Places I want to visit in 2019!

Travel

2018 was a great year and I managed to tick off a number of beautiful places on my “places to see in Albania” list. But what is in store for 2019? Here are some ideas!

Divjake-Karavasta National Park

Parku Kombetar Divjake-Karavaster is a national park located between the Adriatic Sea and Fier, it spans 222.3 square kilometres and is home to wetlands, salt marshes, coastal meadows, flood plains, reed beds forest, and an estuary. It is also home to an incredible array of flora and fauna and as such as been identified an Area of National Importance and is protected under the Rasmar Convention. 

What interests me about it is not just the beautiful landscape but the vast range of animals that call it home- 228 species of bird, 25 species of mammal, 29 species of reptile, and 29 species of amphibia. The park is also notably home to 5% of the world population of endangered and rare Dalmatian pelicans!

Benja Thermal Baths

Located near Permet in southern Albania, the hot springs of Benja are perfect for soaking in and relaxing on a cool and crisp day. You can cross the sulphur-rich river via an ancient stone bridge and head for the geothermic springs that are far enough off the beaten path as to offer some privacy. The waters are believed to have healing powers and the views that surround the river, springs, gorge and waterfall are to be seen to be believed, if you can stand the smell of sulphur that is!

Lake Komani

Last year I was lucky enough to visit Theth but I didn’t quite make it to Lake Komani and Tropoje. Whilst some of the journey might be a bit difficult whilst pregnant, I am hoping to fit in a trip later in the year before the snow comes. 

Lake Komani is a reservoir on the Drin River that is surrounded by dense forests, gorges, and a narrow valley that is completely consumed by the river. The lake is also fed by the Shala and Valbona rivers and the area is home to fauna such as golden jackals, red foxes, European badgers, otters, and polecats to name a few. You can travel across the lake from Bajram Curri to Tropoje with the journey taking around two hours, but the pictures I have seen of the views are just spectacular.

Tropoje

One of the most remote parts of Albania, Tropoje sits in Kukes County, near the border with Kosovo. Populated since ancient times (due to castles and tumuli found on the site), Tropoje was founded by the Berisha Tribe and was also home to the famous and ancient city of Gjakova.

Home to breath-taking scenery, fresh air in abundance and my favourite of all of the Albanian dances, ‘Valle e Tropojes”, I cannot wait to spend a few days here away from the stresses of everyday city life.

Qeparo

I loved my summer spent by the beach last year and I am hoping to spend at least a week doing the same this year. Last year we didn’t quite make it to Qeparo, a small seaside town on the Albanian Riviera. Sitting between Himara, Borsh and the Ionian Sea, the town is known for its cultivation of olives over the years and it was even mentioned in the early 19thCentury by Francois Pouqueville, the general consul of Napoleon Bonaparte- you can still see some of the centennial olive trees in the village that exist to this day.

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