Cross-Border Kayak Safari – Montenegro to Albania
“Five stars…this was a magical week, suspended between the water and the sky. Gigo is a superb guide and we all enjoyed talking to him about his beautiful country.” Angela Maclean, July 2018, (Wilderness kayaking holiday)
2020 departure dates: April, May, June, September (Sunday to Sunday)
There really isn’t another kayaking trip quite like this one! Two countries, Montenegro and Albania, are joined by one magnificent stretch of freshwater – the vast Lake Skadar. Our week-long adventure starts at the 15th century island monasteries at Murići beach. From here we paddle down the stunning southern shores of the lake and cross a water border which has been closed for the best part of 35 years (but for which we have gained special dispensation!). We paddle to and pitch our tents at the region’s ancient capital, Shkodra, with time to visit its famous sights such as Rozafa castle. The following day we head down the Bojana river which divides Montenegro and Albania and finally meet the Adriatic Sea, just past the island of Ada Bojana, finishing our epic journey at a 13km long stretch of sandy beach which is a haven for kite-surfers and sunset-seekers! Two countries, 65km of stunning scenery, one amazing adventure!
Please note that prior paddling experience is essential! Minimum age 14.
Equipment: We supply all boats (Z-Pro Tango inflatable kayaks), tents, safety and cooking equipment, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Day-to-day camp and meals are set up in advance of your arrival by a dedicated support crew! Please note, the SUP in our photographs belongs to our guide, Gigo – this method of paddling is not available to guests….yet….
Your Tour Leader
Gigo is one of Montenegro’s most experienced & talented kayakers. When not organising the annual Kayakfest on the Tara River, he takes guests paddling where no others have paddled before! Gigo is a fully qualified ECU guide and speaks fluent English + Montenegrin/Serbian.
Want to see more? Watch our video!
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival at Virpazar from your arrival airport and short transfer to the basecamp situated in a beautiful woodland in the National Park. In the evening we will have a tasty organic diner at Koral biofarm where everyone can get to know each other a bit better. It’s also the time to get all your supplies and gear packed ready for the adventure to begin the next day!
Day 2 – Murići to Bobovište
Breakfast at basecamp. Transfer to the starting point of our canoe/kayak trip, 1 hour scenic drive away on the south shores of the lake. From the beach at Murići, we first will pay a visit to the friendly and hugely welcoming nuns on the island monastery of Beška, where we can share a tour and a glass of homemade pomegranate juice with the sisters to refresh us physically and spiritually before we set off again. Weaving in and out of tiny islets, we will have lunch at a solitary fisherman’s shack on the shoreline before we paddle further south to the village of Bobovište, the penultimate settlement on the Montenegrin side of this fabulous lake. We can make a relaxed camp here, swim and chill, with amazing views of the stars as there won’t be any other lights for miles around! Paddling distance: 8km.
Day 3 – Bobovište to Ckla
After a nice breakfast we shall start our trip further south to the small village Ckla, the last settlement on the Montenegrin side of Skadar Lake. Beautiful open water and lots of places for swimming and jumping on our way to Albania will make our day fantastic, with stunning views of the Prokletije mountain range – the famous “cursed” mountains of Albania – on our left the entire way. Paddling distance: 9km
Day 4 – Ckla to Shkodra
Entering the historical city of Shkodra is one of the highlights of the week. After breakfast and a brief chat to the police to get our border transit documents stamped, we are ready to paddle the last part of Skadar Lake before it turns into the Bojana river. We officially enter the territory of Albania after just 3km, passing the beautiful village of Zogay on our way to Shkodra. Just before we enter the city we will stop at the well known fisherman’s village of Shiroka, famous for the amazing fish restaurants on the shores of the lake, where we will taste fresh fish and some excellent Albanian white wine. Paddling distance: 10km
Day 5 – Shkodra to Sv. Djordje
Day 5 is combination of the historical and cultural as well as kayaking! After breakfast we leave our kayaks for few hours while we go to visit Rozafa Castle. Rozafa rises imposingly from a rocky hill, 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level, surrounded by the Buna and Drin rivers, overlooking the city of Shkodra. Shkodra is one of Albania’s oldest and most historic towns, as well as an important cultural and economic centre. After the visit it’s time to get back into the kayaks and continue our trip downriver to the sea. We will paddle until the border with Montenegro, enjoying the wilderness and beauty of river. Paddling distance: 21km
Day 6 – Sv. Djordje to the Adriatic Sea
The last paddling dayis the moment that we have been waiting for, the place where the river Bojana joins the Adriatic sea. This is what makes this holiday special. The last stretch of the Bojana is 60 m wide and so fresh and clean. All the time we will be on the border between Montenegro and Albania until the last 3 km before the sea. It’s a bittersweet moment, because this awesome finish has been the whole aim of the trip, but at the same time it means that the kayaking is almost over! Our final destination is Ada Bojana and Velika Plaža, the longest sandy beach in Montenegro, where we will relax and swim in the Adriatic sea. That night we will eat the dinner at one of the beautiful restaurants on the beach. There is also the possibility to arrange some horse riding on the beach for those that are game!
Day 7 – return and rest!
We enjoy the last breakfast of the trip and take one more opportunity to swim in the sea before our transfer back to basecamp and the rest of the day is free for everyone. For people who want to explore on their own, there is plenty to discover in walking distance from the basecamp. We will have a last dinner together, where the owner will prepare for us some typically tasty, local dishes.
Day 8 – Departure
MNE-ALB Kayaking 7 days
Price includes 5 days awesome kayaking and camping, 2 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation in Virpazar/Muriči, 5 evening meals, 5 lunches, National Park and border crossing fees and all transportation. Flights, airport transfers and other meals excluded.
OK KORAL BIO CAMP
Your first and last night will be spent glamping at the OK Koral Bio Farm, situated just 2km from Virpazar in the village of Orahovo. Beautofully appointed bell tents in a quiet woodland setting will relax you first and then rest you second!
The 5 nights out kayaking will be spent either sleeping under the stars or in two-man canvas tents (you may bring your own tents if you prefer).
Please note, whilst we supply all camping equipment, you will require your own sleeping bag.