The purpose of our existence wouldn’t be fulfilled if we did not include all the people from the Balkan who work hard to attract tourists from all over the world. Those people who are eager to create something, even small that will help in the development of the tourism through the filter of their sense of living, those people for us are heroes who will be remembered for the mark they left in their country.
Today we would like to share with you another story from the Balkans, another story that comes from Montenegro. Montenegro may be a small country in terms of area but you can hardly find any other country of such size that hides so much natural beauty, crystal clear sea and sandy beaches, fast rivers and quiet lakes, high wild mountains and fabulous high plains and not to forget the exceptional food and wine. Montenegro is really unique in many ways but poorly explored by tourists.
The story we would like to tell you is very precious for us because this hero is our longtime friend, loyal collaborator, someone with whom we share the same passion for tourism. One of our heroes living in the Montenegrin region is our Rasho. Rasho is the man who at the age of 64years is a real promoter of the Skadar Lake, the man who lives to invest in tourism, to organize boat tours and to offer the traditional local food to his guests.
Rasho was born in the idyllic village of Virpazar, in the municipality of Bar. Virpazar is a tiny village on the Skadar Lake which is never overrun with tourists and you can wander along the lake shore spying frogs, turtles, birds and water snakes. One of the main economic activities in this village is the fishing. As a child, Rasho helped his father, who at that time was engaged in tourism on Skadar Lake. Rasho says that the love for tourism is inherited from his father, who by the way is 97 years old and still advices his son from his personal experience.
If you look at the map you will notice that this is the largest lake that Montenegro shares with Albania. The lake has a fantastic coastline, full of wild sandy beaches and on one of those beaches, just below the village of Godinje, is the restaurant Pjesacac, a touristic paradise in Montenegro. The restaurant is built in Ethno-Mediterranean style, with hard work that required a long-term cleaning of the shore to build a port that at the time was used from ships that were bringing water. Today that port surrounded by the sandy beach is used for parking the boats that are used for the transport of tourists. Arriving at the port you will notice immediately the wide stone stairs leading to six panoramic terraces spread over several levels. The terraces are beautiful in summer especially in the evening because there are torches that make the ambiance beautiful and romantic, ideal place to enjoy.
Rasho says that he is doing all this because of the love for the lake, for the people and the whole story begins with the construction of a small terrace on a secluded beach away from the hustle and bustle, where he can enjoy the peace. In the meantime, Rasho's friends start to fall in love with this place and recommend it to all those who seek romance and peace, and those who want to enjoy the beauty of the untouched nature. Rasho has also built an underground tavern and a wine cellar, kitchen and three apartments for tourists, overlooking the island of Grmozhur and the entire lake. There are six open terraces on the lake where they serve fish specialties, and where you can taste organic beer produced in the surrounding villages.
The "Beach Pjesacac" experiences its beautiful days when the Rockefeller Foundation heard about them. After the visit, they were delighted with the place so they decided to help the place financially, to allocate a fund for the protection of the lake. There is no electricity. No car access, only the footpath to the nearby road was breached. Complete harmony with nature and the entire place there is dominated by wood and stone, and wrought iron and decorations that bear witness to life from the last century.
This place can be reached only by boat, owned by the restaurant and used for making tours for the tourists around the coast in order to get acquainted with the wildlife of this place, the plants and to hear the stories of the sites located by the lake.
Rasho says that he is very proud with the fact that this place was visited by a huge number of tourists before the pandemic. He says that all Montenegrin state officials, from the president to the ministers, are part of the guest list. He is very happy by welcoming as guests the Russian Prime Minister Primakov, the Spanish princesses with their families, the ambassadors of almost all countries in Montenegro and many other celebrities. Also, two movies and several music videos have been shot at this place which is recognizable for its local and healthy food, local wine, untouched nature and wild beauty.
He says that everyone who had the opportunity came back and he hopes that it will continue to be so, both new guests and those who visit them regularly.
Lake Skadar is the largest lake in Southern Europe and it is a wonderful combination of flora, fauna, architecture, gastronomy and tradition. Good opportunity for all tourists who want to experience water sports, hunting and fishing, photo safaris, tours with visits to monasteries, islands and fishing villages. The Montenegrin part of the lake and the coast was declared a National Park in 1983. Due to its geographical position and the character of the sub Mediterranean climate in winter, after the Danube Delta this is the most important bird watching habitat in Europe. There are about 270 bird species on the lake... the most popular between them are the last pelicans in Europe. The lake is also famous for its medicinal plants and wild orchids. Throughout the history this region was a confluence of different civilization which left a strong impact on its rich cultural and historical heritage.