In Albania there are also a number of lakes. The most significant are:
• Lake Shkodra is the largest lake in the Balkans and straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro. Thousands of cormorants winter on this lake each year. It is relatively shallow and is fed by many different rivers as well as by springs, making it quite varied in its aquatic life, with various species of carp and trout in its waters.
• Lake Ohrid is shared between Albania and Macedonia in the southeastern part of Albania. Around the lake shore there are some tourist areas such as Lini, Pojska, Pogradec, Tushemisht, and Drilon. It is exceptionally deep and fed mainly by springs around the edge of the lake and on its floor.
• Above Lake Ohrid lies Prespa Lake, which is distinguished by its solitude and beautiful landscapes. In this lake there are very important breeding populations of Dalmatian and white pelicans. Lakes Ohrid and Prespa are between two and four millionyears old and unique species of fish have evolved in them, among them the delicious koran and belushka.
Over a third of the territory of Albania – about a million hectares (2.5 million acres) – is forested and the country is very rich in flora. About 3.000 different species of plants grow in Albania, many of which are used for medicinal purposes. The forests are home to a wide range of animals such as wolves, bears, wild boars, and chamois. lynx, wildcats, pine martens and polecats are rarer, but survive in some parts of the country.
Although relatively small, Albania is home to a large number of lakes. Three of the largest lakes are Shkodra, Ohrid and Prespa.
Shkodra is the largest lake in the Balkans at 368 km Ohrid is the deepest lake in the Balkans, and Prespa is the highest, at 850 m above sea level. There are many other small lakes throughout the country that provide beauty and enjoyment, as well. Shkodra Lake is located along Albania and Montenegro’s shared border. The beautiful shore consists of marshes in the north and rocky shores in the south, with two notable beaches located at Shiroka and Zogaj. The southern part of the lake is called “the hither coast,” while the northern part is called “waterfront.” There are several villages nearby which are attractive to tourists, such as Kosani, Flaka, Kamenica, Jubica and Kalldrun. The lake is home to a tremendous variety of living creatures, including 45 species of fish and 281 species of birds.
Ohrid Lake is one of the most beautiful tectonic lakes in the Balkans, located on the shared border between Albania and Macedonia. It is 695 m above sea level and accordingly remains temperate and cool even in the warmest summers. At an estimated four million years old, it is also one of the oldest lakes in the world. It too boasts a tremendous variety of fish, some of which are unique to Ohrid. Notable among them is the Belushka Salmon, a delicious and highly prized fish, and Koran, which is the most famous and is exclusively found in this lake. Recreational opportunities abound, particularly near Pogradeci, Lini, Pojska, and Tushemishti.
Prespa lakes. Big Prespa Lake measures 285 km and straddles the borders of Albania, Macedonia, and Greece. Little Prespa Lake, located on the Albanian-Greek border, is significantly smaller, at 44 km² As with other Albanian lakes, the Prespas enjoy beautiful, clear water. The region surrounding them offers myriad opportunities for recreation, including sightseeing, wildlife observation, eco-tourism, and water sports. The area features some of the best Albania has to offer - a rare combination of resplendent natural beauty and warm, hospitable locals will make any visit to this region memorable.
The small lakes. Albania also features many small, beautiful glacial lakes. Most notable among them are Dobërdol and Sylbicë Lakes in Tropoja, Balgjai Lake in Bulqizë, and the beautiful and 60 m deep Black Lake in Martanesh. Other beautiful examples include Dushku Lake in Gramsh, the four Rajca Lakes in Librazhd, and Sheleguri Lake on Mount Gramozi (Kolonja District). Other lakes still worth visiting are the 69 wonderful lakes of Dumre Plateau, near the expansive 960 ha Merhoja Lake, and the 61 m deep Çestija Lake.
Artificial lakes (Man-made lakes). Artificial lakes and reservoirs are popular for fishing and recreation. Several large ones exist in Komani, Mati (Ulëza and Shkopet), Tirana (Farka reservoir and the artificial lake of the city), Lushnja (Thana reservoir), and Korça (Gjançi reservoir). These small, man-made lakes have a lot to offer. In addition to sporting opportunities they provide habitats for a rich variety of flora and fauna. The Komani Lake also functions as a traveling waterway.