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Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Virpazar: Skadar Lake Cruise to Rijeka Crnojevića

1. From Virpazar: Skadar Lake Cruise to Rijeka Crnojevića

Begin your journey in Virpazar, the tiny fishing village located in the heart of Skadar Lake. Leave its pier, gliding along a narrow river channel fringed by reeds and willows. Exit the channel and hit the deep-blue waters of Skadar Lake. Admire views of mountains far away in Albania and the island Vranjina, proudly standing against the largest lake in Southern Europe. Turn left, and go under the bridge Tanki rt. See the endless fields of water chestnuts enshrouding the lake. Discover the 18th-century fortress Lesendro which still hides the secret of Njegoš's eternal sorrow. Spy birds lined up along the remains of the walls. Admire the three nearby islets and the view they hide - white and yellow water lily flowers and their large, floating, dark green leaves. Pass through the heart of the fjord Pavlova strana and reach the old fisherman's village called Rijeka Crnojevića. Uncover the village's historical significance, authentic architecture, and beautiful natural environment. Have the chance to try delicious Montenegrin specialties. Take your time and explore this beautiful tiny townlet. After one hour, climb your boat again and head back to Virpazar. After some time, you will stop at a place surrounded by open water and the rough Montenegrin coast, and you will have extra time to go swimming.

Virpazar: Skadar Lake Private Wildlife Cruise & Wine Tasting

2. Virpazar: Skadar Lake Private Wildlife Cruise & Wine Tasting

As the boat leaves Virpazar, you will first cruise under the bridge and around Fort Lesendro, built in the 18th century. As you head out onto the lake, you will be able to see many species of birds, especially cormorants and seagulls. You may even see pelicans drying their wings on top of the fort’s walls if you are lucky enough. After that, you will cruise along the Moraca river. This area is a bird reserve and you will have the privilege to see up to 15 different bird species, depending on the time of the year. Next, the boat will proceed inside the small and narrow channels that are surrounded by water lilies and reeds. If you are lucky enough, you may have the chance to see some nests and baby birds. The boat will then cruise around three beautiful islands - Small Cakovica, Big Cakovica, and Lipovnjak. On the other side of the islands, you will have free time to go swimming, with the beautiful mountain wreath in the background.

Shkoder Day Trip

3. Shkoder Day Trip

After a pick-up from you hotel, drive to the city of Shkoder, the third largest town in Albania, located 95 km north of Tirana. Known for its culture, tradition, and natural beauty, this city offers a diversity that is rarely found in any other city in Albania: with rivers, lakes, lagoons, and mountains which make Shkodra an unforgettable destination in Albania. Built on a rocky hill overlooking the city by the rivers of Buna and Drini, you will find the most important monument of Shkoder: The Castle of Rozafa. After visiting the Castle area you will have the chance to explore the Leaden Mosque and Catholic Church and notice the diverse religious elements and architecture. You will also have the possibility of strolling through the local bazaar of Shkoder, get a glimpse of Albanian traditions, and maybe buy a souvenir.  Optional: lunch with traditional dishes from the region including krap fish which is cooked on a roof tile. Head back to Tirana. End of service.

Skadar Lake: Self-Guided Bird Tour & Kayak Rental

4. Skadar Lake: Self-Guided Bird Tour & Kayak Rental

Drift around water lilies and reeds as you kayak through one of the biggest bird reserves in Europe. Spot Skadar Lake’s 270 bird species, including cormorants, gulls, and squacco. Take in the natural beauty at your own pace with one-hour, two-hour, and whole-day booking options. Begin your adventure in Virpazar with a basic safety and route briefing. Paddle through the open lake to a bridge that connects two villages, Virpazar and Vranjina, known as Little Venice. Take a break for fresh fish soup at the local restaurant if you’re feeling peckish before heading to Fort Lesendro.  Glide past the bird sanctuary and around the islands of Cakovica and Kamenik. Lounge in the sun at the local beaches and swim in the clear lake waters.

From Virpazar: Lake Skadar Scenic Boat Trip in Nature

5. From Virpazar: Lake Skadar Scenic Boat Trip in Nature

From Virpazar, you begin your cruise on Skadar Lake, the largest lake on Balkan. Going through the river that is rich with reeds, you will reach an open lake. Soon, you will pass close to the fortress Lesendro - the Key of Skadar Lake, built in the 18th century. The lush vegetation of the lake is a real decoration of National Park, which you will get to enjoy when you reach delta of river Moraca. This is also a bird reserve with plenty of bird species flying around. Next, you will go through small narrow channels to reach more beautiful nature and go around few islands to get to the open lake, where you can enjoy some free time to swim from the boat. After the swim, take your time to refresh with drink onboard. Returning to the Virpazar at the end of the tour.

