Sign up to create your custom IntoAlbania trip
Your account has been activated!
Located in Reç, about two hours and a half away from Tirana, this guesthouse provides the very best that the Great Highlands of Albania (Malësia e Madhe) has to offer: spectacular nature and landscape, characteristic Albanian hospitality, and farm-fresh delicious food.
Mirash and Zina know they are expecting guests. As soon as they hear our car approaching, they come out on the stairs of the villa’s entrance and welcome us inside. The family farm Rruga e Mullirit (Mill’s Way) is surrounded by a green and mountainous landscape as well as the Chestnut Forest (Pylli i Gështenjave), all of which immediately catapults you into another world.
By now, the couple is accustomed to hosting guests from all over the world and, gathered around the large table out in the garden, they toast to the nice visit that is awaiting us with a glass of their special rose drink. After becoming more acquainted with Mirash and Zina, we learn about the specific processes and activities carried out in this wonderful place. From the harvesting of fruits and vegetables to the exploration of the surrounding hiking trails, the opportunities to divert yourself here are many.
We decide to first visit the Rrjolli Canyon, located only a 10-minute drive from the house. Once upon a time, this entire area was well-known due to the dozens of mills scattered around. Today, you can see the ruins of these mills and, from a distance, the hill atop which sits the Castle of Balleza (where you can also see the ruins of an old church). The canyon is simply breathtaking as, fortunately, it remains untouched by any significant touristic activity.
We return to the guesthouse where Zina is preparing lunch. Some of the guests at the house have become involved in the preparation of the region’s traditional dishes, like local greens (gjethe mëllage) prepared with eggs, squash with sweet cream, or a dish prepared with corn flour called kaçamak. This kind of food is not only delicious but exotic even for those Albanians who live in the city! Lunch is served in the table out in the garden, where the fresh mountain air and the birds chirping lend the entire experience a fairy-tale feel.
Zina’s dishes are full of flavor and you find that it what really becomes challenging is accommodating their sheer variety in the limited space of only one stomach! However, we rest assured and eat all we can as some physical activity is scheduled for the post-lunch hours.
The traditional game is simple and, perhaps because of its simplicity, it inspires the funniest reactions. Two teams of players are involved in this fierce competition of finding which qeleshe (a traditional woolen hat) hides a hazelnut inside it. The resulting laughter and banter among the teams is truly epic!
Staying in a family farm implies much more than nature, food, or entertainment. An important part of the entire experience is the friendship you create with the host family. For instance, as we talked about Zina’s and Mirash’s marriage, the lady of the house proceeded to show us the century-old xhubleta (traditional kilt) that she wore on her wedding day. A traditional item of the Great Highlands (Malësia e Madhe), the elaborate kilt nearly hypnotized us with its patterns and flawless craftsmanship.
In Albania, Reç is very well-known mainly for its famous Chestnut Forest. If plates filled with delicious cherries characterize the spring table, perfectly roasted chestnuts, courtesy of Mirash, decorate the autumn one. Both images, equally tempting in their difference, fully support his statement that “each season is the right one for agritourism!”
The two-story house has all the necessary facilities and conditions for a truly enjoyable experience. The guests are offered a double-room, two single rooms with two single beds each, and one bathroom per floor. Wi-Fi is available in all of the rooms.
A visit at the Rruga e Mullirit farm guarantees a total detachment from one’s regular life and daily routine. Here, time magically passes by without leaving a trace and, as you become increasingly accustomed to nature and tranquility, you begin to realize how much you stand to gain from such visits. We leave the farm certain of our return.
If you want to book at Rruga e Mullirit click here.