Himara

HIMARA – ALBANIA

Himara in Vlore of Albania

Himara in Vlore of Albania

From Vlora . . . we should travel about 40 miles to the south, before we reach Himara, a peninsular Sicily, with abundant vegetation, colorful with a motty hilly profile. That is exactly how Himara was described in the year 1938 by Indro Montaneti, a symbol figure of Italian journalism of the twentieth century.

So, leaving Vlora behind, we are now ready to move on to the next region that is also known as the Albanian Riviera. This region is called Himara. Now you will be introduced to one of the most attractive parts of the Albanian seaside. Please have your camera with you because we are sure that you will enjoy capturing every moment of this trip. The coast line of Himara is very rich with various reliefs and also has a very rich history so further down we will explain everything in detail.

Himara is located in the southern west side of the Akrocerauni range of mountains which is also the Cika peak, 2045 meters above sea level, starting from Llogara Pass in the north west and at the borders of the Borshi River to the southwest, including some of the most wonderful pearls of the Ionian Riviera.

Himara is an ancient area with an old heroic story of a country whose very early had to fight for its freedom. During the centuries, this country has been admired from friends and enemies for its geographic beauties and its strategic position on the coast of the Ionian Sea.

Himara in Vlore, Albania

Himara in Vlore, Albania

Population of Himara: The region of Himara has a characteristic compact population with ethnic and religious values and this combines perfectly with the beautiful nature, the many monuments of culture and religion. All of these together make Himara a very interesting place to visit and also offers the traveler the opportunity to visit the many old churches and monasteries with the many magnificent paintings and icons inside. The magic of the nature and the old civilization will make you want to come back again and again to this magical area.


 

ACCOMMODATION IN HIMARA

It is usually easy to find accommodation in most areas of Albania, what we have tried to do is to give you the many many options but to also give our own personal advise of the goods and the bads as well as the exact location and the facilities of each accommodation choice. We would appreciate it if you would reserve your accommodation via this website and we will be there either in person or with a representative of ours to personally assist you while you are on  your holidays in Albania.


 

ACTIVITIES IN HIMARA OF ALBANIA

Albania is qualified today as one the most attractive holiday destinations in the whole of the Mediterranean. The wonderful nature, the land, the museums, the ancient monuments are all places that must be explored. The natural environment of Albania gives you the opportunity to exercise many kinds of sports. More than the two thirds of the country are mountainous terrain and in these areas in the autumn and winter, sports like skiing, mountaineering, climbing, trekking etc. can be exercised.


 

SIGHTSEEING IN HIMARA OF ALBANIA

 

 

 


 

THE HISTORY OF HIMARA – ALBANIA

the castle of Himara in Albania

the castle of Himara in Albania

The foundation of the village is lost in the history. Himara, where Dhermi is included, has been inhabited by the Epirote tribe of Chaonians. Julius Caesar was the first great leader that set his foot on the beach near Drimadhes in his battle against Pompeus and it is said that while he was sailing close to these dangerous Acroceraunian shores, he pronounced the famous sentence to his sailors: “Don’t fear as you are carrying the Caesar and his luck”. A relative of Gjin Bua Shpata came and was established in Dhermi. After the murder of Balsha II (a famous Medievil Albanian landlord) in 1385, his wife “a true amazon” ruled upon Himaraup until the year 1392. Those were the times of wars with the Saracens, evidence of which are the pirate’s cave and the area that has been named Al – Evra.  The famous Norman Guiskard and his son Boemund attempted to subdue the place, recognizing the strategic location upon the Otranto channel. Gjon Kastrioti, the son of Scanderberg – the Albanian National Hero, arrived in Himara in the year 1481 to organize an uprising against the Turks, after the death of his father, which proved unsuccessful. As a result of the Turkish occupation, many people from Himara left Albania and founded some villages in Southern Italy. Himara, unlike most of the rest of the country of Albania was never completely conquered by the Turks. Together with Mirdita, both regions enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy. According to the status signed by Sultan Bajazite II in the year 1492, Himara and its villages, should pay to the Sublime Port, the sum of 16,000 francs per year. However, the region was governed by the local demographers. Sulejman the Magnificent (or the LawGiver) tried to submit Himara, but in vain (one Himariote called Damian, succeeded to enter into his tent in an attempt to kill him). Himara (at that time composed of more than 50 villages) was the center of several uprisings such as those in 1481, 1488, 1494 – 1509, 1537, 1571, 1595, 1690, 1713. Ali Pasha of Tepelena was the only successful ruler of occupying Himara (1797) and its villages. As the story tells us, Ali Pasha of Tepelene ordered for a fire to be set in the forests upon the village of Drimadhes. According to the history of Albania, the Suliotes, that were the major contributors for the Greek Independence, were migrated Himariotes. At that time, Lord Byron wrote the famous verses, that were dedicated to Himara. After the Albanian independence, Himara was included in the new state, although in March 1914, the region was declared to be autonomous. In 1927, the protocol of the region of Himara and the Albanian State was signed that recognized all of the privileges of the region of Himara. During the first World War, the Italians using the Austro – Hungarian POW built the road that connects Vlora to the region of Himara, giving a big boost to the financial situation of the Albanian Riviera.  During the Italina – Greek war in the year 1940, Drimadhes was the most advanced point of the Greeks and all of its inhabitants had to be moved from Vlora and Durresi to Shkodra. The village took part in the National Liberation war and many of the inhabitants took place in the Riviera Fighting Unit and in the XII -th Brigade.


