Tag Archives: hiking

Eco Tourism

Why not consider Kosovo for your next holiday? It would be kinder to the environment and to Kosovo’s economy. Treat yourself to a Kosovan ‘staycation’ and spend less time, money and fossil fuel on the journey and linger awhile in one of the country’s beauty spots taking big breaths of fresh air.

The Mazrekaj Kulla in Drenoc, near Deçan/Decane.A kulla is a fortified stone house, typical to Kosovo and northern Albania. Once common in much of the country, most kullas were knocked down or fell down in the conflict and afterwards. This one is a rare survivor, restored by Cultural Heritage Without Borders with a modern bathroom and kitchen where you can prepare your own food (though you can also order traditional meals to be delivered by a local women’s co-operative). Downstairs, the former stable has been equipped with furniture and a PowerPoint screen for seminars. There are three double bedrooms plus the wonderful oda or men’s meeting room, with original wood carvings and cushions, complete with a cosy wood burning stove in winter, and shuttered windows to open for summer evenings. Beds cost 15 Euro per person per night for groups of up to 3, 10 Euro per person per night for groups of 4-7 people. The seminar room can be rented for 25 euro for half a day. The kulla is close enough to Deçan/Decane to be easily combined with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site monastery nearby. Contact – P: 044 253 412.

Stone kulla hotel in Junik. You could also stay in the stone kulla hotel in Junik. For more information, check out the new Regional Tourism Center “n’Dukagjin” which was inaugurated in Junik in May 2012. The center is located in a newly restored Isufaj Kulla. Contact – Rame Zymberi P: 044 146 960

Novobërdë/Novo Brdo homestay accommodation. Serbian and Albanian families in Novobërdë/Novo Brdo offer comfortable, hospitable accommodation (through an NGO initiative) in homes close to the ancient castle. The castle dates from the thirteenth century, when Novobërdë/ Novo Brdo was a major European centre, wealthy from its mines. The impressive fortifications are now in ruins offering a great place for walking and exploring. Activities such as paintballing and biking are also possible. See the range of accommodation and catering available at http://www.tourism-novobrdo.com/. For more information contact the official Tourist Information Centre located in Novobërdë/Novo Brdo which is open every day during working hours. Contact – P: 044 465 471 E: rural.tourism.nb@gmail.com

Reka e Allagës in the Rugova valley. The Rugova Valley offers a number of accommodation options, including individual chalets and homestays (approx. 15 Euro per night for homestay, rates vary for chalets). Reka e Allagës is an idyllic spot. 45 minutes drive from Pejë/Pec the village is set in the stunning mountains with views to the peaks forming the Montenegrin border and surrounded everywhere by the heady medicinal scent of marjoram. Families in the village use this and other herbs to make tea. Contact – P: 044 661 797.

Dragash/Dragaš Dragash/Dragaš has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside in Kosovo and the Gorani villages of Brod or Restelica are great bases for a weekend of walking. See UNDP’s Guide http://www.kosovo.undp.org/repository/docs/2011/Dragash_Hiking_Guide_Final-Approved.pdf

Hoçë e Madhe/Velika Hoca This small town in the heart of the wine-making region of Rahovec/ Orahovac has many beautiful monasteries and churches some as old as the twelfth century. Four old houses have been restored by Cultural Heritage Without Borders for homestay. Contact – the Spasic family on 044 624854 or the Kostic family on 029 277029.

Germia park This is the green lung of Prishtinë/Priština. There are several walking and cycling routes. Check out the Bradt Guide to Kosovo for more detailed information. You can also rent bikes and horses there.

For more information on eco-tourism in Kosovo see http://www.balkansgeotourism.travel/country/kosovo/see285C6AA3477AFE3BC