By car through Albania
If you are planning a Balkan trip, you cannot miss Albania, especially three extremely interesting and beautiful places, i.e. the town of Qeparo, the canyon of the Lengarica river and the ruins of the ancient city of Butrint.
A town on the hills
Whoever visited Qeparo once, will miss it. You can find this charming town by traveling along the Albanian coast, not far from Himarë . Currently, we will not meet crowds of tourists there, but it is worth hurrying, because the situation changes every year. The original name of the town, according to the nineteenth-century topographer William Martin Leake, is Kiepero or Kiparos, derived from the Greek word kipos , meaning garden. Probably the etymology of the name is associated with the numerous olive groves that we can still admire in Qeparo today. The village is divided into two parts - upper (old) and lower (new). The former settlement located on the western slope of Mount Gjivlash is a must see. Partly abandoned, with impressive folk architecture and a wonderful view of the Ionian Sea - a sure point on the tourist map. In the new part of the village you can visit, among others church of St. Dimitrius from the 18th century. Besides, the center of Qeparo is almost an oasis of peace; several local bars and restaurants, friendly locals and beautiful beaches.
A few kilometers outside the town of Përmet , we can see a place that would probably become a popular tourist destination in another country, but not in Albania. Lengarica Canyon offers us not only a trip into the depths of the river valley, visiting mysterious caves , but also a kind of natural wellness center, all for free. The complex of five warm thermal springs may scare you off due to the specific smell of hydrogen sulphide, but it is worth using! Each source helps with other ailments, some heal the abdomen, others strengthen the skeletal system, we can spend up to 15 minutes in each of them, necessarily protecting the eyes and ears. There is no problem with camping, you can spend even a few days enjoying the beauty of nature and taking advantage of health treatments.
For persistent travelers, a small settlement and an archaeological site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List - Butrint National Park await. It is a remnant of a large urban center founded in the 12th century BC and functioning until the turn of the 15th / 16th century AD. The place, which in antiquity was an Illyrian settlement, then a Greek colony, a Roman city and finally the seat of the bishopric, impresses with its rich history. We can see, among others ruins of an amphitheater from the 3rd century BC, the temple of the god Asclepius , Roman baths , Baptistery and the remains of a 14th-century Venetian castle . You can start the tour from 8 am, and the ticket price is the equivalent of about PLN 20. Butrint is worth seeing in July, when the only international theater festival of this type takes place there. The unique scenery creates an atmosphere that is hard to forget.
Old fashioned travel is what I like the most. How about renovating your own vintage caravan and setting off on a journey through wild spots without a phone?