 

USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT HIMARA

So, leaving Vlora behind, we are now ready to move on to the next region that is also known as the Albanian Riviera. This region is called Himara. Now you will be introduced to one of the most attractive parts of the Albanian seaside. Please have your camera with you because we are sure that you will enjoy capturing every moment of this trip. The coast line of Himara is very rich with various reliefs and also has a very rich history so further down we will explain everything in detail.

Himara is located in the southern west side of the Akrocerauni range of mountains which is also the Cika peak, 2045 meters above sea level, starting from Llogara Pass in the north west and at the borders of the Borshi River to the southwest, including some of the most wonderful pearls of the Ionian Riviera.


 

UNIQUE CULTURE OF ALBANIA

The Albanian culture is an exotic blend of traditions that have evolved over thousands of years. From the ancient Illyrians and Greeks to the Romans and the Ottomans, the language, music, arts, and cuisine of the Albanian people are a rich and vibrant mix of many civilizations. Once you discover our culture, you are bound to fall in love with this new destination on the Mediterranean.

Hospitality is in our nature. Welcoming guests and ensuring their comfort is a hallmark of Albanian heritage and is epitomized by our very own Nobel Peace Prize recipient: Mother Teresa. The spirit of cooperation and friendship thrives in Albania, and it is not uncommon for guests to be invited to eat and drink with curious locals wishing to learn more about you.

Besa is a concept related to the Albanian code of honor and is an idea that is very important to the Albanian people. In the Kanun (a set of traditional Albanian laws), Besa is described as the highest authority, so essential to personal and familial standing as to be virtually a cult. Besa has been the subject of some stories and novels by Albania’s foremost modern novelist, Ismail Kadare, a Nobel Prize Candidate for Literature and winner of several international prizes. Kadare’s work has been published in over forty countries and translated into more than thirty languages, making Kadare the best ambassador of Albanian literature worldwide.

If we are speaking about the food and drinks of Albania, then we must mention the country’s deliciously-unique cuisine. It has many similarities to Turkish and Greek dishes, but offers a healthier, Mediterranean twist. Come try our wide variety of phyllo dough delicacies, including a melt-in-your-mouth sensation called byrek, or the original sweet treat known regionally as baklava.

Albania also has a long tradition of wine craftsmanship, which is lately being revived to its former glory. While you’re here, taste a sampling of our wine, produced from a rich soil that has been under cultivation since the ancient Greeks and Romans. Regardless of your culinary inclinations, we guarantee that our rich history and culinary traditions have created a menu of mouth-watering specialties for you to try.

Each region of Albania likes to specialize in its own brand of music, thus giving the music aficionado an incentive to explore the entire country in search of each community’s sense of style. For example, UNESCO has classified a type of music from southern Albania, known as Iso Polyphony, to have tremendous cultural value to humankind. Our music has even given rise to a few prominent artists of global acclaim, including opera lyric soprano, Inva Mula, and the distinguished violinist, Tedi Papavrami.

In regards to style, when you arrive in Albania, you will notice that the men take great pride in their appearance and will often don a suit and tie when in public. Even if their errands only involve a short trip to the grocery store, the men will dress to impress.

Depending upon the type of festival or time of year, you might even catch a glimpse of Albanian men in traditional folk attire. The National Folk Festival held in Gjirokastra is a prime example. This special autumn event is held once every four years and attracts artists from around the world.

The women of Albania also share a flair for style, especially at traditional Albanian weddings. At these events, the families of both the bride and groom will gather together in their finest dress and celebrate with great fervor. Weddings are often the ideal opportunity to witness the best of Albanian culture all in one event, and if you’re invited to one, the experience will undoubtedly be extraordinary.

Albanian culture is unique in many ways and we hope you’ll visit us to see it firsthand. We say ‘yes’ by shaking our head from side to side, both men and women greet each other with a kiss on either cheek, and our conversations are loud and passionate in an effort to entice others to join in. Visit Albania and discover why our culture is a new Mediterranean love.


 

MAP OF ALBANIA

map of Albania

PHOTO GALLERY OF HIMARA

MAP OF HIMARA