A blog by Marlen
What I loved about visiting Albania is the diversity of its scenery. With its jagged coasts and beautiful beaches, you’ll also find its rivers, mountains and lakes absolute must-sees on your trip. So much so that if you have the time, I’d definitely recommend that you travel to the Albanian Alps! But for now, I’ll discuss the absolute highlight of my trip, SUP in Albania!
Finding the ultimate paddling spots
First things first: getting to the Koman reservoir, the ultimate paddling spot! You’ll soon realise if you’re driving to the reservoir that the condition of Albania’s roads aren’t as well-kept as most in Europe. You may even find yourself on some very windy, unpaved roads at times. But you’ll also find that these roads are quiet, allowing you to stop and experience some of the most breathtaking views across Albania. So it’s not all bad! If you’re not keen on driving around the country, however, another option is to take the ferry from Koman to Fierza (or the other way round).
However you choose to travel to the Komam reservoir, there are a few stops along the way that you should check out, as they are home to some of the country’s many glorious lakes. Do plan ahead though, as some side roads shouldn’t be driven on by car – trust me, I learnt the hard way! Fortunately, there are some better roads to drive on; you just have to make sure you take the right turning!
Paddling on Albania’s lakes
Once you arrive at the lakes, just take out your board, inflate it and get straight onto the water. It’s as simple as that! SUP in Albania, here you come! Every time I paddled out onto the lakes, I experienced some of the most incredible views with my Bluefin SUP 12’ Cruise. Having nature all around really helped me to unwind and disconnect. I also found an inner calmness, which really aided my balance, and I enjoyed some of the best SUP Yoga flows ever.
The only drawback of the lakes is that the water can be a little bit cold, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I often paddled across the lakes on my trip and really enjoyed being almost alone most of the time. The seclusion I felt was such a welcome break compared to my normal busy lifestyle. For me, the tranquillity of those paddles remains a cherished memory that I’ve been reminiscing about ever since.
Where you have to SUP in Albania
Another paddling location that you should definitely check out is next to the National Park Divjaka-Karavasta. There’s a long, super beautiful, sandy beach where you can paddle to your heart’s content. In high season this area can get quite busy though, which is why I’d recommend going early in the morning or in the evening to enjoy some calmness away from the crowds.
The last paddling spot I visited was the picturesque Drin river, which flows towards the Koman reservoir. You can join this river on a few forks within the road if you’re looking to drive as I did. I loved this particular paddling journey, but it’s worth noting that there aren’t any towns on this route. So expect it to be quiet and make sure you bring some food with you!
I’m hoping to return to Albania one day when it’s possible to explore more of these varied paddling locations. I hope my SUP in Albania highlights above help you to navigate the underestimated beauty of the country. There truly is so much to see in this country! I always felt that I could easily travel with my Bluefin SUP in tow, even when faced with the unpaved roads, which I accidentally drove through on more than one occasion!
A Special Bluefin Thanks!
Thanks so much to Marlen Zimmer for this awesome blog. If you would like to contribute to our Paddler Blog, then please email us at email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!