Situated in the southern part of Montenegro, with its 1500 ha salt flats, Ulcinj Salina is one of the largest salines in the Mediterranean.
Salt was produced here, in a nature-friendly way, since 1935. As water is pumped up, small organisms and shrimps come with it, attracting fish and other animals to feed on them. The salina has become a biotope of global importance.
The Solana Ulcinj is nesting 250 of the 500 kinds of birds in Europe, 70 of them protected. They found here a resting place on the Adriatic flyway from Northern Europe and Siberia to Asia and Africa (and vice-vesa). The greatest attraction of the place is the Pink Flamingo.
The salt works have been shut down in 2012, which has produces adverse effects on the ecosystem. Without sea water pumped, the quantities of fresh water have increased. This lead to a decrease of salt water habitats an to a dramatic drop in number of bird species and specimens that used the area for resting and feeding during migration.
In 2018, a petition signed by more than 10000 people was addressed to the Montenegrin Government. With support of the EU, the Salina has been declared a protected nature park in 2019. The infrastructure has been rehabilitated, hunting has been banned and conservationists keep a close eye on Ulcinj.
Protected and well managed, the site could support a vibrant economy of salt production and sustainable tourism. It can reach its full ecological potential of 1000 species of birds.
The Ulcinj Salina can be explored whole year by foot or by bike.
Spring is the best time to visit, as it is a transitory phase with more than 40000 migrating birds a day. The entrance fee is only 3 euros.
We visited the salina in September but we arrived in the afternoon and we did not had enough time to explore it all. But we were lucky enough to see the flamingos, even if at dusk.