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In terms of natural beauty, Shkodra and its surrounding landscape is truly blessed. Here is where three beautiful rivers intertwine with one another. Here is also where you will find the largest lake in the Balkans. Adding some of the country’s most popular mountainous areas makes exploring the outdoors around Shkodra a must!
The meeting place of the Buna, Kir and Drin rivers at the foot of Shkodra’s famous castle can serve as the starting point for your trip. Each of these rivers is surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes. Taking a simple hike by following Buna’s flow, you will soon find yourself in front of the Lake of Shkodra, which is at once magnificent and intimate as well as populated by diverse species of birds. A walk along Shiroka and Zogaj regenerates both mind and spirit.
If you choose to follow the Drin or Kir rivers, you will have the chance to visit some of the most famous historical and cultural monuments, including the Lead Mosque (Xhamia e Plumbit), located near the two rivers at the foot of the castle) or the Mesi Bridge (following the Kir river). The walk alongside the rivers is accompanied by absolute tranquility, so allow yourself to be quiet and discover all the beautiful sensations and sights that are offered you along the way.
The highest point of the castle is where you can enjoy the best panoramas of the rivers, lakes, and mountains of the area. A climb to the castle is the optimal option for keeping your body in shape while experiencing the city’s natural beauty and learning the Shkodër’s rich history. The climb to the castle will also reveal more wonderful sights which you may choose to explore more intimately below. (Read our extended article here)
The ruins of the fort, built during the Roman period and reconstructed throughout the centuries, are located 12 km from the city. Along the way, you can make a few stops to see several of the abovementioned monuments, such as the Mesi Bridge. The castle holds a strategic position from where you can see the wonderful valley of Kir, the Shpal Mountains, Tarabosh, the Lake of Shkodër and the Rozafa Castle. We highly recommend using a bicycle to get there. (For an organized tour at the Castle of Drisht click kiriadventures.al)
Of all Albanian cities, Shkodër is the one most associated with bicycles. Thus, do not hesitate to rent one and visit some of the aforementioned attractions or even explore other trails. To see some possible bicycle routes, click here. Do not forget to visit EKOMendje’s Facebook page and become part of their wonderfully social, creative, and entertaining bicycle-tours.
The Velipojë coast does not need much publicity! Known for its clean, curative sand and a string of warm days which lasts for months, Velipojë beach is the ideal resort for those who want to enjoy the sun and sea. In addition, only two miles to the east is the Vilun Lagoon, which has over 200 species of birds and offers breathtaking natural images.
Less than two hours away from Shkodër lies Koman Lake, where you can take a spectacular ferry ride of about 35 kilometers through majestic mountains and valleys. The thoroughly modern ferries offer optimal conditions and, during the warmer months, the boats host festivals where beats of electronic, techno or house music intensify the experience of this enchanting place. For further details regarding the numerous walking and hiking opportunities, click on the official website: KomaniLakeFerry.
For the most physically fit, professional hikers, the long hike from Shkodër to Theth is perhaps one of the most fantastic experiences you may ever have! Not only do you get acquainted with the wild, virgin nature and landscapes of northern Albania, but with the welcoming local hosts of the area, as well, who eagerly open the doors of their warm and traditional guesthouses. If you would like to know more about the customized hiking or trekking trails in Theth and Shkodër, click the link: OutdoorsAlbania, kiriadventures.al.
Narrow mountainous ravines where the lake flows and dense forests that accompany the ferry ride to the lake are the unforgettable images that make this a truly unique experience. Sarda Island in the icing on the cake! Located in the center of the lake, here you will find some beautiful medieval ruins worth exploring. Distance from Shkodër: 23 km.
If you follow the Shkodër-Prekal road, you will soon reach the village of the same name, whose spectacular nature invites you to stop and stare. The beautiful sights include the blue waters of the nearby Kir River and the 104-meter-long Zila Cave. The latter is made up of several galleries linked to each other which can be visited by tourists.
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