My friend and I decided to take just one organised day trip during our stay in Tirana in September. We chose to go to Berat. What an inspired choice!
Berat should be on the top of the list for a day trip from Tirana. Unlike Tirana it’s steep in history and is a UNESCO Heritage Site since 2008. It is known for its white Ottoman houses and is also known as “the town of 1000 /1001 windows”, though I wonder if anyone has ever bothered to count them! 🤔
Berat Full Day Trip from Tirana with Travel Albania.
The excellent day we had was due largely to our guide Ilir and the charming American couple with whom we shared the tour. Ilir was knowledgable about just about everything. He conversed with us in English with perfect ease with snippets of amusing facts thrown in. Spending the day in his company was like being shown around Berat by a friend!
It took just over 2 hours to drive from Tirana to Berat, We headed straight for the castle quarter of Berat, where locals live side by side with tourists. It’s a 13th century fortress overlooking the town of Berat
The National Iconographic Museum
Our first stop was The National Iconographic Museum “Onufri” dedicated to Byzantine art and iconography. It is located within the cathedral of St. Mary’s Assumption. Our guide Ilir made everything there interesting!
St. Trinity Church
St. Trinity Church is a medieval Byzantine church, a Cultural Monument of Albania. Walking up the slippery cobbled stone path was quite a challenge, but the views were rewarding!!
Views from the top of the surrounding area
Views around the castle compound at the top
Anquity and serenity in perfect harmony with nature!
Before we left the castle compound we were led to the vantage point for a great view of the city and the valley below
First glimpse of the iconic view of Berat!!
For lunch, Ilir led us to Antigoni restaurant across this bridge to the other side of the Osum River.
Never mind the food, which was traditional and tasty, but the views from the different levels of the restaurant were stunning!!
Views from Antigoni restaurant
Gorica Bridge is a landmark of Berat. It is one of the oldest and most popular Ottoman bridges in Albania and was rebuilt with stone in the 1920s.
After lunch we took a leisurely stroll along the river to cross Gorica Bridge to the other side of the city, admiring the different vistas of this beautiful city along the way! What a wonderful way to walk off the calories!!
The Ethnographic Museum
Before leaving Berat we went to the Ethnographic Museum via The Gate of Pasha (Porta E Pashait). There were more cobbled stones to negotiate , but it was so worth it.
The Ethnographic Museum is in an 18th-century house with displays of traditional crafts and implements. It was opened in 1979 and offers a fascinating glimpse of domestic lives at the time.
My particular favourite was the airy and comfortable balcony where we sat and enjoyed a Turkish coffee, courtesy of the museum
Momentos of a fabulous day – my fridge magnet and my photographs