Lake Skadar National Park
Dolphin-shaped Lake Skadar (Скадарско Језеро), the Balkans’ largest, has its tail and two-thirds of its body in Montenegro and its nose in Albania. On the Montenegrin side, an area of 400 sq km has been protected by a national park since 1983; today, Skadar is renowned as one of Europe’s top bird habitats. It’s a blissfully pretty area encompassing steep mountains, island monasteries, clear waters, and floating meadows of water lilies. The main – albeit tiny – towns here are Virpazar and Vranjina, though if you’ve got wheels, you can easily explore the timeless villages sprinkled along the shore.
Lake Skadar is a popular escape for nature lovers, outdoor-activity aficionados and locals fleeing the heat of Podgorica. Legend has it that the lake was created by the tears of a pixie; that may be fanciful, but after one look at magical Skadar, you may find yourself believing in fairy tales, too.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lake Skadar National Park.