From the moment I learned about Lake Koman, Albania I knew I had to visit the place. All the Lake Koman pictures I’ve seen looked mind-blowing, out of this work and unreal, and then when I read about visiting Lake Koman every single report just confirmed that yes, this is a spectacular place that somehow still not so many people know about.
When I was planning my trip to Albania I put Lake Koman in my itinerary right away. Even if a trip was a bit exhausting (seriously, I fell asleep at 9 that evening, that’s how tired I was), it was definitely worth the effort and fatigue. Lake Koman definitely lives up to its hype and it exceeded my expectation.
When you plan your Albania itinerary be sure to include Lake Koman in it too. You will not be disappointed, this is surely one of the best places to visit in Albania and one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see!
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About Lake Koman, Albania
Located in the northern part of Albania, not far from Shkoder and just a stone’s throw away from the spectacular Valbona Valley National Park, Lake Koman is in fact the artificial lake (the reservoir). It was created when the hydroelectric power station was built in the 1980s on the Drin River with the 115-meters high dam on one side, near Komani village (hence the name of the lake).
But even if this breathtaking place was created by humans, it doesn’t feel that way. Lake Komani is secluded and wild, and the surrounding doesn’t feel like it was touched by a human’s hand (except for a few occasional villages along the way).
The emerald water, so clear that it looks unreal, meanders for over 70 kilometers through mountains, in the narrowest place surrounded by vertical canyon walls, the width is only 50 meters (usually it’s around 400 meters).
The place is also home to numerous species of animals and birds, if you are lucky you might spot them around when visiting Lake Koman.
How to get to Lake Koman
Even if the place is rather secluded, visiting Lake Koman isn’t as difficult as it seems.
The places are easily reachable by car, although a big part of the road leading to Lake Koman is in a rather poor condition so expect to drive pretty slow there (at least you can see some spectacular views of the surrounding area on your way). From the road connecting Tirana with Shkoder, you need to turn towards Vau Dejes and then follow the Drin river all the way to Koman. Tirana is around 140 km away (3 hours by car) and Shkoder is 60 km away (1,5 hours by car).
If you don’t have your own car/motorcycle/bike you can still easily get to Lake Koman. That’s how I visited the place and had no issues with transportation.
I used the transport offered by Komani Lake Ferry Berisha company by paying directly to the driver. Everything was arranged via email (however the answer time was a bit slow) but I never was asked for the reservation by the driver.
I took the early morning minibus from Tirana, departing from the Gazheli Petrol station next to Zogu i Zi roundabout in the center of the city. The bus was supposed to be at 4:50 a.m. but it was a few minutes delayed.
The journey to the Lake Koman ferry took 3,5 hours, including a short coffee/toilet stop on the way. The price was the bus transfer is 1400 leke or 10 Euro.
There are also transfers from Shkoder and Valbona, those pick you up from your accommodation. From Shkoder the ticket is 700 leke or 6 Euro and the pick-up starts at 6:30 a.m., from Valbona the price is the same, the pick-up starts at 10:30 a.m.
Lake Koman ferry
There are a few companies operating the Lake Koman ferry.
I used Berisha ferry as that was the first result in google and their schedule worked for me. They operate between mid-April and early November (in 2022 it’s April 9th and November 2nd). The ferry departs from Koman at 9 in the morning and arrives in Fierze some 2,5-3 hours later. On the way back it departs from Fierze at 13:00.
The Berisha ferry has 3 levels of decks: the lower one is for cars, the middle one is where you will find indoor seating and a small cafe and the upper one is the open-air passenger area.
While the views are the most amazing from the upper deck I stayed at the back of the middle one (there is a seating area that not many people seemed to notice) and it felt kind of mystical to be mostly on my own with the spectacular landscape around.
The company that operates the Berisha ferry also has a Dragobia boat that is designated for passengers, bikes, and motorcycles only. It departs from Fierza at 6:00 and from Koman at 9:00. The boat is much smaller but you get more of a local experience there as you also stop in a few places along the way (depending on the locals’ and travelers’ needs).
I believe the ferry is a better option for admiring the landscape and especially for taking pictures as the upper decks can give you a better perspective of the landscape around.
