Skadar Lake National Park - Largest Lake in The Balkans
Status: National Park since 1983. IBA status (area of international importance for birds) since 1989, and in 1995 enrolled in the List of Wetlands of International Importance - Ramsar list.
The territory of municipalities: Podgorica, Cetinje and Bar
The seat of administration: Vranjina
Area Lakes : Summer water level - 370 km 2 ; the level of water in the winter season - 540 km 2 ; surfaces at an average level of water - 475 km 2
Coastline: 168 km; 110.5 km in Montenegro and 57.5 km in Albania
Climate: sub-Mediterranean, with mild, rainy winters (the lowest monthly average water temperature in January is 7.3 ° C). The summers are dry and hot with maximum air temperature above 40 ° C and the water temperature above 27 ° C. The average temperature is 14.9 ° C.
With the area ranging from 370 to 530 square kilometers, depending on the water level, Skadar Lake is the biggest lake in the Balkans. Due to its geographic position and sub Mediterranean climate, it is one of the most important habitats of swamp birds in Europe. There are around 280 bird species on the lake, including the rare curly pelican, which became a trademark of the National Park. The largest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula - Skadar - located on the territory of two states, approximately 2/3 belongs to Montenegro, and the rest to Albania. Skadar Lake is located in the south-eastern part of Montenegro and belongs to the three municipalities: Podgorica, Cetinje and Bar.
Lake Skadar is supplied with water mainly from the rivers Moraca and Rijeka Crnojevica, while the Bojana river is its outflow. Living world here is very rich and heterogeneous, both in the water (around 40 species of fish) and above its surface (280 species of birds) as well as in human settlements along the coast. There are around 50 islands on the Skadar lake, some of them are well known for its old and important cultural monuments, ancient monasteries and fortifications, which makes the national park popular destination for lovers of cultural tourism. The largest island on the lake is Vranjina, not less important are island Lesendro, Grmozhur, Starcevo, Beska, Moracnik, Gorica and others.
Lake is home to over 280 species of birds, including some very rare like herons, pelicans and cormorants. Lake is an often stop of winter migratory birds from the northern regions. On the banks of the lake there are several ornithological stations equipped for bird watching. In the rich vegetation along the edges of the lake you can also find other animals, from the smallest plankton to large birds. Skadar lake is extremely rich in fish - is home to the bleak, carp, eel, salmon, roach and mullet, more than 40 species. Bleak is considered as important fish and smoked - is one of the national dishes in the Montenegrin cuisine.
Beside Skadar lake is considered as famous natural phenomenon, it is interesting from the historical and cultural side as well. Lake Skadar is a wild wonder waiting to be explored. A vast freshwater lake straddling the borders of Albania and Montenegro and surrounded by dramatic mountains, its mirrored waters, rocky shores and wetlands play host to a myriad of wildlife with many rare species of birds, traditional fishing villages, islet monasteries and pristine beaches.