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The old legend recounting the division between the old and new Qeparo tells of the seaside village being built where a light flashed in the dark. Qeparo Valley with its beautiful olives and aromatic citrus appears right after passing the Porto Palermo bay. Beside the valley, sits the long beach with the turquoise sea in the horizon.
With Himara as the departure point, the road is only 13 km long and full of the beautiful Mediterranean views, for which the Ionian coast is famous. The locals say that Qeparo’s name comes from the cypress tree, ubiquitous in the area. Unlike the many rocky beaches of the south, Qeparo Beach has fine sand and the sea is shallow in its first few meters, thus different from the immediate depths of Dhërmi and Jali. The aforementioned reasons make Qeparo a family favorite. An quaint old pier erected on massive rocks can be seen in the Qeparo Bay, as well.
Qeparo is divided between the old and new villages. The road to the center of the village winds through olive groves before reaching the stately-looking monastery and church located there. The two Byzantine-style buildings date back to the 18th century and are known for their wooden iconostasis. Indeed, the architectural style of old Qeparo is one of its most defining qualities. Two or three-story stone houses, with windows looking out toward the sea, are linked to one other via the village’s cobbled streets. The old village stands high above the hills, separated from the lower village by the numerous lines of trees and the national road.
Qeparo is also renowned for several monuments like Ali Pasha’s Castle, located about 1 km north of the village. The object, a large house which looks onto the sea as well as the streets of the old Qeparo, is made of stone and contains architectural elements typical of this area. The ruins of Qeparo Castle are another interesting stop as early settlement trails are located on the high rocky hills. The upper village is dominated by old monasteries, churches and stone houses which are periodically restored.
During the hot summer months, Qeparo is livened up by the many tourists who choose this area for its many offerings: its old and preserved architecture, rich natural surroundings, the delicious village food and the white, calm beach. Do not be surprised to meet many French and British people on the cobbled streets of Qeparo. You will be surprised to find that many of them are not tourists. They have purchased houses in the old village, hoping to really experience the pure beauty and mystical air of Qeparo.