Ulza the pearl of nature and man

Ulza, lies in the northeast of Albania and in the North-West of Mat district and has 1,795 inhabitants, living in five villages (Bushkash, Stojan, Kokerdhok, Madhesh and Lundre), and an urban centre the town of Ulëz.

The town of Ulza is the Administrative Enterprises Centre of the Municipality of Mat, as it has significant potential in the Tourism Service.

Ulza has forests with various trees such as beech, pine, and fir, and there are meadows which have an impressive natural beauty. The numerous trees help protect the soil from erosion. Also, in the forest areas grow many medicinal plants such as Juniper, Wild Rose, Mountain Tea etc.

Ulza has rich and diverse natural resources. Offers a beautiful landscape, with numerous forests and massive pastures, abundant and quality groundwater, with rocky masses that are changeable in terms of landscape. Based on the values ​​of the biodiversity assessment of the area, the former commune of Ulëz with the support of the Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania and the US Embassy in Tirana, named Ulëz the Regional Natural Park.

Ulza Regional Natural Park is an area with high values of biodiversity and landscape, a place known for its special natural beauty, and a lively and active local community, providing a unique experience for its many visitors.

The town of Ulez is accessible from the National Highway which connects Milot with Morina. The town of Ulza is on the border between the municipality of Mirdita, and it is accessible via the rural road along with the village. These are the only roads that can be used to go to Ulza, as there is no rail, river or lake transportation.

Ulza is one of the most important municipalities which has shown over the years a commitment and desire to preserve religious and cult objects, which today prove the culture and respect for the past. Although there have been no clear policies and ongoing investments for the maintenance of these facilities by the central government, the community is aware of these great historical and religious values ​​by paying attention and in many cases offering assistance in their maintenance.

The Rranxë area, of which Ulza is a part, has a long and rich history in time and space. The civilization of this area dates back many centuries, leaving traces in our days. Ulza is characterized by a desire to preserve the old, the antic and this is evidenced by the traditional costumes of the area which are used in their originality even today. Although there is no museum to display them, building one has been the desire of this community to preserve these values. The Ulza area is characterized by Mirdita dressing code closely related to their Catholic religious faith. The folk costumes of the area deserve more attention in the future and are a novelty for attracting visitors to this municipality.

Ulza is fortunate to possess all the potential arsenal of providing opportunities for tourism development. There are several ancient civil and religious buildings that offer wonderful landscapes. It is nature in its originality that offers the most fantastic landscapes in Albania. The old residential houses located almost in the entire territorial space of the municipality which testify to the building and living styles of the past with a perfect architecture constitute in themselves the treasures of this area. The churches and famous religious buildings of Ulza offer a perfect panorama of the religious culture of the area which in addition to offering the opportunity to follow the rites of the Catholic faith, also serve as special and important objects for the development of tourism in the area.

In itself, the administrative territory of Ulza offers opportunities for rest and accommodation for family tourism. Initiatives can be developed and supported throughout its space for creating conditions for rest and the development of tourism in the municipality. The Shopet lake, Ulza lake, forests, lawns, villages, and the harmonized terrain with fields, hills and mountains will have a positive impact on the economic and social development of households in this area and in the civic perception the development of tourism remains one of the strongest points of the future of this unit.

In the former Municipality of Ulëz, in 2013, with the help of the Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania and with the financial support of the American Embassy in Tirana, announced the decision of the Dibër Regional Council, the creation of the “Ulez Regional Natural Park”.

The Regional Natural Park has an area of ​​4,206 ha, where the main part is occupied by the forest and includes two lakes, Ulza and Shkopet, as important areas for biodiversity conservation, but also as a great potential for the development of ecotourism. The park also includes a lively and active local community, providing a special experience for its many visitors. The park is managed by local government structures such as the municipality of Mat and the administrative unit of Ulez. The areas are accessible to any tourist, as it is a category with low mobility difficulty.

The accommodation capacities of Ulza nowadays are around 500-1000 vacationers during the summer season. Currently, in Ulez there are hotels and guest houses for tourists and there are also designated places for setting up camping. The artificial lake of Ulza and Shkopet has the capacity to accommodate about 2000 vacationers per year.

Traditional foods in this area are meat-based as well as puddings, while traditional products known nationally are honey, wine and brandy. However, none of these products is registered or protected as a trademark.

Also, traditional cooking of the area ae the fish casserole and carp which are served by every restaurant in the area since the lake Ulzes and Shkopet are rich in this species.