TIRANA, July 29
Nature has been very generous with Shkodra, giving to the northern county many natural beauties. Lake, sea, rivers in various reliefs, field, hills and mountains. Shiroka, Zogaj, Velipoja, Thethi, Razma, Boga and Vermoshi are the tourist points that are known from the locals, as well as the foreign visitors who come in different seasons of the year, but especially in the summertime. But Shkodra has many other resources that stay hidden, and that are not too much popular, but nevertheless offer possibility for tourism, particularly for one-day tourism. These are places that are overshadowed by the bigger tourist points, where the private investments have known quite development, but could be a big source of income for the local residents.
Historically, Shkodra is known to have mini beaches, we could mention: Drini river in different parts of its banks, on the two sides of brigde of Bahcallek or Dajlani on the river Buna, before they have withdrawn many day vacationers in considerable numbers. But the changes in the current and the bank of these rivers, for natural reasons, and improper interventions, with or without permits, have made Daljani and Bahckallek to almost be non-existent mini-beaches. But, the reconstruction of the streets towards Rrjoll e Prekal, the extension of the Shiroka road, etc. have started other mini-beaches that with the development of the infrastructure and services have made possible to become not only relaxing places and bathing sites during the summertime, but are important resources for the development of the tourism and the increase of the revenue.
Another amazing place, which for the second year in a row seems to have taken the form of a coast, is Rrjoll coast. The village Boks-Rrjoll is located in the south-east of Velipoja. It is close to the Adriatic Sea and Rrenci mountain. It is a coast still unknown and unexplored fully, because it is on the other side of Velipoja beach. Until two years ago this beach, which is a pearl of Albania’s northern coast, was known very little even by the locals, who in order to get there seemed like a mission impossible. This was because the road towards Rrjoll, that is on the left hand side of the street Shkoder-Velipoje was used only by big vehicles until very recently. Another way to get there, is by taking the road through the Viluni Lagoon, the southern point of Velipoja beach, a road only for pedestrians because you have to use a wooden mobile bridge.
The full reconstruction of the road towards Rrjoll, have made possible that nowadays this beach to be visited by vacationers, mostly one-day tourists. Private investments in here are still few and also, the accommodating facilities, but the daily vacationers from the city of Shkodra, are choosing more and more Rrjoll. It has a coastline of 4 km, with a sand width 200m and is stretched along a shrub forest and small sand dunes. This year especially, it looks like the residents of Shkodra, vacationers from Tirana, and other cities of Albania have abandoned the Velipoja beach, to go and sunbath in Rrojll beach instead, which is known for its special sand. Rrojl beach continues to stay pristine, thanks to the untouched woods, clear water, rich with iodine. All these features have turned Rrojl beach in one of the most important, new-found coasts of northern Albania.
Buna rivermouth is created by the deposits of this river flowing into the Adriatic Sea, in the shape of a big triangle. In it, there are two big islands; Ada, in Montenegro and Franz Joseph Island on the Adriatic Sea, created by the alluvium deposits of the river, after the capsize of the Austrian ship in 1881 of the same name from Russian navy, that had come there to oblige the Albanians to consign Ulcinj to Montenegro, in implementation of the decisions of Berlin Congress for the disintegration of Albanian lands.
This island is known for its plants, like oak trees and rare animals. Delta of Buna river is 10 km away from Velipoja beach, on the north side. One way to go is either from Velipoja village, or via the hunting reservoir, but there it is forbidden the entrance. The trees with particular shapes, are another natural beauty that enrich the panorama of this mini-beach, whereas the water and the vegetation make it look special.
Lagoon of Viluni
Lagoon of Viluni, is situated on the east of Velipoja beach, and has a surface of 300ha, and a depth of 3 meters. Before, this lagoon was called the Lagoon of Lundreza, because it had many otters (lundra in Albanian means otter). This lagoon is surrounded by wetlands, and connects with the sea through a natural channel, where because of the tides, the water changes direction every 6 hours. The water of the lagoon is salty, with an average temperature of 20-22Celcius. This lagoon is the place of many different and delicious fishes, also 200 birds come in here, either migratory or permanent. This lagoon is frequented by vacationers of Velipoja beach, who come at the lagoon for relax or fishing.
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One of Shkodra’s rivers that passes through the city, which offers a possibility for day tourism is the Kir river. A part of this river, near the bridge of Mes, has been used for one-day tourism from the residents of the surrounding area. The crystal clear water and the rocky mountains, give to this river a rare beauty. The improvement of road infrastructure, up to Prekal village has made possible the exploitation of the river for daily tourism by the locals, since last summer. In fact, Kir river, has had a shrunk of its banks, in the recent years, partly because of drought, as well as erosions on the side that is near the city, but the other parts of the river are still pristine.
An interesting fact, is that near the river there are some natural caves of different sizes, that are used by daily vacationers during the peak hours of the day, at the same time others choose to sunbathe by the river. Visitors who love hiking into the Albanian Alps, encounter this river and its surrounding rocky mountains during their exploration. Even though, this mini-beach is still in the first phases of tourism, with the proper investments in infrastructure and hotels/restaurants, this place could turn into a real tourist attraction.
Shkodra Lake is another tourist attraction that offers the possibility of daily tourism. Along all its coasts, there are places where you could park the bicycle or the motorcycle, and relax by the lake. The popular bathing sites of the lake, are near the village of Zogaj, Shiroka, also in the territory of Malesi e Madhe, such as: in Sterbeq or Culaj in Koplik.
Vau i Dejes and Koman Lakes
Vau i Dejes and Koman Lakes, besides being used by vacationers as bathing sites, are known as resources for hydropower plants built there. There are several parts of the lakes that offer the possibility for daily tourism, such as: Shala river, etc. plus there some restaurants in the area with reasonable prices, therefore making the perfect place for sunbathing during the hot days of the summer. At both lakes, visitors could either practice fishing, or sailing with small boats, offering a spectacular view of the lakes and their surrounding areas.
All Photo Credits/ Wikimedia Commons