It is located on the border between Montenegro and Albania. It is the largest lake in the Balkans with an area of 370 square kilometres, of which 222 belong to Montenegro and to Albania 148 square km.
It was proclaimed the National Park in 1983. IBA status i.e. the area of international importance for birds’ habitat it received from 1989. From 1995 it is inscribed on the Ramsar list – World’s List of Wetlands of International Importance. In the Park there are special nature reserves: the Monastery deed, Pancevo eye and Black grill.
Lake Skadar is a National Park dominated by aquatic and wetland ecosystems. Geological created by tectonic phenomena, where the water masses created the area as equally miraculous for both plant and animal lives. The plant life is diverse in the Lake as well as in its surrounding, and during summer months meadows of water lilies and water caltrops can be spread on for miles. North marshy coastline of about 20,000 hectares provides ideal conditions for the development of wildlife, especially bird life. Thanks to an intact ecosystem Skadar Lake is a “bird paradise” for 280 species of birds. Symbol of Skadar Lake, Dalmatian pelican, which locals call “panac”, is a phenomenon in this part of Europe. In Lake live 48 fish species of which are the most numerous and most important: common bleak, carp, crucian carp, European chub, eels, Twait shad, mullet, grasshoppers. Lake with a wide zone of aquatic vegetation and floodplain meadows, then the area along the streams and humid forest areas, represents an ideal habitat for a large number of amphibians and reptiles, and mammals as well. Typical water representative is otter.
The diverse and rich cultural – historical heritage: archaeological sites, forts, medieval monasteries, churches, traditional rural architecture, indicate that the region of Lake Skadar over time was an important historical, economic and cultural center. Of many archaeological sites in coastal area of the lake, the current excavations are reduced to a few sites from Illyrian-Hellenistic and Roman periods, and several partial researches on medieval sacred architecture. The most important and the most representative cultural and historical value of the National Park is characterized by the monasteries from 14th and 15th century, from the time of the rule of dynasties Balšić and Crnojević and fortification complexes from the period of Ottoman domination. Specific folk architecture – old rural units, individual examples of fishermen and residential buildings, stone bridges and mills on streams of rivers, confirm the cultural landscape of special architectural value.
Skadar Lake with its coastline offers 9 walking and two educational paths. Also, 5 bike trails and 2 mountain biking trails are arranged. The trails are marked and have signs, so the visitors can use them by themselves. A unique experience is a cruise on Skadar Lake. Hidden beaches and swimming in the lake are an integral part of this adventure in the summer months. The tourist offer is also ride by traditional wooden boats – rowboats. Sport fishing is a real attraction at the largest lake of the Balkans. And for those who love bird watching, lake offers bird watching from the canoe or the platform. The best time for bird watching is winter or fall, because then above Skadar Lake fly large flocks of migratory birds.
Lake is reached by highway or rail. Both traffic arteries run across Lake, through the former lake port Virpazar, which is located on the half of the highway and railway road from the capital Podgorica (28 km) and (30 km) from the Port of Bar.