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Nothing can quite compare to the image of a landscape where the coast, lagoon, river and the swamps meet! Such is the case of the natural park Patok-Fushë Kuqe-Ishëm, where the union of these habitats creates spectacular views and experiences. Here is where you will also find the freshest and most delicious seafood in the vicinity of the capital!
Situated only 50 km from Tirana, the Patoku Lagoon is easily accessible by car, allowing the visitor to enjoy an ideal weekend in a beautifully calming setting. The already spectacular scenery is further accentuated by small wooden huts built over the lagoon, creating an image that recalls the famous Pacific islands full of bungalows. However, these huts are there not only to embellish the panorama but to satisfy your taste buds, as well. Inside these quaint wooden constructions, you can sample the delicious traditional food of Patok, which deserves an extraordinary setting!
Approximately 360 different plant species and 180 bird ones populate the entire area, making it a veritable paradise for biodiversity lovers, thousands of which visit this lagoon’s flora and fauna throughout the year. The name of the lagoon derives from the Albanian word patë, meaning “duck,” referring to the historically dense and diverse duck population of the area. A boat ride around the area gives the visitors the chance to come into intimate contact with these wonderful natural resources of Patok.
While on the boat ride, you will see plenty of fishermen’s nets spread across the waters. Fresh catches of the area include seaweed, codfish, and lynx, among others that populate the lagoon thanks to the Adriatic and Ishëm streams. These wonderful fish are served fried, grilled or oven-baked and always accompanied by the especially scrumptious locally made cornbread, served bruschetta-style. We promise these simple dishes will make you lick your fingers in utter delight! Not to mention the view of the mirror-like lagoon surface reflecting the colorful skies, a beautiful complement to the singular gastronomical experience to be had here.
For those who wish to stay longer than a day, there are a couple of hotels along the lagoon where the friendly locals are happy to accommodate you. With more time added to the trip, it may be worthwhile to visit some other impressive natural monuments of the area, located west of the lagoon, namely Cabok Island and the Sandbar (Kordon Litoral) which, through its creation over time, has created an entire new lagoon with its own biodiversity.
From Tiranë, take the Patok–Fushë Kuqe overpass, until you reach the former beach cabins of Patok. (If you need t as you approach Patok, you can ask directions about “ish-kabinat e plazhit të Patokut”).
From Lezhë, take the Patok–Fushë Kuqe overpass, until you reach the former beach cabins of Patok.
Adriatic Sea – The delta of the Ishëm River, in Godull.