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Lake Skadar – a beautiful natural sanctuary

Text: Mankica Kranjec Photos: iStock

84 km from Tirana Airport or 16 km from Podgorica Airport

Although perhaps a little less well known than some of the other lakes on the list, Lake Skadar (also known as Lake Scutari) is one of the greatest natural jewels of the Balkan Peninsula, and one you should not miss. According to legend, the lake was formed from the tears of a mythical, fabulous being. Be that as it may, this lake straddling the border between Montenegro and Albania can boast a rich history, as demonstrated by the many castles, medieval monasteries, former fishing villages and archaeological sites that surround it today.

The surface of the lake extends over an area of more than 400 square kilometres. Much of it is covered by water lilies, and it is full of fish. More than 280 bird species make their home on the lake's shores. The lake includes one of the last freshwater marshes in the Mediterranean, today a bird reserve and habitat of the elegant Dalmatian pelican, which has become Lake Skadar's trademark. The area is particularly popular with ornithologists and with visitors who come here for the day to experience Lake Skadar's magic via a lake cruise.

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