Throughout the Montenegro coast, the beaches are littered with stone and pebbles, covering most of the shoreline and also scattered amongst the sands of the softer beaches. But Ulcinj is home to only soft sand—its Great Beach is disadvantaged however because of its waters that range mostly from shallows to high waves. The soft sand and milky white water is perfect for a relaxing summer holiday.
Unlike other parts of Montenegro, Ulcinj has an Oriental flavor—the long-standing Ottoman presence in the area as well as the large Muslim population in the town.
The urban history of this town is interesting on its own without the
other attractions. Archaeological sites in the town suggest it may very
well be the oldest town in the Adriatic. The city was founded by the
Ancient Greeks as the town of Colhis in the year 6 BCE. Colhis was
captured and destroyed by the Romans in 163 BCE and rebuilt as Olcinium.
In the 5th century, an earthquake destroyed the settlement and it was
rebuilt as what is now the Old Town of Ulcinj in the 6th century. The
town has a long and interesting history including Greek, Roman and
In 1878, the town was conquered by the Montenegrins, and Ulcinj became a valuable harbor for the previously landlocked state.
The Old Town rises above the new suburbs of Ulcinj on a cliff protected
by tall Venetian walls, walls that provide the best view of the cove and
the hill behind it, which provides the foundation for the rest of the
city. Just below the wall lies the Small Beach, which is crowded by
locals throughout the summer season. There are two entrances into the
Old Town through the walls, one ascending from the sea and the other
from the new city.
The Church of St. Marije, a medieval church built in the 13th century
was converted into a mosque in 1693, evidence by ruins of a minaret
found nearby. Today, this building is used as a local museum.
The Bishop’s Palace was built in the 13th century and today houses the
Ethnographic Museum. Museum management, housed next door, was once the
office of Venetian customs, and houses a scale model of the city.
Just outside the town walls lies the Orthodox Church of St. Nikola. The
church was built in 1890 on the site of a medieval monastery. Nearby in
the same neighborhood visitors will find the Pashas mosque, built in
1719 and featuring Turkish baths, the Namzgah mosque, built in 1828, and
an 18th century Clock tower.
Just on the other side of the Small Beach, the land descends into the
sea and forms a cascade of flat rocks, making small beaches. One of the
best known, Ženska voda, or Women’s Water, was named after the healing
mineral spring that is rumored to help infertile women.
The majority of the population in Ulcinj and the bilingual signs
throughout the town evidence the fact. But the Oriental and Muslim
flavors of this town end at the border with Albania—Ada Bojana, an
island reserved for nudists, isolates the city, leaving it peaceful and