The largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula
Skadar Lake is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula with a surface area that seasonally fluctuates between 370 km2 (140 sq mi) to 530 km2 (200 sq mi). Skadar Lake itself is located on the western Balkan with approximately two-third (229 km2 (88 sq mi)) of its surface belonging to Montenegro and about one-third (142 km2 (55 sq mi)) to Albania. The lake’s water level also varies seasonally from 4.7 to 9.8 m above sea level. The lake extends in the NW-SE direction, and it is approximately 44 km long.
The Bojana River connects the lake with the Adriatic Sea, and the Drin River provides a link with the Ohrid Lake. The lake is a cryptodepression, filled by the river Morača and drained into the Adriatic by the 41 km (25 mi) long Bojana (Albanian: Buna), which forms the international border on the lower half of its length. The largest inflow is from the Morača, which provides about 62% of the lake’s water. Total drainage area is 5490 km2.
There are additionally some fresh water sources at the lake bottom. A characteristic feature of Lake Skadar’s water balance is the high inflow from a number of temporary and permanent karstic springs, some of which are sublacustrine in cryptodepressians (so called ‘oko’). The Southern and southwestern sides of the lake are rocky, barren and steep, having bays in which the sublacustrine springs, are usually to be found. On the northern side there is an enormous inundated area, the boundaries of which change as water levels fluctuate.
Some small islands like Beška, with two churches on it and Grmožur, a former fortress and prison can be found on the southwest side of the lake.
The climate type is hot-summer Mediterranean climate with dry summers (Csa), under Köppen climate classification.