Lake is located in Zeta – Skadar valley and is surrounded by mountains and 7 km far from Adriatic Sea. Two Thirds of Skadar Lake is in Montenegro and rest one third is in Albania. Depending of level of water space of Lake varies from 530 to 370 km2 it is considered 44 km long and 14 km wide. Coast line is very cut especially in north – west side. Low valley of north part of Lake is often flooded.
Skadar Lake is the largest lake at Balkan Peninsula one of the last fresh water spaces and largest national park in Montenegro and the most famous for its diversity of flora and fauna. Lake itself is unusual for mutual vicinity of different living areas and their chain of feeding.
There is a large number of birds’ kinds. It is stated that 270 kinds of birds inhabit this Lake. Around 90% of birds are migratory and are of international importance. During season of migrating, white little egret, white spoonbill and various kinds of ducks pass over this region. Cormorant nest in north swamps and represent one of three most important colonies in the world (ITR, Ecological Research Study on Peat exploration, 2001). Rare and endangered kind of curly pelican nest at floating peat islands in north end of the Lake.
There are 50 species of fish living in the Lake and 3 snake like. The most important from economic point of view are ukljeva and carp.
World of plants of this park is very important and is different from the regions where there are often floods, little stone islands and steep mountain cliffs. There are three rare and protected plants and trees and large number (30 +) of rare plants in park.
In region of Skadar Lake there are 20 monasteries, churches, villages, fortresses and sacred monuments. This lake is witness of Montenegrin history from 11th century up to now. Around Lake itself there are 18 important historic monuments.
History of human kind around Skadar Lake dates back to times of early manhood for its health and dispensable resources. Earliest written documents from this region are from 11th century or period of creating the first Montenegrin dynasty. Turning of Roman Catholics into Orthodox Church many monasteries and churches, in the beginning of 1400 AD built around the lake. In 1478 Turks occupied Zabljak and region of lake and ruled over it until 1878, when Montenegro was liberated from Turkish rule. During Turkish occupation Montenegro was ruled by Cetinje Metropolitans and it survived this period. Some strongholds were used by Italians during WWII.
Bird watching, fishing, hunting, renting and ride in boat, swimming and sunbathing are main recreational activities around the Lake.
History of park:
Park was founded in 1968 for keeping and protection of wonderful surrounding of the Lake and its shore. Plan of development for his park was made in 1997.
Park is easily accessible from direction of Podgorica and Bar by highway Podgorica – Petrovac or by rain from Bar or Podgorica through central part via Virpazar. To other regions inside park you can come in own car or taxi. Travelers’ agents in Podgorica offer one day trips to Lake including boat ride at Lake and lunch at far fishermen village.
Find Out More:
- Geographic location and characteristics
- Lake Skadar Flora and Fauna
- Cultural-historical heritage
- Lake Skadar Tourism
Source: Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro, Plan for Future of National Parks of Montenegro and development of entrepreneurship, FLAG International.