Chronicle in Stone and Benja Thermal Baths Week end Tour

This Tour can be started from Tirana the capital of Albania or Saranda city if you will come from Corfu island with Ferry

This is a Tour for you to enjoy one of the most interesting Parts of Albania which is Gjirokastra Old town with its amazing history ,Typical architecture and fantastic Fortress on top of the hill. and the Benja Thermal Baths in permet city

The First day of the Trip you will meet you driver and guide which will show you the Capital city and the most attractive places in the city.

Lively, colorful Tirana is where this tiny nation's hopes and dreams coalesce into a vibrant whirl of traffic, brash consumerism and unfettered fun. Having undergone a transformation of extraordinary proportions since awaking from its communist slumber in the early 1990s,

Tirana's center is now unrecognizable from those grey days, with buildings painted in primary colors, and public squares and pedestrianized streets that are a pleasure to wander.

The First day of your Trip you will overnight in Tirana or you can continue to Gjirokastra city which is around 3 hours driving time from Tirana.

On the way to Gjirokastra you will stop to some interesting places , and you will get to know more about the history of Albania, Traditions and lifestyle.

Arrival in Gjirokastra you will enjoy the Amazing Old town


Defined by its castle, roads paved with chunky limestone and shale, imposing slate-roofed houses and views out to the Drina Valley, Gjirokastra is a magical hillside town described beautifully by Albania's most famous author, Ismail Kadare (b 1936), in Chronicle in Stone.

There has been a settlement here for 2500 years, though these days it's the 600 'monumental' Ottoman-era houses in town that attract visitors. For Albanians, the town is also synonymous with former dictator Enver Hoxha, who was born here and ensured the town was relatively well preserved under his rule, though he is not memorialized in any way here today.

This day you will enjoy walking the in the Ottoman Bazaar of Gjirokastra. and have the chance of visiting Traditional home museums, the famous fortress and tasting traditional Albanian food from this region.

The second day of you trip you will meet you driver and guide and you will be transferred in one very special place called the Benja Thermal Baths located only 1 hour and half hour driving time from Gjirokastra

The Benja Thermal Pools are smooth and clear, and also contain a high content of sulfur. The stone baths are the most authentic, and as such, attract a large amount of visitors all year-round. The winter, when the temperature in Përmet falls below 0 degrees Celsius is the best time to immerse yourself in these hot baths. Enjoy that satisfying contrast between the air and water! Remember though, 20-25 minutes in the pool usually suffices! More time in the highly sulfuric waters can be quite overwhelming, and not necessarily that good for you.

Healthy Benefits

Don’t be surprised if you notice people here covered entirely in black mud! These muddy deposits of the thermal waters contain regenerative properties for the skin. The waters flow from the deep chasms of the cliffs surrounding the Langarica Canyon. They have been well-known for their health purposes since antiquity. You can find two of the largest and most popular baths at the foot of the Bridge of Katiu (the Judge’s Bridge). These are known for being particularly beneficial for curing gastric and rheumatic diseases. A visit to these natural baths provides you with wonderfully natural health benefits, whilst taking in the spectacular scenic landscape of Përmet.

The beautiful Ottoman bridge is another popular attraction in an area highly-regarded for its archaeological value. The earliest objects found in the cave settlements here belong to the Neolithic (7000-3000 BC) and the Neolithic (3000-2000 BC) periods.

After this wander full experience you will be having a nice experience in one of traditional houses in permet and you will taste local food and rakia of this city.

Slow food in Permet

In addition to Përmet’s natural assets, the region is home to many largely forgotten gastronomic treasures. It produces fine white wines (from white debine grapes), raki (a fruit brandy found throughout the Balkans), honey and dairy products (such as white cheeses and salted sheep butter). The region is also known for its warm hospitality, and anyone who has the fortune to be invited into a local home will immediately be offered gliko, a compote made from whole fruit similar to the slatko found in Slavic-speaking areas of the Balkans.

Gliko is an important element of the local cuisine in Përmet and is made from many different fruits and vegetables, all grown locally by many of the valley’s small-scale farmers. ‘Walnut husk’ gliko, made from whole green walnuts, is the most common style and other popular variations include white cherry, eggplant, wild fig, plum and apricot.

The production method, although differing depending on the type of gliko, involves the careful selection of the fruit, which is then left to soak for one hour and twenty minutes in a mix of cold water and lime so that it becomes firm and resistant. The fruit is then mixed with sugar and boiled in a traditional copper pot placed over an open flame, to cook for one hour. Lemon is added at intervals to maintain a bright color. When the fruit has absorbed the syrup the gliko is cooled and packaged in glass jars. Today, many families living in Permet continue to make gliko at home, offering it to guests and on special occasions. However, just three families are turning this tradition into a professional enterprise.

Next day after a nice healthy Breakfast in the guest house of Gjirokastra you will be transferred in Saranda to have beach relaxation or back to Tirana depending on your request.

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Posted by: Genc Minarolli

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