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Recreation and tourism

Tourism (Albania)

In Shkodra area there exist a whole range of natural attractions, from the mountains of highlands to the Mediterranean coastline of the Adriatic, from the shores of the largest lake in the Balkans to the rocky outcrop of Rozafa Castle, which stands majestically above a city that one hundred years ago had a navigable river bringing merchant and passenger vessels into its heart. The city of Shkodra with 2400 years of history was claimed the cultural capital of Albania still keeping some relics from the long turbulent history such as the castle, churches and mosques, archaeological museum, traditional old houses and streets, a rich and rare photo archive and organizes different cultural event. 12 hotels and 350 beds is the accommodation capacity in Shkodra town. With 3 border points with Montenegro (Muriqan 13 km from Shkodra, Hani-Hotit 30 km from Shkodra and a ferry link to Virpazar through the lake, recently open), Shkodra is included in different tourist packages mainly covering day –trip itinerary for tourists, which are visiting Montenegro and Croatia. The Albanian Alps with cultural tradition and natural beauty, always considered as a target for discovery are revealing increasingly the interest of local and international visitors which are stopping overnight in Shkodra and organising 1-3 days tours to Vermosh, Thethi or Razma, hosted by locals in private accommodation. The lake shore is used traditionally from local residents for daily summer holidays, especially over weekends for bathing. Also, bars and restaurants (around 22 in the western shore) along the lakeshore in Shiroka-Zogaj and Sterbeq are another leisure attractions for locals, considered by them as a tourist offer to guests. Zogaj and Shiroka are used by Shkodra locals as health and family tourism destination, using private houses for some days as accommodation and are considered relevant for cultural tourism with handicrafts and fishing tradition. Still water sports, nature tourism, farm tourism and camping, as potentials for the lake watershed are not yet offered as a tourist product. Solid waste and wastewater management are considered as factors hindering the growth of tourism figures along the lakeshore. Regarding the villages and the territory along the eastern lakeshore there are very few accommodation offers and there is no organized information on the tourist offer. Koplik, as the main urban centre with many good quality new houses, might be a centre offering private and farmhouse accommodation for visitors, wishing to enjoy farm and nature tourism near the lake.



Tourism (Montenegro)

In respect to complementary of Skadar lake zone and Montenegro coastline offer, and additionally with Cetinje as a royal capital offer, Podgorica as a capital and Bar as a main port in Adriatic region, one can tell with certitude about great potential of the region. Natural values, cultural heritage, gastronomy, old fishermen settlements, closeness of the seaside, are advantages of the Lake, which are still not even nearly utilized, rather packed in sharp recognizable tourist product. Moreover, possibility of opening the Lake with navigable system of Bojana, opening boat line Virpazar- Skadar, as well as Sozina tunnel, generate conditions for major changing of Lake offer. Excursive tourism – boat trips – In NP Skadar lake currently the most utilized is excursive form of tourism, which mostly has visitors from Montenegro coastline for clients. Excursive tours are done trough local stakeholders, and according to NPSL record, in the season of 2006, 7000 tourists visited Lake in this way. Accommodation capacity – Accommodation capacities are very modest. Besides three hotels, there are private accommodations as well, which are, the most common, not registered. Other tourist contents – Beside something around ten tourist objects, in offer exists also bird watching, wind surfing, walking. All these contents are still in the beginning and do not generate significant income.

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