Shkodra lake tour by bike ride through a picturesque landscape
Biking in Shkoder is a big thing, and the best way to use the bike is to get out of the town and explore the lake. With years of experience with travelers we can tell you that Shkodra lake tour by bike remains one of the top favorite tours from travelers.
The tour is not short and will require people that are comfortable on riding bikes, for those who are not completely comfortable we do half of the tour since the second part is more challenging, but also more fun!
As locals we grow up biking from the town to Shiroka and to Zogaj, which will be our tour destinations. I personally must have done this ride more than a thousand times and still love it.
During Shkodra lake tour by bike you can swim, bird watch, enjoy the bike ride, pick fruits & visit an artisan enterprise.
Before the 90’tis when Albania was still a dictatorial regime with the borders tied up, we could bike up to Shiroka but no further since that was considered an off limit zone and border area to not approach. After 1991 biking & swimming in Zogaj became such a big thing, even today despite the age many locals grab their bikes and go to Shiroka & further.
To get out of town we will use a secondary road and avoid as much as we can the traffic.
The ride from Buna bridge to Shiroka is the easy part, and during the bike ride you will enjoy the view of the Buna river then later the extension of Shkodra lake. Don’t be shocked if you see happy cows swimming in the river :). In addition Shkodra lake is an important station for birds, some of them are permanent residents of the lake but we do have also migratory birds that travel from Africa to north Europe that use the lake as a stopping point. So bird watching is a big thing here.
The quartier of Shiroka has been modified a few years ago and now is a very attractive place, and its main square is full of people that go there to enjoy the lake view while they drink their coffee in the morning and for lunch or dinner later. Restaurants along the lake are famous for preparing the traditional dish of Shkodra “Tave krapi” (carp).
In this tour we do stop in Shiroka and give people a break while we try to describe the view with the Albanian Alp in the north, Shkodra lake and understand what it means to live as a local in Shiroka. This was a place that in the past wealthy shkodran residents would have summer houses and above everyone, King Zog built his own villa in 1930’tis in venetian style but he never used it.
After leaving Shiroka the road gets narrow and hilly, but now comes the best part of the ride and the best picturesque views that you can get from this tour. Depending on the season you will be visiting the color of the vegetation will change. My personal favorite is May or June depending on the blooming of many varieties of flowers and wild pomegranates. June is also a good time for free mulberry picking in Zogaj.
For swimming on this road there are some very good spots to jump on the water for a quick refresh. Although if you are visiting in august and the weather has been hot for weeks don’t expect to jump in cold water but rather warm. If you want cold water Kiri river or Drini river are cold guarantee!
On the road there are still some bunkers that haven’t been destroyed yet, and they tell of the past. They were built to defend and fight against an invasion from Yugoslavia.
Eventually the road will take you to the isolated fishing village of Zogaj, at the border with Montenegro. During communism this village was declared a border enclave so it was impossible to come here. Leaving the country illegally during the regime period was considered treason and the penalty for that was death.
Zogaj is full of olive trees and mulberry trees, the locals are all fishermen, you will see their boats called “sule” on rocky shore.
In Zogaj you will have the opportunity to meet an artisan local carpet weaver run by local ladies and get to sneak a peek at how traditional Albanian carpets are made. We have been supporting this artisan enterprise for more than 7 years now, and it is a very unique experience to visit it. We do not obligate anyone to purchase, but if you are looking for an authentic souvenir you are in the write place.
The cycling overall will be about 20 km (round trip) along a smooth, level, and recently paved road. We guarantee you’ll work up a sweat, but all the better for a refreshing swim! We will make several stops along the way and we believe that anyone in decent physical condition will enjoy this tour.
We hope that this description has convinced you in join us in Shkodra lake Tour by bike. If you have further question or need contact us. We have been organizing this tour even for families with kids.
Shkodra lake tour by bike Itinerary
This biking activity will take about 3 1/2 hours and we will visit two villages on the lake, Shiroka (3km from Shkoder) and Zogaj (7km further). In between villages you will have the chance to enjoy the panoramic view of the lake as our guide explains the unique history and culture of these two villages.
Shkodra lake tour by bike departure from Shega Eger juice bar :
First stop at Buna bridge at the Old basar
Second stop in Shiroka, a break and a discussion.
From Shiroka to Zogaj: 30-40 minutes (depends how often we stop)
Relax in Zogaj: 60 minutes with an opportunity to interact with local carpet weavers.
Return to town: 50-60 min
11 euro per person: Include
- Minimum of 2 people required
- Book in advance
What to bring
- – Clothes suitable for biking
– Walking Shoes
– Swimsuit (optional)
Book your Lake by Bike!
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