Water activity

Skadar Lake: Private Cruise around the Montenegrin Alcatraz

4.8 / 5

6 reviews

Activity provider: Kingfisher

Skadar Lake: Private Cruise around the Montenegrin Alcatraz

Activity provider: Kingfisher

From US$ 43.25 per group up to 4

Discover breathtaking nature and birdlife during a 1-hour tour. Get close to the famous Montenegrin Alcatraz and take a refreshing swim in the deep blue waters of Skadar Lake.

About this activity

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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 1 hour
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Live tour guide
Private group


  • Navigate along a small river channel, surrounded by reeds and willow trees.
  • Soak up the views of Mount Vranjina and the impressive ranges in Albania.
  • Observe stunning Montenegrin Alcatraz from approximately 20 meters distance.
  • Discover the incredible native birdlife of the Skadar Lake region.
  • Take a refreshing swim in the captivating crystal-clear waters.
Full description
Start your journey in Virpazar - a tiny townlet situated in the heart of Skadar Lake, and set off on your scenic 1-hour cruise across the beautiful blue waters. Navigate along a small river channel surrounded by reeds and willow trees.  After exiting the river, find yourself on the open lake while the boat proceeds to Grmožur. Meanwhile, soak up the incredible views of Mount Vranjina and the impressive ranges in Albania, rising from the biggest lake in Southern Europe. Twenty-five minutes away from Virpazar, the ruined fortress Grmožur ascends from the waters of Skadar Lake. This abandoned fortification is known as Montenegrin Alcatraz and used to be a jail in the time of King Nikola. Among the locals, Grmožur was called the Island of Snakes. Nowadays, the island is a permanent habitat for certain bird species and a temporary retreat during the migration from Central and Northern Europe to Africa. That is why it has another, much more beautiful name - the Island of Birds. Admire the impressive fortification - Grmožur, from approximately 20 meters distance as you circle it.  During the journey, marvel at the breathtaking panoramas, and keep your eyes peeled for many species of native birds, including cormorants, herons, seagulls, and, if you are lucky, maybe some pelicans. Observe them drying their wings on the top of the walls of Grmožur.  Next, the boat will stop in the middle of the open water for you to take a refreshing swim. Ensure you bring your swimsuit and towel and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear blue waters. Finally, return to the starting point where the tour concludes.
  • Sightseeing boat tour
  • Trying local wine
  • Local guide
  • Safety equipment
  • National park fee
  • Lunch or meals
  • Transportation to and from Virpazar
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

• The name of the local tour operator company is Kingfisher. Meet with them at least 30 minutes before departure to check-in. Their info desk is just before the main bridge in the center of Virpazar. If you have trouble finding them, ask locals for the Kingfisher company, or look out for blue shirts with the Kingfisher logo.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Please note that the National park fee is not included in the price. It is mandatory to pay it upon arrival. It costs 4 euros per person (free for children under 7).
  • Please note that we don't provide lunch or meals during the tour. You're welcome to bring your own food or eat out before/after the tour. However, if you'd like us to organise your meal for you, please contact us by e-mail at least a few days before the tour.
  • Keep in mind that, during the summer, Montenegro has constant traffic jams, so be sure to plan your journey to Virpazar ahead. By arriving earlier, you avoid headaches over finding a parking spot for your car.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 6 reviews

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We took a late afternoon one-hour private boat tour to the Montenegrin Alcatraz and truly enjoyed it. The captain was very hospitable, the views of the water lilies along the river out to Lake Skadar, Lake Skadar itself, and the mountains around the lake were amazing! The lake was very tranquil and beautiful. We also saw a lot of beautiful birds flying around over the water and perching on the 'Alcatraz'. The sun was setting while we were heading back to the shore and it transformed the whole experience into magical. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Montenegro.

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September 20, 2021

Very well organised excellent staff. Highly recommend

July 7, 2022

Very pleasant walk and very friendly staff; I recommend

April 23, 2022

Product ID: 384779