Skadar Lake for Otters, Birds and Water Lilies

Our unexpectedly fulfilling Skadar Lake adventure started with getting a train from Podgorica to Virpazar. Once we arrived there, we tried to find the best deal to get a boat ride and some guidance on the place, as it’s extremely diverse and had so much to offer, while we had to narrow things down to what we could pack in a single day. Luckily, we bumped into a really cool local guide who offered to take us to lesser known nooks of the area.

For a bit of background, Skadar Lake is the largest one in the Balkans, and is incredibly diverse in terms of flora and fauna. During our boat trip, our guide pointed out some of the rarer bird species and various plant life. The absolute highlight of our ride was when he took us to this little beach that formed literally in the middle of the lake due to low tide, at a spot where it was fed by the Morača river, forming a body of water that significantly varied in temperature from one step to the next (depending whether it was moving or still). Soaking my feet in the lake filled with lily pads and touching the sandy ground (note: I had never swam in rivers and lakes before, only the sea) with no civilization in sight made me feel like the first woman on Earth, or at least like Sandra Bullock at the end of “Gravity”. Swimming back and forth from the river to the lake was an indescribable experience, one that made me wish we had more time to stick around. After our ride was over, we went to a ship-shaped restaurant in Virpazar, where we ate fresh fish caught that day in the lake. Feeling like I’d only scratched the surface of this amazing place, I made a promise to return to Skadar – this time with a car – and stay there for at least a week to properly explore it.

Insider Tip

Try the carp at the local restaurant, it’s delicious!

Where I stayed / started

Podgorica

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