If you dream of fishing on the shores of a beautiful lake surrounded by wildlife, admiring amazing landscapes and visiting ancient fortresses, go on a trip to Skadar Lake (Montenegro) – the largest in the Balkans, on the banks of which ancient buildings – fortresses, small villages, churches and monasteries are preserved . 6 rivers feed the reservoir, and only one flows out – Boyana, which flows into the Adriatic Sea.
During the year, the water in the lake is updated twice. Here everyone will find rest – leisurely boating, fishing, excursions to local attractions.
The lake is the largest natural reservoir of fresh water in the Balkans with an area of 475 square meters. km The average depth is 5 meters, at the deepest point – 8 meters. In summer, the water warms up to a comfortable bathing temperature of + 27 degrees. Skadar Lake is a park of national importance, the only one in Montenegro, where the aquatic ecosystem prevails.
Most of the reservoir belongs to Montenegro, a third is in Albania. The lake is named after the city of Skadar, which is located in the southeastern part.
In the west and southwest, the park is protected by the Dinar Highlands. In the north and east, the shores are more gentle and mostly covered with swamps.
A large number of birds live here, many winter on the lake shores, and some stop to relax between flights. Scientists have recorded more than 280 species of birds, among which there is a black ibis and a Dalmatian pelican. These birds live only on a lake in Montenegro. Not surprisingly, the reservoir is recognized as a zone of international importance for the protection and breeding of birds.
Why does the lake attract fishing enthusiasts? The fact is that almost 50 species of fish live in the waters. The rich world of fauna numbers 50 species of mammals, amphibians and various insects. In summer, the shore of the reservoir is completely covered with a thick, green carpet of bushes and grasses.
It is important! Entrance to the territory of the reserve park costs 4 euros. Swimming and admiring the beauties of the lake are completely free.
How to get there
There are many ways to get to Skadar Lake.
- By electric train. Depart from Podgorica, Bar, Sutomore. The average ticket price is 3 EUR. You need to go to the Virpazar station, you will have to walk some distance, since the station is located outside the city.
- Taxi. This is the most comfortable ride option. Estimated cost – 15-30 EUR, depending on which city of Montenegro you are coming from.
- Public transport – bus. There are no direct flights from Budva and Kotor, so you will have to make a transfer in Petrovac, the nearest beach resort in Montenegro . Direct bus services from Podgorica and Bar follow to Virpazar. The ticket price varies depending on the length of the journey and the season of the year.
Also from many large cities of Montenegro comfortable excursion buses follow. On average, the price of a ticket together with the services of a guide is from 35 to 60 EUR.
- If you get to Skadar Lake in Montenegro on your own, by car, take the Podgorica-Petrovac highway. In many cities of the country you can rent a transport, the cost of the service will cost 30 EUR. Keep in mind that most of the path passes in the mountains and you will have to overcome a heavy serpentine, steeply rising up.
- In Montenegro, a service such as a private guide is common. Finding such a person is easy. You can arrange an individual excursion online – on the Internet there are a lot of private announcements and tour companies that provide such a service. The average cost of a trip with a professional guide is from 50 to EUR euros.
Fishing on Skadar Lake is a gambling and at the same time relaxing form of relaxation. For experienced and novice fishermen here is a real paradise. Where else can you catch eel, mullet, bleak, perch and carp? Such an incredible number of fish live only on Skadar Lake that some of them will be unique even for a professional fisherman. All the necessary equipment can be rented, this also applies to bait for future catch.
It is important! For fishing on the lake, a special permit is required – a license. Otherwise, a person will be sentenced to an impressive fine or may be arrested, as illegal fishing in Montenegro is a serious crime.
If you want to ride on the lake, contact the locals for help. For a moderate fee, they will be happy to ride you on a boat and provide quite comfortable holiday apartments. If you have a license, go fishing on the islands, the catch is richer there and nature is more picturesque. Local boat owners take tourists to the fishing spot and take them back. The cost of such a service is on average 20 euros. Tourists can also rent a boat and ride on their own.
You can also book an excursion, which includes a transfer, boat, fishing rods and bait. The price for half a day of such fishing will cost about 200 euros (for 4-6 people). Such services should be sought at the resort where you came to rest, on the spot.
Note: Which Montenegro resort to choose for your vacation ?
If before the trip you looked at a photo of Skadar Lake, you probably know that there are many interesting places here – architectural monuments.
Rich in history is associated with Skadar Lake, numerous archaeological finds confirm this. Be sure to visit the monasteries, fortresses, because they were built during the Middle Ages. The local flavor can be fully felt by visiting fishing villages, mills, bridges.
Most of the attractions are on the islands, there are more than 50 of them. The most interesting are the monasteries:
- Starchevo, erected in the XIV century;
These temples are operational, they are open to all comers.
The most interesting buildings to visit are Lesendro, Grmozur and Besac. These fortresses were built during the late Middle Ages.
Lesendro Fortress was built in the XVIII century, located near Vraniny. In the century before last, the fortress provided reliable protection from the Turkish fleet. The construction was so large-scale and reliable that trade and fishing did not stop even during the war.
In the mid-19th century, the islands of Lesandro and Vranin became part of the Ottoman Empire. During the reign of Osman Pasha, a fortress was built on Vranin. Only 30 years later, the islands and the city of Zabljak Tsrnoevicha returned to Montenegro.
This is a fortified city located on the coast, built around the X century. Until 1478, it had the status of the capital of Montenegro. An incredible atmosphere reigns here, despite the fact that the fortress has lost its former power and grandeur. To get to the city by car, you need to turn in Golubovtsy in the direction of Vukovtsy.
Another coastal city where, as a rule, excursion tours begin – Virpazar. In the past, this small village played an important role in the economy and history of the country. There was a port and a railway station.
If you want to fully appreciate the amazing beauty of nature and the originality of the park, you can not do without a water excursion, during which you will discover unforgettable landscapes. Virpazar organizes excursions by boat, kayak and even luxury yachts. You can ride on the lake with a group of tourists or on your own.
Following Virpazar, visit Miele, a small settlement where the ancient acropolis, presumably built by the ancient Illyrians, is located. Here are the tombs, each of which is covered with a huge stone.
In the past, this small village, where mostly fishermen live, was considered one of the main centers of trade on the Balkan Peninsula. On the territory of the village you can visit a pharmacy and an arms workshop, which were the first to be opened in Montenegro. The business card of a small town is the old Danilov bridge. If you travel around Skadar Lake during the off-season, you get the feeling that Rijeka is an extinct city, because according to the census, just over 50 people live here, most of the houses are dilapidated. However, such a landscape is incredibly colorful.
You can eat in a cafe or restaurant, most of them are on the first line near the river. Here you can walk along the promenade and go into the house of St. Peter Cetinjskis – the ruler of Montenegro.
Following in Rijeka from the capital of the country Podgorica , you can visit the Pavlova country – this is an amazing place with a view of the whole lake.
If in hot weather you want to swim, take the road from Virpazar towards Ulcinj or Bar. The villages of Murici and Godinje have beautiful sandy beaches with cafes and restaurants.
To explore the Skadar Lake, it will take a whole day. Spend between 30-35 euros. If you are more interested in individual excursion programs, the budget should be larger – up to 100 euros.
The photos of Skadar Lake in Montenegro do not convey all the sensations that one of the most beautiful places on the Balkan Peninsula can give, you need to see it live. Visiting Skadar Lake (Montenegro) is a good decision, you want to relax here, devote time to fishing or just enjoy nature.
Video: things to do on a lake in Montenegro, travel tips and aerial photography.