GJIROKASTRA AN OTTOMAN TOWN

Unesco World Heritage


1 Day

Walking

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MAP ROUTE


OUR ITINERARY

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DESCRIPTION
Gjirokastër is Albania’s second World Heritage site, inscribed  as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate.” Gjirokastër, or “The Silver Fortress,” is one of the most venerable cities in Albania. Besides being the birthplace of prominent contemporary Albanians, such as the novelist Kadare, Gjirokastër is a must-see for anyone who wishes to explore the unique patterns of Ottoman architecture.

A cobblestone street leads us to the charming bazaar area, with multiple mosques, the citadel that houses the National Arms Museum, and the Ethnographic Museum which was the birthplace of Hoxha.  The view from the citadel represents the very essence of Albania: severe, beautiful and uncompromising in spirit.

Not much has changed over the decades in the old town of Gjirokastra. Every experience in this city, whether it be strolling through cobblestone paths or visiting the famous Castle of Agjiro, makes you feel like you have travelled back in time.  Today, Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s Unesco World Heritage sites.

The pathways were originally built for horses. With the uneven walkways, and silver stone lined roof tops, it is clear why the town was nick named the “Silver City.” Visit the Ethnographic Museum, former communist dictator Enver Hoxhe’s birth place, dine at a traditional family owned restaurant or stay overnight in one of the local B&B’s.  The town is strategically located mountainside.  For those that would like to explore the surrounding valleys there are hours of trekking and walking in the region. Thus retreating back to the ancient town will ensure for a night of peace and quiet.

ITINERARY
Upon arrival your guide and private transport will escort you to one of Albania’s most well preserved Ottoman towns in the Balkans – Gjirokastra. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most venerable towns in Albania. Rich with history the old town sits 300 meters above sea level and is situated in a lush valley between the high Gjere Mountains and rushing river of Drino. The old part of the town in which you will visit is charming and possesses a Balkan – Ottoman style homes. They are grand with their expertly cut shale stone and large balconies. As you stroll through the gray cobblestones pathways, you will visit the famous Ottoman Castle, Ethnographic museum and spend some time in the bazaar which is scattered with shops.

If time permits, there is plenty of traditional restaurants where you can enjoy before your departure.

DETAILS
Season
All year round

Duration
One day tour

Difficulty
Easy to moderate, cobblestone pathways, slight incline,uneven terrain.

Landscape
The landscape is mountainous, lush valley throughout countryside.

During summer months, we strongly recommend sun protective gear and flat comfortable shoes.

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