The hectic city life is able to put us all down at some point, if we don’t find a way to get back to nature, health and relax time after time. We need to take a sabbath and recover the energy we need while living in a such a dynamic world. Transitioning from Vita Activa to Vita Contemplativa.
One way to do that is to spend some time in an agritourism.
Agritourism is where agriculture and tourism meet to provide you with an amazing educational experience, whether it be a tour of a farm or ranch, a festival or cheese-making class. Farmers, ranchers and wineries turn their land into a destination and open their doors to the public in order to teach more about what they do.
Where to find them in Albania? These are our suggestions:
Bujtina Tomadhe (Tomadhe Guesthouse) Shengjergj, Tirane
Bujtina Tomadhe, managed by the couple Albina and Novruz Cuko, is located in the village of Shengjergj, very close to the capital, Tirana.
The inn takes its name from the historical name of the area, although the exact origin and meaning of the name is disputed. According to one version, Tomadhe came as a name from the phrase “great land”, which means wide land, while another source explains that the meaning derives from “Toma-dhè”, the land of Toma, taking us back to a local ruler or feudal lord of the time. Another explanation is that the name derives from the name of the Goddess of Water Sources, as the area is rich in natural water sources.
a rich breakfast is served by Albina and is included in the room price, light lunches and dinners are only available on request. They can consist of fresh salads, soups or homemade pies filled with cottage cheese, courgettes or tomatoes and onions. Almost all the ingredients, such as eggs, cheese, milk, meat, fruits and vegetables are of village origin, bought from nearby villagers. As a dining alternative, visitors can take a short walk to eat at the local restaurant in the center of Verri.
The Tomadhe guesthouse is definitely a stunning place, in a very picturesque and rural setting, managed by caring, friendly and very welcoming managers.
Fustanella Farm – Petrele, Tirane
Fustanella Farm is located in the village of Petrele, 20 minutes from Tirana. It is a perfect place to have a tasty and traditional lunch or dinner so close to the capital. This agritourism started three years ago, with a breathtaking panorama, in the place where it is located today. It was concretized in a new agrotourism enterprise, in the Zaranik neighborhood of Petrela.
Fustanella is composed of a small guesthouse with three rooms, agricultural farms and an organic restaurant that operates according to the principle “from the field, straight to the table.” The hostel is still unfinished. There are three wonderful rooms on the second floor and each of them will have the capacity to accommodate two to three people, according to the wishes of the vacationers. The farm produces a wide range of vegetables, generally local crops, but also new crops that have entered our country in recent years. The restaurant offers Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine, following and reinterpreting traditional recipes cooked for centuries in the hearths of houses, where the fustanella was and still is worn.
Agroturizem Huqi (Huqi Agritourism) Rade, Durres
Agrotourism Huqi is an agrotourism farm in Lalez Bay in Albania. Located by the lake, with detached wooden cabins that cost around 50Euros per night.
This agrotourism farm is a great destination for everyone. The restaurant offers a great variety of traditional Albanian dishes. The dishes are accompanied by the house wine, which is Albanian made. The main specialty is lamb or kid which are cooked in an exquisite way, that you will feel them melt into your mouth. This is a slow-food cooking tradition. The restaurant has a capacity of 250 people. This farm gives employment to the people of the nearby villages. The wooden benches and long tables offer space for everyone who wants to have lunch or dinner at this place.
There is a place for children to enjoy exploring while they wait for their order. The vegetables are grown just behind the restaurant, and the property is surrounded by grapevines.
Kodra e Kuajve (Hills of Horses) Durres
Kodra e Kuajve is not a typical farm, but it still carries a strong connection with agritourism, and not just because of the horses. The restaurant has a close cooperation with the local villagers from Dedej, and all the raw material, such as meat, milk, cheese, eggs, as well as vegetables, honey and fruits served to regular customers are obtained from them. The restaurant had several cows on the property, but for hygienic reasons, the decision was made to contract the farmers of the village for the growth and breeding of the live thing. The villagers also take care of the chickens, goats and sheep and send milk and meat to the farm when needed. Only ponies and a few deer live in a nearby stable, which can be viewed from above from the restaurant’s outdoor seating area.
Unlike most restaurants near the coast, Kodra e Kuajve specializes as a meat restaurant, but also offers some fish and seafood options, as well as offering plenty of options for vegetarians. Two brothers from Durrës serve as head chefs, but the menu consists of traditional favorites from various Albanian regions and beyond. Dishes on the rich menu include mixed starters, pies, homemade noodles, oatmeal, stuffed grape leaves, cornbread, peppers stuffed with cheese, and various types of meat, such as beef, goat, lamb , chicken and duck. The wide variety of pasta dishes, soups, cheeses, vegetables and fresh salads guarantee that every visitor will find something to their taste, and the freshness and quality of the ingredients is clearly seen in every dish.
