Virpazar is a small town on Lake Skadar in Montenegro. Its main attraction is its proximity to the lake and as a great starting point for hiking.
You can get to Virpazar by train from either Podgorica or Bar for just €1. Trains also run from Sutomore.
You can also get to Virpazar by bus from Podgorica or Sutomore. Longer-distance buses for example, from Ulcinj, Bar towards Podgorica also stops there but it is important that you tell the bus driver that you want to stop in Virpazar or they will probably drive past it because it is so small. Try to arrange arrival during the daytime. The "Bus Stop" is a shed along the roadside and across the railway tracks from Hotel Pelikan. Boat rides can be arranged from there. You will need to wave down the buses heading to Podgorica or Ulcinj/Bar for your on-ward journey.
The town is very tiny and everything is at walkable distance, except for the train station which is at 15 minutes walking out of the center.
If you come by train, you'll have to follow the main road to get to the center. There is no sidewalk and some dangerous circulation... The good news is that there is a 10 min trail starting on the right side, on the other side of the railroad at the railroad switch (be careful while crossing the railways!). It leads directly at the center of the town (near the restaurant-boat). If you have rolling luggage, rather consider calling a taxi to get to the center.
- There is a very nice abandoned castle over the city that you can hike up to. From there you will get a good view of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
- Ride a boat on a Skadar Lake national park , email: [email protected], tel: +382 81 879 100. Admission fee: €4, plus a boat rental from a private entrepreneur (typically €10 per person per hour). Tickets sold by a Visitors Centre (Vranjina: 01 May-01 Oct: 8am-6pm daily; 01 Oct-01 May: 8am-4pm workdays. Murici: 01 May-01 Oct: 10am-6pm daily; Rijeka Crnojevica: 01 May-01Oct: 10am-6pm daily)
- Take a taxi out to the 'beach.' There are boats that are extremely expensive €20 (?), you'll be much better off haggling with a taxi car driver for €5.
- Hitch hike or walk down the lake to the Arbnez. Expect a lot of walking and camping but this is a spectacular trip. For more information see Ulcinj.
There is an ATM in Virpazar but it can run out of cash and the shops and restaurants don't accept credit cards. Be prepared and come with cash. Other ATMs are located in Sutomore, a 20 minute train ride away on the coast, and Golubovci a 15 minute bus ride towards capital Podgorica.
There are several great restaurants around the town that serve fresh fish from the lake. If you are looking for an opportunity to stop being so cheap and just enjoy and good meal with some great montenegrin wine Virpazar will present you with a good opportunity.
- Konoba Badanj, Virpazar, Main Square, ☎ +382 69 508 019. A very popular eatery, serving local fish specialties. edit
- Villa Miela, Virpazar b.b., ☎ +44 (0)20 3287 0015 or +382 (0)69402364 ([email protected]), . 4 bedroomed villa overlooking the lake and Crmnica valley edit
- Hotel Pelikan, ☎ +382 20 711 011 ([email protected], fax: +382 20 711 011), . checkin: 10:00; checkout: 12:00. €23 / person / night (July '07). edit
- Hotel 13 Jul.
- Apartments Jovicevic, Virpazar, ☎ +38267683208 ([email protected]), . Beautiful apartment in center of Virpazar next to the post office edit
- If you walk into the center of town on the bridge that touches the railroad tracks, then continue straight through town and cross another bridge, old women might ask you if you need "soba" (or a room). This will probably be cheaper.
When you come in to town you will immediately be approached by someone from the main hotel. This person will try and hard sell you into getting a room in the hotel (for something like €40 a night). Don't get sucked in, you can find accommodation a little further up in the town for under €10 per night per person. The hotel restaurant is extremely expensive too.
- When you arrive a man named Aleksander will approach you and try to push you into agreeing to rent his extremely expensive rooms (aprox 50 euro). There are many more options a lot cheaper. It is best to refuse to speak with him at all - if you listen to his selling speech but then refuse to book his tours or accommodation, he will become angry and very rude! He works with Hotel Pelican and they alternate hassling of newly arrived tourists at the bus station.
- If you are stuck for accommodation, ask at the tourist information office - they will help you arrange something suitable. It is located over the first bridge, turn right before the second bridge.