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.
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.
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.
We boarded this beautiful roofed boat and set off.
Once you get past the small port, there’s no sign of traffic. Just silence and the beauty of nature.
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.
These cheeky chaps are called Pygmy cormorants.
We were in luck and even saw a pelican!
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!
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 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.
You will have a chance for a swim and my father was brave enough to jump in.
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.
We, of course, tried both and loved them. Perfect little snack on the lake.
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.
Wait till you see what Ivana made for us – for both, guys and gals.
Waterlily necklaces for my mum and I. Simply gorgeous.
And lily pad hats for my dad and Riz. Genius!
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!
The water was so still here that you could see all the reflections.
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).
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Virpazar, Montenegro | website