The glittering Lake Skadar, which straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro, is the largest lake in the Balkans and a top destination for nature lovers and keen swimmers. Take a boat trip through Lake Skadar National Park, relax in a cabana on the shore, and get your binoculars out to see the thousands of birds that inhabit this magical area.
While the Montenegrin entrance to the lake is technically located in the tiny town of Virpazar, Lake Skadar is easily reached from Podgorica by bus (it's about a 30-minute journey) or from Muo near Kotor Bay. Filled with bright green lily pads and surrounded by hills and the Lovcen mountains, Lake Skadar is an incredibly tranquil place to relax and spend the afternoon.
If you're a fan of swimming, hiking, kayaking or fishing, you're sure to have a blast at Skadar Lake. In the summer, Montenegro's warm climate heats up the lake, making it the perfect temperature for taking a dip. Head to the hidden shores of Pjesacac at the heart of the lake for a sandy beach experience.
Hikingtrails are marked out all around the lake and surrounding park, making it easy to go on a spur-of-the-moment adventure. You can also embark on guided hiking tours that pass by 15th-century monasteries and ancient ruins.
Rowing and sailing are also popular ways to experience Lake Skadar, as are cave tours (aka speleological tours) that venture into the caves of Lipa and Obod.
Note: Camping is not permitted within the National Park borders, but there are some campsites in the mountains surrounding Lake Skadar.
Lake Skadar is one of the top hotspots for migrating birds in all of Europe, so it's no surprise that many travellers are drawn to its shores to go bird-watching. It's home to more than 280 different species of bird including kingfishers, herons, Dalmatian pelicans, pygmy cormorants and marsh terns.
Yes of course "drinking wine" deserves its own sub-section! Montenegro is famous for its wine country and this particular area, known as Crmnica, is famous as being home to the red Vranac grape. Go on a winery tour on your trip to Skadar Lake or at least take in a wine-tasting or two.
Throughout the Year
Southeast Zeta-Skadar basin