In the North of Albania you can find the beautiful Komani Lake, a lake that was formed back in the 1970 when two dams were placed, one in Koman and one in Fierze. A boat ride through this blue water lake will take you through the valley with views over the greenest hills and the most beautiful mountains. The 2.5 hour ferry ride has quickly became one of the most popular things to do in North Albania, and was undeniably one of the highlights of our travels through Albania. There were times where the water was so still that it created mirror-like reflections of the valley, a magical sight. Intrigued? Keep on reading to find everything you need to know about taking the Komani Lake Ferry, including the route, schedule, how to get there, how to buy tickets and more!
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Komani Lake Ferry Route & Schedule
The Komani Lake Ferry operates on a daily basis between Koman and Fierze, a 2.5 hour boat ride that will take you from one destination to the other through the most beautiful valleys. However, Koman and Fierze itself, besides both being a start and end point of the ferry ride, are destinations you can quickly forget about as it doesn’t have much to offer. While the Komani Lake Ferry was originally not intended for tourist it now has become one of the most popular activities in the North of Albania.
Now, you might be wondering actually how to take the ferry, as the Koman Lake isn’t necessarily located close to the city. Koman, can be reached from both Shkoder and Tirana and Fierze can be reached by travellers coming from Kosovo or Valbona. You actually don’t need to have your own vehicle to take this ferry, as minibuses (furgons) operate between the cities and the ferry terminals, but more on that below. To have a better idea of where your starting point of the ferry will be check out the map below.
Single Trip or Return?
Before you hop on the ferry or book your tickets online you might want to decide one thing first: single trip or return? The Komani Lake Ferry can be done both as a day trip or as a way to travel to your next destination. If you want to do it as a day trip part of your North Albania itinerary we would highly recommend going from Shkoder as this city is located closest to the lake and is the easiest to reach from other cities such as Tirana and Kotor (Montenegro).
However, one of the most popular reasons to take the Komani Lake Ferry is to complete a 3 day loop that takes you through the mountains Albania. Travellers, us included, start in Shkoder and travel to Theth or Valbona to complete a beautiful hike that connects the two villages. No matter if you start in Theth or Valbona first you can easily add the Komani Lake Ferry to your itinerary as the ferry operates both ways. We made the decision to add the ferry ride before our hike, stayed the night in Valbona and hiked from Valbona to Theth the following day. While it definitely is a bit of a detour, it is a detour that was 100% worth it as the views were absolutely incredible!
Komani Lake Ferry Schedule
The most popular company, Berisha, has daily ferry services from two different boats. The first boat is a boat that can hold a large amount of passengers and cars and due to the open deck this is the most popular option for travellers who want to enjoy the scenery, this is the boat we took ourselves. During the high season this option can get quite crowded, so make sure you find a good seat to enjoy the ride! The schedule (in 2019) for Ferry Berisha operates only in the summer months, April to October, and is as following:
- Monday to Sunday – Depart from Koman at 9am.
- Monday to Sunday – Depart from Fierze at 1pm.
The smaller boat, which only transports passengers, operates all year round, even in the winter months. This boat is more likely to make more stops and pick other passengers up from the smaller villages situated around the lake. The schedule for Boat Dragobia (in 2019) is as following:
- Monday to Sunday – Depart from Fierze at 6am.
- Monday to Sunday – Depart from Koman at 9am.
The ferry/boat rides takes roughly 2.5 to 3 hours from Koman to Fierze or vice versa, so simply sit back and enjoy the ride! You can find more info, what time you should be at the terminal and the latest up to date schedule on the Berisha website here. There are other ferry operating services such as Rozafa Ferry, which takes both cars and passengers as well on a smaller boat. However, I was unable to find any website with schedules and prices online. Berisha is by far the most popular way to go, keep on reading to find out why.
Pick up Services
If you have your own car, motorbike or bicycle you can bring this along on the Berisha Ferry and simply drive to and from the ferry terminals yourself. However, you don’t need your own vehicle for the Komani Lake Ferry as there are buses operating between the cities/villages and the ferry terminals as well. While you can try to figure out the bus schedules and the bus departure points yourself by far the easiest option, in our opinion, is to use the pick up service that Berisha offers.
Berisha offers the following complete packages:
- Pickup in Shkoder (6.30am), minibus to Koman, ferry to Fierze, drop off by minibus in Valbona. This is the option we picked.
- Pickup in Tirana (5am), minibus to Koman, ferry to Fierze, drop off by minibus in Valbona.
