Following the old road between Lake Skadar and Adriatic Sea

Posted 07-Jan-2020 by Filip Čađenović

It’s a natural thing that when a new road is built, old road suffers the consequences.

Many of old roads are forgotten and left to the tooth of time.

Some roads are not used as frequently as it used to, but were saved from forgotten by the people inhibiting the places around it.

One of those roads is connecting a small fishing town of Virpazar and the city of Ulcinj.

Virpazar is a fishing town on Lake Skadar and on the halfway from Podgorica to Ulcinj, by the new road. The old road is known to be a longer journey but I really believe it’s worth the ride.

Taking the old route, you will pass by the lovely little ‘Town On Three Bridges’ - Virpazar, a popular tourist attraction in Montenegro today. In the old times, it used to be an important economic and transport hub of Montenegro. It’s also a place where the old road starts.

During this trip, we decided to pay a short visit to the town, to get refreshment and to take a short walk to the Besac 15th century Ottoman fortress, getting in the heart of it truly thrilled me.

I was impressed by how well the road was still preserved. Being my first time traveling through this road, I was automatically taken away by its beauty and panoramic view on Lake Skadar.

We made countless stops for sightseeing and picture taking.

Our first longer stop was Godinje. Apart from a beautiful viewpoint, what separated this lovely village from most in Crmnica region was that this ancient wine making village roots come from the 13th century. I looked at a village like at a small labyrinth of interconnected streets, vaults, cellars, staircases and mills. Trust me, you’ll feel like time has stopped, as this village is the best-preserved example of traditional rural architecture from this region.

From here we continued the direction of village Murici. All the way from Godinje, we were followed by Orchids trail and halfway to Muric Endemic trail joined the ride. This whole path was rich in vegetation, colors and viewpoints that can’t be described by words.

One of the best viewpoints on our way was the one in Murici. This viewpoint gives you a view of the three most important Skadar Lake’s islands. These islands have great importance in Montenegrin history as they are baring three monasteries form 14 and 15 century. The name of this islands and monasteries is the same – Moračnik, Starčevo and Beška.

A short drive from Murici was another great viewpoint on the Lake waited for us in the village called Livari. You can see the limitless beauty of Lake Skadar from here.

As we were approaching Ostros, one of the villages with most historical significance to Montenegro, the majestic scene awaited us – Chestnut forest. The comfort that this peaceful place gives you is something else. We made a long stop here, just sat and breathed in nature that surrounded us.

Ostros village has its fair share of stories and legends. The most important monument not only for this village but for Montenegrin people and country’s history are the stones of Monastery of the Virgin of Krajina. Monastery stood here from 11th-15th century. It was founded by Prince Vladimir, whose tragic love for the beautiful Kosara, daughter of Saumuel, King of Macedonia, has become a legend.

How ancient this village is, proves The Old Well – constructed in 1001, which still supply water to the people from the surrounding villages.

After continuing our trip, we finally said goodbye to the Lake from Štegvaš viewpoint. From here you can also see Albanian city of Skradar, from which lake got its name, and you’ll feel like you could grasp the whole Lake.

We started our descent to the city of Ulcinj, passing by villages on the border of Montenegro and Albania, and taking a view of the Adriatic Sea until we finally came to, as I like to call it – My spiritual place.

But that's a story for another blog. :)

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