Starting at Skadar lake with a boat ride, then following a small stone path before joining quiet country lanes as you finish at a local vineyard.
A short transfer this morning brings you to Karuc, a picturesque fishing village on the edge of Lake Skadar. The largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula, Skadar is very beautiful (legend says it was created by the tears of a pixie!) and is a home to around 270 different types of birds. These include the White Egret, Dalmatian Pelican and Pygmy Cormorant.
On arrival, a relaxing cruise on a traditional wooden boat gliding amongst the pretty lily pads of the lake gets you closer to some of the birdlife and lets you take in some of the lovely scenery. This is one of the highlights of the trip, the vast and glassy lake offers crystalline reflections of the trees and mountains that cradle the cool, deep waters.
Back in Karuc, a short walk heads past some of the ancient villages in this area with beautiful views of the lake visiting a local producer of delicious Montenegrin wine and honey. Head back to Cetinje you will pass an iconic view of the Rijeka Crnojevica bridge over Lake Skadar.
It is a short walk, and it is not necessary to take lunch as you will be treated to a beautiful spread when you arrive at the vineyard. Be sure to bring some extra cash if you would like to buy some of their homemade wine or schnapps. The clear schnapps is 52%, you have been warned! Locals traditionally have a spoon of honey in the morning to gather any harmful bacteria, then a shot to sanitise it.
There are some road crossings, always be aware of traffic and be sure to use a pavement/sidewalk where possible. Where it isn’t, walk on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Some of the ground can be uneven, with rocky/pebbly paths. Ensure you have suitable footwear and step cautiously when needed.
Parts of the route follow clifftops, so take care to walk a reasonable distance from the edge - particularly in low visibility.
Although most of the snakes are not poisonous, and many of them are very timid, you will see them. Take care by stopping moving when you see them and keeping a safe distance as it leaves the path to allow you to cross.
There can be quick but fierce thunderstorms, make sure you check the weather before you go out and make sure you know the correct behaviour if you are caught in a storm: https://www.cdc.gov/features/lightning-safety/index.html
Food and Drink
A picnic lunch will be provided at the vineyard. along with some local wine and schnapps. Karuc has two cafes where you can pick up a snack, some great seafood or some bottled water.
Points of Interest
Dolphin-shaped Lake Skadar, the Balkans’ largest, has its tail and two-thirds of its body in Montenegro and its nose in Albania. On the Montenegrin side, an area of 400 sq km has been protected by a national park since 1983; today, Skadar is renowned as one of Europe’s top bird habitats. It’s a blissfully pretty area encompassing steep mountains, island monasteries, clear waters, and floating meadows of water lilies.
Angelika and Boris's Vineyard
After a short but steep walk up from the lake, you will reach the vineyard. Picture your ideal of a Mediterranean style vineyard with a picnic table weighed down with beautiful fresh produce, and then make it more idyllic and you will be close to the real experience. The owners of the vineyard are charming and will talk you through a variety of delicacies produced on this little patch of paradise.
Viewpoint on the journey back to Cetinje
The driver will know where to stop, you can see in the photographs the beautiful view from the road of the arcing lake and the towering mountains, but the picture does not do it justice - you must see it for yourself.
The ground can be uneven, so be sure to wear sturdy walking boots with suitable ankle support.
There are a number of stream crossings where walking poles will make these crossing easier and safer. They also come in handy when crossing uneven ground or making steep descents.
Bring some binoculars to look at the birdlife, Skadar lake is possibly the best bird watching site in Europe!