Sometimes, you just need to get away, unplug from the world and reset yourself -vacations, after all, are proven to improve personal well-being and mental health. Reconnect yourself again especially in this age of universal stress is becoming a mantra for several travellers. And, for those who are planning a trip to Albania in summer or later this year, a trip to Berat is the easiest way to do so, as this picture-perfect small town is exactly what you need to recharge. While doing that, make Hani i Xheblatit your base in town for a weekend gateway or more days.
Hani i Xheblatit is a family-run property in the heart of Mangalem, the most famous neighbourhood in Berat. A labyrinthine cobblestone street leads you to the entrance of this guesthouse built inside a historical building of the UNESCO city center. Once you enter, it feels like have been transported into a magical world: stone walls, wooden doors, ceilings and floors, antique furniture, clocks, colourful rugs, old lamps, a private courtyard-terrace, and breath-taking views over the town and river Osumi. The 4 rooms, all with private bathroom and windows with panoramic views, are furnished with original wooden furniture, chandeliers, handmade curtains, exposed beam ceilings and traditional carpets. The service is also top-notch, as the property comes with a 24-hour front desk, air conditioned and free Wi-Fi included.
Start your day enjoying the breakfast in Hani i Xheblatit’s private terrace: a selection of fresh fruit, local yoghurt, handmade jams and byrek, fresh vegetables and fruit juices while admiring one of the most fascinating views in town. What about lunch and dinner? Hani i Xheblatit cooperates with the nearby restaurant Friendly House Berat, the place to go to try traditional Albanian food. With such a prime location in the heart of Albania, there are almost infinite options for cultural and outdoor activities in Berat, from museums visits (don’t miss the opportunity to visit Onufri Museum with precious icons of the Byzantine era) and trekking in the nearby Tomorr Mountain National Park to wine tastings in the numerous wine cellars on the outskirts of the city. Wander out and take in the traditional Berat’s architecture, including churches, mosques and the old castle. It’s not hard to understand why this is considered one of the prettiest cities in Albania and Europe.