TIRANA, November 20
When summer is over, little-known towns and villages become the perfect destination for those who want to escape from big cities. Usually, the types of visitors that go to those places are people somehow related to the destination or adventure seekers exploring the unknown. Given the geographic size of Albania, such places are not far away from big cities.
One of those areas is Ura e Shtejte in the Shkodra region, Postriba administrative unit.
Located on the banks of the Kir River, Ura e Shtejte is the reward for the travelers that don’t stop at Mesi Bridge. The village is situated on both banks of the middle course of Kir River, just 17 km away from Shkodra and in between Prekali and Drishti. The latter known as ancient Drivatium or Drivasti is famous for its fortress, a strategic settlement for the defense of Shkodra Castle. Both fortresses relied on communication through fire signals.
Nowadays, Drishti is one of the few inhabited castles in Albania. Eleven houses are found within the castle’s walls on a hill at 800 meters above sea level. A short hike from the lower neighborhood takes to the castle that still preserves some of its towers and buildings. Drishti is an interesting tourist attraction not only for the history of the area but also for its cultural and natural attractions, but also for architectural style and great outdoors defined by the Kir River Valley and its distinctive teal-blue water.
Mesi Bridge along with Rozafa Castle is the most important monument of culture and symbols of Shkodra. They are often depicted in paintings by local artists or engraved in wood or stone. The bridge is located six km away from Shkodra. It is the most important and at the same time the biggest and best-preserved bridge from the Ottoman period in Albania. The bridge is 108 meters long and 3.4 meters wide. It is supported on 13 arches. The largest arch has a diameter of 21.5 meters. The bridge attracts numerous visitors as well as international researchers, who have described Mesi Bridge as a bold and elegant work of architecture.
Ura e Shtrejte
Ura e Shtrejte, which somehow translates to the precious bridge, is a village known for its picturesque landscape and waterscape. The Kir River Valley attracts numerous visitors during the warm months of the year, thus turning into a main daily destination in the Shkodra region. The Kir River Valley is surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides. Hence it is perfect for swimming and watersports such as canoeing or SUP. The area is attractive also for nature photographers, due to the interesting relief and the crystal-clear natural pools and waterfalls along the river.
The tourism industry holds significant potential in this part of Shkodra, however, the Postriba area, like most places in Albania has been facing a seasonality constraint. When it comes to tourism and hospitality Shkodra region seems to stands apart, especially in terms of excellent customer service. This is a huge advantage, compared to other regions in the country (where people are equally welcoming but less smiley). Hence, next time you visit Shkodra, take a short trip to Drishti, and Ura e Shtrenjte and enjoy the landscape, no matter what the season is.
Read also: Top 10 Most Popular Castles in Albania
The Best Shkodra Bike Tours
The Legend of Rozafa, the Woman Buried in the Foundation of a Castle
Outdoor Activities in Northern Albania, Explore Shkreli Park
Tourists and Made-in-Albania Venetian Masks at Venice Carnival
Photo credit: Fshati Ura e Shtrenjte FB