Karavasta lagoon is the largest offshore wetland in Albania. Definitely the most beautiful lagoon on the Adriatic coast, it is located about 1 hour drive from Fier. The lagoon is divided from the sea by the Divjaka pine forest. The lagoon is composed of an inner lagoon and a small outer lagoon. Three channels link the lagoon with Adriatic sea. The lagoon is declared a National Park and it is the only official Ramsar site in Albania.
It is the most western nesting site for Dalmatian Pelican (Pelicanus Crispus) in Europe, about 5% of the world’s population of the birds call Karavasta home, and you can often see them flying overhead even in the town center. The wetland shelters large quantities of wintering water birds. In total 228 species of birds have been counted. Among the birds are: Dalmatian pelican, Great White Egret, Mallard, Pintail, Teal, Skylark. Waders include Lapwing, Ruff, Redshank, Sandpiper and various others. It is also a major nesting site for species of conservation concern, such as: Dalmatian Pelican, Great spotted Eagle, White Tailed Eagle etc.
There are 29 different species of amphibians and reptiles (including Loggerhead sea turtle) and 25 species of mammals including Otter, Weasel, White-toothed shrew, Wood mouse, Roe deer and Red fox.
Karavasta lagoon is a great place for the adventurous visitor, and although there is no tourism infrastructure in the lagoon area as of yet, it offers great eco-tourism as well as nature and bird watching opportunities.
You can hire a driver in Divjaka and ask him to take you to Dajlan, the site of the largest of the three channels connecting the lagoon to the Adriatic. It’s a great place to get right up close to the water and see some fisherman in action. You could also hop off of the Divjake beach bus at the entrance to the forest and take any of the larger gravel roads or paths left (south); you will end up at the maze of fingerlets of water making up the northern “soft” edge of the lagoon. This walk includes virgin pine forest and open wetlands, but make sure you wear long sleeves or carry bug repellant.
Karavasta lagoon is located next to Divjaka Beach, so follow the same directions.