Ulcinj is a coastal town and municipality in Montenegro. The town of Ulcinj has a population of 10,828 (2003 census), and it is the centre of Ulcinj municipality. This southernmost municipality of Montenegro has a population of 20,290.
The wider area of Ulcinj has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Illyrian tombs (tumuli), found in the village of Zogaj, in the vicinity of Ulcinj, date back to the Bronze Age.
The town is believed to be founded in the 5th century BC by Greek colonists from Colchis. The Colchian colonization is mentioned in the 3rd century BC, in a poem by Apollonius of Rhodos.
Illyrians lived in the region at the time, and under Greek influence built immense so-called Cyclopean Walls. In Latin, it was known as Olcinium or Ulcinium. In medieval times a shipwreck of a Saracen ship was stranded there with African slaves; locals saved the surviving Africans and made them an integral part of the population of the town.
Before the medieval period, Ulcin was known as one of the pirate capitals of the Adriatic Sea. This is also seen during the later period of Illyrian Kingdom. Inhabitants of Ulcin were known at the time of Christ, especially from 20 BC to around 300 AD, to be very confrontational to those who were foreigners to their land; they were especially meticulous about border disputes as well.
The Republic of Venice controlled Dulcigno (as it was called in the Venetian language) until 1573 and incorporated the city in the Albania Veneta. In those Venetian years many Christian Albanians took refuge in Ulcinj from Muslim Turks.
Ottoman rule began in the sixteenth century. Ulcinj was a kaza of İşkodra sandjak of Rumeli eyalet before 19th century. Ulcinj became kaza of İşkodra vilayet after 1867. Ulcinj finally became part of Montenegro after Treaty of Berlin in 1878.
In the summer time, Ulcinj is a popular tourist destination. Although still undiscovered by many travelers from larger countries, regular visitors and an increasing amount of first time visitors make Ulcinj a hot spot for vacationers between the months of May and September. It is most famous for its beaches, which are considered the most beautiful in Montenegro. The most valuable resource of the Ulcinj riviera is Velika plaža (Long Beach), which is a 13 km long strip of sandy beach - the longest on the Montenegrin coast.
There is also a beach that holds the name Mala plaža (Small Beach) which is much smaller in size, but is very popular with visitors and beautiful beach Valdanos with thousands of olive trees in the background.
Ulcinj's old town is a very well preserved fortress-like structure that is left over from medieval times. The old town sits atop a mountain overlooking the shore and is a tourist attraction on its own.
Ada Bojana is popular among foreign tourists from Western Europe for its peace and unique atmosphere.
Šasko lake and Ulcinj's salt pond (Port Milena) are popular among birdwatchers, because Ulcinj and its surroundings are major resting points for over 200 bird species on their migration paths.