The Montenegrin Skadarsko jezero goes by many names: Skadar (from the Montenegrin), Shkodër (from the Albanian) and Scutari (from the time when it was an Italian protectorate). It’s the largest lake in the Balkans – part of the lake is in Montenegro and part in neighboring Albania.
The lake itself is well known for its biodiversity. The region is one of the largest bird preserves in Europe, and is very popular with birdwatchers.
The land around Skadar Lake is extremely lush, with plenty of wild fig and pomegranate trees growing along the roads.
It’s also the country’s most important wine-growing region, where Montenegro’s strong red wine, Vranac, is produced. The small vineyards are picturesque, and fruit and wine are sold roadside around the region.
At Lake Skadar, we spent a day Virpazar – a small fishing village, and had lunch there. This is a popular place for boat trips and people start approaching you right away to sign up for their trips. Take your time and check on the prices. We were able to get better offers than the initial proposals we received.
The 2-hour boat trip was really beautiful and we stopped for a swim along the way. The lake is dotted with the ruins of island churches and lovely fishing villages.
There’s a winding road that leads around the lake. We started on this road and it really is wonderfully panoramic, but I chickened out and demanded that we got back at a certain point.
The road has lots of steep hairpin turns and lots of sheer drops. The fact that it seems wide enough only for one-way traffic, but all the cars coming along from the other side appeared to be aspiring Formula 1 drivers didn’t help.
I saw some hikers walking on the side of this road. This might be the safest way to enjoy the view!
Careful with the driving – and enjoy your visit to the Balkan’s biggest lake.