Lake SkadarLooking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle and commune with nature? Check out the beautiful Lake of Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. Filled by the river Maraca and draining into the Adriatic, this saltwater lake is a paradise on Earth.

This wonderful saltwater lake spans 7km wide and 44km long. Two thirds of the lake are within Montenegrin territory, with the remainder of the water belonging to Albania. It was named after the Albanian city of Shkodra.

The water is peppered with inlets and islands which are covered in monasteries, small fishing settlements, and old fortifications like towers and small castles. Among the structures you’ll also find burial tombs, churches, villages, and the ruins of lost dynasties.

Declared a national park in 1983, Skadar is one of the largest bird reserves in all of Europe. Over 270 species grace this area with their presence, including the rarely seen pelican.

Seagulls and herons also habitat the area, making this the ideal location for bird enthusiasts. The park was named on the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance in 1996.

If you like fishing, you are permitted to fish in lake Skadar from May to March. 40 different species of saltwater fish can be found here, making, the area a bountiful place to cast a line. Carp, bleak, trout, and eels all grace the waters in large schools.

Cyclists can enjoy mountain biking through shapely hills and valleys. Cycling tours are available for tourists looking for a group experience. If you’re more interested in an individual experience, you can always go on a self-guided cycling trip.

Either way, you’re sure to enjoy some of the most elegant and diverse scenery you’ve ever seen as you glide and curve along the pathways.

The views themselves are breathtaking. Step back in time to a land untouched as you experience rolling green hills and grassy plains that surround the water. Beautiful water lilies drift by as your boat cuts through the blue-green. Green, full trees provide shade to those on the water and on the banks.

Watch the sky reflect off the water and be transported to a modern utopia.

If you plan on visiting Montenegro this spring, be sure to check out Lake Skadar. This unearthly natural wonderland is too much to pass up for any first time or returning visitor.

Miljana Milošević writes for the Daily News of Montenegro and Kotor Montenegro.