Kozeta Cika contributed to this article
Have you ever visited Albania? Have you read only political news about this country that tarnishes its real values? Do you believe that Albanians are wild and violent people, who do not know how to live? Then, you’re totally wrong! Albania is a wonderful place to be seen at least once in life; but be careful, you would hardly separate yourself from it, if you decide to come.
To get acquainted with Albania, you would have to visit first its wonderful Alps. Start with Kelmendi that offers unheard of charm, snaky roads, green landscapes, alpine homes and generous, welcoming and wonderful people. The road passes through mountains, so you do not know what awaits you before your eyes see Hoti Hustles, then the path bends dangerously down rocky Tamara. There will be your first meeting with locals. Tamara offers local bio food and also relaxing walks along its river.
The road that takes you to Lepusha is asphalted and through natural beauties that leave you breathless. The villages, deeply enveloped in mountain ranges and greenery, will resemble other European countries, but with a slight difference; your costs will be at least four times less than you would spend on the beauties of Switzerland or Austria.
In Lepusha, the view that streches in front of your eyes will impress you. The village stands on a valley, with far away houses from one other, and it offers privacy, comfort and delicious food. The area inhabitants have returned to old traditions and now their homes have been converted into inns. With 30 euros per night you enjoy sleeping and eating three main meals. Certainly, water comes from the alps and it is light and copious. The area itself offers you some opportunities, from waterfalls to alpinism in the Alps, up to Theth boundaries, another amazing place to visit.
It is good to be organized into groups and accompanied by someone that knows the terrain. If you do not want to spend the night in Lepusha, you can go straight to Vermosh.
The road to Vermosh is not finished yet, but it is only a few kilometers and you can walk. In this season, as you pass you can pick up wild strawberries and in late August, you find wild blueberries. Vermosh is divided by the Vermoshi river, which runs in the opposite direction, not from east to west, but from west to east. Residents are loving, humorous and welcoming, living in homey, clean and simple residences. In Vermosh, you will not find luxury, but tradition, typical area food and a lot of legends. Albania is renowned for its epic heroes, legendary people of faith and extraordinary power that fascinate everyone, old or young. In Kelmend will find the traces of those legends. The area inhabitants themselves say that they live where the map hangs, referring to the fact that they are on Albanian’s northern top. Hidden in the midst of the Alps, they have always been uninvolved in wars and conquests, thus preserving their early traditions and maintaining their customs with fanaticism. The whole area is of Catholic belief and their relationship to God is very strong.
It takes four hours to get there by car from Tirana, the capital of Albania. If you are on vacation to Montenegro, you can go there through the Plava region. Summer is the best season to visit the Albanian Alps, so do not hesitate to come!