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Kune-Vain, Lezha

King Skerdilajdi Tour

Horse-riding in Southern Albania

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Calendar Icon Length: 8 Days

Southern Albania boasts a unique horse-riding center in the historical town of Gjirokastra. Caravan Travel started its professional tours 5 years ago; we have five experienced guides with more than 10 years of practice.

Our specialty is long riding tours involving the gamut of paces (mountain ascents, challenging trots in tricky terrains, etc.), our objective being to offer a harmonious sojourn between horses and humankind in memorable settings. We offer our guests a slice of the Albanian way of life, a glimpse of our traditions, an opportunity to share in the village families’ daily doings.

We carry the luggage by car, packing only the most necessary items in the saddle bags: it makes galloping much more comfortable.

Our best and longest trail is that of “the merchants” (Zagoria). This year, we are proud to invite you to “King Skerdilajd´s Army Route”, an excursion that has often been tested across the past 5 years. An additional choice for our first-time visitors, this tour lures satisfied riders to return.

Partly imitating the percorse of the Ilirian King Skerdilajd to conquer Kaonia 2,300 years ago, the ride combines splendid natural panoramas with culture heritage sites, mountain village with seaside town life. The trails offer the possibility of all paces, the landscapes comprising mountain paths with steep ascents and downhills, rivers, woods, seaside, ancient ruins and castles, handsome churches and monasteries.

Traces of Albania’s obscure recent history are visible in the preserved bunkers and military protection infrastructure designed for defense in case of attack from “enemies.”

Our forte is accommodation. Excepting the first and the last nights, our guests enjoy comfortable lodging with hospitable families and agree that the arrangement is ideal. Lively conversations are shared over savoury organic dishes; the fruits, vegetables, and meats are garden-grown and farm-fresh. The special rakis and wines, as well as the famed mountain teas, are all locally produced.

Both mountain delicacies and seafoods are tasty treats along the journey; traditionally extracted olive oil, regional citrus fruits, and fresh fish are in abundance.

From May to the end of September, there are two days to enjoy a dip in the sea.

Flora and Fauna : Among the wide variety of plants and woods, there are 420 species that contain fossils and up to 50 kinds of medicinal and curative herbs; of the 3,250 Albanian species, 13% are native to Gjirokastra´s territory. The most common animals are hares, deer, wild boars, martens, bears, wild cats, etc. Trout, eels and many more marine creatures lurk in the rivers.

Horses: Our mountain horses (133- 153 cm) are an ancient cross of the Tarpan and the Arab breeds and manifest the established characteristics of a safe horse. The rocky landscape of their natural environment has made these horses sure-footed and trustworthy in tense situations and at all paces. Even the stallions are easy to handle and each of them is a natural personality.

This local breed of horse served for centuries to pass the mountains and to transfer the inhabitants’ animals or bees from summer to winter pastures. Used to transport entire families and villages during periods of conflict or war, these horses served the army in medieval times and, according to the ancient writers, continued almost unchanged during the period of King Skerdilajd. 

These tours and excursions offer unique and economic opportunities to support and sustain the small local businesses that are working to preserve and protect the Albanian natural treasures by sharing them with caring, respectful visitors.

per person
1550 €
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Day 2

Wir werden das Reiten mit dem kleinen See von Gjirokastra, Viroi Park, (Höhe: 220 m über dem Meeresspiegel)beginnen. Es ist erstaunlich wie diese Ecosysteme plötzlich von waagerecht zu senkrecht ändern; die Rauheit dieses Gebiet und der Kontrast, der da gibt. Sie werden durch Hügellandschafte, kleine Flüße, Kiefernwälder und steiler Anstiege reiten. Das Mittagessen wird ein kleines Piknik, im Kloster von Cepo sein. Ein wichtiges sektenartiges Objekt, mit einem merkwürdigen und historischen Standort im norden vom „Wide Mountain“-eine von der beste Aussichten des Drinos Tals. Heutzutage was übrig bleibt sind nur eine Basilika und Dutzende von Gasthäusern(die immer eine Funktion als Unterkunft für die Reisende hatten).

Nach dem Mittagessen, wir reiten in Richtung Plesat Dorf und Kardhiq Fluß. Die Bewohner verbinden die einzigartige Felsen dieses Gebiet mit dem Vielgötterglaube „Gods of the Light“(Die Lichtgötter). Wissenschaftlich betrachtet: Man sagt, dass die 3-4 m hoch Säulen wegen einer Erosion gestaltet wurden.

Nach dem 5-6 Stunden ist die Reite im Zhulat Dorf-ein wichtigtes Zentrum in der Gegend von Laberia- zu Ende gekommen. Das bürgerliche Gezetsbuch von Laberia wurde in einem Schloss gegründet und die Tradition beschreibt es wie ein Konzept, dass später von Zhulati Juli Pope(XI Jahrhundert) reorganisiert wurde. Hinzu kommt, dass die Tradition und die Dokumentationen Das Gesetzbuch wurde noch einmal von Idriz Suli geschrieben( Ideologe des XVIII Jahrhundert). Seine Statue befindet sich unter einer Platane, im Zentrm vom Dorf.

Sie werden der Abend in einem dörflichen Haus, wo Sie die traditionelle Getränke und Speise geniessen können.