Traveling in Montenegro, must be taken to the Skadar Lake, which has been many years by the National Park, known to the whole world. Charming landscapes, many dwelling birds and fish, islands with monasteries and fortresses, delicious cuisine – all this allows not only to evaluate the country’s color, but also to relax and relax from urban life.
Skadar Lake or Shkoder is considered the biggest lake in the Balkans, its area reaches 390 square meters in the summer and as many as 530 square meters throughout the winter flood. The length of the reservoir in the warm season is 50 kilometers, and the width is approximately 14 kilometers.
It belongs to Shkoder at the same time to two countries: Montenegro for two thirds and Albania for one third. Since 1983, more than 40 thousand hectares of the lake is considered a protected area. Six rivers flow into fresh reservoir, as well as a large number of underwater keys providing a permanent flow of clean water.
The maximum depth of the lake reaches 60 meters, and on average it is 6 meters. At some points, the depth of the lake even exceeds the depth of the sea. In the summer, the water temperature ranges from 26 to 27 degrees, and in the winter it drops to 6-7 degrees.
Inhabit the scandard lake mainly the following fish: carp, trout, bleak and t. D. In addition, more than 264 species of birds live on the lake – from Pelicans to Herkel. Some of them arrive at this place for wintering. Such types of birds like Dalmatian Pelican and Black Ibis, there are no longer found on the European territory.
Directly Skadar Lake is part of the National Park with the same name, which is one of the largest in Europe. In addition, the National Park is considered one of the largest bird reserves in Europe. It should be borne in mind that in the summer on the Skadar Lake is very hot and stuffy. Coming here should be either early in the morning or closer to the evening and ideally – in May or June. This is especially true for those who want to enjoy the bloom of snow-white water lishes – it will begin in May, and will end in mid-August.
In the summer, the lake acquires a silver color, and in the fall and spring goes into blue shades. Numerous islands are located near the western border of the lake, some of which are engaged in monasteries.
On one of them built a well-known Turkish fortress of the Gossuras, at one time performing the role of prison. On the shores of the lake there are no major cities, but fully authentic villages, a variety of architectural monuments and even ruins of buildings: forts and settlements.
It is important to mention that the entrance to the territory of the National Park itself is 15 euros. This amount is to be paid in the case of a boat excursion, and go fishing, and just when studying the surroundings.
Skadar Lake has a rich and exciting history. Once the pond is the component of the Adriatic Sea, which prove numerous finds of archaeologists throughout the region. However, volcanic eruptions and tectonic slab shifts led to the formation of mountains with plain, and the sea level dropped. In the middle of the XIX century, weather conditions led to the Dogan River changed the route, filled out the pool and formed the lake itself.
What to watch?
National Park Skadar Lake – a great place for water shots. As a point of reference it is more convenient to choose the town of Virpazar – the locals not only organize a worthy excursion and will tell a lot of interesting details, but also show the most beautiful corners of the reserve.
However, for such an event will have to pay a considerable amount: as a rule, the price of an excursion is about 40 euros.
On the boat it will be possible to just overlook the surrounding environment and even see the canyons or stop at one of the islets for a more thorough study. Typically, the fortress of the Gossur and various vintage monasteries are popular with popularity.
Unfortunately, Skadar Lake is not the place where it can admire clean water. Wetlands and abundance of water vegetation create an appropriate picture.
But during walks, you can admire and admire birds living in the park. It is worth looking into the village of Karuch, populated by fishermen to learn more about the life of local residents and quench the thirst for a glass of pomegranate juice.
Another interesting place is the village of Hodinia. In 1979, she suffered a lot from the earthquake, after which a significant part of the population left her small homeland. Now in the village rebuilt a small number of houses and wineries. Place is quite picturesque and unusual.
Not far from the west coast houses Murichi Beach, Ideal for the adoption of water procedures. It is here that the water of the lake is the most clean.
Widow bumping, it is worth going to a nearby Guest Center and watch small exhibitions dedicated to the lives of the local population.
