Home to an extensive array of storks, herons, egrets, ibises, falcons and eagles, and even pelicans, the Balkan’s largest lake is one of Europe’s largest bird reserves. The lake in general is a haven of hiking and cycling trails. With fishing villages, chestnut forests, and islets sheltering ancient ruins; whether you stop for lunch or book a week in a rustic stone cottage, this pristine nature reserve is a picture postcard journey.
Declared a national park in 1983, Skadar’s north side attracts extraordinary birdlife with marshy wetlands, while it’s south coast offers a drier, more mountainous, shoreline. An abundant region where sage, rosemary, mint, plums, cherries, figs, walnuts, and pomegranates grow wild, the lake region is a picnic basket of epicurean, locavore goodies. Residents produce organic cheese, honey, and several varieties of home-cured ham by a lake that’s home to over 30 species of fresh-water fish. Renowned for its wild beauty, the lake region was a long favoured retreat of the former Montenegrin royal family with King Nikola setting up his holiday court at the town of Rijeka Crnojevica. Once a vibrant trading post, it is now a sleepy town with a few charming restaurants along the waterfront, and an 1853 bridge commissioned by Prince Danilo.
- Bird-watching in the wetlands
- Touring the area on a Skadar Lake boat cruise
- Visiting Nikica, Montenegro’s only hippopotamus, at the Plavnica Eco Resort
- Exploring the islands in a rented motor boat
- Sampling the local wine and rakija in Godinje, on the south coast
- Visiting the Sjekloca vineyard in Crmnica where the family has been making Vranac for over 500 years from century old wines