Kantina Duka -Ishem, Durres
Lying in the hills of Ishem, the “DUKA” vineyard is located between the forest and the freshness of the winds that embrace it from the south. This agronomic and engineering work of 5 hectares enjoys a very beautiful landscape and can be visited by local and foreign vacationers, who want the combination of an out-of-the-ordinary tourism and above all want to taste three varieties of Duka, Cabernet, Merlot, Tempranillo .
The care for these wines begins with the vine and the soil, which are fed only with organic fertilizers, to continue with the protection of the vine and grapes with products registered for organic agriculture. Meanwhile, the vine is irrigated with water from the tank isolated from the colanders of the neighboring plots. The vineyard is surrounded by forest and there is no possibility of pollution from dust and fumes.
Bujtina Xhebro – Nivice, Tepelene
Bujtina Xhebro is a guesthouse built on the slope of Kendrevica mountain, you are guaranteed a real adventure. At the end of a long journey, which starts from the town of Tepelena, there is an inn, the distance of which is only understood when you arrive there. The road covered is all turns, 8 kilometers of gravel road (currently under construction). It passes through the villages of Benchë, Lekdush, Progonat and Gusmar. The road to the guesthouse describes one of the most spectacular landscapes of Southern Albania, characterized by a series of deep, dramatic canyons and steep cliffs.
For those who want to take a walk after eating, the options are endless. A short climb offers views of grassy and flowery slopes, as well as a nearby forest, through which a path connects you to the village of Nivicë. Herds of sheep and goats can be seen along the way. But, even if you just sit on the bench (hammock) of the garden, the tranquility and peace of the area are suitable to disconnect you from the noise and everyday life. The lack of cell phone and internet waves help you to enjoy this atmosphere more and allow you to focus on nature. When evening comes and you lay your head on the pillow, the warmly furnished rooms with wooden interiors guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Agroturizem Gjepali (Gjepali Agritourism) Gjepalaj, Lezhe
Agroturizem Gjepali is a family owned business and a place you definitely can’t miss. Located in Shijak-Durres, more precisely in Gjepalaj village nearby the loop of a river, this farm is made through the inspiring story of the owner who migrated at a young age and became a kitchen chef and later on he wanted to have his own restaurant where he would do what he loved most, cook food. The architecture reminds you of Tuscany and the Italian style. It has obviously that Mediterranean touch on the outside but it tastes like Albanian best flavors on the inside. The menu of this agrotourism farm in Albania is traditional Albanian with local ingredients. The restaurant offers a wide range of food and specialties such as burek, homemade meatballs, slow-cooked meat, and dessert. This place offers the guests to participate in bread making, cheese making, and jam making.
Mrizi i Zanave – Fishte, Lezhe
Mrizi i Zanave, with chef Altin Prenga, is located in the village of Fishtë in the north of Albania. When you arrive at Mrizi i Zanave, the place is buzzing. This is not surprising when you consider that this agritourism serves about 100,000 visitors a year.
There are a total of 70 workers involved in all aspects of farm production, food processing and the restaurant. Dairy and meat products, as well as other products, are provided by the 400 families nearby. Visitors can take a tour of the fields and workshops. The latter are located in the former village prison, which Altini restored and converted into a food processing workshop in 2018. In a few minutes’ walk along the field with various vegetables and a vineyard with Kallmet grapes, the group of the buildings are designed in a rectangular shape, forming an inner courtyard with flower gardens and several large olive trees.
The old stone house located at the highest point of the farm, which once belonged to Altini’s grandfather, was restored in 2018 by the family and turned into a guest house. A dilapidated corner of the building has been creatively turned into a floor-to-ceiling glass window, creating an attractive combination of traditional stone and wood elements with modern materials, both inside and out. The rooms are rustic and comfortable, with elegant bathrooms, with contrasting glass panels, and decorated with great attention to detail.
It is this combination of tradition and modernity, attention to detail and unique experience that makes Mrizi i Zanave a truly special place for both local and foreign visitors.
Hoteli i Gjuetise – Ishull Lezhe, Lezhe
Hoteli i Gjuetise in Ishull-Lezhë, built in 1936 in a fascinating natural landscape, an object with special historical values has returned to tourist activity. It was originally built by the Italians to promote the tourism of hunting enthusiasts.
There is also a building associated with the name of Count Ciano, the former Foreign Minister of Italy, which we will transform into a museum room, equipping it with objects and relics of that time, which we are collecting from the residents of the area , bringing another element of attraction for the many visitors and vacationers who choose to rest at the “Hoteli i Gjuetise”.
