Lake Skadar National Park

About Lake Skadar National Park

Located in the southeast of the country and until recently completely off the beaten track, Lake Skadar is surrounded by mountains, is also one of the largest lakes in Europe and its eastern shores disappear across the border into Albania. The Skadarsko Jezero National Park is not just an important place of natural beauty in Montenegro it is also on the RAMSAR list of "Wetlands of International Importance" and one of the biggest bird reserves in Europe.

The lake varies in volume and extent considerably during the year as the rivers that feed it wax and wane but the water is always clean and fresh as it is continually fed by underground springs, some of which are below sea level.

The charming little town of Virpazar is the main harbour for excursions on to the lake and hosts the National Park visitor centre. Staying here is an excellent choice not just for the lake but also to visit the many small monasteries, villages and wine producers in the area.

Skadar Lake is an ecological kingdom, a quiet oasis and a place for personal contact with nature intact.  The lake is one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, with more than 280 bird species, some of which are on the list of endangered species, like Dalmatian Pelican and Pigmy Cormorant. The lake is also a habitat for more then 50 species of fish, but the predominant species are carp and bleak. The warm waters of the lake are great for swimming, and of course the many beaches offer time for relaxation and sunbathing.  One of the most popular beaches is the beach in Murici, located very closely to the border with Albania, with the fabulous view on whole lake.

Numerous cultural, historical monuments, archaeological sites, monastery complexes and fortifications are widely scattered all over the Skadar Lake basin. The large number of islands are the standing evidence, from the XIV and XV centuries, which represent a significant cultural centre for the lake today. You will have the opportunity to visit Zabljak Crnojevica (a mediaeval fortified town), the old town of Rijeka Crnojević (charming and tucked away in the north-western end of the lake) and villages such as Godinje and Ostros - serene spots to stop and sample some local wines, have a wander around the cluster of stone houses and enjoy the view of the lake and possibly the old prison island of Grmozur.

 

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