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Things to do in
Gjirokaster

Our most recommended things to do in Gjirokaster

Berat: Osum Canyon and Bogove Waterfall Tour

1. Berat: Osum Canyon and Bogove Waterfall Tour

Experience the natural beauty of Osum Canyon and Bogove Waterfall with our guided tour. Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to this hidden gem of Albania. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to stop at several viewpoints to take pictures of the breathtaking canyon. You will also walk on top of the canyons to enjoy the magnificent views. Our tour includes a hike through Bogove National Park, where you will have the chance to swim in the cold crystal waters of the stunning Bogove waterfall. You will also make a stop in Polican, a small town founded during the communist time to produce weapons and learn about its history. The tour is customizable to your interests and preferences. You can also enjoy a picnic lunch Please note that during the dry season from July to September, we can make a short exploration of the canyon. However, in the other months, it is not possible to explore the canyon, and the tour will focus on sightseeing. Get ready to discover the natural beauty of Albania and create unforgettable memories with our Osum Canyon and Bogove waterfall tour! Meet with the tour guide in Berat and transfer to Osum Canyon On the way to the canyon stop in Polican a town founded during the communist time to produce weapons Proceed the journey to the canyons – Stop in the viewpoints and learn more about some popular legends Take your time to swim On the way back to Berat visit Bogove waterfall Fresh up with the cold waters of the waterfall Return to Berat in the late afternoon

From Tirana & Durres: Private Tour of Gjirokaster & Blue Eye

2. From Tirana & Durres: Private Tour of Gjirokaster & Blue Eye

Join us in this Day Tour of Gjirokastra and The Blue Eye to explore the secrets behind this Stone City and Castle of Gjirokaster. Part of Albanian UNESCO World Heritage. This Tour brings you nearer to the Unique Architecture, Local life, delicious food, and a stunning water spring. It is a complete guide with the best of what to visit in Gjirokaster, carefully selected by us, along with the last destination being The Blue Eye. Probably it is one of the steepest cities in the world, as Ismail Kadare describes it in his book. Gjirokastra will amaze you with its unique architecture and its dominant castle of Gjirokastra on the top of the hill. It is a city with a rich and glorious history, culture, and delicious local cuisine. Tour of Gjirokaster will start with the Pride of the city, the Castle of Gjirokaster. Walking through the coble stone paths sliding from the castle, you will explore a charming city, strangely attractive, and very Instagramable. While in Gjirokastra, we will explore also most of the Historic city, including some characteristic houses to understand more about how everyday life was organized in the family. Lastly, our final stop will be The Blue Eye water spring, which will leave you speechless and eager to jump in those vibrant blue colors and take a dip. Tour of Gjirokastra The history of the “Stone City” of Gjirokastra dates since the IVth Century AD. Known as Argyrokastro (Silver Castle) it has been an important economic, political and cultural city since the early Byzantine Era. Since 2005 the City is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In addition, it is known for its highly preserved Ottoman Style Buildings and Architecture. The main components of the unique style are - Stone House Rooftops - Unique “Small Fortes” house style - The old Bazaar Blue Eye The “Blue Eye” is a water spring and a natural phenomenon occurring in a village in Finiq, southern Albania. The clear blue water of the Bistricë River can be seen from a depth of more than 50 meters, which is truly a magical view and makes the Blue Eye one of the most preferred destinations among tourists.

Gjirokaster: Old Baazar and Cfaka Walking Tour

3. Gjirokaster: Old Baazar and Cfaka Walking Tour

We start from the center of the old town, the “Cerciz Topulli Square” and head towards The “Old Bazaar” which is not a Bazaar anymore. This is the first neighborhood outside the walls of the castle and lies along beneath the Castle walls. The characteristic cobblestone and some of the oldest houses are the most beautiful elements of this neighborhood. After passing the “Zerzebili” bridge, we reach another ancient neighborhood in town called “Cfaka”. Here we will pass some old houses which are first monument category and also a tekke which belongs to the Bektashi Order. It is a beautiful combination of Nature, many sheep on top of hills, and old houses to arrive in our last destination, the “Ali Pasha Bridge”. This bridge is a remaining of the aqueduct which Ali Pashe Tepelena build more than 200 years ago to bring water to the castle. The whole trip takes approximately 3 hours and you should be prepared to walk on a not so comfortable terrain.

