Boat Ride on Skadar Lake, Montenegro
The other day myself and some friends made the the trek to Skadar Lake which isn’t that far from the Budva Riviera, maybe an hour or so. The lake is called named after Shkodër which is an Albanian city near its shores and it acts as a border between Montenegro and Albania. While we’re talking stats here, it also just happens to be the largest lake in the Balkans and a hot spot among the whole birding crowd. For more, be sure to watch my video at the bottom.
The ride from Budva is beyond scenic as you zig and zag your way from the coast and up to the tops of the mountains before going back down again to where the lake is. There is a more direct way where you pay a toll but I recommend you take the long way about getting there and the choice is yours on the way back. We drove to a town called Virpazar which is in the municipality of Bar. There isn’t much going on as it has a population of ~337 last consensus and mainly acts as the gateway to Skadar.
You’ll cut through some swampy reeds before you start to access the core of the lake and it’s quite a sight. The day we went the weather was acting really dramatic which didn’t make for taking photos of the lake at her best but it did make for some cool sights. Also, if you’re going to spend a day out on the water a bit of shade never hurts as you can really cook out there; that said all the water taxis I saw were covered, thankfully.
Now, you can take different length boat rides. I know there is an hour, two hours and most likely much more. Oh, you can also go fishing which is sweet, we didn’t have the time but should I ever return there it’s what I would do. If you’re just going to take a tour, I’d say the one hour is plenty. That said, if you really want to see the lake you may have to take several hours; the two hour ride isn’t much different than the one hour one in my opinion. That said, if you’re making the effort to go see the lake, it’s a nice day and you’re not short for time, take the two and relax.
Once back on the Budva Riviera, we rolled into Petrovac and stopped at Katic for lunch. I really loved that restaurant and tried the squid ink risotto as well as this massive grilled fillet which was split between myself and two friends. Petrovac is a cool coastal town which is more family oriented so if you went to Skadar with the family in the morning, stop in Petrovac on the way back for lunch and an afternoon by the sea.
Is it worth visiting? I’d say that if you’re coming to the Budva Riviera as a family it would be worthwhile, especially if you stop in at Petrovac on the way back to Budva. If you’re coming as a couple who loves nature, it would also be a memorable and could even be romantic with the right weather and company. If you’re coming here with a group that is more into beaches and nightlife, best bet is just soaking up the scene along the coast.
That said, really glad I went as it was a cool experience. End of the day, it’s a way to connect with some really unspoiled and pristine nature, something most of us don’t get to do everyday anymore. I also want to remind you that if you do go, don’t bypass the mountain route; lots of cool stops along the way with sweet views for taking photos which will give you a different perspective. Hvala again to my friends at Budva Travel for their hospitality; good times.
Below is a video I made to give you a better idea of what it’s like.