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Among many Albanians, the northern city of Shkodër is known as the nation’s cradle of art and culture. This is apparent not only by its long list of names who have contributed to Albanian arts and culture throughout centuries but also in the unique manner the people of Shkodër lead their daily lives. There is no other city in Albania that hosts this number of national and international artistic events throughout the year. Especially in this regard, the joyful spirit of Shkodër and its atmosphere remains unrivaled!
Venice’s influence on the city of Shkodër is most evident in its carnival, which was first organized as early as the 1860s. After the 90s, this tradition underwent a revival and, each year, the atmosphere becomes increasingly enchanting!
This party, rooted in catholic tradition, usually begins on the second week of February, prior to the upcoming Lent period, so that believers can fully celebrate before their sacrificial month begins. In much the same way as in the rest of the world, the carnival in Shkodër is no longer strictly catholic, but has become more of a way of getting together and celebrating with friends and families along the promenade, as well as an excuse of donning intricate masks and having a great time without worrying about reality!
Masked balls are a significant part of the carnival, whose beautiful, masterfully made masks recall that famous town of the epic carnivals: Venice. Indeed, it could not be otherwise, as one of the most renowned master workers of Venetian masks is the great artisan Edmond Angoni, who exports his masks internationally to cities such as New York and Las Vegas from his workshop in Shkodër. Even the masks worn in the spectacular Venetian carnivals are made in Shkodër, a particular point of pride among this northern Albanian town’s population.
If you find yourself in Shkodra, you can get a good look at Angoni’s unique masks in the “Venice Art Mask Factory”, already a landmark among many of Shkodra’s visitors.
Since 1963, this famous contest, which is responsible for discovering the best young voices in the country, has never been absent from Shkodra’s stage and, especially during the post-Communist period in the country, it became a nationwide household name. The contest gives Albania’s talented young singers the rare opportunity of working with some of the best composers and musicians in Albania. Organized in May, this has become a very popular, social event for locals and visitors alike.
Organized in the beginning of summer, this festival brings countless world-famous jazz musicians in Shkodër. This particular festival is specifically organized with the public in mind, with stages scattered around town in order to engage the entire population of the city. This is everyone’s event!
During the month of November, the 13th edition of the well-known children’s film festival brings some of the best children’s movies to town! Famous names from the international children’s film industry are usually guests of honor in this festival and the best part of it all is that the festival’s jury is comprised of bright, middle school or high school students.
A city that loves art and culture undoubtedly has a special place in its heart for flowers, as well! Every 6th of May, Shkodra honors the beauty of flowers through its Flower Festival, wherein the entire town, and especially the beautiful, legendary Castle of Rozafa, is embellished by an astounding assortment of flowers, rivaling those famous tulip fields of Holland! Countless concerts and other great events are organized as part of this festival, creating a truly intoxicating atmosphere.
Every 3rd of June, the city of Shkodër honors its oldest and most loyal citizen, the Lake of Shkodra, during an entire day specifically dedicated to it. This day signals the official beginning of the summer season in Shirokë, where countless water sports and social events gather the entire city in this beautiful, historical lakeside village. The Lake of Shkodra is the largest lake in the Balkans, separating Albania from Montenegro. As such, both countries celebrate their joint lake and cooperate in making this day as amazing as possible!
Located on the Adriatic coast and only a 30-minute drive away from the capital of Tirana, the beach of Durrës is the longest and most populated one in Albania. Modern architectural structures, like the Sphinx, the vibrant promenade and delicious seafood restaurants are a serious part of this city’s charm. Durrës is also home to [...]
A city rich in history and spectacular landscapes, in addition to being one of the gastronomic centers of the entire country, Lezha packs a full day of valuable and delicious amusement. After you have enjoyed your morning coffee in one of the many cafés in town, head to Lezha Castle, from where you will get [...]
The City of 1001 Windows is a national cultural and heritage center that reserves beautiful strolls along cobbled alleys in its famous Mangalem, Gorica and Castle neighborhoods and much more. One of the most historic and oldest cities in Albania, Berat will fill your entire day with beautiful landscapes in addition to its rich culture [...]
The last coastal city along the famous Southern Riviera is one of the most ideal places to spend your day In reality, the legendary coastal city of Saranda would ideally require more time to be fully experienced. However, if you only have 24 hours to spend here, we can suggest the absolute must-sees of this [...]
Tirana has been Albania’s administrative center for almost a century but this city’s history goes even further back in time. While the toponym Tirana was first mentioned in the 15th century as “Plenium Tyrenae” (“Field of Tirana”), the city became an established settlement almost two centuries later, in 1614, with the establishment of a mosque [...]
The vibrant coastal city of Vlora is a requisite stop for every tourist visiting Albania during the summer. Vlora marks the boundary between two seas – the Adriatic and the Ionian – which, in turn, are simultaneously shared between three countries: Albania, Greece, Italy. Boasting an enviably long and beautiful coastline, the ideal exploration of [...]
Pogradec is the quintessential nostalgic city! This particular sensation arises as you cruise down the national road and an image of utter calm and timeless beauty unfolds before you. The smooth, creamy blue surface of Lake Ohrid, punctuated by lively swans and seagulls! This is the lake of a certain delicious fish called koran, found [...]
This southernmost city in Albania is quite the multifaceted place! An ideal destination for your holidays, year-round. A location full of virgin beaches and delicious seafood. Sharing a border with Greece, Saranda is also a gateway to this other significant cultural destination. Last but not least, entry fees in the most wonderful parks and destinations [...]
Most refer to Dibra’s northeastern highlands as Albania’s roof. This region’s highly diverse nature is due to the high peaks and low valleys found along Dibra’s rugged landscape. As one of the largest geographical areas of the entire country, Dibra boasts more than 50 spectacular natural monuments. Countless caves hidden among beautiful mountains, small lakes, [...]