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Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar: Our most recommended tours and activities

Skadar Lake: Half-day Cruise Tour - the River of Crnojević

1. Skadar Lake: Half-day Cruise Tour - the River of Crnojević

First, you will cruise towards the 18th Century fortress of Lesendro. You will see breathtaking scenery with birds, especially cormorants and seagulls, but if you are lucky enough you will get to see pelicans as well, they love drying their wings on top of her walls, with the beautiful mountain of Vranjina and light blue sky in the backgrounds. After cruising near the fortress of Lesendro you will proceed inside the small and narrow channels that are surrounded by, as we like to call them, carpets of water lily flowers and reeds. This area is often called the 'safari' part of the lake. In this area if you are lucky enough, you will have the chance to even see some nests and baby birds. The boat will then cruise around three beautiful islands - Small Cakovica, Big Cakovica, and Lipovnjak. The boat will than proceed inside the breathtaking fjord Pavlova Strana, which is considered to be the most beautiful place on Skadar lake. It will lead you to an old fisherman's village called the river of Crnojević. Over there you will have around an hour to explore the village.  On the way back the boat will stop at a place surrounded by open water and rough coast and you will have extra time provided for swimming, so be sure to bring your swimsuit.

Skadar Lake: Self-Guided Bird Tour & Kayak Rental

2. 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.

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.

Virpazar: Skadar Lake Private Wildlife Cruise & Wine Tasting

4. 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.

Fom Tirana: Shkodra Main Attractions Tour

5. 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

6. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Skadar

Want to discover all there is to do in Lake Skadar? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Lake Skadar

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 39 reviews

The views alone deserve five stars. Although the wind has not allowed us to follow the planned itinerary, the guide has improvised and we have really enjoyed the activity a lot.

We did the 3 hour tour and the next day the 6 hour tour. The 6 hour tour is great, much more private, saw many species of birds and just flew by. Top

Beautiful place, kayaks really enable you to feel closer to the birds without scaring them off like a noisy motor boat.

Eagle Boat Cruise were excellent. They had everything ready for us, and were friendly and helpful.

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