The City of One Thousand Windows
Berat Albania is one of the most historic and oldest cities in Albania. That said, it can easily fill your entire day with beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and deep heritage. This UNESCO-protected site is divided into three large neighborhoods; Mangalem, Gorica, and the medieval castle. The Osum River forms the border between the first two. The medieval castle, amazingly enough, is still inhabited. Overlooking all are the city’s famous windows! Plan your 24 hours in Berat well, and you can enjoy so much of what it has to offer!
In the southern region of Albania along the banks of the Osumi River, you will find one of the most ancient towns in Albania. The innumerable monuments and characteristic architecture of the houses have proclaimed Berat, Albania a “Museum Town”. The town itself has three distinct parts: Gorica, Mangalem, and Kalaja. Within Gorica, you will find the well-preserved ruins of a castle dating from the 4th century BC. On the other side of the river, you will find the old district of Mangalem. Next to that is the Kalaja fortress and the residential quarter still housed within. Crossing the Gorica bridge leads you from Mangalem to Gorica. Both are well-preserved areas containing buildings with characteristic architecture from the Ottoman Empire.
As you walk through narrow, charming paths, you will see a great number of windows overlooking the town. These large windows give Berat Albania, the name “Town of a Thousand Windows.” This living piece of history abounds in cultural and religious heritage, historic architecture, and natural beauty. It is a remarkable scenic town, just as important today due to its rich history and architecture as it was over two thousand years ago for its political and commercial significance.
Mountain Tomorri National Park is the largest protected wildlife and outdoor recreation area in Albania. Visitors to the Park will find
an abundance of nature’s gifts ripe for exploration and outdoor recreation.
The mountain has a legend
Old, old-time ago, in Berat, lived happily a maiden by the name Osumi. She was so pretty that her beauty did not go unnoticed. There were two brothers who loved each other dearly and had each other’s back at war and at celebrations..Until they met Osumi. Both of them were amazed and taken away by her beauty. Both fought to get her heart, without knowing they were fighting for the same girl. They happily told each other stories about meeting the maiden and how happy they were that they found the one.
Little did they know that their happiness was to be short-lived.
And like every other legend, this one of Berat Albania has an ending too.
The maiden who was confused and did not know whom to choose decided to tell them the truth. Moreover, that this truth was bitter it was also harsh and supposed to kill. The truth was going to separate this brotherly love, forever.
This maiden that went by the name Osumi, went over to their place and confessed the deadly bearing news. The pain and the screams were heard all around this little town of Albania, Berat. While they begged each other to give up on her, none of them accepted. The brothers filled with rage and fury went on a war against each other. Tomorr pulled out his sword and cut his brother many times causing him deep wounds, while his brother was striking him with fists and throwing stones at him to defend himself.
Berat this town in Albania was at war. The war resulted in the death of these brothers, whom the Gods decided to punish by turning them into mountains.
While, Osumi, when she learned the result of her actions, sat down on their feet and started to cry until she drowned in her own tears. The Gods turned her into a river that runs through the mountains to the town where she was born.
Nowadays, if you visit this town of Albania, you will see the two mountains that face each other with their characteristic signs on them that are a result of their fight, and also you will see Osumi running through the mountains and the town.
The Cascades of Bogove is a light hike up from the nearby village of Bogova. This trip along the river banks to the cascades and natural springs takes approximately 45 minutes. The cascades of Bogova are fresh and clear, and as such are the region’s primary source of drinking water. Additionally, the forest at the foot of Mountain Tomorri provides cool shade around the cascades, offering a popular retreat from the summer heat of the region. The village of Bogove is about an hour’s ride from Berat.
The Canyons of Çorovode are standing evidence of the active geological history in the area. Çorovode is about half an hour trip outside of Berat. From there, the main trails and areas for outdoor recreation are only moments away.
Visit the wineries of Berat
The Alpeta Winery is located in the village of Roshnik, Berat. Roshnik lies on the hills of Mount Tomorr and is home to 120 families. Surrounded by orchards, olive trees and vineyards are what make this place wonderful. Kantina Alpeta is a family-run business, and it comprises a winery, a guest house, and a restaurant. This winery produces a merlot-cabernet blend, barrel and not barrel. And Also, white wine and raki. The winery produced more than 50,000bottles of wine in 2018 and supplied a lot of restaurants in Tirana.
However, later on, they transformed the winery into an agrotourism place when they opened guest rooms and a rustic restaurant with natural stone and wood. To get the full experience you have to stay at the farm, and breathe fresh air and enjoy the amazing views of Tomorr. On this farm grow other kinds of fruits such as figs, olives, nut trees, pomegranates, citrus, walnuts and hazelnuts, and almonds.
The Nurellary winery is what stands out in the village of Fushe Peshtan in the south-east of Berat, framed by Osum River and Mount Tomorr. The winery is a well-kept and gorgeous brick building with modern elements. Run by a family this winery was a communist warehouse in the past. It produces more than 30,000 bottles of wine per year, two-thirds are red wines and one third is white. The winery supplies supermarkets and restaurants in the region and more.
The varieties they have are from the international montepulciano, merlot and cabernet sauvignon to Pulsi and Debina e Bardhe for the white as well as Debina e zeze and Serina e Zeze for the red.
The winery has 5.5 hectares of vineyards. The family also produces raki and olive oil. All the products can be tasted during degustation which includes wine and raki and small dishes to accompany the drinks.
6 new rooms opened in 2019 for the guests to spend overnight at this place, and breakfast is included. However, you can order other meals upon request as the winery doesn’t have its own kitchen.
Visit Berat and experience life as a local.