Montenegro has surprisingly wonderful nature! For such a small country there are a lot of attractions to see, starting from the cities on the south coast to the national parks. Lake Skadar National Park was our first stop and it didn't disappoint us!
Breathtaking views, untouched nature, turquoise colour lake, driving in narrow roads in canyons: that’s how we could describe our experience in the Lake Skadar National Park.
After we arrived to Podgorica airport, we picked up our rental car, and we headed directly to this national park on our first day in Montenegro. The Skadar Lake is about 30 km south of Podgorica, the capital.
On this map you can watch the route we took:
A - Virpazar
B - Rijeka Crnojevica viewpoint
C - Rijeka Crnojevica town
D - Pavlova Strana viewpoint
Why is this national park unique?
The national park is named after the Lake Skadar. It’s famous for its diverse flora and fauna. It’s home to almost 300 bird species, so it’s also perfect for bird watchers.
The lake is the largest lake of the Balkan peninsula, and also one of the largest national parks in Montenegro. Two thirds of the lake is in Montenegro, the rest is in Albania. The lake is located in Zeta-Skadar valley and is surrounded by mountains.
The national park is perfect for taking boat tours, cruising, taking a hiking excursion and of course for bird watching. If you just want to watch the lake from above, here we will show you the perfect viewpoints.
Where to start exploring the national park?
The answer is easy: Virpazar. There are a lot of tourist information offices and locals waiting for visitors to arrive, to give them informations. Virpazar is a small town with a church and a port for the tour boats. The locals will offer you different kind of boat tours, so if you want to take one, here is the perfect opportunity! We didn’t take a boat tour because we didn’t have so much time and we preferred to just watch the view, but it’s for sure recommended to watch the lake on a boat.
Virpazar should be the first stop when you visit Lake Skadar
The most beautiful viewpoints
When you drive from Virpazar to Rijeka Crnojevica, you will find the most spectacular views of the lake. The road is a bit tricky, full of curves and it’s just one way road, so you really have to take care. We felt a little bit uncomfortable driving on the road, because sometimes there are not protecting guard rails between the road and the canyon. Anyway, just keep the eye on the road and drive slowly to be able to pull over your car when another car is coming from the other direction.
Rijeka Crnojevića viewpoint
Coordinates: 42.345695, 19.047074
Approximately 10 minutes before you arrive to Rijeka Crnojevića town, you will find this viewpoint next to the highway. You have to go very slow to be able to park your car, because there are no signs that there will be a viewpoint, and there is no parking lot neither. So you just park your car and enjoy the views.
After enjoying the view here, we continued our journey to Rijeka Crnojevića town. It’s a great place to take a break from driving, drink a coffee or eat lunch. We drunk a coffee and watched the famous bridges of this town.
The town is named after the river Crnojević, a river that is the continuation of the lake Skadar on the northwest part of the lake. If you want to read more about this town, read our article about the Top 4 Things To Do in Rijeka Crnojevića.
The view of the Crnojevic river at the Rijeka Crnojevica viewpoint
Pavlova Strana viewpoint - Side of Paul
Coordinates: 42.363018, 19.058315
It takes 5-10 minutes to get to this viewpoint from Rijeka Crnojevića, driving on the only road that leads you next to the lake.
You can also get to this viewpoint from Cetinje city. From the highway you have to turn to a narrow road that leads to the Pavlova Strana viewpoint.
Unlike the first viewpoint, this one is visible because there are some places to park as well. There is actually nothing else on this road than an old hotel and the viewpoint is in front of this hotel. When we stopped there, we were the only ones. You can have a breathtaking view to the Crnojević river surrounded mountains and green forests.
From Pavlova Strana you can head to Cetinje city to watch the attractions there as well. That city has beautiful architecture and buildings as well. We drove back on the same road because we headed to the south coast of Montenegro.
We hope we could help you with informations! If you have questions, let us know in the comment section!
Where to stay near to the Lake Skadar?
Check out all the available accomodations near to Lake Skadar on this map: