Himara General Info
Himara lies in the southwest part of the Akrocerauni range of mountains in which is also the Cika Peak, 2045 m above the sea level, starting from Llogara Pass in the northwest and at the borders of the Borshi River to the southwest, including some of the most wonderful pearls of the Ionian Riviera. The town of Himara is the center of the region, also the administrative center of the municipality of Himara, including the villages of Palasa, Gjileku, Dhërmi, Iliasi, Vunoi, Piluri, Kudhësi and Qeparoi.
Himara will amaze you with her beauties in architectonic and cultural field, showing this in every village you will see. The houses composed by two-three floors, are special and characteristic, built from himariot masters.
Starting from Llogara Pass, (the place where you can exercise paragliding) the first villages you will see, are, Palasa. Gjilek and Dhërmi, in the middle of olive trees and the deep blue of Ionian Sea. Beyond you can watch the island of Othonos, the most northern Greek island. During good weather, you can watch the coasts of Apenine peninsula.
Palasa is the first village you will meet on the road. In Palasa you will find the St. Dimitri church, built in 1828. On the right, is the beach of Palasa, large and beautiful, virgin a pure, very suitable for the youth of every country. As the best accommodating structure, Hotel Palasa expects you with modern services and hospitality. Many other small hotels and guest-houses are built in the zone.
Another interesting thing to see along the trip in this zone, are the honey-farms. If you see on the street, many people, sell natural honey and its products, because of the culture of olives and other flowers and trees which stimulate the growing of the apis.
Gjileku. Going on, you will meet the first houses of villages of Gjilek, Kallami and Kontraqia, built from the growing of old Gjilek during last 70 years.
Dhërmi village, with its old buildings, has an architecture mixed between Venice and greek style. The tower of Gjikopulli and Kumi tribes, and the Seven Water- mills of the frozen waters of Potam are autokton values of all the region and gives Himara a valued name. In Dhërmi is the monastery of Panaija, in which is the St. Teodor church. In the same zone is the church of St. Parashqevi and in Jaliskari, the church of St. Nikol, wich is always open for the visitors.
Going down, you will find the beach of Jaliskari with the wonderful view and the famous Cave if the Pirates. This beach is the most famous of Riviera and the destination of most modern part of Albanian population. This beach has been also the port of famous leaders of Dhërmi, who use to cross the Mediterranean Sea, trying to sell the producs of olives and citrus, the most important vital products
The village Vuno is a real surprise for all the visitors. Is good to bee visited the church of St. Spiridon with a big surprise inside. In Vuno is the wonderful beach of Jal. We can say surely that the Bay of jal is one of the most magnific bays in all Mediterranean Sea, with the pure-tear water and all the nuances of the smerald color.
The canyon of Gjipe. At the end of the road you will arrive at the canyon of Gjipe, a monument of nature, visited from hundred passioned of nature and extreme sports. Many funs of air sports use this canyon to exercise their favorite sports, and experience strong emotions. At the corner of the canyon you can enjoy the fresh natural products and fresh drinks of a small tavern.
At the left side of the national road lies the village of Ilias, mentioned during the XIX century as neighbor of Vuno village. Since 1581 was integral part of independent region of Himara. At this village you will find the monastery of Stavridhit where in 15-th of August many religioners join to celebrate the birthday of St. Mary.
Just passed the canyon of Gjipe you will meet the roughly hills of Vunoi, another monument of nature, created from the erosion. The surface waters have scoured the land and created deep gutters. The borders of these gutters fall perpendicularly and meet the peaks of the hills covered from greenness.
The beach of Jal, as the beach of Dhërmi, is one of the most frequented areas from youth and tourists because of the rare view, crystal waters, white round stones, the favalous small intimate bays and all the other beauties that the nature offers. Maybe for this reason the military Headquarters decided to buid their resort for holidays, durin the ’70. today this resort is the summer residence of the government.
