Destinations / Central region

Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro

Sunday, February 6, 2011 · Region Central region · Comments

Skadar Lake National Park is the Montenegro side of Lake Skadar. It is the largest lake of the Balkans. Lake Skadar is a vast freshwater lake, two thirds of which is in Montenegro and the remainder in Albania. It is surrounded by dramatic mountains and hosts a thrilling array of wildlife with more than 260 species of birds, traditional fishing villages, island monasteries and pristine beaches. It has been a protected National Park since 1983 and was added, in 1996, to the World's List of Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention.

Lake Skadar history

Lake Skadar has a long, proud history. Once part of the ancient Slav province of Zeta, it was invaded by the Turks in the 13th century and occupied for five centuries with many battles witnessed by now crumbling fortresses such as Besac in Virpazar and Lessendro in Vranjina. By the time the Turks were defeated in the late 19th century, Skadar town - once the capital of Zeta - was incorporated into Albania, while several Albanian villages around the Southern shores became part of Montenegro.

The Ottomans who ruled Montenegro, established their capital in the North-West wetlands at Ċ½abljak Crnojevici until they were forced to retreat further to Cetinje in 1482. The Skadar lake returned to Montenegro under the rule of King Nikola, who set up his summer residence near the town of Rijeka Crnojevica. During World War II Lake Skadar became famous because it was the scene of the first Partisan uprising in Montenegro around the town of Virpazar.

Landscape and dimensions of Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar is the largest freshwater lake in the Balkans. It is fed by the Moraca river and a series of underwater springs. An unusual feature, creating a special eco-system, is the annual expansion of the lake's circumference from 370 square kilometres in summer to 530 square kilometres in winter. The Lake Skadar is approximately 44km long, 10km wide and 8 metres deep.

Entrance to the National Park Lake Skadar

A small fee is payable for a day's access to the national park and permits are required for fishing. Contact the Visitors' Centre of the National parks of Montenegro in Vranjina for more information.

Summer tourist season, from 8-18 every day;
Out of season: from 08 – 16 hours, from Monday to Friday.
Contact details: np-skadarlake@t-com.me
Tel: +382 20 879 103

Photos

Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro
Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro

Skadar Lake National Park, Montenegro on map