The UNESCO-gem and prettiest city of southern Albania, Gjirokastër has a charm like no other. “The City of Stone”, as it has long been nicknamed, is recognised for its rich history -this is a place where governors, traders and nobles once roamed the streets. Today, nods to the city’s heritage can be found in its magnificent architecture. Take, for example, the astonishing Zekate House, a tower-house belonging to the family of Beqir Zeko, a general administrator of Ali Pasha, built in 1811-1812. It’s not just the beauty of Gjirokastër that has long stolen the hearts of jet setters, though.
Marrying beauty with a palpable energy, the city has a thriving community spirit that can be found across every inch of its streets, from the bustling bazaars to the artisan boutiques and colourful markets. Gjirokastër dazzles at any time of the year. While the city has a diary brimming with all kinds of festivals, it’s the annual festival Kult-Art that is truly special. This is an event that showcases Gjirokastër heritage in all its glory. So, what are you waiting for? Book your flight to Albania and prepare to discover this Albanian gem.
Where to stay? Kalemi 2. Housed in a traditional house of Gjirokastër and a few steps away from the old bazaar, this hotel is one of the best places to stay in town. All the rooms share traditional elements and design. Start your day with a fresh juice and petulla with honey and cheese from the breakfast banquet. Then, drink a coffee in the hotel’s terrace overlooking the Castle and old town.