A guide to visiting the beautiful Skadar Lake National Park
March 12, 2020
Skadar Lake National Park is located in the South of Montenegro and is a must visit for nature- and outdoor lovers! If you’re planning a roadtrip around Montenegro, don’t forget to include Lake Skadar. In this article I’ll present you a guide to this National Park.
About Skadar Lake National Park
The Skadar Lake is the biggest lake of the Balkan Peninsula and one of the biggest National Parks of Montenegro. Located at the border of Montenegro and Albania, Skadar Lake has been named as a national park since 1983. Furthermore, Skadar Lake has a great amount of bird species and that’s why it’s on the IBA list (Important Bird Area). The national park is also on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
Places to visit in Skadar Lake National Park
Virpazar acutally is the starting point for visiting Skadar Lake National Park. Here you can find a visitor centre, where you can find information on anything you can do in the park: from wine routes to hiking and biking. In Virpazar you can also find all kinds of eateries; it has everything you need.
Another starting point for Skadar Lake National Park, is Vranjina. Here you can also find a visitor centre, but here it’s more focused on nature (flora and fauna) and culture. In some times of the year, women sell fresh carp by the side at the road.
– Rijeka Crnojevica
Close to the place we stayed at, there was this small town Rijeka Crnojevica. Here you can find some restaurants where you can enjoy local specialties and from here you can also make a lake cruise. Take into account that, although this place is quite touristic, there aren’t any ATM’s and you need to pay cash at the restaurants. It’s recommended to take some cash with you.
Things to do in Skadar Lake National Park
Absolutely recommended to do, is kayaking. I went kayaking during my visit to Skadar Lake National Park and I absolutely enjoyed. You can go the far you would like and you can stop where ever you want to. There are some small beaches along the route where you can stop and enjoy the views. Our accommodation provided a kayak, which we could rent. When our host dropped us by the water, we agreed on a time he’d pick us up again. According to the information I have, there are many accommodation in Skadar Lake National Park which provide kayaks. During your kayak trip, you can find all kinds of fish species and bird species.
– Lake cruises
From all the places above (Virpazar, Vranjina and Rijeka Crnojevica) you can book a lake cruise. There are many organizations which provide this service, so it’s not necessary to book beforehand. Depending on what you would like to see, there are short and long trips.
– Pavlova Strana Viewpoint
When you come from Cetinje or Podgorica and you drive towards Rijeka Crnojevica, you come across the well-known Pavlova Strana Viewpoint. This is an amazing viewpoint where you can make some beautiful pictures. As the road around the viewpoint is quite narrow (read: really narrow, you cannot drive with two cars along each other), it’s advised to park your car at the restaurant’s parking place if you decide to visit the viewpoint.
Tip: take into account that at some moments on the day, it can be very busy around the viewpoint. Avoid the crowds and go in the early morning or late afternoon.
Around Lake Skadar, there are several hiking tracks provided. You can make some magnificent hiked through the mountains. On your way, you’ll pass a winery where you can enjoy the views over the mountains and the lake.
Skadar Lake National Park is also well-known for the wineries it has around the lake. There are many, little wineries where you can taste delicious wines while enjoying a nice and local meal.
Recommended accommodation in Skadar Lake National Park
During my time in Skadar Lake National Park, I stayed at the Estate and Winery San Duyevo, which is located in a really small town near Rijeka Crnojevica. It’s a beautiful place surrounded by a wine field and the hosts were very kind and hospitable. We enjoyed a local breakfast and rented their kayak for a tour on the Skadar Lake. There aren’t many restaurants in the environment, but you can enjoy dinner at the accommodation or you can drive towards Cetinje which is only a 30-minutes drive.
San Duyevo is a really nice and quiet place and a great starting point for exploring more of Skadar Lake National Park.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the beautiful Skadar Lake National Park. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment section below. Safe travels and enjoy your trip to the national park if you decide to go!
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