Rural Balkans & Traditional Gastronomy
This special interest tour program is exclusively designed to offer participants the flavor of real rural life in some different parts of Albania and Greece. The program is meant to combine a typical day of people living in rural areas of Albania (whose life style is in many cases similar to that of the some centuries ago compared to Western standards) with the art of cooking the delicious traditional foods of that specific area. Guests will be encouraged to participate in typical every day activities of these destinations and become part of their everyday life.
Tirana – Tushemisht – Dardha – Bularat (Greek Flavor) – Corfu – Lukovë – Dukat -Fishtë – Tirana Airport
At your arrival you will be welcomed by our tour guide and the bus driver. Once the group gets together we begin this unforgettable journey through the roots of Albania’s folklore and traditions. On our way to Tushemisht we will cross road with “via egnatia”, the ancient root of caravans connecting Rome with Constantinople.
This beautiful village by the Ohrid lake (UNESCO world heritage) is home to many sources of cold drinkable waters, coming from beneath the “Mali i Thatë” mountain, running through the houses of this small village. Tushemisht is famous for its rich traditional cuisine and the unique way of cooking the Koran (an autochthone fish found only in Ohrid Lake). Before getting some lectures on how to cook Koran, we will be taking some practical lessons from a local fisherman on how to hunt this rare fish from the deepest waters of the Ohrid Lake. After few fishing lessons we enjoy our delicious lunch with Koran fish.
Our evening station is Dardha a small traditional village (in English the village of pears) with stone houses in upper mountain areas of Korça district. Dardhar housewives’ are famous for their abilities to cook the famous “Lakror në Saç”, which is a traditional food of this area (like an inside pizza) cooked in a very interesting way (by cooking it with a special cover filled with ashes and coal hit). Males from our group will help the local villagers to prepare some woods and other man like duties of a typical day in Dardha. Whereas, ladies will be taught how to cook the Lakror në Saç. While waiting we will taste some strong Raki (the Albanian traditional alcoholic drink), which will improve our appetite. Overnight spent in traditional guesthouses of the Dardha village.
After an energetic morning it’s time to taste some Greek flavor. Our next visit will be Bularat, a small village in Southern Albania very closed to the Greek border. This village is located on some rocky heals and mostly populated by Greek minority. Here we will switch our program to the Greek traditions. Dinner will be consumed by tasting some Greek foods and the tasteful local “Gliko” (a homemade jam from oranges or other local fruits). Overnight in a traditional guesthouse
The beautiful Albanian Riviera would be our next destination, where we will take picturesque ferry trip to Corfu (Greece). Located to a very strategic position Corfu had been an ancient civilization, cultural and trade center for centuries.
After 2 days of mainly continental cooking’s and strong “raki” it’s time for some fish and wine. We will introduce you to some Mediterranean cosine and familiarize with secrets of cooking a seafood dish.
We get the ferry back to Saranda and enjoy the sunset on our trip back. Overnight in Lukovë (Albania).
Our next destination is Dukat, a well-known village for its polyphonic traditional songs (UNESCO world heritage) and roasted lamp. We will be introduced with the art of roasting lamp. The ritual of roasting a lamp in this area is not only an ordinary cooking process. An old legend told that not everyone could roast a lamp properly; only a fair and honest person will achieve it. Overnight in traditional guesthouse wit live polyphonic “Labçe” music.
Kallmet is our next destination. The village of Kallmet is located through the hills of central Albania. Kallmet is known as the origin of the autochthon grape variety of “Kallmet”. The local villagers of Kallmet are also known for producing fine quality homemade wines. The village of Kallmet is also home to some traditional clothing robes, handmade by local housewives of this village. We will enjoy local foods, drink Kallmeti wine and learn how local housewives make their living through their handmade traditional clothes. We will be accommodated in local houses of the village. Overnight in local guesthouses.
After enjoying a tasteful traditional breakfast at “Mrizi i Zanave” a traditional guesthouse in Fishta village we accompany you to the Montenegrin border. This is the end of our journey. We hope you enjoyed this irreplaceable experience through rural Albania.
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