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Albania is mostly known for its terrific coastline and its vibrant capital city, Tirana. However, the country has plenty of other gorgeous places that deserve to be visited, like its stunning lakes. From north to south, Albania offers travelers enchanting lakes to include in their travel itineraries. Read our list to discover which are the best.
In the north of Albania, nestled against Montenegro, Lake Shkodër is an ancient lake named after the city of Shkodër. It offers many outdoor activities, such as kayaking, swimming and birdwatching, perfect for spring and summer days. To admire breathtaking views over the lake, there is nothing better than heading to the wonderful ancient Rozafa Fortress of Shkodër.
Divided between Albania and Macedonia, Lake Ohrid is one of the deepest and oldest lakes of Europe and one of the most beautiful, too. A tour of Lake Ohrid is a must-do for every traveler who wants to discover unspoiled but wonderful places without the crowds. The three main towns located on the lake’s shores, Ohrid and Struga on the Macedonian side, and Pogradec on the Albanian side, are worth a look as well. Other not-to-miss places in this area of the Balkans are the small Albanian hamlets, such as Lin, Drilon and Tushemisth, which offer breathtaking views over the lake. Also, Lake Ohrid features unique biodiversity, hosting more than 200 endemic species of fauna and flora.
Located in the southwest of Albania and divided between three countries (Albania, Macedonia and Greece), Lake Prespa is one of the most enchanting areas of the Balkan Peninsula. It’s never crowded, not even in the peak of the season. The Albanian government declared Prespa a national park thanks to its varied biodiversity and types of vegetation. Did you know that in the area around the lake there are over 1,100 species of vascular plants and more than 170 kinds of fungus?
Not far from Lake Prespa, is hidden a true gem of Albania and the Balkans: Small Prespa Lake. This ancient lake is divided between Albania and Greece, and is one of the most relaxing and quiet places to visit in the Balkan region. You will not find tourists or crowds here, so it is the perfect place to relax. Small Prespa is mostly known for hosting the largest colony of Dalmatian pelicans in Europe.
Lake Butrint is located near the archaeological park of Butrint, one of the most spectacular places to visit in the land of the eagles. Butrint is not far from Saranda, so it can be easily considered as a day trip from the coastal town. The most enchanting thing about Lake Butrint and the nearby Vivari Channel, which connects the lake to the sea, besides being close to the terrific archaeological park, is that it overlooks the Ionian Sea and offers gorgeous views over it.
Not far from the cultural town of Shkodër, in the north of the country, lies Lake Koman. It is not a natural lake, but an artificial reservoir built during the Communist era. Nonetheless, Koman offers visitors some of the most beautiful panoramas and views of Albania. The best thing to do here is to take a boat ride across the reservoir with the help of Ferry Berisha, a company that leads visitors and locals from Koman to Fierze, the starting point for visiting Valbona Park.
Another artificial lake, Lake Bovilla is a reservoir located near Tirana, used by locals as a place to escape from the warm summer days of the capital. Bovilla looks like a Norwegian fjord but hosts typical Mediterranean flora. It is the perfect place to escape the crowds of Tirana and spend a day surrounded by nature admiring stunning panoramas.