National Park Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans with surface area between 345 to 505 km2, depending on the water level . It has an average depth of 5m and it is a true oasis for all nature lovers. Length of Lake Skadar is 168km and 2/3 of lake belongs to Montenegro, while 1/3 belongs to Albania.

Montenegrin part of the Lake Skadar was declared a National Park in 1983 (IUCN category II). As an internationally important area for birds, Lake Skadar in 1989 acquired the status of IBA and it has been on the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance since 1995, especially as a wetland birds' habitat.

There are three bird habitats inside the national park, namely: Pančeva oka, Crni žar, and Manastirska tapija. On the lake live 264 species of birds, 73 species are nesting migratory birds, 18 species are regular visitors, 45 are winter guests and 12 species regularly spend summer without nesting. The reason for such a large variety of birds is ecological and geological peculiarity as well as undisturbed ecosystem. Most often you can see cormorants, red, white and blue herons, grebes, mallards, Moor hens and others. A place of honor certainly occupies the Dalmatian pelican (Pelicaneus crispus). With a length of 160-190cm, weight 10-12kg, and a wingspan of up to 3m fascinates a large number of ornithologists who come every year because of these unusual birds. Because of its feathery curls at the nape was named "curly" pelican, and hence vary from white pelicans, and body covered with blue-gray feathers. This species inhabits freshwater lakes and estuaries and is globally threatened. Dalmatian pelican is the main attraction of Lake Skadar and it's trademark.

Lake Skadar has 48 fish species of which 15 are endemic. The best known are: bleak, eel, mullet, grasshoppers and others.

Bleak is particularly interesting because it lives exclusively in the Skadar Lake. It is an indigenous species and in her honor every year, in Virpazar, traditionally is held festival called "Days of Wine and bleak". In combination with Crmnicko wine this fish represents the specialty of Lake Skadar.

National Park Lake Skadar has several tourist sites among which are: Virpazar, Rijeka Crnojevica, Plavnica, Murići, Godinje, Vranjina and others. Every day during the summer season, this places are visited by thousands of tourists.

With its beautiful shore, Lake Skadar fascinates and enchants many visitors. There are also a large number of Orthodox monasteries on the islands, "Gorica". The monasteries dating back to the fourteenth century and represent the most valuable segment of cultural heritage in the National Park and Montenegro in general. They are open to visitors and monks and nuns will be happy to tell the history of monasteries and churches and treat you juice and homemade products, which are made by them.

In the hinterland of Lake Skadar grapes are grown,and wine is produced in the traditional way. There are numerous wine cellars. Almost every house in Crmnica has its own wine cellar. Individuals who have a slightly larger vineyards opt to share their products with tourists. In this way, they enrich the tourist offer in this regard. Tourists gladly choose to visit the wine cellars, wine tasting, buying and taking them, as a special souvenir, to their homes.