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Ulcinj Salina Birding Trip, Montenegro - 1 Day

Ulcinj Salina Birding Trip, Montenegro

Birdwatching Tour in Ulcinj Salina, Montenegro

This leisurely paced full-day Ulcinj Salina Birding Trip tours one of the most important areas for birds not only in Montenegro but the whole of Europe, as it is an important stopover for millions of birds along the Adriatic Flyway.

Founded in the 19th century, the salt pans at Ulcinj Salina have been continuously mined as one of the most important saltworks in the world. Salt production is still active today, resulting in around 20 million tonnes per year, and the region serves as a home to up to 240 species of resident and migratory birds. The area has been protected as a natural reserve since 1999.

The best time for birdwatching in Ulcinj Salina is first thing in the morning, which means an early start. During a walk between the salt pans you can expect to see Flamingos, Collared Pratincoles, Little Terns, Hazel Grouse, Sombre Tits, Kentish Plovers and Black-winged Stilts. The area is a breeding and nesting site for Adriatic Cormorants, Purple and Black-crowned Night Herons, European Rollers, Common Terns, Common Shelducks, Stone Curlews, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egrets, Spoonbills and Pygmy Cormorants. In late autumn and winter, hundreds of Greylag Geese may be observed.

Following the tour of Ulcinj Salina, there will be the opportunity to stroll along the Velika Plaža (Long Beach), a 13-kilometre strip of sand backed by brackish marshes that is home to Crested Larks, Bee-eaters, European Rollers and Levant Sparrowhawks, as well as waders like the Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and Dunlin. You may also fancy taking a dip in the Adriatic.

The return trip from Ulcinj Salina calls in at the 800-year-old olive groves at Valdanos, with an opportunity to sample the region's acclaimed olive oil. 

Highlights on this Ulcinj Salina Birding Trip include:

  • Walk between the salt pans that form an important nesting site and a stopover along the Adriatic Flyway
  • Stroll along the 13km Velika Plaža and its nearby wetlands
  • Sample the olive oil produced in the groves at the Valdanos region
  • The chance to see up to 200 species of nesting and migratory birds, with ample opportunities for photography

By taking part in this trip, you support conservation activities run by CZIP, the BirdLife partner in Montenegro.

If you have a little more time to spend on your holiday, maybe you’d consider a longer trip like this North Montenegro Birding Tour.

Alternative Tour Name: Birds, Salt and Olive Oil (Ulcinj Salina Birdwatching Tour)
Day 1
Full Day Trip

Early start, since the best time for birding at the Ulcinj Salina, is early in the morning. The Ulcinj Salina is in the vicinity of the town of Ulcinj and it was created on the site of the former Zogaj lagoon, whose mudflats were turned into salt pans in 1926. As “zog” means “bird” in Albanian, it should give us a clue of how important this area is for birds.

More than 240 species of birds have been registered at the Salina so far, out of which more than 50 are breeding. During the walk between salt pans, we can see the Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, Kentish Plover, and Black-winged Stilt.

Other breeding species of conservation importance are the European Roller, Common Tern, Common Shelduck, Stone Curlew. The Ulcinj Salina is also very important as a feeding station for birds that nest in the area that surrounds it, such as the Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, and Pygmy Cormorant.

After the Salina, we continue our journey to Velika plaža (Long Beach). Along the way, we will pass through the field that is home to species like the Crested Lark, Stone Curlew, and Bee-eater and it is also not uncommon to see the European Roller and Levant Sparrowhawk. Velika plaža is a 13 km long sandy beach with a belt of brackish marshes in its background. During the walk on the beach, we can see species such as the Common Tern, and waders like the Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and Dunlin.

After the walk, and perhaps even a swim, on Velika plaža, our journey takes us to Valdanos, an area famous for olive trees. The olive grove in Valdanos, with approximately 18,000 olive trees, out of which many are more than 800 years old, is the biggest living monument of olive cultivation in Montenegro with extraordinary economic and ecological value.

Our host will tell us all about the traditional olive oil processing method and we will have an opportunity to taste some as well. After this stop, we return to hotel.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, European Rollers, Common Tern, Common Shelduck, Stone Curlew, Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill’s, and Pygmy Cormorant, Crested Lark, Stone Curlew, Bee-eater, European Roller, Levant Sparrowhawk, Common Tern, waders like Ringed Plover, Gray Plover and Dunlin.

What is included?

  • Services of professional English-speaking guide and support staff
  • Specialist guide fees
  • Ground transport throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees to National Parks and Nature Reserves visited during the tour
  • Lunch
  • Olive oil tasting
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • All Applicable Taxes
  • Binoculars

What is not included?

  • All international or domestic airfares
  • All flights unless otherwise indicated
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Any drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why should I book with Monticola?

Monticola is the only specialist birding operator in Montenegro offering bird-watching tours and different types of ecotourism activities in Montenegro and neighbouring countries. By taking part in this trip, you support conservation activities run by CZIP, the BirdLife partner in Montenegro.

What is the climate of the area?

The northern part of Montenegro is a continental area, with mountains over 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) and a continental climate for the most part. In the higher parts, the climate is very similar to that of the Alps. There are snowfalls in the winter and frosts during cold spells. Summers are usually pleasant, with highs around 26°C (79°F), and on hot days even above 30°C (86°F). So, what should I pack? When you go outside, you should bring light clothes like a T-shirt and long pants. You should also bring some warmer clothes, like an insulated jacket and gloves. In case it rains or there is an umbrella on the field trip, you should have comfortable hiking shoes. You should also have sunglasses or and sunscreen. Some days you should also bring a swimsuit and towel.

Dress code and gear needed

Comfortable shoes, windproof/rainproof jacket, water bottle, sunglasses & a hat, swim suit, towel.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

1 Day

Price & Availability

EUR60 / per person
This tour is operated by: Monticola

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Ulcinj Salina, Montenegro
  • On Request
  • Full Day Trip
  • Birds
  • 1 to 12 px
  • 1 Day
  • April to June
  • + 10 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Podgorica Airport
  • Podgorica Airport