Lake Skadar National Park, Montenegro
26.2 km, loop
Why you should do this route
There’s nothing like gliding across the calm waters of Lake Skadar National Park, bird spotting and soaking in the sun. Kayak the calm Rijeka Crnojevica river into Lake Skadar, one of Europe’s most important sanctuaries for birds. You will pass around the famous horseshoe bend before entering the big lake after 13 kilometers. Circle back around the island between the two river mouths and paddle the same way back.
Along the way you’ll be able to jump out and swim, explore tiny lilypad lined shores and watch the native wildlife, including the endangered Pelican, without scaring it away.
This route is so straightforward, you don’t need to book a tour to do it. If you don’t bring your own kayak or packraft, you can hire one in the town of Rijeka Crnojevica. You could also do this route on a boat trip offered in the town.
Make sure to conserve enough energy and to bring enough water and food for this fairly long route. The lake and river might be void of waves, but the light current makes your paddle back heavier than expected.
As with all longer kayak trips, be safe and check local warnings before entering the water. Get advice on the weather and water current from one of the many local boat owners on the shore. Let someone know where you’re going and when you’d plan on getting back.
The best time for kayaking here is between April and November, when the weather will be warmest – but dress accordingly, wear a hat and don’t forget your sunscreen. The water temperature gets very warm during the summer months and hovers around 26° C.
Boats with tourists will cruise past and generate some waves. Wave to make sure they see you in case you feel threatened. The captains are used to seeing canoes and kayaks along these shores and slow down their speed immediately. If you get into trouble, feel sick or depleted of energy, flag down any of these boats for a ride back to the town of Rijeka Crnojevica.
Breeding season takes place during spring, when you’ll witness lots of activity and mating rituals out on the lake.
Navigate with Outdoor Active
Do it yourself
Get in the water
Pay for entrance to the park
Kayak around the horseshoe bend
River mouth into the lake
You did it!