The City of Windows Above Windows
Berat is famous for being one of the most beautiful cities in Albania. This ancient Illyrian settlement was transformed into a city during the Byzantine period. Today it is famous for its Ottoman houses that cascade down both sides of the Osum River Valley. Their distinctive windows are the reason why it has been dubbed, “The city of windows above windows.” The city is surrounded by two mountains – the mystical Tomorr and Shpirag. Berat, also called the museum-city, is one of the two historical centers in Albania on the UNESCO list. Without a doubt, it is a must-see place.
The trip to Berat is organized in a unique way. We want our guests to feel the atmosphere of the city in the best possible way. For this reason, our trip begins in the afternoon. Thanks to this, we avoid the heat of the hottest city in Albania, and we can admire the lights burning in “thousands of windows.”
We will start our sightseeing together by exploring the area of the fortress. Behind these walls, the everyday life of the city’s inhabitants has been going on continuously since the Middle Ages. We will stop in the courtyard of the castle, where we are always welcome guests of the family living there.
We will go to the scenic overlook, where we will see the districts of Gorica, including its historic bridge, and the clearly visible massif of Tomorri mountain, whose highest peak is almost 2,500 m above sea level.
Another experience will be a visit to a traditional Ottoman house, where we will be the guests of Gladiola Caka. Her family has lived in Berat for generations, and Gladiola herself is the outstanding curator of the Ethnographic Museum. She will not only tell us about the traditions of the city, but will also host us. Together, we will drink coffee from a melting pot, taste homemade brandy, and enjoy desserts prepared by her mother: liko and suxhuk!
After sharpening our appetites, we will go to an Albanian feast prepared on a terrace that offers the best view of the illuminated Mangalem district. Regional dishes (such as byrek, stuffed peppers and eggplants, sheep’s cheese, olives, qofte, and tavë dheu) will be served on the common table, accompanied by the best local wine.
At your leisure, you can wander the streets of the Mangalem and Gorica districts, and shop for local souvenirs.