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The area’s peacefulness, breathtaking views of the marshes and wild, unpeopled sea have put this place on the map by those wishing to become one with nature.
A particularly attractive area of Albania in terms of natural beauty as well as gastronomy, the region of Lezha has much to offer. Kune-Vain Lagoon is one among its many offerings, with an untouched landscape and a wild, outdoorsy feel. Situated near the coastal town of Lezha, nestled between Shëngjin and several villages of the island of Lezha, Kune-Vain Lagoon is surrounded by beauty on all sides. Mediterranean forests as well as a rich flora and fauna make this lagoon an explorer’s dream.
Though it stretches along a fairly small territory, the area has no shortage of appeal. With the Adriatic coast within meters of the lagoon, and the latter’s history, culture, and gastronomic tradition, Kune-Vain has become one of the most visited lagoons in the country. Wonderful birdwatching opportunities and delicious riverside restaurants make it ideal for nature and food enthusiasts.
The Lezha wetlands, covering more than 30 square kilometers, constitute an important area for migratory birds, especially, in recent years, for the yellow osprey colony and the small white one (Ardeidae). The region’s rich biodiversity and natural assets have resulted in it becoming a protected zone, categorized as a natural reserve. Indeed, Kune-Vain is the first protected area in the history of nature conservation in Albania since it was declared a hunting reserve as early as the 1960s.
A visit to this area will make you marvel at the great variety of habitats and the diversity of fauna. According to the Center for the Protection and Preservation of the Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), more than 360 species of animals have crossed the Kune-Vain region. Furthermore, 190 species that inhabit the region are included in Albania’s Red List of Threatened Species.
Toward the end of the 1930s, this area was a favorite among the Italian occupiers, who actually erected the very first hotel here. With the feel of a contemporary resort but retaining the old world spirit, the hotel continues to welcomes countless loyal guests to its premises. Still referred to as the Hotel of Hunting (Hoteli i Gjuetisë), though hunting is prohibited in the area, the complex exhibits exquisite architecture.
Otherwise known as the Villa of Count Ciano, the villa was the favorite spot of the Minister of External Affairs at the time, Galeazzo Ciano. Today, the hotel is managed by locals and is undoubtedly one of the great draws to the lagoon.