Shkodra is one of the oldest in Albania and it is also an important cultural and economic center and has been inhabited continuously since its foundation in the 4th century BC.
Today the city and the area around it is blessed with numerous different natural and cultural objects. The city retains its characteristic appearance with narrow streets with tall stone walls on both sides and tall gates. After World War II, Shkodra rebuilt with wider streets and new residential buildings. These were built in several new quarters.
Apart from being a historic centre, Shkodra has always been a centre of education, culture and trade. It has always developed and maintained links to the West, especially to Italy and Austria. Shkodra is also the centre of Albanian Catholicism as well as a fine example of tolerance between religions, with the city comprising all the major faiths found in Albania.
With spectacular views over the city and Lake Shkodra, the Rozafa Fortress is the most impressive sight in town. Founded by the Illyrians in antiquity and rebuilt much later by the Venetians and then the Turks, the fortress takes its name from a woman who was allegedly walled into the ramparts as an offering to the gods so that the construction would stand.
The castle is 3.5km south of the city centre. Grab a bicycle (many of the hotels rent them out) and enjoy the ride down here. Afterwards, you could cross over the river and explore the fishing villages and big open countryside to the south of the castle. If cycling is too energetic, take one of the municipal buses (30 lekë) which stop near the turn-off to the castle. Or a taxi to the entrance costs 300 lekë from the city centre.
Shiroka lake is located not far from the city is the Shkodra Lake. It is the biggest in the Balkan Peninsula and divides the city from Montenegro. Among the lake, lies the beach of Shiroka and Zogaj which are regularly frequented by daily holidaymakers from Shkodra and not only. The numerous restaurants offer the lake menu where dominates the fish. In this zone you will find the most attractive tourist resort, called Marku, which offers you accommodation and a lot of tourist services. But Shiroka can be visited even with bicycles, according to the old tradition of the habitats of the zone.
The village of Lepushe is located on a mountain valley created by the river called Vermosh.
It is a valley of glacial origin and is situated at 1,100 meters above sea level. On both sides of the valley, there are mountain slopes covered with forests and pastures that rise into view. There are 45 peaks with heights over 2,000 meters, each of them bearing an original name. The vegetation consists mainly of beech trees and conifer. It is known for its landscapes and snowfall which lasts about 100 days each year.
The Mesi Bridge is the largest bridge in Albania that remains from the Ottoman period, and as such, is a highly-treasured cultural monument. As its name suggests, the bridge is a central attraction, the most prominent bridge among locals as well as tourists. Voted as the top bridge to visit in Albania by Tripadvisor, the Mesi Bridge touches the sensibilities of any painter, poet, or photographer. In fact, Edward Lear, in his well-documented journey across Albania in 1848, included it in his gorgeous sketches of the land.
Velipoja (Velipoje) is a commune located in the Shkoder county in the northwestern part of Albania, famous for its beaches and for the quality of its curative sand.
This small municipality which covers the area of 72.4 square km borders in the northwest with Montenegro along the river Buna, in the east with Lezha county, and in the south with the Adriatic Sea.
The favorable location where the sea and river intertwine, the lush greenery fields, swamps and forests, hills, and mountains give this commune the big possibility for the development of the tourism in the sea and mountain and fishing. It includes the Velipoja beach which is 14 km long, the Velipoja reservoir, the Island of Franc Joseph (in Albanian: ‘Franc Jozef’) and the beach of Baks-Rrjoll.