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The gods were truly inspired when they created Përmet, giving this town a timeless picturesque landscape. Here, the mountains, hills, rivers and forests play a spectacular game of hide-and-seek! Përmet has gradually become one of the most visited destinations for outdoor adventure. Rafting across the Vjosa River and healthy recreation in its natural thermal baths are the two main attractions. The baths are highly recommended by doctors for their health benefits. They are, however, also wonderful to immerse yourself in for no other reason than pure pleasure!
The Vjosa River flows across the entire valley and eventually branches out into the Langarica River, the latter stretching across a canyon of the same name. The caves within the Langarica Canyon are spectacular! Warm waters join Langarica’s stream which, despite the cold temperatures of the river, remain at 29-30 degrees Celsius year-round. These are the thermal baths of Bënja, or llixha as they are called in Albania, located only 13 km from the center of Përmet. Hundreds of people come here to seek recovery from rheumatism or skin and kidney ailments. In fact, each thermal pool serves a particular curative purpose! These baths, rich in minerals, are located very close to each other.
Bënja’s waters are smooth and clear and contain a high content of sulfur. The stone baths are the most authentic and, as such, they attract visitors year-round. The winter, when the temperatures in Përmet fall below 0 degrees Celsius, is the best time to immerse yourself in these hot baths. Remember, 20-25 minutes suffices! More time in the highly sulfuric waters is quite overwhelming and not necessarily healthy.
Don’t be surprised if you notice people entirely covered in black mud! These deposits of the thermal waters contain regenerative properties for the skin. These waters flow from deep chasms of the cliffs surrounding the Langarica Canyon and have been well-known since antiquity. You can find two of the largest and most popular baths at the foot of the Bridge of Katiu (the Judge’s Brigde). These are particularly beneficial for curing gastric and rheumatic diseases. At once, you get all the natural health benefits while taking in the scenic landscape of Përmet.
The beautiful Ottoman bridge is yet another attraction of this area. In fact, this area represents a valuable archeological site in general. The earliest objects found in the cave settlements belong to the Neolithic (7000-3000 BC) and the Eneolithic (3000-2000 BC) periods.