- Pickup in Valbona (10.30am), minibus to Fierze, ferry to Koman, drop off by minibus in Shkoder.
There is no pickup service from Prizren, meaning that if you are coming from Kosovo you will have to find your own form of transport to Fierze. The minibus picked us up from our guesthouse in Shkoder, and after the ferry the other minibus was so kind to drop us off at our guesthouse as well, making this an easy almost door to door service. For more details regarding their pick up services check the website here.
Komani Lake Ferry Tickets & Prices
So now that you know actually how to get there and decided which boat to take you might be wondering exactly how much this trip will cost you. While taking the minibuses and the ferry is not as affordable as many of the other minibuses it also won’t break the bank.
The prices of the ferry:
- Passenger – €6 or 800 Leke
- Bicycle – €10 or 1400 Leke
- Motorbike – €20 or 2800 Leke
- Car – €6 or 800 Leke per m2
The prices for the pickup services:
- Minibus from Shkoder to Koman – 700 Leke
- Minibus from Fierze to Valbona – 700 Leke
- Minibus from Tirana to Koman – 1400 Leke
As we traveled from Shkoder to Valbona in October 2019 with the use of the minibuses and ferry we paid a total of 2200 Leke, which is roughly €18, per person. Ferry and bus tickets can only be used once, so if you are doing a day trip from Shkoder to Fierze and back you will have to pay for the minibus twice and the ferry twice, with a total of 3000 Leke, roughly €24, per person.
How to buy tickets for the Komani Lake Ferry – As there is only limited space on the ferry it is important to buy your tickets a couple of days in advance to guarantee you will have a spot for your vehicle on the ferry, you will not be allowed on the ferry without a valid ticket or confirmation. There did not seem to be any limitations for the amount of passengers on the ferry, however, minibuses to and from the ferry tend to fill up, so you want to make sure you have a seat reserved. You can simply ask your guesthouse in Shkoder to help you arrange your trip or you can buy your tickets online, including the most up to date prices, for Berisha here. If you buy your tickets online you will be given a small discount. We opted to email the company instead, info can be found on the same link, and to pay in cash instead.
The Komani Lake Ferry – What to Expect
You got your tickets, your bags are packed, and you are ready for the beautiful ferry ride over Lake Koman. But maybe you still have a couple of questions left, we sure did until we actually reached the ferry. So to help you prepare for your trip a little bit better we have a little bit more information left for you. From the actual facilities on board of the ferry to what to pack for the journey.
Facilities on Ferry Berisha
Ferry Berisha is the largest vehicle ferry that operates between Koman and Fierze. No matter spring or summer, this ferry is almost always busy with Tuesday and Wednesday being the least busiest day according to the Berisha website. You can find the following facilities on Ferry Berisha:
- A small cafe selling coffee and snacks.
- A toilet on the deck where the cars are located.
- An inside area with seats (although there are often more passengers then seats).
- A deck upstairs with limited seating options, this is the best spot in our opinion so head over here to find a seat with the best views.
What to pack for the Komani Lake Ferry
While the ferry ride is absolutely beautiful, it can be best enjoyed when fully prepared for the ride. When taking the ferry, no matter if you are going on a day trip or heading to the mountains, here are some of the things you want to be sure to pack with you:
Warm Clothes – A large part of the ferry ride you will be surrounded by hills and mountains, combined with a bit of wind you will find yourself getting cold very quickly, especially in the early mornings. Seats inside are only limited, and we advise you to head to the upper deck for the best views anyway.
Sunscreen and sunglasses – With the water acting as a mirror you will find yourself getting burned pretty easily on a sunny day. Pack some sunscreen to prevent burning and a pair of sunglasses so you won’t have to squint the whole journey!
A packed lunch or breakfast – While some snacks and food are sold on the boat we would recommend bringing your own breakfast or lunch. Combined with traveling to and from the lake you are looking at traveling for at least 6 hours, pack some snacks and drinks to prevent getting hungry. Just make sure to put the trash in the bin or to bring it with you, we already saw plenty of plastic pollution in the lake, no need to add more.
A camera – Trust me, this is a place you will want to take photos of, with the vibrant blue colour of the lake and the beautiful green hills, the views are simply stunning. Make sure you bring a camera with an empty SD card or make sure your phone is charged so you have enough battery to take plenty of photos and videos!
And there you have it, everything you need to know about taking the Komani Lake Ferry in Albania. Got any questions left? Be sure to ask them in the comment section down below!