We bring you four destinations to have on your staycation radar this winter. Prepare to feast in Korça and shop at Berat’s finest wineries.
Southeastern dramatic landscapes can be enjoyed year-round, but there’s something quite remarkable about these hills and mountains in the winter months. Korça, the top winter destination in Albania, is dotted with ancient villas, an ancient bazar and the largest Orthodox Church in the country. The cherry on top? Its thriving foodie scene, traditional tavernas serve some of Albania’s finest dishes and make Korça a great choice for a culinary adventure. But where to feast? Taverna Vasili is our call for the dinner -order meat cooked with cognac and goulash korçare. Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in discovering Korça surroundings, which include Dardhë, Boboshticë and Voskopojë.
Where to stay: In Gallery, is one of the most stylish hotels in Albania. Bedrooms hit the sweet spot between cosy and chic, with muted colour palettes, traditional Albanian carpets and post industrial elements.
Oh Përmet -land of nature, flowers and serene riverside gardens. Whether or not you’ve visited before, Përmet is always a good idea if you’re looking for quiet and relaxation. And good food. This city is one of Albania’s top foodie destinations -think of gliko compote and comlek a dish made with rabbit or roar meat. The perfect day? Punting along the River Vjosa, bathing in Benje hot springs while admiring the breathtaking views and taste the contemporary-traditional inspired menu of Villa Permet.
Where to stay: Villa Permet is arguably Përmet’s top hotel. Step through its wooden door and enter a world of elegance, contemporary flair and history -the building dates back XIX century.
Just a two-hour drive from Tirana, Berat is the ideal destination for a weekend gateway; home to cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, small cafes and an old castle. Start your day with a stroll in Mangalem district, before visiting the Onufri Museum and wandering in the castle narrowed streets. Berat surroundings are a wine lovers paradise, Çobo Winery, Kantina Nurellari and the recently opened Kantina Pupa produce some of the best wines in Albania. After picking up some bottles, come back in town for admiring the UNESCO-facades under the moon light.
Where to stay: Make Hani Xheblatit your base in Berat, partly for the views, but largely for the fairy atmosphere of this ancient building turned into a cozy hotel.
Albania’s largest coastal town and port-city is home to archaeological sites, boutique bakeries, and long beaches. Spend mornings strolling through the old town admiring ancient ruins, walls and mosques, before going to the beach to watch a breathtaking winter sunset. Durrës is a great place to enjoy Mediterranean inspired menus, mostly with Italian influences.
Where to stay: Epidamn. In Durrës prettiest boulevard, this stylish and elegant building is graced with luxurious furniture, marvelous wooden elements and iron ornaments. The downstairs pub might just be the best spot in town for great cocktails and DJ sets.
Featured image: Cathedral of Korça, ©In Gallery Hotel