The SpaceThe story of 'Explore Skadar lake' begins at the estate Zabes. It is the estate of family Đurišić, which has been here in Skadar Lake region for more than 500 years. For centuries taking care of estate has been passed from generation to generation. The estate extends to 8000 m2 and there is abundance of various plant species and most of all vines, out of which family produces vine for 5 centuries. The spring with clean and fresh water is also a part of this estate. There are also family wineries, which are one of the most beautiful in the region. One at the top of the estate and the other in the house, which is envisaged to accommodate guests. The family is also engaged in hunting and fish processing, which is distributed in the largest markets throughout the country.
What you can expect is that the family Đurišić will do everything to make your holiday be the one to remember, one of the best in your life. We will help you get to know our culture, history, traditions through our eyes, the eyes of the local people. Through various activities: kayaking, hiking, bird watching, boat trips, bicycling, cultural activities you will see our villages, our beautiful landscapes and to taste all this through our local food and wine. In case you wish to have a various vegetables of fruit, it will be enough to just step into the garden and pick for yourself, right from the branches. Our visitors will not be accepted as ordinary travel arrangements visitors, they will be our guests, will feel the traditional hospitality of our people.
History of our family is the history of the lake. One of the greatest figures in the history of Montenegro, Petar II Petorvić Njegoš confirms it in his poem "Kula Đurišića", where he glorifies the accomplishments of our ancestors. We invite you to come and Explore wild beauty of Skadar Lake and Montenegro. Guest AccessExplore Skadar Lake is a seven day programme of multi-active holiday, but we also make shorter arrangements (from one day onwards), depending on the guests’ wishes. Activities are arranged by days of the week so that you can know in advance schedule by days. Guide on these tours is an English speaking person, who grew up in the region near Virpazar, and who will give his best to make this part of Montenegro as closer to you as possible, in a friendly and hospitable way. You will learn about history of this area, about cultures and civilization, experience this area through the eyes of locals.
Tour 1 Monday: Walking tour Zabes Godinje
. The attractiveness of this route lies in the variety of content: interesting facts about the construction of zabes village, viewpoint Brčelice with view of Crmnica and most of the Skadar Lake and its hinterland. Particularly interesting is the old village Godinje which, according to tradition, got this name a thousand years ago by Duklja's Prince Vladimir. It is situated in the hill, where almost all houses are connected between each other for better defence during the war with the Ottoman Empire. The village is famous for its excellent wine, the former tunnels for escapage and hiding, some of which are transformed into wineries. In this beautiful village there is a church from 13th century and visible remains of the church St. John the Theologian from 7th century, nine mills, dinasty Balšića summer house from the Middle Ages ... It is also famous for 10 springs of drinking water.
After the visit to village Godinje, we depart to a small beautiful beach next to some stone buildings and return to Virpazar with kayak or boat, according to the guest's wishes.
Tour 2 Tuesday: Visiting the village Poseljani and Rijeka Crnojevića
We depart from Virpazar by car, via Rijeka Crnojevića using the old road that was once the only connection with this part of the country. Village Poseljani is approximately 15km away from Virpazar. Due to its authentic architecture of stone houses, mills and arched small bridges, but also to its natural beauty, this is one of the most beautiful resorts in this part of Montenegro. This place used to be very important in old Montenegro and there were 14 active mills which worked almost day and night. According to some sources, the oldest mill in the village is about 300 years old. Today, the water stream still flows through the village, through small natural pools, making the village unforgettable. Only one household lives there, and mills are no longer active, but you can experience the village, which can be approached only through lake or forest road, as it used to be - in a unique way and in peace.
One of the most famous historical areas in Montenegro. It lies on the river with the same name, and along with Karuč and Dodoška river makes the delta in Lake Skadar. This picturesque place will attract you with its uniqueness and peaceful surroundings. During the 19th and early 20th century Rijeka Crnojevića was the largest Montenegrin port, and leading trading center. At Rijeka’s market many people of different religions and nations used to sell goods from all over Montenegro. Especially appreciated product of this area was dried bleak because of its uniqueness and exquisite taste, highly demanded at Italian tables and paid in gold by the Italian merchants. Due to its picturesque setting and relaxing atmosphere, Rijeka Crnojevića served as a refuge and inspiration to many artists. We will visit the winter home of King Nikola Petrović, called Ljeskovac, built in 1886; the remains of some old mills, which are still hiding grindstone that made quality flour in its stone walls; Obodska cave, where we pass by a silent river, almost motionless, and we get the impression that we are in Amazonian forest decorated with lianas, Pavlova Strana – one of the most beautiful viewpoints in this part of Europe and certainly the most photographed part of Montenegro. Upon the return, we come to the viewpoint above Virpazar where every traveller will fall in love with the lake and this place, forever.
Tour 3 Wednesday The boat trip
The tour is different from the previous two, you will enjoy sightseeing of the lake from the boat, a breathtaking experience where you will cruise through the water lilies, watch the birds (280 species on Skadar Lake), stone fishing villages along the coast, islands, monasteries on the lake, fortifications. Some of the places that we will visit: Lesendro, an imposing fortress built on the bare rock that rises from the lake; fortress prison Grmozur built by the Turks after 1843, the rock islet. Nowadays, the walls of the prison are adorn by pelicans, herons, cormorants, gulls…
Tour 4 Thursday free day or excursions in Kotor bay, Old town Bar or Ulcinj and Ada Bojana
Thursday is designated as a free day, but as we try to create the perfect holiday for our guests, in case you want another type of activities or adventures, there is a possibility to choose between several destinations in Montenegro and some of them are:
Ulcinj – a tour through the old city and later going to Velika Plaža (12km long sandy beach) and AdaBojana – a river island. This river island is situated at the very end of Velika Plaža, from which it is separated by river Bojana. Ada is beautiful at dusk - an amazing game of colors takes place at sunset, and sea, sand and sky blend into a single image. It is a true paradise for windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, horseback riding on the beach ...
