"Ulcinj/Ulqin" Top 5 Page for this destination Ulcinj by JLBG

Ulcinj Travel Guide: 142 reviews and 300 photos

Ulcinj/Ulqin stands at the southernmost end of the Montenegrin coast. The place has been inhabited since prehistoric times and Illyrian tombs, found in the village of Zogaj, in the vicinity of Ulcinj, date back to the Bronze Age. The city was founded in the 5th BC by Greeks from Colchidia and thus named Colchinium. Parts of the cyclopean walls they built remain in the old city but I have not spotted them. When the Roman took the city from the Illyrian tribe of the Olciniates, it became Olcinium. Later, it became successfully part of the Byzantine empire, of the Serbian Empire (12th to 14th), of the Venetian Republic (1405-1571), of the Ottoman Empire (1571-1880) under the name of Olgun. At the end of the 16th, Uluz Ali, vice-king of Algiers and pirate established 400 of its men in Ulcinj that remained for almost a century a pirates' base. In 1880, the town belonged to Montenegro and since 1920 to Yugoslavia. It has been part of the 'New Yougoslavia' from 1990 to 2003, which became the Serbia and Montenegro Federation (Serbia i Crna Gora = SCG). Since June 3rd 2006, Montenegro is an independent state.

This photo is not the best but allows understanding how the city developped. The oldest part of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1444 and its ruins can be seen underwater. Stari Grad, the new old city, was built by the Byzantines and the Nemacic on Bijela Gora, a high peninsula from where this photo was taken. The city walls were built in the 13th. The city later grew outside of the city walls, along the beach, at the bottom of the bay and thus looks like an amphitheater. Still later, it grew up in the narrow valley at the bottom of the bay (left of the photo) and (not seen on the photo) extended behind those mountains, where is now most of the modern town, that does not face the sea.

I have burrowed this aerial photo from a leaflet of the tourist office but it is the only way to show the whole old city and its situation vs the bay and the city beach.

While the population of Montenegro is mostly Slavic (mainly Montenegrin and Serbs) and Albanians account for 7% (2003 survey), the population of Ulcinj/Ulqin is 85% Albanian and all road signs are bilingual. Along the centuries, it has assimilated descendants of Barbary Moors from Algeria who were brought here by Turks to defend the town and settled, and Blacks, descendants of the numerous slaves brought here from Africa.

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  • In a nutshell:Visit Ulcinj !
  • Last visit to Ulcinj: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Sep 24, 2006
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Reviews (73)

Comments (18)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Another fantastic page about your adventures in Montenegro. Ulcinj is also on our must visit list for our upcoming trip to Montenegro.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    Oh great, crowded beaches and empty old town, that's gorgeous! I love those alleyways under the houses, they must be marvellous in hot summers! Oh and I see that you have found a lovely school sign!

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2009 at 12:25 AM

    I didn`t make it out of Hungary this summer and had planned to return to Land of the Accursed Mountains as I had such good memories of my last short trip. Your Ulcinj pictures and tips have kindled my desire to return to the region soon.

  • Aug 20, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    I would just like to add: Speca te mbushura are stuffed peppers. Speca being pepper in Albanian. There are usually stuffed with a mix of ground beef, rice, and vegetables.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2008 at 6:03 AM

    After following you on your tour around the town, I can understand why you needed the beer. Luckily it came in a large bottle! :) I couldn't face the 'small beach', I'm afraid - what a crowd!

  • BROOKS's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Great pages on Montenegro and Albania.

  • zizu's Profile Photo
    Oct 27, 2005 at 1:35 AM

    Trés jolie photos! your comments are really nice. I have learned a lot

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2005 at 2:31 PM

    holy moly. there is a big difference between july and october when it comes to the number of visitors.

  • Karolina01's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2005 at 8:52 AM

    Ulcinj and Bar were my favorite destinations for my summer holidays. Your page is excellent.

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2005 at 1:34 AM

    Jean-Louis, nice to see your page of Ulcinj ! I visited this place 36 years ago. I recognize the old city, the gates, the mosques... but at that time there was not such a crowded beach. We sat at a almost empty quay for some time..


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