Not many people know about Ulcinj. It is a small city in Montenegro. Tourists mainly only come here on the way to Albania. From here you can take a bus or a shared taxi to Skoder in Albania. It takes around 2-3 hours plus whatever time you need to stop at the border. For us it wasn’t too difficult. If you want to save time, choose a shared taxi, as that one was much faster (including the border passing was much easier). From Skoder, you can easily find a mini bus to Tirana.
Keep in mind that bus station is not too close to the city center. We hate taxis, but we still had to take one, as it was about half an hour walk otherwise, which would be ok without luggage though.
Despite the fact that it’s not that popular, Ulcinj is a cute city and a city full of legends and stories about pirates, who ruled the Adriatic in the middle ages. Its name was first Colchinium and then Dulcinium. Does it remind you of one popular character of the father of Spanish literature? Actually, you will find a statue of Miguel de Cervantes here. It did seem very odd to us, but apparently there is a reason and a very interesting story associated to this.
According to the myth or real story, at the age of 24 Cenvantes was captured in one of the battles and held captive in Ulcinj by the local pirates. But the captivity was quite strange, he was allowed to go for walks around the town. While there, he fell in love with a local woman and based her Dulcinea on her. Locals claim that the name Dulcinea is derived from de Ulicini meaning from Ulcinj. After 5 years, he was taken to Algeria, from where he returned to Spain. Some Spanish historians disagree with the story. According to them, there is no proof of this captivity at all. But it is a nice story, so let’s be Don Quixotes and imagine the windmills 😊
We stayed in an Airbnb outside the old city near the Liman II beach. The way to our accommodation was narrow and uphill, so it was kinda difficult to get to with any sort of luggage, but it was so worth it for the views we had 😊
Its old town is very lovely. The city castle was built by ancient Greeks probably in around 5th century BC. Subsequently, it was being handed from one influence to another, as in case of any other Montenegrin towns. We watched beautiful sunset from there. In this area, you will find narrow cobblestone streets, many ruined churches, even a mosque and a clock tower.
There is also a 19th century Pasha mosque at the entrance to the old city from the main roadside.
Around the promenade, which you will find outside the old town, at the small beachside, you will find a number of cafes with a nice view. We just chose one, food wasn’t that great, but the view was lovely. Promenade is full of people in the evenings.
There are a couple of lovely beaches here. Some small rocky ones and the beautiful sand ones. Try Velika Plaza or a long beach, it’s close to central Ulcinj and the longest beach around. Besides, there is Ada Bojana, which is an island almost at the border with Albania. There are also tiny pebbled beaches Liman and Liman II. We rented Airbnb close to latter and it had nice views. you can also visit the Valdanos beach, close to which you will find olive groves. Incidentally, in the Valdanos bay pirates used to hide their ships.
There is also a Ladies beach, which is the first nude beach in Europe just for women. You will find it inbetween the Small beach and the long beach. It is a rocky beach next to a pine forest.