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Through rapid development and modernization, Albania has not lost its traditional flair! Quite the opposite, the traditional has merged with the modern to create a uniquely Albanian atmosphere that is worth experiencing firsthand. To the visitors’ great joy, Albania remains a wonderfully hospitable country with warm and enthusiastic hosts. Communication is a kind of sport among Albanians, as is abundantly clear from the countless, constantly buzzing cafes and restaurants in its major cities. Yet, these are not the only places one encounters fascinating people. It is actually in the many small shops and boutiques around the cities, the old historic streets, the old bazaars that sell fresh food, spices and artisanal objects, the outdoor parks and even in the organized street parties that the visitor can have a stab at really knowing Albania through its people.
Our top picks for 2020 reveal off-the-beaten-path destinations, popular summer fests, picturesque villages, a tour in antiquity, an authentic agritourism experience and more. Discover them below. The Korab-Koritnik Natural Park, located northeast of the country, encompasses the vast Koritnik-Gjallica-Korab mountain range. Its diverse mosaic of valleys and waterways creates some of the stunning vistas in [...]
A pattern with a length of 3 centimetres, borrowed from a traditional Berat sako (a long, embroidered coat), finely detailed with embroidery. An intricate bit of detailing borrowed from an article medieval attire, it’s made larger, and more visible, through the fine art of embroidery. This is Egla Memaj’s mode of expression, her art-form if you will. [...]
What better way to get to know the capital than a foolproof guide by this well-known TV personality, entrepreneur, and owner of one of the most visited touristic spots in town, Komiteti Café-Museum? To see his favorite Tirana hangouts, read over his list below. I am a serious admirer of coffee and just love to [...]
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 [...]
After relocating from Torino to Tirana years ago, Anna Giulia Buonanno is an Italian who has by now settled in her new life in Albania, where she teaches Italian language and culture in some of the most important academic institutions in the country. I really like the area around arTurbina: there is ample space for [...]
The author of “Flight,” a collection of essays on the city, and Tirana native gives us her step-by-step perfect day around Albania’s capital while counting her favorite things. Cioccolatitaliani for the delicious coffee and drinks, people watching, and to cool off from the summer heat. Friend’s Book House to work and socialize, simultaneously. The Pyramid. [...]
Along the way at the Old Bazaar in Gjirokastra, you will inevitably run into Anastas Petridhi, a true master of woodwork. Each visitor who enters his shop finds him working! The maestro can transform a simple plate of beech or pine wood into a fine work of art in the blink of an eye. Anastas [...]
A man of deep wrinkles and intelligent eyes awaits you in the Gjirokastra Bazaar. His name is Muhedin Makri. He continues the trade of handmade stone carvings and small sculptures, passed on to him from previous generations. His grandfather and father taught him this handcraft involving nature’s hardest material and the symbol of Gjirokastra, the city [...]
Embroidery is a craft that Albanian women have cultivated and mastered throughout centuries! To this day, most Albanian homes are embellished by traditional pieces of elegant embroidery. In the historic neighborhood of Gjirokastër called Qafa e Pazarit, or the Old Bazaar, we meet one of the true masters of embroidery in town, Vjollca Mezini. It [...]
If you love original woodwork, you simply must visit Moren Handmade! Located to the left of Çajupi High School in Tirana, this charming atelier is where woodworking maestro Fatmir aims to take the passion of a lifetime to even greater heights. “When I look at a piece of wood, I always wonder how I can [...]