The only Montenegrin town on two magical shores, surrounded by clear waters of the sea and lakes. Shackled with mountain stone and illuminated by the Mediterranean sun, Bar is a unique oasis of the Montenegrin coast, where you can escape from the hectic pace of civilization and take a break with the sound of waves and intoxicating scents of nature. Whichever way you come to Bar, you will be greeted by untouched nature and hospitable people.
Picturesque mountain peaks cover the Bar valley, and numerous interesting settlements, sandy beaches and the endless blue of the open sea bring guests back to this ambience. The entire municipality of Bar is a unique tourist destination for rest and recreation, which enriches and changes lives. Nature has endowed Bar with the most diverse and beautiful geographical attributes, as well as with the richness in everything that the Mediterranean can give. The sun, warm and clean water, the beneficial radiation of sandy beaches, make up a set of elements that attract the conquerors of the modern age – tourists.
The area of Bar is located in the southeastern part of Montenegro, between the Adriatic Sea and Skadar Lake and covers an area of 505 km2, of which the land area is 470 km2. The municipality is located between 42º 6´ latitude and 19º 6´ longitude.
The bar has more than 46 kilometers of coastline, with about twenty beaches, about nine kilometers long. The municipality of Bar also has 128 km of Skadar Lake and 65 km of lake shore.
The largest area of the basin in the municipality of Bar is Međurečka rijeka (32.4 km), and it is in the first place along the length of the watercourse network (21.9 km). The rivers Rikavac, Željeznica and Botun flow into the Adriatic Sea, and into the Skadar Lake Crmnica, Orahovštica and Mlinštica.
The geographical position of the municipality is very favorable, since it is located in the southernmost part of the Adriatic Sea, which gravitates to the continental hinterland of Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, as well as Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, southern Italy, northern and northwestern Albania.
This geographical position directly influenced the climate, soil composition, character of flora and fauna. It also determined the development of tourism as a strategic branch of the economy, but also the traffic, demographic, cultural and other development characteristics of Bar.
What to see?
Old town Bar
Stari Bar is one of the oldest inhabited places in Montenegro and a city with a long and turbulent history, around which many armies and conquerors broke their spears.
Built in a place unusual for coastal towns, a few kilometers from the coast, Stari Bar is located on the Londš hill, at the foot of Mount Rumija.
In Italian and English writings, Stari Bar is known as Antivari, while in Latin it is also called Antibarium.
Surrounded on three sides by impassable cliffs, the city was built on this site primarily for easier defense and access to fresh drinking water, which was delivered to the city from the north, via an aqueduct dating from the 14th to 16th centuries.
Zidine and the city citadel, which served exclusively for the defense of the city, defended the interests of Byzantium in this area, until 1054, when the city became part of Dukla, under the rule of Michael I. Later, the city passed into the hands of the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty, when it became part of the Serbian Empire.
In the turbulent periods that followed, the city passed from hand to hand of numerous conquerors, including the Venetians, the Hungarians, and in 1571, fell into the hands of the Turks, in their campaign against the Western Balkans.
In 1878, after a long siege and bombing of the city by the Montenegrin army, during which the city was severely damaged, due to the blasting of the aqueduct and interruption of water supply to the city garrison, the Turks surrendered the city and the Montenegrin army entered the liberated Bar.
Vineyards and wine cellars
Crmnica is the home of Vranac and the most famous wine-growing region, with the longest tradition in wine production in Montenegro. There are numerous vineyards in the villages along Skadar Lake and on the slopes of Sutorman, Sozina, Rumija and other Bar mountains. Local wineries have a long family tradition in the production of vranac – an autochthonous Montenegrin wine variety. Vranaca vines are planted on specific terrains of stepped terraces and stretch from 270 m to 700 m above sea level.
In the villages in the Skadar Lake region, the tradition of making wine is over 500 years old. In the authentic ambience there are wineries where visitors can taste top wines and specialties of local cuisine, learn about customs, enjoy the natural beauty and cultural and historical attractions.
Old olive and olive groves
The Bar area is known for its olive trees, of which there are more than 100,000, and most of them are more than a thousand years old. The old olive tree, the symbol of Bar, is the oldest tree in Europe, living for 2,242 years. It is located in the settlement of Mirovica, on the fifth kilometer from Bar to Ulcinj. This natural monument is older than any written monument about Bar and its inhabitants. The old olive tree on Mirovica is a natural monument protected by law in 1963. The circumference of the tree is 10 m. Legend has it that quarreling families gather around the olive tree as they reconciled there.
It is interesting to say about the olive groves in Bar – no young man could look around if he did not plant a certain number of olive shoots. In Stari Bar, there was a “Marić Brothers Oil Mill” in 1927, where I processed and worked 20 tons of olives a day and produced the famous bar oil, which is exported to America, France and Germany.
Olive trees are found in almost the entire territory of Bar, and most of them are in Mrkojevići. They are mostly in olive groves in the part of Komina near the coastal radio station, in Utjeha, in Ravanj from Veliki Pijesak to Pečurice through Dubrava, but also in Sutomore, in Miljevci, and in Šušanj, Dabanovo and Zaljevo. The oldest olive trees are in Komina, and it is interesting that almost the entire olive grove was discovered in Ravna, with about twenty very old trees.
By the trees like the Old Olive, Bar is recognizable throughout the Balkans and Europe. Bar olive trees have an ambient value, and bar olive groves have been declared one of the most beautiful ambiences in Montenegro.
Džidarin is one of the largest, most beautiful and most valuable olive groves in Bar, which cannot be reached by car, but for now only by walking over the old cobblestones that lead through the olive groves. The trail is suitable for horses and donkeys, which are used here to transport harvested olives and transfer funds for agro-technical measures. The Bar Olive Growers’ Association marked this complex as ‘Olive Trails’, where tourists can visit this natural treasure of ours, which is located a few hundred meters from the walls of the Old Town. The monumental and ambient value of Džidžarin, together with the remains of the old town of Bar, stone bridges and mills, is one of the particularly interesting tourist micro-units and a valuable contribution to the future excursion, tourist and even economic valorization of the historic olive grove.
During the construction of the olive grove in Džidarin, in 2016, the remains of a medieval church were discovered – a chapel, hidden in a pile of wild plants, earth and oblivion, which is thought to have originated in the 13th century and was dedicated to Saint Urban.