Jal offers a rich tourist infrastructure with various accommodating centers, starting by the camping, rooms for rent, small hotels and villas, services and places equipped with high parameters of quality and comfort. Some restaurants and taverns along the coast, offers rich cuisine based on the fresh sea products, Italian cuisine and traditional dishes. In Jal you will find one of the biggest resorts of the coastal zone, called Gerbi Tours. The restort offers, accommodation in villas, camping, restaurant, nice bar on the sea, live music etc.
Coming near Himara, a wonderful clear-water beach will amaze you. It is the beach of Livadh, only few metters from the main road. Actually the beach disposes only small taverns, rooms for rent and nice summer bars, going to be a future tourist infrastructure. During the summer, this beach becomes also arena of youth concerts, all nightlong and after the concert, people lie on the sand to sleep tired or wait for the mornig doing long conversation around the fire.
over the bay of Spile lies Himara village, on a strategic position, which has been for long time, the center of the region. Here the leaders of the country, use to organize the meetings to make plans about the rezistence agains the invadors.
The town of Himara offers banking, delivering service, exchange, post service, medical service and tourist one. Also disposes modern infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and bars, rooms for rent and reasonable prices.
Himara has two beaches, the first is the beach in front of the town, on the bay with the same name. The interesting thing is that you can have a drink, eat (lunch or something fast), and go down stairs directly on the beach. all the bars and the restaurants positioned along the main boulevard of Himara, have their own verandas on the sidewalk.
The second is Potami beach, the new tourist area, filled by new modern hotels, bars, restaurants and night clubs, composing an attractive sector, leaded by Rrapo’s Resort Hotel, one of the most beautiful resorts on the entire coastline (see details in accommodation section).
The special beach of Llamani consists in a small isolated bay where the white stones of the sea can be watched through the pure water. This beach is famous because the Ministry of Tourism has used for long time its image as the symbol of the Albanian tourist image in the world. Lastly there has rown up a nice tourist resort, equipped for now with a large restaurant and bar, night club and relaxing services for the wonderful natural beach. It is impossible to pass on that way without stopping to watch of to make photos, because of the rare beauty of the small bay, which gives a real rainbow of blue and green colors, combined in a wonderful mosaic.
After passed the pass of Lera you will face the large gulf of Panormi, characterized in the center of the sight by the castle of Porto-Palermo or the castle of Ali Pash Tepelena. The castle was built by the order of Vasilika, the young wife of Ali , in the memory of the ditroyed monastery of St. Nicol. The castle was built over the ruins of the monastery.
The castle of Panormi, built from himariot warriors, for Ali Pashë Tepelena during 1800, (based on the information of the period ) constitutes the main monumet on the bay of Panormi. this castle is actually in splendid conditions, a military complex which gives a wonderful sight from the borders on the top of the walls, over the deep blue waters of Ionian Sea.
.Qeparoi. once surpassed the peninsula of Panormi, which is the southern boundary of the gulf, we meet the valley of Qeparoi, with the new village on the valley and the old one beyond, on the mountain face. On the top, is built the ancient castle of Karos.
Qeparoi has two large beaches, Skalome and Gonea, the most frequented during the summer, which offer rural tourist infrastructure, mostly rooms for rent.
The old village of Qeparoi has been subject of a reportage from the National Geographic, for its historical and architectural values. The charcetristic alleys made with stone and conserved with fanaticism by the inhabitants, linger along the village, starting from the centre, going around the ancient plane-tree, next to the giant campanile of the St. Mary church, built in 1796.
Healthy special food
In the entire coastline you can enjoy fresh food, season fruits, the rural cuisine, and you can cook if you want, or ask to the owners of the houses where you are guest, to cook for you.
Starting from Llogora pass, until in Borsh, which is the extreme boundary between Himara and Saranda, you will taste a lot of natural products. The area is famous for its lamb on a spit, the yogurt of the sheeps, the delicious olives (you can see the olive-trees along the 150 km from Vlora to Saranda) the tasteful natural honey etc.