16 DEC – 23 DEC
16 DEC – 23 DEC
Kruja is Skanderbeg’s town. Yes, Albania’s national hero was born here, and although it was over 500 years ago, there’s still a great deal of pride in the fact that he and his forces defended Kruja from the Ottomans until his death. As soon as you get off the furgon (minibus), you’re face to knee with a statue of Skanderbeg wielding his mighty sword with one hand, and the whole town just gets more Skanderdelic after that.
This traditional home in the castle complex below the Skanderbeg Museum houses one of the best ethnographic museums in the country. Set in an original 19th-century Ottoman house that belonged to the affluent Toptani family, the museum shows the level of luxury and self-sufficiency the household maintained by producing its own food, drink, leather and weapons. They even had their very own mini hammam(Turkish bath) and watermill. The walls are lined with original frescos from 1764.
Kruja’s once important castle is these days just an impressive ruin. Within its walls are Albanian flag sellers, pizza restaurants and an array of mildly interesting sights, though few are actually castle-related.
Designed by Enver Hoxha’s daughter and son-in-law, this museum, inside the castle complex, opened in 1982 and its spacious seven-level interior displays replicas of armour and paintings depicting Skanderbeg’s struggle against the Ottomans. The museum is something of a secular shrine, and takes itself very seriously indeed, with giant statues and dramatic battle murals.
This Ottoman-style bazaar was restored in 2015 and now looks better than ever. It’s also one of the country’s best places for souvenir shopping and has antique gems and quality traditional wares, including beautifully embroidered tablecloths, copper coffee pots and plates, although there is a growing amount of tourist tat as well.
Qafë-Shtame National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombetar i Qafe Shtames) resides in the edge mountains Albania’s north of Tirana, about 25 kilometers east of Kruja. It is named after the Qafe-Shtame passage. It has an area of 2000 acres, with a beautiful mountain scenery, some small lakes and major sources consisting mainly of pine forests. The national park was founded in 1996. It is becoming lately a popular attraction for hiking.
With nearly 500km of coastline abutting expanses of rugged mountains, centuries of Ottoman rule and a brief but impactful Italian rule, Albania – and indeed its cuisine – is a mélange of old- and new-world influences. While it would be impossible to crown any one region culinary king, a recent slow-food revolution has swept from peaceful Lezhë to frenzied Tirana, making this 80km stretch home to some of the country’s best fine dining and traditional food – all within a short drive from the capital.
Lezhë Castle(Albanian:Kalaja e Lezhës) is a castle dominating the city of Lezhë, northern Albania. Its highest point is 186 metres (610 ft). Lezhë Castle is at an elevation of 322 metres (1,056 ft).
The castle originates from Illyrian times. In 1440 it was reconstructed by the Venetians, and in 1522, after the Ottoman conquest, it was also rebuilt by the latter. The castle bears traces of Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Interesting places to visit are the ruins of the Ottoman buildings inside the castle, the mosque, the tower of the south-eastern wall with a Roman arch, and the Illyrian tower on the southern wall. The Lezha castle is a cultural monument. The castle offers a beautiful view of the Lezha fields and the Adriatic Sea.
The Memorial of Skanderbeg is the most monumental tomb in Albania. Though it does not contain the remains of the greatest Albanian hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, this memorial remains a place of high significance for Lezha and the entire country.
The most nostalgic and historically popular beach in Lezha. Both beach and port, Shëngjin is beautifully framed by the lagoon which surrounds it. According to locals, Shëngjin’s name is connected to the Forest of the Fairies (Pylli i Zanave), located between Shëngjin and Velipoja. This area was also once called Medea, like the famous Medea of the Argonauts. The small harbor and beach have managed to survive and are widely known locally, though less so than the famous southern Riviera.
The beach has a certain charm and exclusivity not easily found elsewhere! Surrounded by pine forests and picturesque hills, the beach is located near the national road so it is easily accessible. In addition, the accommodation here is comfortable and economical, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy Shëngjin’s natural beauty. Some of the local favorite restaurants are located in Shëngjin, in addition to several stylish pubs which liven up those wonderful summer nights.
“Rana e Hedhun” is a beautiful place located in Shengjin is approximately 70 Km north of capital city Tirana, and 40 Km from the border with Montenegro. This is a front line plot, next to the sand. The coast of “Rana e Hedhun” which still is a virgin coastal area stretches along the northern coast for approximately 8 Km. You can reach there only by using your car, because there is no public transportation. Don’t loose the climbing in top of ‘Rana’, because it is really exciting, it’s not difficult to climb there(but take a bottle of water with you) and to go down it’s amazing. Because of the sand you can slide down very easy, from the top to the sea.