Virpazar is an absolutely unique place in Montenegro and is located in the westernmost part of the famous Skadar Lake at the confluence of the Crmnica River with Orahovštica, geographically part of the municipality of Bar. Virpazar is surrounded by water on almost all sides, which is why it is called the "Montenegrin Venice". There is no sea in Virpazar.

Virpazar on map

What is interesting about Virpazar

Skadar Lake

Today, Virpazar is also a famous holiday destination. Many people who came to Virpazar returned to it again and again, because it is a fabulously beautiful place that attracts people in any season and weather. Even on cold winter days, gray from rain or the first snow, Virpazar looks attractive. Family houses, from which smoke can be seen coming out of a chimney that warms the house in winter, numerous boats, barges and taxi boats that usually transport tourists who want to see the beauty of Lake Skadar, are tied to the shore. Nevertheless, all the magic of Virpazar or Vira, as this place was called in the past, is best experienced in the summer.

If you want to escape from the summer heat and bustle that reigns all over the coast of Montenegro during the season, we recommend going from the Bar through the Sozina tunnel by car, taxi or bus straight to Virpazar. This is a picturesque place where it is very exciting and useful to spend time.

A bit of history

The old bridge in Virpazar

The first mention of Virpazar dates back to 1242. Since the second half of the 19th century, it has been connected by a cable car with a Bar, and since 1908 by a narrow–gauge railway. It was also home to one of the first postal stations in Montenegro. In the past, Virpazar was a trading town. After the Turks captured the city, a fortress was founded here. After the Turkish rule, Viprazar became a fishing village. And later it was decided to attract tourists here. Today, Virpazar survives mainly through tourism and fishing, so these two areas are very well developed.

What to see in Virpazar

Virpazar landscapes

There are also attractions in Virpazar. Here you can see the places of worship:

Monasteries of Morachnik, Starcheva Gorica, Gorni Brceli

St. Athanasius Church

Godinje is a medieval village

Fortresses of Besac and Lesendro

Ancient bridges

The sights of Virpazar are not limited to the listed ones. Despite its small size, the village is one of the cultural centers of the country, where tourists from all over the country flock. Very close by is the Skadar Lake National Reserve (Skadarsko Jezero), which is protected by the state. Fishing is allowed on Skadar Lake, but it is paid — you need to buy a one-day license valid for a day.

You should definitely go to the local canob cafes. There are many of them, and each has its own special atmosphere. Canobas are different from regular restaurants. They are located in old mills and are designed for only a dozen visitors. There is something cozy and homely in the atmosphere of each establishment. The local cuisine is particularly refined, while the food is cooked at home. Local Montenegrin wines are offered in Kanobi. The local specialty is dried bleak, which is definitely worth a try.

Leisure in Virpazar

Fishing in Virpazar

Virpazar is an ideal place for fishermen. To get a good catch, it's enough just to settle on the shore. Some rent a boat and spend their days fishing and relaxing in local reservoirs.

Every year, a Wine and Bleak Festival (Festival vina i ukljeve u Virpazaru) is held in Virpazar. The festival takes place near Skadar Lake, for which there is even a stage built here. In the tents, which are set up by local residents, you can taste wine, raki, honey, cheese, as well as bleak – slightly sweet-tasting freshwater fish. The tasting is free, you can buy anything you like.

In the small shops of Virpazar, you can buy souvenirs and handmade products. There is also a spontaneous market in this village where fishermen sell their catch.

Photo hunting is also a popular type of ecotourism here. Photography is allowed in the national park. People come here for photo hunting and eco-tourism.

Where to stay

Virpazar in the photo looks like an ordinary village, so at first glance it may seem that there are no hotels there. Of course, they are there, in Montenegro everything is provided for a high-quality holiday for tourists. If guests want to stay right in the village, they can easily find several hotels or stay in apartments. The service is provided standard, the prices are the same as on the entire tourist coast of Montenegro.

The weather in Virpazar is good in the season, it is warm both day and night. If you wish, you can take night walks, but it is better to visit the reserve and other interesting places during daylight hours with a guide. So you can learn a lot of interesting stories firsthand. In addition, it is better to observe the local fauna during the day, few of the birds that you want to photograph are active at night.


April 25, 2024

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Skadar Lake. Beyond
Lana Gardmann