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What to do in Albania

The mills trail of Albania

Become a part of Albanian’s hidden treasures

Escape the ordinary and visit this beautiful passage

Original article was published at: http://albania.al/activity/tours/the-mills-trail/

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As you are driving down from the Llogara mountain, while you are enjoying the beauty of the nature that accompanies your road, looking down just a little bit from your car window, you spot a small village between hills and ranges that also has a wide outlet to the sea. With its white-painted houses, gracefully composed one over the other on the mountain slope, where high bell towers of churches stand out, the village of Dhermi is recognized for its climate and magical coast as well as for the great number of small churches and their monumental, ethnographic, aesthetic and historical value. Historical data show that this beautiful coastal Albanian village has been populated from the early ages of antiquity, through medieval to modern times. Divided in three neighborhoods (Hondraqi, Gjileka and Dhermi, which together make up the village), Dhermi with its captivating panoramas has inspired painters and writers, who gave life to their works while enjoying the views and small paths that this village has to offer. If you are a little bit like them or if you are just looking for a motivating amble, trekking through the trail of the old mills is a must-do. The name comes from the 7 mills that were found while building the path, so listen carefully and let the mills tell you a story: This is the very footpath that the locals have trodden for centuries. Visitors can take the route along the running stream, rest under the shade of high trees while enjoying the chirps of birds and gaze the trail that connects village houses with the blue sea. As you saunter along the trail, the history accompanies you in every step you take, you can visit two ancient churches, the picturesque waterfall, the tracks of the first hydropower station ever built in Albania’s villages, the old mills, and other attractive sites. Walking across the trail you see an ancient chapel known as Saint Stefanos church. Built in the 12th century, it still remains on its grounds astonishing its visitors. The church of Ipapandia is a gem of history itself. Built in the 15th century, its walls still remain proud and strong welcoming every tourist. The well-preserved interior mural frescoes, are believed to have been painted by Nikolla Joani, a distinguished Albanian medieval painter. This church stands out for its carved and engraved ceiling decorated with floral designs and portraits of saints. A portrait of Alexander the Great of Macedonia is also featured in this church. As you continue walking, while enjoying the breeze and the fresh air, hidden in the treasures of nature you will find the first hydropower ever built in an Albanian village. The staff that built this hydropower in 1952 were paid with the revenues generated from the sale of power to village households. The hydropower was built on financial and material contributions of Dhermi people who immigrated to the United States. Walking across the trail not only is inspirational but also cultural. It’s time to escape the ordinary and visit this beautiful passage.

Please visit: http://albania.al/activity/tours/the-mills-trail/

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What to do in Albania

Diving in Albania

Professional diving opportunities have been developed only during the last decade.

The rich underwater discoveries in Albanian seas provide a unique opportunity to explore sea life.

Underwater sports centers are located in North of Vlora (Adriatic Sea). Towards the south, from Vlora to Saranda, there are numerous sports centers, where you can practice this growing sport.

During the last years, joint Albanian-American expeditions have discovered old drowned ships in the area. The most suitable places to practice this sport are Karaburun Peninsula, Sazan Island, the area north of Saranda, Vlora. Underwater Diving Bay, Dhërmi, Jali, Lagji Cape, Cape Rodon etc.

In particular, it is Vlora Bay that ‘hides’ many sunken ships of considerable antiquity.

However, the most famous and popular is the Italian hospital ship “PO”, which sank in March 1941 and was shot by a British airplane “Swordfish”.

Another important discovery is in the north of Saranda bay, where a sunken ship was discovered dating back to century III or IV B.C.

Large amphoras are also found there. It is thought that this relic discovered is among the best preserved of the Mediterranean.

Besides sunken objects, it is also interesting to observe green and black algaes, corals, etc.

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What to do in Albania

Birdwatching in Albania

Pack the binoculars and bird watch in the coastal wetlands of Karavasta. Part of the Divjake-Karavasta National Park, the lagoon is the westernmost breeding site of the Dalmatian Pelican. For further birdwatching, visit Kune-Vain, Patok , Tale , Narta lagoon , the nature reserve beside the Drini River, home to spotted eagles, spoonbills and herons and also the Lake of Shkodra.

Source: http://albania.al/activity/adventure/birdwatching/

Euro Birdwatch in Albania

The EuroBirdwatch, which takes place every year in autumn, is the biggest event of the European and Central Asian BirdLife Partners and a very important occasion for the general public and birdwatchers alike to observe bird migration and raise awareness for this special natural phenomenon.

Since its launch in 1993, EuroBirdwatch has steadily become a beloved fixture on the annual BirdLife calendar. Every October, our national partners across Europe and Central Asia host hundreds of local birdwatching events open to all. Experienced birders, inquisitive newcomers, the young and old alike turn out in their droves to observe, identify and count passing birds during the natural event of the season – the great autumn migration where millions of birds make their epic journey southwards to wintering areas in the Mediterranean and in Africa. There really is something for everybody: fun activities designed for children, public bird ringing, ornithological excursions, and photo exhibitions. But the stars of the show are, of course, the birds: from barn swallows, dunlins, sand martins and ringdoves to Cory’s shearwaters, great cormorants and many, many more.

41 partner ogranizations preparing events in 40 countries over Europe and Asia to invite people observe fascinating bird migration.

AOS with Regional Agencies for Protected Areas as well as partner associations, every October are in the field, contributing for the Eurobirdwatch.

Source: https://aos-alb.org/euro-birdwatch-in-albania/

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Shqipëri What to do in Albania

Climbing and Speology in Albania

The highest peak, Mount Korabi, on the border with Macedonia, towers 2,751 m above sea level. The cliffs of Llogara, Nemercka mountain at the south ,but also a vast range of mountains all over the country are perfect for alpinism or climbing.

Other areas suitable for mountain climbing are the Albanian Alps in points such as: Vermosh, Theth, Razëm, Bogë, Valbona, etc. But also Tomori mountain, extending to the districts of Berat and Skrapar at Osum canyons or also Gjipe canyon at the Albanian Riviera.

Throughout Albania, intrepid explorers will also find many vast caves just waiting to be discovered.

Professional and amateur spelunkers alike will find no shortage of underground chambers to conquer. Near Shkodra there are at least 35 significant caves of a total of 68 designated as National Natural Monuments. An easily accessible cave is the Pëllumbas Cave near Tirana; it is Albania’s second largest. A sign-posted trail leads up to this cave, nestled in the beautiful Skorana Canyon on the Erzen River.

Another cave of interest for tourists is Pirrogoshi cave. It is the largest in Albania, located in Skrapar. Other caves are: Kabashi cave (Gramsh) Cave Neziri (Mat), cave of Lek Pete in Kurvelesh, the cave of Treni in Devoll, etc.

Source: http://albania.al/activity/6/speology_and_alpinism/

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Shqipëri What to do in Albania

Cycling and Mountain Biking in Albania

For all cycling lovers, Albania is becoming a very good destination to experience natural beauties and unique panoramic views . That exist many type of tours like the Tour of the Albanian Riviera , Unesco Sites , Albanian Alps or just touring around Tirana or other big cities and exloring the nature around. Albania is included in the project of Balkans trail Transdinarica .Also for the Mountain bike lovers The equipment for these sports should be taken with you, as they cannot be rented. Some of the tours are organized in the Albanian Alps, such as Theth, Bogë, Vermosh etc. Another bicycle tour is one which crosses the shores of Lake Shkodër or Tirana sorroundings.

Source: http://albania.al/activity/5/cycling_and_mountain_biking_/