From the monasteries most popular is the one that is located on the island of Starceva Goritsa. In the building dating from the XIV century, the monk-hermit lives. On the southern shore of the reservoir built a monastery of Starchevo, in which a well-known center of the census of books used to be located. The first references to this place are dating 1376 year.
On one of the islands is located Elena Barsh’s tomb, which is part of the Virgin Church. This is the only female monastery of the Skadar Lake, which, of course, deserves visits.
Popular excursion routes
The most popular excursion routes are being worked out by several companies working in Montenegro, including those that have a large number of capacity boats.
Most often, a boat tour of the monasteries or fortresses are held on the Skadar Lake, which are placed on the islands.
In addition to the water journey, tourists are waiting for an exotic table with soft goat cheese, honey, unusual fried balls and strong raki.
Of course, for lunch you can go to the restaurant or in a cafe to taste local dishes of local cuisine – roasted eel and baked carp.
By the way, the kitchen of the region of the Skadar Lake deserves a separate mention. In almost every garden, figs and grenades, plums and cherries are grown, as well as walnut. Local residents independently make dairy products, ham, fresh honey and several types of alcohol. Together with delicious fish, all these ingredients are used in all functioning restaurants.
Fishing on the lake is possible, but when buying a special license. It will cost approximately 5 euros per day, but do not forget that, most likely, it will be necessary to pay for the boat services. It is said that in the lake there is somewhere 50 species of fish. Fishing permit can be obtained in the management of national parks or pay from the employee who conducts an inspection of the territory.
Fishing on the lake will have to taste with any professional, as you can catch a fish, the weight of which ranges from 20 to 25 kilograms. During spawning, by the way, this type of activity is under the ban, this period lasts until June 10.
In winter, the Skadar Lake is the same curious facility for travel, but less comfortable. Days at this time are rather short, the humidity is increased, and the winter period lasts for a long time. At this time, wolves and boars are actively showing themselves in the mountains, so it will be especially important to adhere to personal safety rules.
In general, of course, the best tour of the scandard lake is the one that is organized independently. Renting a boat with a boatman, it is worth saving to the most interesting islets, inspect the churches and ancient buildings. Then it is necessary to arrive to one of the villages and visit the local restaurant, which serves magnificent fish dishes of national cuisine. Rested after hearty lunch, it would be good to complete the day on the beach, bathing and watching birds.
Where to stay?
Most often travelers coming to the Skadar Lake, stop in modern hotels of the small town of Virpazar. The distance from the place of residence to the lake is only 500 meters, which makes it easy to transport equipment for fishing or water sports equipment to the water reservoir. The cost of the room in the hotel begins approximately 2000 rubles per person.
Positive reviews are confirmed by the reputation of such places like Apartment Vukasevic, Apartment Dejic and Draga`s Rooms.
How to get?
You can easily reach the Skadar Lake either by car or by bus. The starting point can be located in any coast town. From cities Bar and Sutomore can be reached by Lake and by train. However, it is most convenient to visit this picturesque corner as part of an excursion with a local guide. As a rule, it is proposed for three routes.
- Morning excursion implies a journey on a boat, visiting several monasteries and churches, as well as a delicious lunch and rest on the beach. Takes up such an event almost all day.
- Evening excursion continues from lunch and until evening. It consists in principle from the same events.
- Finally, Individual excursion It is carried out with a local guide, and we are usually talking about a small group of friends and relatives, so the time and route are discussed separately.
If the starting point is Budva, then it is easy to reach the destination by bus, a ticket to which is about 4 euros. Transport in this case should be through Petrovac to Podgorica.
Bar and Sutomore will cost 2 euros if you use the train. Those tourists who live in Virpazara can enjoy a transfer taxis, which is the most expensive, but at the same time the most comfortable option. The distance along the route Virpazar bar is 25 kilometers.
If you go to the Skadar Lake from the remote city as part of the excursion, then you should be prepared for payment reaching 60 euros. Car rental for one day will cost two times cheaper – 30 euros. If you go to Virpazara from Serbia, you will have to take the train, spend about 9 hours of time and approximately 50 euros.
About what you can interesting to see by traveling on the lake, look next.