For a place that many people have barely heard of, this beautiful body of water has enough names. Depending where you come from, it could be Shkodra, Shkodër or Scutari, but to most visitors it’s known as Lake Skadar.
The destination straddles the border of Montenegro and Albania and is the largest lake in Southern Europe, a pristine wilderness and national park. It’s not exactly top of must-visit lists for global travellers, but those that do make the effort are rewarded with a unique environment and a very special travel experience.
The lake is untouched by development or commercialisation — at least for now. Although there are concerns that Porto Skadar Lake Project, a new “eco-resort” on the lake, could threaten the ecosystem and rare species, including many that are endemic.
Others respond that the project will be environmentally sensitive and contribute much-needed jobs, infrastructure and economic growth.
While that debate continues, here are some of the reasons why the 200 square-mile haven and wetland of international importance makes for such a compelling destination.