Private tours

Take a private tour of Lake Skadar and experience the allure of this gorgeously vast lake. Enjoy the peacefulness of its wildlife tucked inside the traditional wooden boat - čun, and refresh yourself with a glass of local wine.

There are many advantages when choosing a private tour:

  • You can pick the destination of your journey. Although we have some listed below, contact us, and we will do our best to tailor the trip to your needs and preferences. 
  • Wish to taste local wine with a plate of cheese and olives prepared traditionally? Or a cake and some candles to surprise your loved one for his / her birthday? We are here to organize everything for you and make your trip cozy and delightful.
  • As we have six boats in our possession, we also allow you to choose among them.

We know you are eager to discover the tour that suits you the best, but before that – have a glimpse of the atmosphere that one of our lovely travellers has expressed through, well, fingers and a keyboard:

“I consider a cruise on Lake Skadar a must during a visit to Montenegro. Extremely relaxing type of rest, with beautiful views and contact with nature. A real wooden boat created an amazing atmosphere. Additional attractions were refreshments and wine, and the possibility of swimming in the lake.” – September 2022.

Lake Skadar is indeed a must, yours is only to choose wheter you prefer nature, monasteries, lovely fishing villages or you just want to take a proper swim. The adventure awaits!

Don’t hesitate to book one of the many tours we provide. We would be more than happy to have you onboard with us.

Kingfisher Virpazar - Logo
Tour 1

Rijeka Crnojevića - the Montenegrin Venice

Duration: 6 hours

Your journey begins in Virpazar, a townlet located on the shores of Lake Skadar. Leave its dock as you glide along a narrow river channel, fringed by rows of willow trees and reeds. As you exit the small river, discover the deep blue waters of Lake Skadar, the faded mountain range far away in Albania, and the defiant island of Vranjina – emerging from the largest lake in the Balkans.

Continue your tour to the left, under the Tanki Rt bridge and towards the small part of the lake. After passing through the carpet of water chestnuts you will discover Lesendro  – the everlasting sorrow of Njegoš. Watch the birds lined up along its ruins, defiantly spread their wings, showing you that you are in their realm.

On the other side, the three nearby islets and the view hidden behind them will answer why Lake Skadar is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The scenery, filled with thousands of white and yellow lotus flowers and their large, floating leaves, is breathtaking, isn’t it?

Sights that follow will satisfy your traveller’s thirst equally. As you sail along the picturesque fjord Pavlova strana, you will reach Rijeka Crnojevića, a small fishing village. Explore this beautiful spot, situated only a few kilometres from the historical capital of Cetinje.

The old stone bridge, named after Prince Danilo, will be the first to welcome you, next to the one-story building, built on the left shore of the river. You can’t overlook it – it lies at the entrance of this beautiful townlet, and although built in the 15th century it still looks impressive.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Rijeka Crnojevića was the largest Montenegrin port and the leading trade centre. Today, this town exudes the perfect atmosphere for experiencing the Montenegrin mentality – a historically significant place filled with authentic architecture and beautiful nature.

After exploring the village, it’s time to go back. In the meantime, be sure to bring your swimsuit! Take the opportunity and enjoy the refreshing waters of Lake Skadar.

(Please note that during this tour you will cruise through the places seen from the Pavlova strana viewpoint, but you won’t have the opportunity to go up to the viewpoint itself.)

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Traditional wooden boat sailing through a river canal; border of the canal is full of reeds and willows; up, you can see a distant mountain filled with cypresses.
Tour 2

Karuč - a tiny fishing village that hides the spirit of past times

Leave the dock in Virpazar through a small, narrow river enveloped with reeds and willow trees. Admire this aquatic giant as you observe the distant mountain range in Albania. Then continue your journey under the nearby bridge and uncover Lesendro, an centuries-old fortress, as you glide through the fields of water caltrops (kasaronje). 

