In the land of the eagles | The Best Cities in Albania
The former home of communist radicalism has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Mediterranean. Nature, history, civilization, Albania is both familiar and unexpected, you immediately feel at ease. It has kept colors that are no longer found elsewhere. Those of Syldavia perhaps. In any case, a traveler's dream ...
Shkodra is installed on the edge of the largest lake in the Balkans. The old town is still full of charm. The imposing Rozafa Fortress, essentially Venetian in its current form, is an emblematic monument, which houses the remains of the last mosque still visible in Shkodra. The Ottoman bridge of Mes, a few kilometers to the northeast, is harmoniously flexible.
The Lost Paradise
Engineering and erosion have created a majestic landscape called the Lost Paradise. Paradise is located to the north of the lake: crystal clear waters, a wood, a small pebble beach, with high limestone walls around which clinging evergreen vegetation. Roots picnic, walk, swim ... And, it is inevitable, considerations on the enormity of geological time.
The old Berat is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has the effect of a time machine and you suddenly find yourself, at the bend of such a crazy lane of Mangalem, in the golden age of the picturesque Balkan. A medieval fortress dominates the city with a thousand windows. You can see the Shën Mëri Vllahernës church, dating from the 13th century and decorated with frescoes from the 16th. A fine minaret signals the Xhamia Mbret, mosque built in the 15th century by Bajazet II. The sumptuously decorated tekké Halveti dates from the 18th century; not far away is the tomb of the "messiah".
On the Albanian Riviera, there is no other way to enjoy it other than lying on the sand, sliding into clear water, diving, boarding the boats that go out to sea. However, if you wish to stay away from towels and swimsuits, you can go visit the Llogara National Park and hike under beautiful cover of black pines, Bosnian pines, Bulgarian firs, ash trees, see fly the Griffon vulture and the Golden eagle, hope to see a deer or chamois ...
Long sandy beaches, parasols, ruffled palm trees, Saranda plays well. The Greek city had its peak in the 4th century BC, as evidenced by fortifications, an acropolis, a theater, a temple of Asclepius, to which the Romans had to add baths, a fitness room, an aqueduct and paleo-Christianity of churches. All this powerfully evocative and protected by a national park.
The best way to explore this beautiful city is on foot through the cobbled streets, and from the 13th century citadel to the bazaar (17th-19th centuries) dominated by the Xhamia e Pazarit, the mosque (18th century), passing by the native house of Ismail Kadaré, the walk reveals all the reasons which led UNESCO to include the city in the world heritage list: a splendid architecture and preserved in a unit of an uncommon coherence (to which only Berat can be compared), the testimony of a world which had its constraints but also its accommodations, historical depth, and a certain poetry.
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