Fresh from adventures driving through the Balkans, Danielle Radley comments on her stay in Berat, Albania.
“We felt more welcome in Albania than almost anywhere else we’ve ever been to. Shop assistants actually smiled, and that doesn't happen in many other places. Despite the sometimes exciting state of the roads, travelling through the country was a pleasure. People were overwhelmingly warm and friendly.
Berat is simply stunning. We stayed in the Hotel Mangalemi, which is an excellent hotel in the Ottoman Old Town. I can't recommend it highly enough. We spent our time wandering aimlessly in both the ancient and modern parts of the city, and it felt as though we were on a different continent. A really interesting and beautiful place. Berat shouldn't be missed."
My highlight was listening to Ramadan prayer chants from my hotel window – there are three mosques within a 200ft radius of Hotel Managalemi, which we stay in on our Southern Balkans: Historical Jewels of Europe tour, new for 2013.
The Southern Balkans offer stunning landscapes, ancient cities, beautiful national parks, historic churches – in essence, we think they’re the hidden gems of southern Europe. On our tour in Albania we spend time in Berat and Gjirokaster, both lovely Ottoman-era towns, visit Kruja’s authentic little bazaar and marvel at Tirana’s communist architecture. In Macedonia, we visit Macedonia’s spiritual heart, Ohrid, rich in treasures and set on a magnificent lake. In both countries we have the opportunity to take gentle strolls in untouched national parks. Find out more about our Guided Touring in the Southern Balkans. We also have a selection of photos from Berat on our facebook page.