One of the major cities of Albania, Shkodra is situated in the north west. It is one of the most ancient cities of Albania with a very rich history. Founded in the IV century B.C., it was the main center of Illyrian state.
During the XIV century became the main centre of the princedom of Bushatllinj. In 1396 it was conquered by Venedik. During its long history the city has played a very important role in Albanian culture and history.
The city and the surrounding area there are blessed with numerous and different natural and cultural objects. The city has retained the characterise features such as narrow streets between tall stone walls and tall gates. At their best these features are to be found in the Serresh and Gijadol quarters. The most important attraction is the castle of Rozafa. Located on a hill overlooking the city between Drini and Buna Rivers.
The history of the castle starts since the Illyrian times. A very interesting legend explains its history. The main theme of the legend has to do with word keeping . Rozafa the bride of the youngest of three brothers, was walled up in order that the walls of the castle do not fall down by the night. The water passing through the stones at the main entrance are connected in the folk fantasy with the water going out from the bossom of Rozafa, which she left out during the time she was walled up in order to feed her little baby.
Another interesting historical site are the ruins of medieval town of Sarda situated only 15 km far away from Shkodra. Sarda was a medieval town with a surface of 5 ha built on the top of the hill surrounded by the waters of Drini river ( now artificial lake) .It was the residential palace of the famous Dukagjini Feudal Family. Today within the walls of the city the old gate of the“ prince palace” and the church of “Our Lady” in romanesque style are to be found .
A motorr-boat provides transportation from the Vau I Dejes artificial lake to the island where Sarda is located (10 miles). During summer transportation has provided twice per week.
The nature of the district is so mix and various in landscape. In the north of the city raise the magnificent Albanian Alps with high peaks. Beautiful mountain spots such as Thethi, Boga, Razma and Vermoshi offerst to the visitor the experience of pure nature in the midst of a variety of forests, carstic caves, natural skiing grounds and hiking opportunities. In the southwestern part of the city there is Velipoja beach on Adriatic coast, which is remarkable for the good quality of sand. Nearby is the small island of Franc Joseph and the lagoon of Viluni. Those are axcellent places for eco-tourism.
Quite near the city is Shkodra Lake, the biggest in Balkan Peninsula. There are beaches of Shiroka and Zogaj which are suitable places for the day visitors from the city.
Your visit in Albania will be not fulfilled if you have not visited Shkodra , the place where the nature and history are so much interlaced.