Kotor Bay – Boka will fascinate you completely, whether you approach it from the sea or from the mainland. It looks as if the mountains have cracked and let the sea in their curd. It is the southernmost fjord in Europe. Over the thin coastline are high mountains, protecting it from the severe climate from the north. That’s why Boka is an oasis of Mediterranean vegetation: agave, palm, mimosa, oleander, pomegranate, medicinal herbs ... You can see snow on the peaks and at the same tim roses in the foot, camellia and mimosa bloom. The bay is naturally divided into four smaller bays: Herceg Novi, Risan, Kotor and Tivat. As pearls, they are dotted along the coastline with towns of Kotor, Perast, Tivat, Herceg Novi, rich in history, art and beauty.
Old Bar – Old Bar is one of the oldest inhabited places in Montenegro and a city with a long and turbulent history, around which spears of many armies and invaders were broken. It is built in an unusual surrounding for coastal cities, a few kilometres from the coast, at the foot of the mountain Rumija. The city has constantly been constructed and reconstructed over the centuries of its existence and today the remains of the buildings of different architecture and influence can be seen. Two churches: St. Catherine from 14th century and Sv.Venerande from the 15th century, Turkish bath –a steam bath from the 17th century, remains of the church of St. Nicholas from 1288, an aqueduct from the 16th and 17th century, through which the water was brought to the city, and more.
Tour 5 Friday Kayaking to the medieval monastery-islands on the lake
This tour begins with wonderful car drive from Virpazara to village Murici (21km), a picturesque place, surrounded by nature. During this ride you will see a spectacular panorama of the lake and its islands. This place is different from the rest of Skadar Lake – ecosystem is special, and as you travel you perceive diversity of ecological and cultural richness, which is so specific in this place and the Skadar Lake in general. People of Islamic religion predominantly live in Murici and this introduces you to the other side of Skadar Lake’s face, the other side that represents beauty of this region. You will see the traditional building around the mosque and much more...
At the foot of Murici, i.e. from the largest beach on Lake Skadar we are starting the tour of the medieval monasteries. The beach is one of the most popular vacation area, 600m long, the largest on the Lake and there is a well with fresh cold water that is surrounded by dense oak forest.
Monasteries of the island
The special beauty of Skadar Lake lies in small islands, called goricas. On one of gorica named Moračnik there is an Orthodox monastery complex with the same name. Within the monastery there is the church of Sv. Virgin, monastic quarters and high tower. The monastery was first mentioned in 1417 in the Charter of Balša III Đurđević, who is believed to have been the founder of the monastery and continuer of the tradition of the dynasty Balšić, who raised Orthodox temples on these goricas of Skadar Lake.
In the vicinity of Moracnik, there is an island Beška, decorated with two extremely important churches from the Middle Ages. One is the endowment of Djuradj II Balšić and it’s dedicated to St. George, 14th century. The other is the endowment of Jelena Balšić, the Holy Mother Church, built in 1439. Jelena was the ruler of Zeta, after her husband passed away. Churches, each on its own way, are real pearls of the famous Zeta stonemason skills. They captivate its noble proportions and excellent compliance with the environment, otherwise known by its unusual beauty. This island is the home of nuns, who will be delighted to tell you about their lives and the history of this place and what it means to them. These islands are unique, special, something you certainly haven’t seen before.
Tour 6 Saturday Visiting the medival town Žabljak Crnojevića and fishing village Dodoši
One of the many fairytales you can experience while sailing on Lake Skadar region. You will be welcomed by the dome like, rocky hill, surrounded by streams of rivers Karatune, Moračić, Segrtnica and Sjerava. It's hard to find the first credible data on today's Zabljak Crnojevica. Its history starts probably in book "The file of the Nations", in which the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (913-959) describes the former state of Duklja. This fortification has been changing its masters and functions over time. Due to its location, for centuries Zabljak has been an eternal inspiration for conquerors. It was originally built by the Montenegrins, but later conquered by the Turks. There are the remains of the former mosque, which was originally a church of Sv. George. The settlement below the fortifications practiced mostly fishing which remained to present day, but to a much smaller extent. Here you will be intoxicated by the colors, scents and sounds of nature, feel balanced relationship of nature and architecture, be part of the former capital of Montenegro and travel through history in one of the most important monuments of Montenegro culture.
From Zabljak Crnijevića we take the boat and go to the village Dodoši, which was once a natural border between Montenegro and Turkey. Residents of this old village were originally engaged in agriculture until the Lake and its inexhaustible sources of nutrition made fishing become their main economic interest. Older residents remember the time when there were silkworms in Dodoši thanks to which fishing nets were made. We finish this day by taking a relaxing swim under a bridge in the village.
Tour 7 Sunday Walking tour through the valley of river Oraovštica
If you want a walking tour on an old caravan road through the forest area, rich flora and fauna, to see the remains of the Ottoman bridge, swim in incredibly beautiful places between waterfalls and natural springs surrounded by woods, have a memorable day out to visit the village on a hill Dupilo, we recommend you this tour as the final program, which will, no doubt, brighten up a part of your life.