Entering the beautiful Viroi Lake feels like stepping in to a Monet painting. With its dense and lush vegetation, calm lake surface, and scenic landscape shimmering under the southern Albanian sun, it’s a place that can seem almost unreal.
The Magic of the Viroi Lake
The 60-foot-deep Mother’s Spring, which sources Viroi Lake, has inspired many legends. They tell of the spring’s mysterious underwater connections to more caves, canals, and other springs. The funnel-shaped water source supplies the lake all year round with a substantial amount of water, that has enabled the creation of the vibrant flora and fauna that lays beneath the surface.
Albanian and foreign divers regularly explore the Viroi waters, eager to experience their underwater magic first hand. For a detailed and spectacular dive into the cave of Viroi, you can follow the link here. However, the lake’s beauty is not confined to deep-diving enthusiasts – the water’s crystal-like clarity allows visitors to enjoy the scenery without submerging beneath the waters. It is also worth noting however, that during excessively hot summers, the lake water level lowers and, in some cases, has been known to dry up completely – worth checking before you hire your diving equipment!
This hidden paradise is located only 3km from Gjirokastra. Furthermore, it is conveniently connected to the city via a long promenade. Many locals bike or walk over this promenade, on their way to an idyllic picnic amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. Cafes and restaurants also line the shore of the lake, where you can enjoy a nice lunch or refreshment while admiring the stunning placid waters and picturesque landscape.
The journey to Viroi Park is also great experience in itself! If you’re driving through the Tepelena-Gjirokastra motorway, you’ll enjoy beautiful panoramas of Viroi Lake, surrounded by lush green forests on one side, and of the Vjosa River on the other. It is the perfect place for travellers to stop their car, inhale the fresh air, and feast their eyes on the spectacular landscape that awaits them ahead!