1 Day Trip, Gjirokastra from Tirana

4. 1 Day Trip, Gjirokastra from Tirana

Our tour leader will come and pick you up at your hotel in Tirana. Gjirokastra, also known as “The Stone City”, part of UNESCO World heritage is situated in Southern Albania on the eastern side of mountain “Mali i Gjere”. Gjirokastra resembles a fortified city where every single house is like a small fortress. The origin of the city starts with the castle of Gjirokastra, built in IV century A.D., and is considered as one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Balkans. Every five years Gjirokastra becomes the capital of the Albanian folklore and traditional music, where passionate folklore ensembles gather in the “stone city” and perform their traditional music, dances and show off their costumes. Right before entering the castle of Gjirokastra you would have to pass by the medieval bazar. The atmospheric old town cascading down in graceful hill crammed with beautiful narrowed stone decorated streets, where you will be amazed by the wide variety of handmade crafts from local artisans and producers. We will visit one of the best-preserved houses of Gjirokastra, where everything is totally original and authentic. After visiting “The Stone City”, we will drive back to Tirana.

From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

5. From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

Your tour will start from Saranda and only in an hour and a half, you will reach Gjirokastra. One of the main characteristics of this place is the intensive use of stone in the building of the houses and streets, which is why it earned the nickname “The City Of Stone”. You will also need to walk a lot to get around the city, so that is the reason Gjirokastra is also called as 'the city of a thousand steps'. You will be exploring the main attractions of the city such as the Castle of Gjirokastra, known as the origin of the city, built in the 12th century, following the Museum of Arms, and the historic center. Your tour will continue with the visit to the house of the Zeka’s family (the most magnificent and characteristic building of Gjirokastra), the museum house of Ismail Kadare, one of the most important writers in the country, and to the final visit and the Ethnographic Museum. During the walking tour of the city, you will notice that all the roads lead to the old Bazaar.

From Berat: Osumi Canyons Hiking Tour with Lunch

6. From Berat: Osumi Canyons Hiking Tour with Lunch

You will visit Osum canyon on the Osum River, where you will have the opportunity to take short walks with stops to take photographs and admire the most suggestive views along its stretch of 26 km. Here the rapids of the Osum River are class II, which means there is no great danger. Arranging your bags safely, you will proceed to explore the second part of the canyon, where you will have the opportunity to swim or bathe in natural pools and waterways. During the entire route you will have the opportunity to admire the edges of the canyon and their particular ecosystem. Along the sides of the gorge, Mediterranean bushes and shrubs thrive all year round. They mix with the particular rock formations that the erosion of water and wind has created over millions of years.

Gjirokastër: Traditional Albanian Vegetarian Cooking Class

7. Gjirokastër: Traditional Albanian Vegetarian Cooking Class

Starting from Cerciz Topulli square, you will join up with your host and walk over to one of the oldest neighbourhoods in town, “Pazar i Vjeter”. Here we'll meet Marjeta and her husband. The cooking class will begin with a glass of raki or a soft drink. We'll cook a vegetarian menu, and under the guidance of Marjeta we will learn how to make three dishes. The first one is called “Qofte bobollaqe” consisting mainly of yogurt, the traditional “Qifqis” found only in Gjirokastër and consisting mainly on rice, and the desert called “Hasude”. All these three are accompanied by the salad of the season Marjeta has already prepared for you. After all the hard work, we can sit down with the group to savor each of your dishes. Pair your menu with a complimentary glass of wine, raki, or a soft drink and have a nice chat while you eat. Your cooking class will conclude after the meal.In the end a recipe of what you have cooked will be given to you to prepare the same thing at home whenever you want.