As you gaze at the stunning view hidden behind the islands nearby, you will reach the small fishermen’s village named Karuč. Like any other village on Lake Skadar, Karuč is tiny – yet, it is a giant in terms of history and nature. Feel the spirit of past times and enjoy its enchanting natural environment. 

Karuč eye was widely known for its abundance of bleak. It was the village from which fishermen went on their fishing expeditions. You can still see a few houses where they stored their nets and equipment.

Your investigative spirit will make you look for the ruins of the winter house built by Petar I Petrović Njegoš. The mild winter climate, with almost no wind, makes Karuč an excellent destination from November to April.

About a kilometre away from the village, in its depths, Lake Skadar also hides the Skanderbeg Steamship. In the first half of the 20th century, the steamship was used for transporting goods and passengers, mainly on Lake Skadar and within the borders of Montenegro.

On February 12, 1942, Yugoslav partisans attacked the steamship, while it was sailing near Karuč. Since then, this steamer has been resting at the bottom of the lake, about 11 m below the surface. It was submerged without damage, and its remains are rarely visible, only in extreme situations when the water level is drastically reduced. Sometimes you can see only its silhouette, placed on its left side and facing southwest.

You have about an hour to examine Karuč, after which we will return you to Virpazar. In the meantime, prepare everything you need to swim in the fresh waters of the lake.

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Duration: 4 hours

A photo shows a group of people, inside a traditional wooden boat, sailing through a channel fringed by reeds.
Tour 3

The gorgeous medieval monastery Kom

Start your tour in Virpazar, the tiny fishing village built on the shores of Lake Skadar. Sail along a short river channel and enjoy the greenery of willows and reeds that surround you. When you exit, you will be treated to a beautiful view, the distant mountains in Albania and the vast blue waters of Lake Skadar below them. For a moment, you will admire Vranjina Island as it defiantly aims its two peaks towards the sky.

After passing under the nearby bridge, you will sail through paths surrounded by vast fields of kasaronja, the water chestnuts. Ruins of Lesendro will emerge soon after, offering a lovely view of its avian dwellers enjoying the sun. Breathe in the fresh air as you pass near the lake’s crossroad with river Morača.

Another enchanting sight awaits, hidden behind the three nearby islands. Marvel at the endless fields of water lilies and their floating, dark-green leaves.

A narrow passage, tucked between marshy meadows and an uneven, steep coast, ends at the foot of Odrin Hill, the home of the medieval Kom Monastery. Hidden in the swampy northwestern reaches of the lake, Kom has courageously withstood all the trials of time. This monastery has the best-preserved frescoes in the region.

During the construction of its church in 1415, the medieval state of Zeta was under siege by the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice. Therefore, all the monasteries of that period resembled a fortress. Kom was not an exception, built on a high hill with a protective wall and two gates, surrounded by an impassable swamp.

After leaving this scenic view, the boat will take you back to Virpazar. In the meantime, arm yourself with sunscreen and a hat – take the opportunity to swim in the fresh lake water.

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Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy the smell of wild thyme in the summer breeze.
Tour 4

The Montenegrin Alcatraz – Grmožur

Just a twenty-minute sail from Virpazar, near the village of Godinje, the ruined fortress Grmožur rises from the waters of Lake Skadar. This abandoned fortification is known as Montenegrin Alcatraz, because it used to be a jail in the time of King Nikola. Among the locals Grmožur is called the Island of Snakes,

Nowadays, the island is a permanent habitat for certain bird species and a temporary refuge for others, during their migration from central and northern Europe to Africa. That is why it has another name, more beautiful than the previous ones – the Island of Birds.

Built as a Turkish fortress in the 19th century, Grmožur was conquered by Montenegrins and turned into a prison a few years later.It was the first prison in this area with its own rules, and mostly the prisoners convicted of serious criminal offences served their time there. At the beginning of the 20th century, the first political convicts came to this prison – students from Belgrade convicted of attempting to assassinate King Nikola.

