Buljarica is a sea ravine located between cities of Petrovac in the northwest and Sutomore in southeast. In the hinterland there is the Paštrovačka Gora, dividing the bay from Lake Skadar, the largest fresh water basin in the Balkans. This is a rural area with underdeveloped infrastructure and virgin nature. It also has the longest beach on the Budva Riviera, 2,200 m long, behind which lies a diluvial ravine. One of the very last, genuine ancient Mediterranean oak forests, containing Quercus pubescens and Fraxinus oxycarpa, is located there. There are several villages and camp sites along the edge of the ravine. Cow and goat-breeding is the main occupation of villagers and thus they use the dry meadows for grazing. In winter the lakes of Buljarica are used for hunting, mainly birds.
How to arrive
By car, you can reach Buljarica from four directions:
By road Bar - Budva, 25 kilometers from Bar
By road Podgorica - Buljarica, via Paštrovačka Gora, 55 km
By road Podgorica - Budva, via tunnel Sozina, 53 km
By road Budva - Bar, 16 km
Buljarica beach has been protected since 1968 as an area with special natural characteristics. This status is given to only 4 ha of the beach as a habitat of xenomorphic and halophyte vegetation. In 1968, when protected area status was conferred, there was no sufficient data on other segments of flora and fauna. In early 2006, it obtained "Emerald" status under the Bern Convention as a unique, pristine habitat on the Adriatic coast, rich in biodiversity. In 2007 it was declared an Important Bird Area (300 ha), primarily as a breeding, wintering and resting place during the spring migration of birds coming from Africa via the Adriatic. Buljarica complies with three of the nine criteria of the Ramsar Convention as a unique, rare and representative wetland on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic, and a habitat for many endangered amphibians, reptiles and birds. It is also an important location for the migration of birds. Buljarica is one of the most attractive areas on the Montenegrin Adriatic coastline, and is thus economically insufficiently utilized. There is a real danger of transforming the whole ravine into a tourism complex and thus destroying all of its priceless natural assets.
Flora and vegetation
A band of Phragmites australis reed beds stretches behind the beach, which is in some places wider than 30 m. Several lakes, constantly full of water, are located within this band. The reeds alternate with forests of ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa), oak (Quercus pubescens) and willow (Salix sp.) Forests and grasslands are divided by channels. At higher altitudes, the wetland gives way to dry grasslands ending in settlements, above which there is rocky terrain with Mediterranean brush. The grasslands are neglected, without regular grass cutting. Many of them are covered with hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis), Jerusalem thorn (Paliurus spina cr.) and Spanish Broom (Sparcium junceum) and other Mediterranean vegetation.
Amphibians and reptiles
The Common Tree Frog (Hyla arborea), the Common Frog (Rana temporaria), Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni), the European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis), and the Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) are only some of the creatures that await the curious eyes of tourists. The untouched nature of Buljarica, its open meadows, preserved diluvia forest, streams and reed beds are ideal habitats for these animals. In slow-flowing channels there are important populations of Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris). There are probably not a great number of such animals on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic, even in cleaner waters.
Buljarica is one of the largest and best preserved ecological complexes on the Adriatic coast. Wetlands with brackish water are ideal habitats for insects, amphibians and reptiles as well as vegetation, which make up the food base for birds.
In winter, when a large part of the ravine is under water, Buljarica is the habitat for feeding and resting populations of the Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), the Grey, Great White and Little Heron (Ardea cinerea, Egretta alba, Egretta garzetta), and other aquatic birds. In summer it is a breeding place for the Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes), and in the vicinity on the sea rocks, the Sea Falcon (Falco eleonorae) also breeds. The Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) breed in the marshes and wetlands while the Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) and its relative the Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus) breed in diluvial forests. The Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) and the Mediterranean Tit (Parus lugubris) breed in the surroundings. Buljarica is an important point on the migratory corridor, which is confirmed by the strong hunting pressure during winter. Several species of ducks and waders use it to rest during migration. The types of duck that migrate this way are the Wigeon (Anas Penelope), Pintail (Anas acuta), Teal (Anas crecca) and Garganey (Anas querquedula). Waders using this corridor include the Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris feruginea), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) and others.