alaturka

Half of the Albanian territory is of mountainous terrain with altitudes of over 600 m above sea level. A small proportion of these are high-mountain regions. From Skadar Lake in the north to the south in Vlora a few kilometers wide alluvial soils partly extend along the coast, which expand to large Myzeqe level in central Albania. There are numerous lagoons and wetlands on the coast.

At about 1000 BC the Illyrians settled in the Western Balkans. Residential cities were Scodra  and Rhizon. After the Illyrian wars in late 3rd century BC, the Western Balkans came under Roman influence and the Romanization of the Illyrians began. With the division of the Roman Empire 395th BC, today Albania came under Byzantine rule. In 591 the Slavs from the north penetrated into the area, followed by looting allover the Balkans.

Next to our content articles we publish blogs to certain topics. Please follow the given links to get to our topic relevant blog articles with couple of additional pictures about Albania.

New contacts in Shkoder, Salona and Omis

Tour through the Kelmend into the Cem Gorge

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Tour through the Kelmend into the Cem Gorge

Kelmend, the northernmost part of the Albanian Alps, is mainly formed by two valleys: the deeply cut valley of Cem and the valley of Vermosh in the northernmost tip of Albania.

Peaks of the Balkans - Long - distance trail passing Valbona

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Peaks of the Balkans - Long-distance trail passing Valbona

The "Peaks of the Balkans" hiking trail is a 192 kilometer long hiking trail in the Prokletije mountains, also known as the Albanian Alps. For practiced long-distance travelers, this trail leads of about ten day stages through Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.

Valbona - mountain settlement in the valley of the same name

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Valbona - mountain settlement in the valley of the same name

Indicated already during the first 100 meters of the ascent into the Valbona valley, in spite of the foggy weather in the late autumn now, what a splendor of autumn colors would still await us in the further course of the valley.

Koman Reservoir - an adventurous ferry trip

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Koman Reservoir - an adventurous ferry trip

The ferry trip over the Koman Lake (Albanian: Liqeni i Komanit) usually takes about two and a half hours and is increasingly popular among tourists because of the passages between the high rock faces and the narrow gorges of the Albanian Alps.

An exciting excursion to Lake Koman

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An exciting excursion to Lake Koman

Several travelers and campers had already told us about the gorges and the lake at the Koman dam, which is said to contribute to the indescribable character of its nature, due to its length and narrowness.

To the beach of Shkodra - fine dark gravel awaiting us!

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To the beach of Shkodra - fine dark gravel awaiting us!

After some explorations in the city of Shkodra and the surrounding areas, we also wanted to have a check at the Adriatic beach in the coastal area, especially as the sun started laughing again in the cloudless sky.

In hiking shoes along the Albanian Alps at Nec

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In hiking shoes along the Albanian Alps

After our tour to the Ottoman bridge Ura e Mesit, we had continued along the river for a few kilometers and had quickly reached a valley between the foothills of the Albanian Alps, which in recent years have increasingly established themselves as an attraction for mountain hikers.

Starting from Legjenda - A boat trip on Lake Skutari

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Starting from Legjenda campsite - A boat trip on Lake Skutari

After a few days of mostly cloudy skies with light rain showers, the sun is back, so we prepare ourselves for further excursions around Lake Skutari and, after a brief consultation with the hosts of the Campsite Legjenda, also on the lake, the largest of the Balkan Peninsula.

Shkodra - colonization by Illyrians - then Romans came

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Shkoder - colonization by Illyrians - then Romans following

In our article about the Rozafa fortress, we had already mentioned the first settlement of the Illyrian tribes, which settled here in Shkodra in ancient times. The earliest traces of human settlement date back to the 2nd millennium BC, they were found south of today's town at Tepe and can be classified dating back to Bronze Age.

Rozafa Castle ruins - a legendary fortress at Shkodra

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Rozafa Castle ruins - a legendary fortress at Shkodra

Our routes through Albania had led us through Shkodra several times, so we had, of course, also noticed the mighty fortress Kalaja e Rozafës (more rarely also Kështjella e Rozafës), to the left at the main road towards Tirana, which we wanted to visit extensively during our present stay.

From Camping Rino in Kalista to Elbasan

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From Camping Rino in Kalista to Elbasan

There was actually rain on Lake Ohrid, one more reason to explore the area. We wanted to continue the pursue of the roman footsteps along the Via Egnatia and took off from Kalista which is just 8 kilometres away from the border station between Macedonia and Albania on the pass at Quafe Thane.

Via Egnatia through Albania - from Durres to Quafe Thane

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Via Egnatia through Albania - from Durres to Quafe Thane

From Durres, where you should definitely visit the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Amphitheater and the Byzantine walls (to be followed by separate reports), it is only about 50 km to Pequin to the inner part of Albania.

Elbasan - After Romans and Byzantines, Ottomans arrived

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Elbasan - After Romans and Byzantines, Ottomans arrived

Due to the expansion policy of the Ottoman Empire in the 13th and 14th century, the Ottoman Turks also came to Elbasan, no wonder that one finds their marks in today's city architecture.

The ancient Roman Elbasan - once Scampa at Via Egnatia

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The ancient Roman Elbasan - once Scampa at Via Egnatia

The first historically known settlers in the area of Elbasan belonged to the ethnic group of the Illyrians, which in the 2nd century erected first dwellings at the river Shkumbin, at that time called Genusus.

Pogradec - the Illyrian royal tombs Selca e Poshtme

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Pogradec - the Illyrian royal tombs Selca e Poshtme

The shores of Ohrid Lake have been inhabited since the Neolithic Age (6000 BC), which is impressively documented on the Macedonian side with the perceived pile dwelling settlement at the lake just about 15 kilometers from Pogradec.

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