Velipoja, another gem of the Albanian coast

Velipoja is situated on the estuary of the Buna river (the only navigable river of Albania), where it flows into the Adriatic Sea while constituting the natural border with Montenegro. The administrative unit of Velipoja has a population of around 10,000, spread over several small settlements, the largest of which is the town of Velipoja itself. Since 2005, Velipoja lies within the boundaries of Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape area.

Velipoja offers to vacationers the opportunity to spend holidays on a coastline with clean water and fine sand, but not only that, it is rich in unique natural values, in which are distinguished: Large sand dune with a length of 14 km and width 50–200 m with fine and clean sand, which is called by the locals “Rana of Derman” for its healing properties. The beach is renewed every year by tides and ebbs. The sand of the whole sandy beach has the highest percentage of iodine in the entire Albanian coast. The beach is surrounded by forest with high pine trees and other coniferous and deciduous trees, evergreen shrubs, valleys full of aquatic vegetation, dunes, etc.

The Velipoja area, located about 25 km from the northern capital, Shkodra, has developed year after year, not only with investments in infrastructure, but also in private investments that have brought high levels in the quality of services.The area has many small hotels and guest houses.

But the hospitality of the locals, the organic products, the clean and curative beach and the observance of health safety protocols and order, are a guarantee for more vacationers who will choose this gem in the north for their vacation.

Food in Velipoja is generally traditional. The basis of the cuisine here is fish. Being surrounded on all sides by water, the Shkodra area offers not only abundance, but also a variety of fish species both sea and lake or river. Undoubtedly, the most famous is carp,especially the famous carp casserole, which the people of Shkodra make it very delicious. But in Velipoja you can also find other dishes such as “kebabs”, or meatballs, which are the fastest solution for a light lunch with cold beer, greek salad, chips, or just a fast food on hand.

Even the barbeque ribs baked slow and low melt-in-your-mouth , due to the mastery of the roasting, making it tender. Being part of the Shkodra Lowland, the products of the area, dairies, fruits and vegetables are abundant and organic. There are many restaurants in Velipoja, the most popular one “La Maroja”just a few steps away from the beach.

Viluni Lagoon is located 2 km east of Velipoja beach and has an area of ​​about 300 ha and a depth of 1-3 m. This lagoon is surrounded by wetlands, communicating with the sea through a natural canal, in which due to the tides and ebbs the water changes direction every 6 hours. There is salt water with an average temperature of 20-22 C. This lagoon is rich in fish of different species and quite tasty.

Velipoja reserve (700 ha), lies in the delta of the river Buna, about 8 km away from Velipoja. It consists of a very dense forest with Mediterranean pines, vines, ash, poplar, willow, Mediterranean shrubs, etc. This reserve is rich in wetlands with forest vegetation and shrubs, meadows with dense herbaceous vegetation. Many wild animals live in this forest: rabbit, jackal, wild boar, pheasant, etc. Migratory and perennial birds are numerous.

The reserve is one of the most beautiful places for hosting migratory birds for the winter period such as snipe, water snipe, a wading bird, ducks and geese. The Buna Delta, created from the deposits of this river has the shape of a large triangle based on the sea. The Buna Delta is close to 10 km from the center of Velipoja. A trip from the village of Velipoja to the Buna delta is quite advisable for nature lovers.

Velipoja has a mild climate (average temperature 6-7 ° C), summer is quite hot (average temperature in July, 24 ° C to 48 ° C peak in July-August). The suitable period for sunbathing begins in June and lasts until the end of September. About 1400 mm of rainfall falls annually, mainly concentrated in the second half of autumn and winter.

/Klara Ruci/

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