Roundtrip Podgorica (60km) or Podgorica to Virpazar and back to Podgorica (80km)

Cycling around Shkodra/Skadar Lake

Day 1
Length: 60
Duration: 3.5
Total Slope: 890
Max. Uphill Grade: 10
Max. Altitude: 323
Min. Altitude: 3
Paved Road: 100% 60km
Gravel Road: 0% 60km
Narrow Path: 0% 60km

Start your tour in the lively Montenegrin capital, Podgorica. The area around here has a long and rich history of human settlement. From the late Stone Age the Illyrians, the Roman Empire, the first Slavic and Avar tribes in the century, Byzantium and later the Serbian royal family left their foodprints in the region. The Turkish occupation of Podgorica in 1474 end after 400 years with the decision of the Berlin Congress in 1878. Fordeeper steps into the history you can visit the Podgorica City Museum (Muzej grada Podgorice) which encompases four categories: archeological, ethnographic, historical, and cultural historical.

If you wonne go immediately for the Lake Cycle Rountrip take the highway E65/ E80 in the center which connects Podgorica with the lake shore. The road follows the River Moraca valley. You will arrive Vranjina (24 km), which is on an island in the river delta of the Morača River on the northern part of the Shkodra/Skadar Lake. The island is called Montenegrin Venice, because of the natural setting. The famous St. Nicholas Monastery and the old fort is well worth a visit. From there continue to the lovely city (1.000 inhabitants) of Virpazar (5 km). This is the ideal place for an extended lunch break, for example in the restaurant „Pelikan” or nearby the lake shore in “Konoba Badanj”. Try some traditional food or fish from the lake (usually thick fish soup and roasted carp) or even taste some good wines from the region. If you want to learn more about Montenegrin history and culture, visit the motel “Pelikan”. The interior of the motel restaurant testifies about the fisherman life of this region. Historic tools, weapons and folk costumes of the region you can visit here in a place called Odzaklija (Chimney house). An Ecological Information Centre at Virpazar will be open in future time.

Birds at Skodra LakeAerial view on Shkodra Lake

Now is time for your decision: you can stop your cycling tour for hours here because Virpazar is also a good starting point for boat trips on Shkodra/Skadar lake. You can embark for cruises on one of the boats below the formerly built bridge and take a visit to a beach named Murici where you can refresh yourself in the lake water and take a rest under the hundred years old trees. For the way back to Podgorica you can take the same way which you came.

The other possibility is to cycle the round trip back to Podgorica, but this is a sweaty adventure. From sea level in Virpazar you climb up the hills to Rijeka Crnojevica up to 300m above (24km). As a reward for the efforts you can enjoy some spectacular scenery of the lake.

The village Rijeka Crnojevica itself is famous for its impressive old bridge built by Prince Danilo in 1853 and its abandoned fortresses. Its also a good place for snack stop as the area is also renowned for its traditional cuisine like dry ukljeva (endemic fish). The lovely scenery of vineyards and waterfall calms and do not give you to get back to city life. But if you need - for your way back to the capital take the road uphill. From there follow the main road downhill to Podgorica (Cetinje-Podgorica 26km).