Fom Tirana: Shkodra Main Attractions Tour

6. Fom Tirana: Shkodra Main Attractions Tour

Meet at 9:00 AM at your hotel in Tirana. Head towards Shkodra and begin to explore its main attractions. Located at the entrance of the town, 3km south of the city center, Rozafa Castle (fortress of Shkodra) is located on a rocky hill. It's one of the biggest and most famous castles in Albania. The Rozafa castle has a fascinating history. Archaeological excavations have yielded finds extending from the early Bronze Age. Within its massive defensive walls stand the Church of St. Stephen, several Venetian administrative buildings, and some medieval rooms. On the border of Montenegro and Albania, you'll find Shkodra Lake, a former ocean bay that was cut off from the Adriatic Sea when the sea levels dropped thousands of years ago. The lake is the largest in the Balkans at 41km long and with a surface area between 370-530 km2. The bottom of the lake is well below sea level, making it what's known as a crypto depression. Shkodra Lake is also one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, having some 240 bird species inhabiting its shores, including some of the last pelicans in Europe. Thus, it's very popular with bird watchers.  See the Catholic Cathedral, one of the biggest in Balkans and dedicated to St. Stephen. After a reconstruction in 1991, the cathedral was inaugurated by Mother Theresa and two years later it was visited by Pope John Paul II. Inside the cathedral is a copy of the Shroud of Turin, bearing the negative image of a man, which some claim is Jesus of Nazareth. After visiting the cathedral, enjoy walking on the main boulevard in Shkodra.  You will arrive back in Tirana around 6:00 PM.

From Tirana: Private Day Tour to Shkoder and Skadar Lake

7. From Tirana: Private Day Tour to Shkoder and Skadar Lake

Discover the beauty of Shkoder and Skadar Lake on a private day tour from Tirana. See the famous castles, churches, natural beauty, and lakes of Albania with a professional guide. Depart from Tirana and head towards the north of Albania to see the famous Castle of Rozafa. Built on a hill overlooking the city, the castle is the most important monument of Shkoder. Uncover the fascinating facts and know its historical importance from your professional guide.  Next, travel towards the city of Shkoder, the third-largest town in Albania. Marvel at the beauty of the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Muslim Mosque. Stroll through some of the most famous lanes and notice the diverse religious elements of the city. Afterward, drive away from the city crowd and enjoy tranquility on the shore of Skadar lake. Relax and soak in the magnificent views of Albanian nature. Apart from the crystal waters of the lake, the place is also famous for its “Karp” fish specialties.  Finally, drive back to Tirana after a long and unforgettable experience.

From Tirana: Shkoder, Rozafa Castle, & Lake Skadar Day Trip

8. From Tirana: Shkoder, Rozafa Castle, & Lake Skadar Day Trip

Departure from Tirana. Arrival in Shkodra and start of the tour with a visit to the Castle and the Museum inside, which houses an interesting collection of objects and documents, which illustrate the history of the city from the Illyrian to the Ottoman periods, the wars fought by Scutari against Romans, Byzantines and Slavs, and the heroic resistance of the locals to the siege of the Ottoman army. Guided tour of the city and the Marubi museum (optional), the most important photographic museum in the country and one of the most important in the Balkans. In return lunch possibility by the Skadar Lake, in an area commonly known as “Shiroke” where the fish lovers may have the chance to taste the local specialty, Karp cooked in casarole.

Available activities

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What people are saying about Lake Skadar

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 68 reviews

I booked the tour intrigued by Shkodër. We were lucky enough to be the only two participants, so we enjoyed special treatment and unrepeatable human warmth. The castle of Scutari is very beautiful, even more so is the landscape that can be seen from its top. The city is charming and the lake is magnificent. What made the experience unforgettable, however, must be counted on the merit of our guide. Ilir is an exceptional person. He explained to us in great detail everything we wanted to know and even more. He became one of the family for a day and that is an honor I will never forget.

A peaceful moment in the middle of superb landscapes, with a smiling and friendly captain. Beautiful memories!

We really enjoyed the boat trip. Please don't expect too much from the wine tasting!

We had such a good time and learned a lot about the area! Also, we got the best photos!

Amazing Cruise with a very kind Captain. Wort every penny.