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Guide to Bar and Ulcinj

{lg_Posted} 07.26.2019, {lg_by}

It is time you visit Bar and Ulcinj, the lesser-known gems of the Mediterranean coast. Here's a guide for the next stops on our itinerary list for the Road Trip through Montenegro.

Guide to Bar and Ulcinj Montenegro

Now that we are a few stops down our Road Trip to Montenegro itinerary, it is time (once again) to leave the comfort of your accommodation and the lovely view you got to admire and hop into your rent a car.

This might be a great moment to remind you that you can order your rent a car in your desired location, be it in Budva, or any of the two airports.

The last time we visited Kotor Bay, you might wonder what the destination will be this time around? Brace yourselves, we are onto the hidden gems of Montenegro’s coast - Bar and Ulcinj!


The first stop - Bar

guide to bar montenegro

Bar, a town that lays between the shores of the Adriatic Sea and the Skadar Lake, is a perfect refuge during the summer and early autumn days. Apart from the sun and the sea, the pristine beaches, lagoons and equally attractive lake shores, the beauty of this town is fortified by the strong shield of two mountains - Rumija and Sutorman.

This is a town of diversity. Between the old part and the modern port, with the different architectural styles and modern boulevards decorated with Mediterranean vegetation, there is a new part that is constantly developing.

Although the town of many legends one can explore in the Old Town, Bar is also the biggest port of Montenegro and was the favourite summer place of the Montenegrin’s last King and Queen.


Where to go: Beaches in Bar

beaches in bar montenegro

There are roughly twelve beaches in Bar and its surroundings, 46 km of the shore on the Adriatic Sea and 9 km of the shore on the Lake of Skadar. We haven’t listed them all, but here are some that just might catch your eye.

Kraljičina plaža (The Queen’s beach) is located nearby Čanj - the popular summer holiday place. You can reach this small, yet beautiful beach, only from the sea, so plan a boat trip. Due to its ambience, pebbles and crystal clear sea, this beach was the favourite place of the late Montenegrin Queen Milena during the hot Montenegrin summers.

Biserna obala (The Pearly Coast) is an 1100 meters long pebbly beach. It is covered with thick deposits of fine and multicolour sand of exceptional beauty, after which it was named. Sometimes waves are very high, which is a real pleasure for those who like to feel the power of the sea. the sunset on the pearl coast is fairy-tale.

The Sutomore beach is 1200 meters long. The sand from this beach helps in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The beach is very popular in the summer and can be big bugs, while in the spring and autumn it is wonderful to visit the beach.

Veliki pijesak (Big sand) is a beach located in Dobre Vode, a place between Bar and Ulcinj. The main part of the beach is pebbly and in some places it is sandy. Because of the open sea, waves are roads, but its water is very clean.

Murići beach is the largest and most beautiful sandy beach on the shore of Skadar Lake. According to the famous tourist site Lonely Planet, it is located among the seven best beaches in Montenegro for this year. It is surrounded by untouched nature and with it is a restaurant, several bungalows of wood, as well as an organized space suitable for camping.

What to see: The spirit of the old times, art, festivals and beeing in one place - Old Town Bar

old town bar montenegro

The most important historical, cultural and architectural monument of the city is the Old Town Bar, which has existed for more than 2500 years. The Old Town is a unique combination of the Mediterranean and the East influences. Located about 4 km from today's Bar, it is positioned on a large wall, with three sides of four sides protected by steep cliffs. The city houses the remains of roughly 240 buildings from the Turkish and the Middle Ages.

old town bar montenegro

The Bar is also known for its Old Olive Tree whose origin dates back to the year 2240, which is why it is considered one of the three oldest trees in Europe. The legend says that the olive trees were held by the families of impoverished families, where they would settle down, so the place where it is called Mirovica (The place of peace).

But the Old Town Bar is much more than that. It is a place that offers a taste of the old and new in lovely surroundings, great cuisine, and an ambient you’ll hardly forget!

Don’t miss it!

Where to go: Festivals

During each season, Bar becomes a walking trail in which everyone can find entertainment in their own way. Cruise by the Adriatic Sea and the Scadar Lake with the tasting the wines of Crmnica and local specialities, sightseeing of the panoramic route 'Between two magical coasts', sailing, diving, kayaking, biking, are just some of the activities in which you can enjoy yourself.

For those who are taken by the cultural and entertaining events, the city is becoming a kind of stage where a lot of manifestations such as the Summer with the Stars, Barski ljetopis festival, Šušanjska and Spičanska noć, Festival of grapes is organized, which are an ideal opportunity for acquaintance with the local folklore customs and authentic cuisine. Later in the autumn, there is a festival of olives and wine.

What to do: Hiking, Trekking, Kayaking

hiking in montenegro coast

In case you are up for a more active holiday might we suggest Hiking and Canyoning?