In the earthquake that hit Lake Skadar’s area in 1905, Montenegrin Alcatraz was almost completely destroyed. For more than a hundred years, you can see only a few walls, shakily holding on to the remains of the former prison.

How we do it:

Climb onboard your boat and sail along a small river, surrounded by water lilies, reeds and willows. When you exit the river, you will find yourself on the open part of the lake while the boat takes you to Grmožur.

After 20 minutes a beautiful landscape awaits. The islet, rising from the waters of Lake Skadar, the birds that dry their wings on top of the ruins, the bright blue sky and the distant Albanian peaks, will come into your view.

Bring your swimsuit and enjoy the refreshing swim on the open lake!

(Unfortunately, it is not allowed to go outside the boat and visit this fortification.)

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Duration: 1 hour

Grmožur - The Montenegrin Alcatraz
Tour 5

The wound that Njegoš could not heal - Lesendro

The Lesendro Fortress was built in the 18th century and still reminds us of the long struggle between Montenegrins and Turks. You will find the fortress on a peninsula of the same name, just a few hundred meters away from the small village of Vranjina.

A few decades ago, the islet was connected to the mainland by a highway. There are also some indications that Lesendro was in the land zone in the distant past. During the construction of the water supply system, vine roots were found in the southwest reaches of the island.

The fortress was also known as the Key to Lake Skadar. The reason lies in the former mission of this fortress – it ensured safe trade and fishing for the locals. Due to its strategic importance, Lesendro was often the cause of conflicts with Turks.

During the reign of Bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš, it also served as protection against their attacks. According to some sources, Njegoš often used Lesendro for vacation as a perfect place to complete his ingenious literary works. Lesendro was under his rule for eleven years, which is why it is easy to believe in the accuracy of this fact.

The well-known saying among the locals – “He mourned like Njegoš for Lesendro.” is associated with this fortress. It refers to an event in 1843 when in September Lesendro was occupied by Ottomans, along with two other islands on Lake Skadar – Vranjina and Grmožur. The Ottomans easily overpowered Montenegrins and killed a few while taking the rest to Shkodra into captivity.

The loss of this small territory created an insurmountable wound in the heart of Njegoš. He tried several times to re-conquer Lesendro, with all the other troubles as a Ruler, but unfortunately he never succeeded at this plan.

How we do it:

Departing from Virpazar, the boat will sail along a small river, surrounded by reeds and willows, bringing you to the open part of the lake. Soon after Vranjina will appear to you standing defiantly in front of Lake Skadar, with its two peaks aiming towards the sky. During sunny days, you can see the mountain ranges of Albania, far away in the distance.

After that, you will cruise towards the fortress of Lesendro through the fields of water chestnuts. Depending on the time of the year, cormorants, gulls, and herons, among many other bird species, dry their wings on top of the fortress’s walls and enjoy the sun touching their feathers. In the background, the Vranjina Island rises from the fresh waters; on the other side, Lake Skadar meets its largest water resource, the Morača River.

After some time, you will go back to Virpazar with a swimming stop along the way – don’t forget to pack swimsuits and sunscreen.

(Unfortunately, it is not allowed to go outside the boat and visit this fortification.)

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Duration: 1 hour

River canal that connects Virpazar and the open part of the lake - overgrown in willows.
Tour 6

Sightseeing boat tour – Wild Beauty

Your boat departs from Virpazar and first takes you through a lovely canal lined with reeds and water willows. After you exit, the vast water giant, Lake Skadar, will unfurl before your eyes.

Your journey continues to the left, under the Tanki Rt bridge, where a field of water chestnuts awaits. As you admire this extensive green carpet, a centuries-old fortification will emerge in front of you.