From Tirana: Tour to Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokastër

8. From Tirana: Tour to Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokastër

Travel south along the Albanian coast and explore the best of this region on a guided tour. Spend the day discovering Butrint, Saranda, and Gjirokaster. Start your trip with a comfortable ride in an air-conditioned vehicle from your hotel in Tirana. Travel to Saranda and see enchanting beaches such as Borsh, Porto Palermo, Qeparo, and more. Next, visit the National Park of Butrint that holds more than 2000 years of history. The road leading to Gjirokaster will take you to the castle of the city and the old bazaar neighborhood. Visit the former homes of Ismail Kadare and Enver Hoxha, which are now museums dedicated to communism. Enjoy this last stop of the coastal tour before returning to Tirana.

Gjirokaster: Wood Crafting Class

9. Gjirokaster: Wood Crafting Class

Take a traditional wood crafting class in the heart of Gjirokaster at a master workshop. Enjoy some glasses of raki or homemade wine as you create your own souvenir to take home with you. Meet your host in Cerciz Topulli square and take a short walk to the workshop of Master Nurce. Get familiar with the various wood types you will be using and learn a little bit about this local tradition. Learn how to make small wooden signs with text or drawings, small necklaces, key hangers, or small mirrors. After choosing what you wish to create, get some help and inspiration for your design from your master instructor. Begin carving your own personalized item with expert guidance. While working, you can enjoy some glasses of raki or homemade wine. After some time and patience, admire your own personal creation and take home a treasured souvenir as a memento of your visit to Gjirokaster.

Half day trip to the Blue Eye

10. Half day trip to the Blue Eye

Half day trip to the source of the Blue Eye Albania The tour departs from the port of Saranda at 9 am. After meeting our guide, we take the road from Saranda to Gjirokastra, reaching our destination in about 40 minutes. Syri i Kalter, this is the name of the site in Albanian, is located right on the border between Vlora County and Gjirokastra County. To preserve its beauty, the Albanian authorities have protected this area, making it a national park which can be accessed by paying for a ticket (included in the tour price). Once we arrive, we enter the dense vegetation, between paths and narrow streets. The immersion into the greenery precedes the arrival at the small lake formed by the source, a wonderful feeling! At the center of the body of water a dark blue oval attracts our gaze. It is the point where spring waters emerge from the heart of the mountain. As you approach it you can better notice that the dark blue of the eye is due precisely to this huge hole, from which fresh water emerges. The dark depths of the water reaching up to the surface meets with the karst rock of the waters surface, giving life to fantastic and changing play of light that follow one another during the day. If you are wondering how deep the hole is, just know that there is still no answer to this question. The depth is still unknown, but some expeditions of divers have managed to go fifty meters deep. Bathing in the spring waters, where the temperature is between 10 ° C and 14 ° C depending on the season, is a unique sensation, but its temperature is good.. For the less courageous, the satisfaction of visiting the area will still be well worth it. Here you can breathe in fresh, clean air, between old oaks and the scent of Mediterranean scrub. During the course of our trip we will have the opportunity to move around, through the dense network of paths that surround the site. We will be able to discover other even more exclusive and sheltered small springs and small caves. We will do it lulled by the coolness and sound of water that flows and drips from the rocks.

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What people are saying about Gjirokaster

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 10 reviews

Very good. The guide is very friendly and very knowledgeable about history. Very good command of the English language. Very nice tofo. We exchanged a lot of information and I learned a lot about Albania. I'm going back to get to know Alvania better. Book with get your guide,,,because my three newspapers who live in Croatia, started their life in Zagreb, working to get your escape in Spanish and have very good references of the service. I had a great time and I will repeat the experience. Thank you very much.

We really enjoyed the trip. The tour was fun and our guide Soni made the history of Albania clear. Hiking/swimming in the canyon was also quite fun and cooling off in the cold water of the Bogove waterfall at over 30 degrees was a welcome refreshment. We definitely recommend the tour!

The guide told us a lot of interesting facts about Albania on the trip. The highlight was the walk and swim through the canyon! Fantastic scenery and simply something special.

Good guidance from the guide, shared interesting information and you could ask him anything. The trip was very beautiful and definitely worth it. Recommended!

The guide was really nice The activities were nice and we had time to take enough pictures