KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - ULCINJ, MONTENEGRO
A new kiting hotspot on mainland Europe is being developed in Montenegro, former Yugoslavia. Ulcinj (pronounced: 'Ooltseenie'), the southernmost town in Montenegro features a 14 kilometre long sandy beach and super steady side-onshore thermal winds that blow every day in the summer! Just a short flight from anywhere in Europe you'll find fresh Mediterranean cuisine and a perfect place for families or a bunch of friends looking for a great time and with lots of other alternative activities.
CAPTION - Daily thermals in the summer
ALL PHOTOS - KiteWorldWide
If you're an experienced kitesurfer you may have already visited Tarifa in the early days. Visiting Ulcinj for the first time, you'll be immediately reminded of that in terms of the long, sandy beach and the conditions. However, unlike Tarifa there is only one prevailing wind direction, side-onshore from the right, so, like the Poniente in Tarifa is super-steady and perfect for beginners and freestylers alike.
The first 80 to 100 metres out are waist deep and the seabed is nice and soft, consisting of fine sand without any rocks or reef. The tides don’t really have much impact in Montenegro, so you can start kiting whenever the wind kicks in (which is usually between noon and 2pm when the thermals pick up) without a worry about the local effects of the amount of water. A few kilometres downwind there is a river mouth with perfect flat water. Calling all freestylers, the conditions you'll find there are perfect for working on your tricks.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER
From May to September the Albanian Alps in the south cater super steady thermal winds that will hit the coast side-shore in the early afternoon at 18 to 25 knots. In terms of kite sizes you'll usually be whipping out the eight to 12 metre in high season (June to mid-September) and your 12 metre and above in the off season (April to May and mid- September to October). The rest of the year (November to March) the winds are rare and the weather is more unstable. Water temperatures average 22°C/72°F in the summer when wetsuits are not necessary. Before and after the main peak season a shorty or thin full suit comes in handy.
The town of Ulcinj is about ten kilometres from the kite spot. Kitesurfers should choose an accommodation close to the kite spot as traffic in high season to and from the town centre can be a pain. There are bargain rental car options in both the capital of Podgorica and Tivat airports and it is easy to get around and find your way. Roads are a Western European Standard and the drive takes about 75 to 90 minutes. Ulcinj is a very relaxed beach town and crime is very low.
Currency: Euro (€): Euro (€) - £1 = €1.2 / US$1 = €0.7
CAPTION - Friendly locals serving good, cheap food
KiteWorldWide offers two different accommodation options: Hotel Laguna, a 4 star hotel (newly opened in 2013) with spacious double rooms and apartments at Western European standard. They are also opening a 16 bedroom guest house with private bathroom facilities in 2014 for kitesurfers with a lounge and barbecue area, friendly staff and all you need for a great kitesurf holiday. At the beach you’ll find a cosy kite centre equipped with new Best Kiteboarding gear under KiteWorldWide management with experienced and licensed international instructors. Both options are a five to ten minute drive from the kite spot (transfers are provided).
FOOD AND DRINK
There are lots of small shops and medium size supermarkets as well as bakeries and a weekly food market in Ulcinj itself. Restaurants and beach bars offering good quality local and international food at very reasonable prices can easily be found.
Ulcinj itself is a small but very picturesque town set on a hillside with an old fortified city, cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. The views out over the Adriatic Sea are beautiful. There is a small tourist strip, so the city retains its authentic local atmosphere and the locals are very friendly. The main city beach gets very busy, but travel just outside the town and you'll find quieter coves with crystal clear waters. Alternatively explore the stunning countryside, including Europe's largest canyon and fjord-like river mouths.
CAPTION - Very chilled beach lifestyle with hammocks and day beds at the spot
Podgorica (TGD) is the capital of the country and there are flights there from most major airports with Montenegro Airlines, Austrian Airlines (via Vienna). Ryanair flies from London and Brussels. Tivat airport (TIV) can be reached by some charter airlines like Airberlin. If you don't want to hire a car, KiteWorldWide can organise a transfer.