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Southeastern Albania

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Balkans : Albania : Southeastern Albania
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A picture taken by the air of a castle in Kurvelesh in the Tepelene District

Southeastern Albania is a region of Albania.

Regions[edit]

Cities[edit]

  • Berat — Thought to be one of the oldest towns in Albania, it is a new member of the UNESCO world heritage list. Berat has long been known as the "city of 1001 windows" because of its unique Ottoman/Albanian architecture. It has a well preserved castle with residents still living inside its protective walls. Nearby is located the world famous Osum Canyon.
  • Gjirokastër — another UNESCO city, located in the south is known for its unique Ottoman period architecture. There is a large castle on the hill in the middle of the city which served as a jail for many generations. A Military Museum and Art Gallery are now located inside. Gjirokastër is also the birthplace of former communist Leader, Enver Hoxha, as well as Albania's most internationally famous author, Ismail Kadare, their homes now serve as museums.
  • Korçё — Located in southeast Albania, several miles from the Greek border, this city is Albania's cultural capital. It is full of life during the summer when you can find couples and families strolling through the city's main park, Parku Rinia. You can hike to the top of the beautiful mountain Moravia and view the city and its surrounding landscape. Don't miss the Korca Brewery (famous throughout Albania) which sponsors a week long Beer Festival every August!
  • Librazhd — a small city located in the east of Albania, perched atop the river Shkumbin.
  • Pёrmet — Nicknamed “The City of Roses,” Pёrmet is located in the Vjosa River Valley, approximately 30 kilometers from the Greek border. The city is known for its clean environment and tradition of wine and raki making. Old Permet is worth a look.
  • Pogradec — Overshadowed by its glitzy neighbors on the Macedonian side of the lake, the town of Pogradec has been experiencing a revival recently.
  • Tepelene

Other destinations[edit]

  • Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park — national park inhabitated by rare plant and animal species
  • Tomorr National Park — Mountain ridge and national park in the southern part of Albania, not far from Berat. This part of the country is formed by parallel mountain ridges (up to around 2000-2500 m) separated by valleys. Although the ridges are not very long, they offer few days of hiking with enormous scenic beauty and fantastic panoramic views. Tomorri is one of the most known ridges with a Bektash monastery and chapel on the very top.
  • Sotira Waterfalls near Gramsh
  • Prespa National Park bording Prespa Lake and Ohrid Lake
  • Fir of Hotova National Park north of Permet
  • Historic Moscopole (Voskopoja), alpine Dardha, Boboshticё, and Vithkuq villages near Korçё, and Benjё, and Leusё villages near Pёrmet
  • Fir of Drenova National Park east of Korçё

Understand[edit]

This is the inland region of Albania to the south of the Shkumbin River. It borders Macedonia and Greece and includes the great border lakes, Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.

Talk[edit]

The native tongue of much of the region is the southern, namely Tosk, dialect of Albanian, the one which the standard Albanian is officially based on.

You will also encounter native Greek speakers in the southern reaches of the region; however, native Greek speakers are not encouraged to use the language by the regime. In the Prespa region, Macedonian is also spoken by the minority there.

Get in[edit]

  • From FYROM: Qafe Thanё at SH9 road, Tushemisht, or Goricё border crossings.
  • From Greece: Kapshticё at SH3 road, Tre Urat, or Kakavia at SH4 road.

Get around[edit]

Getting around by car or bus is probably the only available means of transportation. Lack of paving is not uncommon especially inland.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Këlcyrë Gorge (Gryka e Këlcyrës) is a 13 km long gorge near Këlcyrë along the Vjosa River. Small waterfalls sprout along its walls while a number of tourist areas exist in the region with the main being at Rrepët e Grykës. Further down are Langarica and Carhova River Canyons.
  • Benjë Thermal Waters and Katiu Bridge (Llixhat e Benjës dhe Ura e Katiut) are located 8 km from Përmet in Petran Commune. Small thermal water lakes have been formed from the many water sources with varying temperatures. Nearby is located the Katiu or Ali Pasha Ottoman Bridge built by the latter in 19th century.
  • Cold Water of Tepelena (Uji i Ftohtë Tepelenë) is a natural fresh water source found 8 km south of Tepelenë along the Gjirokastër-Tepelenë highway (SH4). The area features a rest area with a restaurant of traditional cuisine, and a bottling complex of the famous Uji Ali Pashë Tepelena company.
  • Frashëri Brothers Museum House and Tombs (Shtëpia Muze dhe Varrezat e Vëllezërve Frashëri) located in Frashër village inside Fir of Hotova National Park boundaries. The brothers are the leading figures of Albanian National Renaissance movement (Rilindja Kombetare) initiating Albania's break from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. There is also found Bektashi Tekke of Frasheri
  • Church of Leusa (Shen Maria) in Leusa village near Permet features outstanding iconography paintings. Probably the most spectacular church in Albania, it was not burned in WW2 from it resembling more an art gallery than a church.
  • Viroit Park and Lake (Parku i Viroit) [1] is a park encompassing the Viroi Lake and surrounding hills located 2 km north of Gjirokastër along the SH4. The park features a relaxing environment and an accommodation area.
  • Shelegur Lake near Leskovik in Kolonje District
  • Bogova waterfalls between Berat and Corovode
  • Myfit Bey Sarajet and Castle, and the Tombs of Ali Pashe Tepelena's Sister and Nephew in Libohove village southeast of Gjirokaster. Visit the 400 year old olive tree at the centre of town.
  • Shen Pjeter and Shen Gjergji Churches in Dardhe village
  • Church of Mali Grad Island on Prespa Lake


Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Rafting in the canyons and gorges of the region
  • Hike the surrounding mountains of Dardhe alpine village and ski at a modest local ski resort nearby
  • Horseback or walking tours along the footsteps of Lord Byron's visit of 1809
  • Visit Old Permet and examine the architecture of Benje and Leusa villages
  • Buy traditional handmade souvenirs made by local craftswomen in Kolonja District
  • Visit the stone built houses of Rehove village and hike along the lily and wild goat meadows of Gramoz Mt

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Traditional Gliko sweets
  • Byrek me dy peta or picarik, a pizza like pie, and local pickles
  • Beans, Tave Peshku, and Pastrama dish in Prespa region
  • Kernacka and baked Ohrid Trout

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Raki of Pёrmet made from wild plums
  • Mavrud type wine

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]



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