town) that serve a wide range of food. Many of the restaurants have fantastic views of the ocean right from your table. Prices €7-30.
  •    Restaurant Antigona (old town). Highly advertised restaurant. Serves only fish and another seafood; for some reason, not willing to cook other options from the menu. Server forces patrons to choose what he advises. €7-30.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Accommodation are plentiful in Ulcinj, ranging from resort hotels to private accommodations. The resort hotels in Ulcinj are each in the process of renovation and reconstruction, as most have been recently privatized from former government agencies. Lodging costs range from full-service rooms at €50 per person (or more in jul and aug) down to the many unlicensed/unregulated private accommodations costing in the range of €10-25.

Budget[edit]

Mid range[edit]

  •    Apartments SidroHafiz Ali Ulqinaku 13, 85360 Ulcinj (Situated 500m from city center.),  +382 30 421484, e-mail: . There are 40 beds in fifteen rooms. From €42.
  • Antigona Apartment. Adjacent to Restaurant Antigona. Incredibly gracious host who speaks a little English. However, her daughter helps run the lodge and speaks fluent English. Fantastic balcony for watching the sunset.

Go next[edit]

  • Shkodra, Albania — the first city after the border with Albania, also it is the biggest town in Northern Albania. The Rozafa Castle is a major tourist attraction here.
  • Bar N 26 km — the biggest Montenegrin sea port.
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