The resort functions both as a hotel and as a restaurant, where dishes are served with traditional products of the area, but above all with the outdoor spaces, where work has been done in every part for the greenery, the preservation of the wild fauna and autochthonous vegetation in the lagoon. of the island. Lezhe. This lagoon is also rich with other rare species such as Wild Duck, Bajza, Çafka, Karabullaku, etc., which become “prey” of the cameras of many tourists in the autumn and winter period.
Farma Sotira – Leskovik, Kolonje
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Sotira Farm is the right place for you. The epitome of remoteness, this farm is located far from the urban chaos in the south-eastern district of Kolonje, at 1000m altitude, close to the border with Greece. Anyone traveling from Përmet to Korçë will inevitably pass by this place, and many stop to stretch their legs and have a coffee, cold drink, or even a meal. But only those who stay here for a night, or even a week, will discover all that Sotira Farm has to offer.
For a good night’s rest, there are different accommodation options, with different prices and different levels of comfort to suit your needs. There is a large camping site for up to 30 camping cars, which is popular with foreign tourists traveling in their own vehicles. Nearby, there are a few small, simple wooden cabins, which share the same bathrooms as the camping area. Near the farm entrance, there are nine small wooden lodges with two rooms each, with single or double beds, complete with private bathrooms and furniture handcrafted by Tony.
In conclusion, with its exceptional ambience, fresh mountain air, delicious food, generous and dedicated hosts and a host of activities, visitors return to this farm to stay again.
Logu i Harushave -Theth, Shkoder
Logu i Harshave is one of the best places to stay when traveling in the north of Albania. It is located in the beautiful village of Theth. A great location for hiking in the Albanian alps. The place is old and run by a family that takes care of everything.
It provides free WiFi, and guests can enjoy a restaurant, a bar and a garden. A continental breakfast is available daily at the farm stay. A car rental service is available at Logu i Harushave. Theth National Park is 1.8 km from the accommodation. The nearest airport is Tivat, 167 km from Logu i Harushave, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Agroturizem Nena Dashuri -Peshkopi
The rich agricultural traditions are still alive in the surrounding villages, and an excellent example is Agroturism Nena Dashuri, positioned just outside the small town of Peshkopia, which serves as a landmark for the entire area. The restaurant’s menu features a wide variety of products, ranging from cutlets, lamb, roast beef, steak and livers, to home-made loaves and pies, the specialty of the house is, unsurprisingly, a meat dish. chicken with noodles. To try everything, the off-menu welcome plate suggested by the waiting staff, with a variety of different products is also an excellent choice. In the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, decorated with all kinds of ethnographic items, including a traditional Ottoman-style mahogany by the fireplace, musical instruments, a wooden cradle for children, pottery and kitchen utensils and with a view of the surrounding mountains, through a large wooden window, every meal here is destined to leave an impression that lasts.
On the floor above the restaurant, the hotel’s corridors and rooms (on the second floor) convey a pleasant balance between modern and traditional. The wooden floor is inspired by the common flooring of private houses in the area, while colorful rugs and cushions give the hallway a cozy feel. The eight simple rooms have wooden furniture, comfortable beds and some beautiful decorative details. For the very importance of making noodles for the family, as well as the sweet smell of dough that spreads through the house from the workshop on the first floor, the name of the hotel is written on a wooden sign above the entrance of the building, “Bujtina e Jufkave”.
Kantina Arberi – Rreshen
The value of tradition in the Arbëri Winery is evident after the steps taken by the Kaçorri family, from producing a small amount of wine for personal and local needs, to becoming one of the most popular wineries in Albania. Today, their winery has been honored with many international awards and the family, led by the young Rigers Kaçorri, is dealing with other areas of business to enhance the experience of their visitors.
To learn more about the production process, but also to taste the wines and various other alcoholic beverages, visitors can take part in a wine tasting in the cellar with vaulted brick ceilings. To taste and enjoy the wine of Arbër is to follow in the footsteps of many distinguished figures, including politicians and officials, diplomatic corps, famous people and perhaps most famously, Pope Francis, who visited Albania in in 2014 and was given as a gift one of the wines of Cantina Arbëri.
Sofra Kolonjare – Kolonje
Sofra Kolonjare is located in Kolonje, near Korce. It has been operating in the agritourism market since 2011 with a capacity of 7 family rooms and 35 tables located in indoor and outdoor areas. The kitchen has a variety of traditional livestock products of Mount Gramozi such as meat and dairy. Sofra Kolonjare offers the possibility for camping with a capacity of 15 pitches per camper. Post offices offer contemporary conditions. Tourists can also use the two new trails that have been created for hiking.