Lesendro, known as the greatest sorrow of Njegošnowadays resembles an utoupia for birds. Depending on the time of year, you can enjoy obesrving many avian species as they dry their wings on its ruins and bask in the sun. In the background, the Vranjina Island rises from the fresh lake waters; on the other side, the lake meets its largest water resource, the Morača RiverA little further, you will be gliding near one of the two bird reserves on Lake Skadar.

The three nearby islets and the view they hide will reveal to you why Lake Skadar is one of the most captivating places to visit in Montenegro. The endless carpet, woven from white and yellow water lilies, and their large, floating, dark-green leaves, will take your breath away. 

Panoramas on your way back will not disappoint your travellers’ thirst either. They might even make you wonder why you didn’t book the lengthier tour in the first place. To keep you from sobbing over spilt milk, we will provide extra few minutes for you to enjoy the ideal wilderness around you while taking a refreshing swim.

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Duration: 2 hours

Traditional wooden boat - čun
Tour 7

Scenic boat tour to the mesmerizing fjord Pavlova strana

Departing from Virpazar, the boat will sail along a short and narrow river canal, surrounded by rows of reeds and willows. This canal brings you to the open part of the lake, where the scenery starts to unravel a vast canvas of blue waters and far-away mountain ranges in Albania.

As you go left, under the nearby bridge and through a carpet woven of water chestnuts, you will uncover the fortress Lesendro, the Key of Lake Skadar.

The ruins of this centuries-old fortress and its bird visitants will feast you with one of the most beautiful views of this National Park. Fresh air will flow through your body as you pass near the place where Lake Skadar meets its richest tributary, the Morača River.

After that, you continue your journey in the direction of three islands – Mala and Velika Čakovica, and Kamenik. The right side of these islets, fringed by reeds and covered by water lily fields, will take your breath away.

Sights to follow will satisfy your traveller’s thirst also. As you pass through the picturesque fjord Pavlova strana, through the heart of the viewpoint that goes by the same name, your eyes will absorb the beauty. The rocky coast, with abandoned houses and small hidden docks, makes the perfect backdrop for your swim. 

After the refreshing swim in Lake Skadar‘s waters, the boat will head back to Virpazar

(Please note that during this tour you will cruise through the places seen from the Pavlova strana viewpoint, but you won’t have the opportunity to go up to the viewpoint itself.)

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Duration: 3 hours

The River Crnojevića from the sky.
Tour 8

Monastery Vranjina and its eight hundred years of destruction and restoration

Your journey begins in Virpazar, the heart of Lake Skadar. Leave the dock of this townlet through the greenery of reeds and willows. Soon you will reach the open part of the lake, from where you can examine Vranjina and its two peaks as they rise defiantly from the fresh waters. On sunny days, you can see the mountain ranges in Albania, far away in the backdrop.

Vranjina Monastery, located on the southeastern side of Vranjina Island, high above the Morača delta, is your next stop. Only one former monastery church has endured the ravages of time, the church dedicated to StNicholas. With several other monasteries tucked away on the shores of Lake Skadar, the monastery Vranjina forms a unity called Zetska Sveta Gora.

This monastery was built with the blessing of Saint Sava at the beginning of the 13th century on the foundations of the original monastery (from 1223). Although it primarily consisted of three churches – the Church of Saint Nicholas, Saint Sava and the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, only the Church of Saint Nicholas has been preserved and renovated several times. 

The monastery was devastated by the Turks twice, and it served as a war fortress in the meantime. Destroyed to the ground in 1862, the only witnesses to the existence of this monastery are the three bells from the original Church of St. Nicholas. The restoration of its church started again in 1998, and an abbot was appointed. 

The walk uphill to the Church of St. Nicholas offers spectacular views of the lake and Morača River, with their shores framed by willows. After a ten-minute walk, you will reach the church and have the opportunity to visit it. On the way back, you will refresh yourself in the sweet lake’s water.

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Duration: 3 hours

Monastery view, the meadows of willows and a sky blue river
The tour includes
Know before you go