Lure National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombetar i Lures) is in Northeastern Albania (41° 47′ N, 20° 11′ E).
Lurë National Park is on the eastern slopes of the Lurë Mountains. It was established in 1966 by a decision of the Council of Ministers of Albania. The national park covers an area of around 1280 ha. The town of Peshkopi is about 25 km east of the National Park, and the villages of Fushë-Lurë and Sina e Epërme are nearby.
In 2014, the Albanian government launched a rehabilitation campaign including reforestation, roadwork, and the putting of new signs. After the fall of communism, the area suffered massive deforestation from illegal logging and forest fires that severely affected ecosystems.
The National Park is home to many rare species of wildlife and natural beauty. The glacial complex of the lakes is one of the most beautiful pearls of Albania and comprise a prime attraction for visitors to Lurë National Park. The twelve glacial lakes of Lurë that were formed during the Würm glacial period have a general surface area of 100 ha. They are located in the northeastern part of the nation in the Dibra district at an elevation between 1,200 and 1,500 m (3,937 and 4,921 ft). In summer, the Lake of Flowers becomes an astonishing display of big white water lilies, leaving the impression of a big garden created by the hand of a mastermind. The waters are home to the smooth newt and the great crested newt. In winter, the lakes freeze becoming part of the cross-country skiing trails through the park.
The five principal lakes are:
- Great Lake (Alb.: Liqeni i Madh), 32 hectares;
- Lake of the Pines, 13 hectares;
- Black Lake (Alb.: Liqeni i Zi), 8 hectares;
- Lake of Flowers (Alb.: Liqeni i Luleve), 4 hectares
- Cow's Lake (Alb.: Liqeni i Lopeve)
Flora and fauna
The most common type of tree in the park is the beech which is found at altitudes between 900 and 1,000 m (2,953 and 3,281 ft) to 1,900 and 2,000 m (6,234 and 6,562 ft). European black pines are abundant between 1,600 and 1,700 m (5,249 and 5,577 ft) elevation, and red pines are found on rocky slopes between 1,700 and 2,000 m (5,577 and 6,562 ft) elevation. These forests are home to the rare European brown bear, Eurasian lynx, Eurasian wolf, European pine marten, roe deer and Western capercaillie.
The southern part of the park has a meadow of multi-color flowers and coniferous trees called the Field of Mares which offers scenic views. The park offers variety of possibilities for eco-tourism, winter sports, equitation, horse riding, and other activities.
From Tirana, follow SH1 highway northbound towards Shkodra and turn right on the Trumpet Interchange at Milot along A1. Exit the A1 at Rreshen along SH30. Then turn left onto SH34 road. The latter has been paved until Perlat. Afterwards, a difficult path follows. Ask locals for directions as they are very courteous.
Fees and permits
There are no fees to be paid. National Park contact: Bekim Qosja, Tel. +355 68 230 7406, Address: Bulevardi Elez Isufi, Peshkopi, Albania
A 4x4 vehicle is a must on this difficult terrain.
- Lura Lakes. There are 14 glacial lakes surrounded by pine trees dating back thousands of years. Visit the Flowers Lake where a legend says that when the sun goes out, the flowers deep underneath the water and vice versa. But be aware that the years of political transition have left their mark on the park as the area has suffered from considerable illegal logging.
- Alpine lock-in towers made from stone as testimony of the bloodfeud tradition
- Visit Albanian independence signatory Dom Nikoll Kacorri's museum house
- Church of St Mary (Kisha e Shen Merise). The church was recently reconstructed and features modest iconography
- Camp in the area to taste the region's natural beauty such as flowing streams in the picturesque meadows.
- Hike to Kurora e Neshtes peak at 2051 meters and Bruci Lake overlooking surrounding mountain peaks and some towns as far as Durres
- Medicinal flowers
- Organic diary products
- Cold water trout
- Local Flower Honey
- Fresh water from numerous water sources
Lura has two hotels, Hotel Lura and Hotel Turizmi and several guesthouses.
- 1 Lura Hotel, Rr Borie Lure, SH34, Fushë Lurë, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bujtina Erti Hotel Camping. Wonderful guesthouse with nice cold water trout cultivation pool and camping site.
- 2 Hotel Turizmi (Turizmi i vjeter), Rruga Lures, Lure (From Rreshen, along SH34 turn right towards the lakes and turn left after 1 km), ☎ .
- 3 Guesthouse Vladimir Marku, Arras, Komuna Arras, Diber, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The owner is a competent and very friendly guide! B&B 10€, All Inclusive 15€.