Foreigners Cannot Resist Unspoiled Nature in Virpazar

By , 26 Aug 2018, 22:09 PM Lifestyle
Illustration Illustration Luka Zekovic

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August 26, 2018, -The unspoiled nature of the Skadar Lake with its beaches, beautiful areas, bird watching, boat rides, kayaks, bicycles, and walking tours on the coast brought a large number of tourists from Europe and other parts of the world to Virpazar this year. That was the case last week where there were queues of foreigners during the day in the settlement. 

Foreigners make over 95 percent of the total number of guests in the area.


PHOTO: Luka Zeković

According to the locals and the Tourist Organization of Bar, most of the visitors come from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Israel, but also this year there is a lot of Spanish and Italian visitors. 

"I came here for the first time after urged by my friends, who were here last year and I can say that I am delighted. The lake is beautiful, the environment, there are many people i.e. foreigners, which is particularly delightful for me," said Emanuel Garcia from Strasbourg.


The camp of the Belgians who organized the cleaning 

PHOTO: Luka Zeković

She said she had come to Virpazar with her friends, and when she saw photos of the lake and the coast she was immediately thrilled. The representative of Tourist organization of Bar, Sara Jovićević, said that guests in Virpazar are mostly foreigners, or from Western Europe.

"There are mostly French, Belgians, and this year we have plenty of Spanish, Italian. In recent years, a great number of tourists from Israel. All of them are interested in active holidays - lakeside, bicycles, walking tours," said Jovićević. She pointed out that over a hundred people enter the premises of the Tourist Information Center in Virpazar every day.

9.jpgPHOTO: Luka Zeković

"What is characteristic is that most of the tourists are coming to Virpazar individually, that is to say, they book the accommodation through Booking. We have an increasing number of privately owned accommodation facilities. They are coming in organized groups for excursions from the coast or some other places, and there are plenty of those who rent a car and come to Virpazar, "Jovićević said.

She said that a large number of foreigners come to observe the birds, and there are plenty of ornithologists, botanists, and other scientists.

"We are aiming at the rural tourism, i.e. on the beauty of Godinja. We also have wine tourism, which also extends the season. The panoramic tour of Virpazar towards Bar and back, 115 kilometers, with a beautiful gazebo. We always say that Bar is a town with two coasts - the sea and lake," said Jovicevic.

10.jpgPHOTO: Luka Zeković

A group of Belgians camped for a few days under the hotel in Virpazar. Milo Petranovic, who rents kayaks, said that a group of Belgians had organized a cleaning of the coast in the center below the bridge two days ago.

"We rented them our boats, and they picked up the trash," said Petranovic. He pointed out that the July visit was weak, but that August was much better. "Last year was a record," said Petranovic. After four years of looking for a job after graduating the Faculty of Economics, and as he was unable to get one, Darko Stijepović started to rent apartments in Virpazar in May that year.

"I could not get a job, I did the internship after graduation. We decided to renovate the house, that is to make two apartments, we took a loan. My parents are retired, so I had to do something," Stijepovic said. He said that the accommodation is rented through the internet and that the guests this year were mostly Europeans.

"They stay with me for two to three days, they are going to watch the birds, drive to the lake, to the Besac fortress, the surrounding villages," Stijepovic said.

The accommodation in Virpazar can be found for ten to 15 euros.

The worker at the entrance to Skadar Lake National Park Dragan Popovic said sometimes they sell more than 400 tickets daily.

11.jpgPHOTO: Luka Zeković

"Only the entry from the water is payable, two euros per kayak per person, and four for boats," Popovic said. He said that tourists have many choices, and that is why many of them return to Virpazar.

"Especially mountaineers, because here there are beautiful hiking trails, such as Orahovštica valley or the old mills. There is also a tour that goes from here to Herceg Novi," said Popovic.

Ivan Rakočević from the Travel Agency "Outdoor-sea" said that foreigners often go by bicycles to Murić, i.e. they cross 24 kilometers.

The worker at the entrance to Besac Fort said that there were days in August when they issued over 150 tickets. 

Lack of parking is a big problem 

The big problem of Virpazar, which is pointed out by the locals, tourists, and representatives of the Tourist Organization, is the lack of parking. This was also confirmed by “Vijesti" team, as there were queues formed in narrow streets on the bridge and drivers park where they see a place. 

"This is definitely a problem, and because of the large number of cars one does not see all the beauty of Virpazar," Jovićević said. She said that the solution would be to construct a parking lot at the entrance to Virpazar and that the street in the settlement should be a pedestrian zone. 

"I assume that, since this is an NP zone, it would have to comply with certain procedures," said Jovićević.

Text by Borko Zdero, on August 24th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

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