Forget the fjords, the world’s best boat trip is in Albania.
ONE OF THE WORLD’S CLASSIC FERRY TRIPS
Lake Koman: outrageously cheap and world class beautiful.
When it opened in 2013, the ‘Patriotic Highway’ took the pressure of what had been an overloaded section of the journey between Prishtina and Tirana, the capitals of Kosovo and Albania respectively.
As a result, the ferry which plied along the picturesque Koman Reservoir in northern Albania could be completely overhauled. It restarted the route in May this year reborn as the Alpin Ferry.
The Blonde Gypsy, aka Larissa Olenicoff, a California native now firmly embedded in the Balkans, recently made the trip from her new base across the border in Prishtina:
‘Man-made or not, it will still leave you in awe as you tug on through the narrow, rocky cliffs and mountains surrounded by nothing but untouched, wild beauty and as it widens, the occasional farmhouse or small village. The water is so glassy and reflective, at some points it was literally tripping me out. Swear it wasn’t just the breakfast beer.’
Created by former Communist dictator Enver Hoxha, by damming off the Drini River, the reservoir is part of a massive hydroelectric project. The two hour trip runs between two power stations, at Fierza in the north and Koman.
Says the Bradt Travel Guide, ‘The journey along Lake Koman deserves to be one of the world’s classic boat trips, up there with the Hurtigrut along the Norwegian coast or the ferry from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales in Chile. Lake Koman is narrow and twisting, with sheer cliffs right down to the water in some stretches, complete with breathtakingly high waterfalls.’
Says The Blonde Gypsy, ‘Whether this is one of the best boat rides in Europe, I can’t say… but it is hands down one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the Balkans. And I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things in the Balkans.’
Almost best of all it is ridiculously cheap, just €4 per person each way and €9 per car.
Read more about the Lake Koman ferry at Blonde-Gypsy.com