The price for the Lake Koman ferry is 1000 leke (8€) per person, cheaper if you book online. Bicycles cost 1200 leke (10€), motorbikes 2500 leke (20€) and cars 800 leke/m2 (7€/m2).
I took the Berisha ferry in April and it wasn’t very crowded but I was still surprised by how many people there were. I can only imagine it gets busy in the summer time.
You can find more info about Berisha ferry and book your tickets at their website.
Another company that operates the Lake Koman ferry is Alpin which is a bit more upscale than Berisha. It departs from Fierza at 08:00 and from Koman at 11:00. The price is 1200 leke (10€) per person, 1500 leke (13€) for a bicycle, 3000 leke (25€) for a motorcycle and 4000 leke (35€) for a car. You can find more details at the Alpin website.
There is also a Rozafa ferry that departs from Koman at 09:00 and from Fierza at 13:00 but when I visited Lake Koman I didn’t see it operating, only parking in Koman. Its website also gives very little information. Still, it seems like it might be another option for Lake Koman trip. You can find the details here.
Lake Koman day trip
You can easily visit Lake Koman even if you don’t plan to continue your journey further to Valbona. It can be done as a day trip from Tirana or from Shkoder. Or, like me, you can go from Tirana to Shkoder by visiting Lake Koman on the way.
Doing a Lake Koman day trip from either Tirana or Shkoder is actually super easy although you can prepare for a long day (especially if you go from Tirana). Take the morning transfer from one of the cities to Koman, then hop on the ferry at 09:00 to Fierza followed by the ferry back at 13:00. Once you arrive back in Koman there are minibusses waiting to take you back to Tirana or Shkoder.
Visiting Lake Koman – practical information
In the high season, the ferries might get busy so it’s better to arrive at the dock in advance, especially if you travel by car, to secure a spot on the ferry.
The ferry can get a bit windy, especially in the mornings. Keep that in mind when planning a trip and take some warmer clothes with you.
I spent almost the whole journey on the back of the middle deck at Berisha ferry and I can definitely recommend this spot – it was less busy and less windy than everywhere else on the ferry.
Once you arrive in Fierza there is a small place with coffee and snacks where you can sit down and relax at the lake’s shore. The prices are regular. There is also a small cafe point at the ferry.
Apparently, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are less busy on the ferries so you might want to plan your trip to Lake Koman on one of these days.
Besides the scheduled ferries and boat services, you can also go for a tour of Lake Koman. Some of the tours include also Shala River which offers some mindblowing views too.
There are transfer services to/from Tirana, Shkoder, and Valbona that connect with the ferry schedule. They can get especially busy in the summertime so it’s better to book your spot before the trip.
If you don’t have a ticket for the onward minibus it’s better to be among the first to leave the ferry to find the bus. You might need to ask around for the right bus, when I visited they didn’t have the destination signs. The bus departed quickly after the ferry’s arrival.
The ferry ride takes 2,5-3 hours from Koman to Fierza (or in a reverse direction) but you won’t feel this time, you will be too occupies with admiring the breathtaking landscape around.
Check the schedules of different companies to see which one works the best for your trip. I used the Berisha ferry and everything went smoothly.
When I had to change my plans and skip Valbona I emailed the company if I need to book a new ticket or if I could use the one I had booked for another day. They changed my ticket with no problems.
There are a few accommodation options along the lake if you would like to stay a bit longer in this beautiful scenery. You can check them out and book a place here.
Final thoughts on visiting Lake Koman
I can easily say that Lake Koman exceeded my expectations and no pictures can do the justice to the place. I spent all these hours on the ferry just staring at the landscape around me, with my jaw dropped, and not for a second did I find it boring.
Even if the ferry trip takes 2,5 hours (that’s how long it was in my case), the scenery is changing constantly and every view takes your breath away. I thought it would maybe be boring on the way back but no, it’s still different and beautiful as the angle and the perspective you look at the surroundings changes.
I was shocked when I saw later that day that I had taken almost 400 pictures during my Lake Koman trip, the place was so stunning I wanted to capture it all. With no doubt, Lake Koman in Albania is among the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
When you plan your trip to Albania be sure to secure at least a day to go to Lake Koman (but preferably more to continue your journey towards Valbona and Albanian Alps). I’m certain you will fall as much for the place as I did and you will be left speechless with all the beauty Lake Koman offers.
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