Updated: 16th October 2016
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I knew the beaches in Albania were beautiful but I had no idea how much the impressive, rugged raw north would blow me away.
I’d only seen one photo of Lake Komani and whilst we sat around chatting over dinner and making plans for the following day I knew that was reason enough to shut down anyone’s ideas of ‘It’s too far’, ‘It’s kinda backtracking’ and firmly declare the next day we were Lake Komani bound.
It turned out to be the best decision of the trip.
Take a boat tour of Lake Komani…
Lake Komani Tours
There are a couple of different ways to see Lake Komani and even the drive there is breathtaking but we jumped on a boat with Komani lake tours and I’m so glad we did.
Taking a good four hours to explore the lake, the guest house and the caves was a much better experience than the ferry ride many people do to cross the lake.
Komani Tours also offer transport options from nearby towns, so if you don’t have a car you can still make it happen without trying to suss out impossible public transport which is pretty handy.
They also have a huge focus on Eco Tourism and keeping the lake clean with various litter collections and projects throughout the year – find out about the different Komani tours they offer.
Staying at Lake Komani
In the middle of Lake Komani sits the most picturesque and relaxing guest house I am yet to stumble upon.
Although I wasn’t stopping the night we swung by to enjoy some home made cheese, honey and pancakes as well as the typical Albanian liquor, Rakia, which they were brewing fresh in front of us.
With no other habitation in sight, vines hanging on the patio outside and the perfect hammock views I decided instantly next time I wanted a writing retreat and to switch off (electric is not available here) Lake Komani would be my first point of call.
The Public Ferry
The alternative to taking a tour is the Komani lake public ferry which takes both people and cars across the Lake to Fierza, a popular starting point for the hikes through the more rugged north of the country and the Albanian Alps.
There are also a few camp sites, home stays and a guesthouse at Lake Komani itself which means you can crash the night instead of taking the kinda dodgy drive back in the dark.
Explore Around Lake Komani
Shkoder: The nearest big city to Lake Komani and likely your starting point if you have crossed the border from Montenegro. There is not a whole heap here but it’s a good ease into Albanian city life and has a cute street of colourful houses, restaurants and shops to grab a beer or a bite to eat on.
Lake Skadar: Skadar Lake sits next to Shkoder and is a great spot to relax away. Grab a Kayak or just chill on the outskirts and enjoy the wildlife. The Lake actually spans the border of Montenegro and Albania and if I am honest, the more impressive parts are on its neighbours side.
Valbone National Park: In the Albanian Alps you’ll find mountains, crystal clear waters and plenty of trekking and hiking opportunities – sadly, I didn’t stay long enough to explore this region fully but it is certainly on the list for my next trip back.