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Guri i Bardhe, Mat – What to expect from the village behind seven hills

A hiking destination, the castle of Skanderbeg and other cultural facts

Guri i Bardhe, Mat ©Klodian Hajdari

A hiking destination? Guri i Bardhë, Mat (123 km from Tirana)

The village of Guri i Bardhë has about 1124 inhabitants and it is famous for its hospitality. Guests are always welcomed in Albanian villages, especially in the North of Albania where the traditions leave last. Living among the mountains, behind seven hills, Guri i Bardhe locals have preserved the old habits and many cultural phenomenons which make the journey to this destination even more interesting.
There are two ways to get there: you can go either through the wing that comes from Qafa e Murrizit, or through Klos. It feels so close to Tirana when you look at the map, but before, it has been a struggle to get there since there was no shortcut through the mountains.
The positioning between two protected areas such as Dajti National Park and the natural landscape of the Mountain with Gropa-Bizë-Martanes give the village an advantage in tourism.
It is the village of the birthplace of Pjeter Budi, an Albanian scholar and patriot, it is the village of Skanderbeg Castle, the national hero and it is also the village in which the caravan route of Arbër road passes. Although the castle has only left the ruins behind, it is a good opportunity to learn about Skanderbeg’s history in this area.


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The village of Guri Bardhë-Petralbë, are autochthonous villages with a tradition in education where Pjetër Budi was born, who wrote “The Doctrine of Christ”, one of the first books in the Albanian language.
Guri i Bardhë represents the mountainous area of the Municipality of Klos in the southern part which starts at an altitude of 450 meters and ends at Malin me Gropa at an altitude of 1206 meters.

Did you know that the former Albanians King, Ahmet Zogu’s origin was from Mat?

Even though he was not born exactly at Guri i Bardhe, the princ and the princess, actually living in Tirana, like to honour his origin. In the photograph below, the princess is wearing a typical garment of this village, which gives us a better idea of how beautiful the traditional clothes of Guri i Bardhe has been.

What to see:

• Petralba Castle
• Gurra e Guri i Bardhë
• Pjetër Budi’s apartment
• Mat River Canyon
• Caravan Trail
• Mosque of 1580
• Gunpowder Dam
• Venetian Bridge
• Small Bridge at Gurrat e Kodra

What to do:

• Hiking
• Has the potential for tasting
• Horseback riding
• Craft clothing, where visitors can see the work in the old ways