There are many hiking options in the region. Hiking and conquering the peaks of Rumija and Sutroman will render some beautiful sights. You will not be sorry for enduring all the sweat on your way up. Especially if you make up the slopes of Rumija and conquer its peak, youćll find a little church along with some breathtaking views waiting for you on the top.

While neither of these hikes are too long when it comes to distance, both are considered quite difficult. Therefore make sure you are well prepared for the hike ahead and have followed the rules of when outing in nature.

For those who are interested in trekking, will surely find interesting that Rumija is the end of the PPT which is short for Primorska Planinarska Transverzala. PPT is translated as the Mountaineering Coastal Transversal, the Coastal Hiking Transversal or the Adriatic transversal, and is an epic 10-day hike along the coastal mountains of Montenegro. If you are eager to find out more about it on Hiking is Good.

When it comes to canyoning, there are two great canyons you ought to visit!

The Međuriječki canyon is located in the village of the same name on the southern slopes of Mount Rumija, on the border of the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj. Although the access is easy, adrenaline encounters in it are only for experienced canyons. There are a dozen verticals of 5 to 30 meters.

Situated above the Old Bar is the source of the river Rikavac. The canyon Rikavac is about 2000m long and its height is 380m. After a number of smaller waterfalls and swimming pools, the last part offers greater challenges and more volatile water flow. True enjoyment for those who have knowledge of alpine skills.

Where to eat in Bar

We could go on and on about the places where you should stop for a bite or a long sitting dinner, but these guys had done an excellent job. So check out the list prepared by Montenegro Pulse.


The second stop: Ulcinj

Ulcinj montenegro

What if we told you that this often overlooked jewel of the Mediterranean coast is getting more popular by day? Yes, we couldn’t believe it at first either, but the stats are clear - more and more people are seeking the adventure of pure nature, where they could enjoy the beach life, kite surfing or explore the hidden beaches you’ll hardly find in tour guides.

But before we jump into the must-sees and must-dos, did you know that throughout the centuries Ulcinj was a pirate city? We won’t bore you with the gruesome history if that’s not your cup of tea, but here is a fun fact for you -  according to the legend at the end of the XVI century the well-known Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes was a slave in Ulcinj. If we are to believe some investigators, Cervantes wrote ‘Don Quixote’ after the time he spent in Ulcinj.

What to see: The Old Town of Ulcinj

The Old Town in Ulcinj is one of the oldest urban architectural complexes along the Adriatic Sea. The popular opinion attains that the Old Town stand for a cultural and historical monument of invaluable importance due to its Illyrian walls, its citadel, the street net, its markets and squares. While the houses and walls of the town have the elements of the baroque and Renaissance which give them alluring look, Ottomans have left their mark too, as there are series of edifices from the Ottoman time. It is the well-known fact that the oldest remains of the walls date back to the Illyrian time.

When visiting the Old Town, make sure you stop by the Tower of Balšić, the Venice Palace, and the Slave Market.

Where to go: Beaches

beaches ulcinj montenegro

Before you head out to Velika Plaža (The Long Beach) and spend some time there, make sure to visit some of the more obscure beaches like the Ladie’s Beach - just a few minutes from the Old Town. While you cannot see the beach from the road, there will be clearly marked sign leading you along the path embellished with trees. Please note that the access to it is strictly allowed only to women. Besides its marvellous beauty, the beach ahs a sulphur spring that contains healing properties. It is believed that this spring has done miracles for barren women due to the special properties it has.

ulcinj long beach montenegro

Known for its beauty and cleary blue water Valdanos Bay is nearly 400m long beach. The biggest olive grove in Montenegro is located in Valdanos. Due to its size, age and ecological as well as economical value, this olive grove stands as a living monument of olive cultivation in Montenegro. On average these olive trees are 800 years old, and in total there are around 28 thousand of them. The Montenegrin government has recognised the importance and the value of the olive trees, and as according to the Law on olive cultivation in Montenegro, Valdanos olive groove has been put under the special protection of the state. It is interesting to know that many trees are older than two thousand years.

Here’s a tip - make sure to visit the lighthouse in Valdanos, it is a sight for the sore eyes.

Our advice is not to miss this gem!

If you find yourself in Ulcinj, please do not miss the Pine Wood. It begins from Mala plaza (Small Beach) and it is a stunning area inside the urban part of the town, where you can go for a walk, picnic or simply sit still and absorb the peace and quietness. 

While Long Beach is most beautiful at sunset, it won’t disappoint with its daytime activities. Ranging from beach volleyball to kite surfing, you’ll find yourself occupied with a range of different things.

kite surfing montenegro

If you are seeking a quieter place, venture out of your accommodation in the early morning and join one of many yoga and meditation sessions happening on the beach.  

Accommodation in ulcinj montenegro

At last, make sure to try some food at the local restaurants. Here’s the list compiled by the Montenegrin Pulse. Make sure to check some of these places!

Have fun!


P.S. In case you missed our Guide to Budva, here's a link to it.

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