Sailing in a lake of lilies – Lake Skadar, Montenegro

Montenegro | Karoliina Kazi

The last leg of our trip was spent utterly spoiling ourselves in Montenegro. We rented a countryside villa that had beautiful views of vineyards in Rvasi. The location was great for visiting the amazing nature around Lake Skadar. We explored a little, but mostly just relaxed.

Montenegro | Karoliina KaziIMG_2633

This handsome boy spent the entire time with us at the villa – playing with us, relaxing with us and guarding the house. We do not know who he belongs to and although I tried asking around, we never found out. I will remember his sweet face all my life, it absolutely broke my heart to leave him behind. I’m getting all teared up just thinking about it.

Montenegro | Karoliina Kazi

On our first morning, we drove along a narrow, curvy road from our villa to a small lake town of Virpazar. The narrow mountain roads in Montenegro are so beautiful and scenic, but you may also get sweaty hands and some dizziness as a side effect! Well, that aside, we made to it Virpazar and met our lovely tour guide Ivana in the village. We had booked a two-hour lake tour on Lake Skadar.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

We boarded this beautiful roofed boat and set off.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Once you get past the small port, there’s no sign of traffic. Just silence and the beauty of nature.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Lake Skadar has become an important tourist attraction, especially for bird-watchers, and is one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, having around 270 bird species. Among them are some of the last pelicans in Europe and the lake also contains habitats of seagulls and herons.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

These cheeky chaps are called Pygmy cormorants.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

We were in luck and even saw a pelican!

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

We floated ahead peacefully and Ivana told us about Lake Skadar, its history and wildlife. She is so knowledgeable, enthusiastic and mature – what an inspirational and smart young person. Very impressive!

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Goat Island – right across from Wolf Island. Note the goats on top of the rocks. We did not spot any wolfs, this time 😏

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Lake Skadar lies on the border of Montenegro and Albania. It is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula and it is named after the city of Shkodër in northern Albania. Lake Skadar is the only national park dominated by aquatic and wetland ecosystems. We were excited to discover its hidden bays and calm rivers, its countless little islands and fascinating monasteries.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

You will have a chance for a swim and my father was brave enough to jump in.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Ivana’s mum had made a homemade picnic for the tour; deep-fried dough-like pastries called Priganice. They can be filled with local cheese or enjoyed with plum jam or honey. Delicious. We also tasted a homemade drink by Ivana’s grandmother, a fruit brandy, locally known as Rakija, which my father really enjoyed.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

We, of course, tried both and loved them. Perfect little snack on the lake.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Water lilies line the surface of the lake. Did you know the white ones are guys and yellow ones are gals? Ivana told us that they have permission to collect the white lilies, but the yellow ones are rarer and therefore should be protected.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Wait till you see what Ivana made for us – for both, guys and gals.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Waterlily necklaces for my mum and I. Simply gorgeous.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

And lily pad hats for my dad and Riz. Genius!

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Apparently, the hats were very cooling. My dad liked the hat so much, he took it to our holiday villa and kept it outside on the veranda. Until our friend, the cheeky local dog, stole it from him – true story! Ivana, we may have to come back for another lily pad hat!

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina KaziLake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

The water was so still here that you could see all the reflections.

Lake Skadar National Park | Golden Frog Boat Tour | Karoliina Kazi

Best time to go:

Early morning, or before noon. You will see more wildlife and birds. And it won’t be so hot yet.

Bring with you:

Swimsuit, sunscreen & towel (if needed, the sun and gentle breeze will dry you as well).

Skadar Lake Tours - Golden Frog Tours | Montenegro | Karoliina Kazi

Thank you for everything Ivana and The Golden Frog Tours crew – we will cherish this experience in our memories of Montenegro.

We highly recommend Ivana and her Golden Frog Boat Tour on Lake Skadar.

Be sure to pre-book.

GOLDEN FROG TOURS – LAKE SKADAR

+383 69 402 776  |  markovicka2000@gmail.com |  Virpazar, Montenegro  |  website

14 Comments

  1. 9th July 2016 / 8:52 am

    It looks like a very serene vacation. Is that Ivana’s father or grandfather in the final photo? Did he pilot the boat?

    • KAROLIINA KAZI
      Author
      9th July 2016 / 9:51 am

      Hi Sue – It was lovely and relaxing, I love spending time with family. The captain of the boat is Ivana’s family’s friend and works with them regularly.

      • 9th July 2016 / 10:03 am

        Thank you, Karoliina. It’s wonderful for you that everyone is able to go with you on an adventure. 🙂

  2. 18th September 2016 / 5:12 pm

    What beautiful scenery looks lovely, relaxing and fun 🙂

    • 18th September 2016 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you so much Adeola. Montenegro was wonderful and we all loved the lake cruise. Have you been to Montenegro?

  3. 18th September 2016 / 7:04 pm

    So beautiful! I would love to visit Montenegro sometime!

    • 18th September 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you. Montenegro is a beautiful and peaceful destination so I highly recommend.

  4. 18th September 2016 / 9:28 pm

    It looks so beautiful! I had no idea Montenegro had views like this, now I want to visit it as well!

    • 18th September 2016 / 11:18 pm

      Montenegro has amazing views and some pretty crazy mountain roads 🙂

  5. 19th September 2016 / 5:39 pm

    Oh wow, that lake and the nature around look so beautiful! Who wouod have thought this country was hiding beauties like these 🙂

  6. 19th September 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Love the photos! Looks like you had a fabulous time 🙂

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