With the looks and climate of Scandinavian fjords, Lake Koman is a nearly otherworldly retreat, nestled among green-covered hills in the northern part of the country.
The north of Albania has been enjoying well-deserved accolades from international and local tourists in the last few years. It is slowly but surely claiming its rightful place at the top of travel lists worldwide. No wonder, with fairytale places like Theth, Valbona and Shala River! Go ahead and add the nearby Koman Lake to the list, as well.
Koman Lake, source: Pinterest
The spectacular lake, a reservoir in the Drin River, is actually also fed by both the Shala and Valbona rivers. Stretching for an area of 34 square kilometers, from Koman Village all the way to Fierzë Village, the lake is home to 13 different species of fish, crustaceans and amphibians. The mostly narrow lake is nestled among the mountains of the Shkodra and Kukës regions. It is incredible that such a beautiful place is the result of a reservoir constructed in 1978 near the village of Koman.
A bit of history: Where Illyrians became Albanians
Koman Village is thought to have been the place where the transition between the Illyrian tribe to the Albanians took place. The transition is otherwise referred to as Koman Culture, which existed between the 6th and 8th century A.D. in this village. The details of the tombs in the area, including objects decorating the tombs like earrings and rings, point to a uniform culture and to the continuation of the Illyrians on to the 9th century.
The Koman Ferry
The cross-lake trip from Koman to Fierza lasts for less than three hours and is hailed as one of the top travel experiences in Albania! The ferry ride offers the most wonderful moving panorama of the untouched landscape surrounding the lake. At times narrow and surrounded by canyons and at others wide and expansive, the view on the ferry is full of gorgeous twists.
With the exception of the winter months, the Koman ferry runs for the majority of the year, as locals also use it for regular transportation needs. However, the best time to visit this area and experience the magical “fairy” ride across the lake is in the summer. Sunbathing, camping, fishing are all activities you can enjoy in the lake. Please note diving into the lake while on the ferry is strictly forbidden.
Koman Lake, source: magazine.wideoyster.com
Koman Lake, photo by IntoAlbania
An obligatory stop: Vau i Dejës Lake
Fortunately, Vau i Dejës Lake is a usual stop on the ferry tours of Lake Koman, for its beautiful views and wonderful lakeside restaurants. Located 23 km from Shkodra, the lake’s area is 25 square meters and, in it, there is the amazing Sarda (Shurdhah) Island, once a medieval city. Nowadays, you can visit its fortification ruins and the gorgeous cathedral, among other historical beauties.
Sarda ruins, photo by IntoAlbania.