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TIRANA, August 15
Tourism may be a major source of revenue in rural and remote areas that offer an authentic experience as more and more international tourists seek a glimpse of the real Albania. One of these areas is the local unit of Ishmi, part of Durresi Region. The Albanian Development Fund (ADF) recently confirmed that the construction of a 6.8 km road section that connects the villages of Lalez-Bize-Drac with Rodoni cape area is completed.
“The new road benefits over 5,000 inhabitants of this local unit. It will have a direct impact on the areas’ economic revival and tourism development,” ADF announced.
Vineyards in lalzi Village, Credit ADF
What to Do in Lalzi Area? Tourism and Investment Opportunities
At the top of the hills on the northeastern side of Lalzit Bay also known as St. Peters Bay lies Lalzi Village with its century-old houses. The road runs through a deep forest up to the hills that watch over the Adriatic Coast. In terms of history and geography, this area has always had a strategic position. Nowadays, the strategic position is important in terms of economic development. The area offers opportunities for investments in the sectors of tourism and renewable energy especially, photovoltaic plants. It’s located close to Durresi and Shengjini seaports, Tirana International Airport, and to Durres-Kukes Highway. All these factors provide the opportunity for the sustainable development of this local unit in Durres region.
Lalzit Bay, Credit: Arton Krasniqi
Lalzit Bay consists of 35 km long coastline in the Adriatic Sea. It borders with Rodoni hills range in the northeast and with Bisht Palla in the south-west. It spans through the local units of Ishem, Sukthi, and Katund i Ri. It’s a shallow bay with no presence of underwater rocks, which makes the bay safe for sailing. The beach of Lalzit Bay is 4.5 km long and up 300 meters wide. The resorts, houses, and businesses in the area are protected from the wind by a shelter belt of pine trees and Mediterranean Shrubs. The hilly terrain protects the beach from the cold northern winds. Lalzit Bay is one of the most frequented beaches and a weekend destination for the inhabitants of capital city Tirana.
The area remained unexplored until 2000 due to the lack of infrastructure. Major investments in the tourism sector started during the latest decade. The Adriatic Sea offers opportunities for fishing, while the coast of Rodoni Cape is apt for waters sports and diving.
Other beaches further south are Hamallaj, Rrushkull, Rinia, Porto Romano and Portez, and the beaches on both sides of Erzeni River delta. The latter is considered the most unstable area and therefore it is not apt for economic activities.
Road to the beach in Rodoni area
The field along Lalzit Bay offers opportunities for sustainable development of the area, especially in the agriculture and industry sectors. It is possible to cultivate vegetables, to invest in animal husbandry, in vineyards, olive and fruit plantations, and medicinal and aromatic plants, astringent, dyeing, and honey plants. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, and fishing are among the main economic activities. Organic farms were created that produce certified product for the domestic and international markets. Vadardha farm produces grape and wine, Kallbaqi organic farm in Hamallaj produces arugula, strawberries, and vegetables, Duka Farm in Lalzi village consists of over five hectares of vineyards. Two snail farming businesses operate in Hamalle and Rrotull.
Porto Romano Bay
Credit: Al Petrol
Porto Romano Bay is located between Bisht Palla and the Porto Romano Hills. The area suffers from coastal erosion and therefore it’s not there is no interest in tourism investments in this area. The submerged bunkers are proof of the sea taking away land. This is the reason why the hydrocarbons port were built in the area. The port consists of a modern structure that meets all the criteria on hydrocarbons’ import-export related activities.
Uncontrolled hunting activity had an impact on the wildlife population both in land and water habitats. Currently, it is possible to find hedgehogs, weasels, bats, rabbits, and various species of rodents, foxes, martens, while during the recent years jackals and wolfs have been spotted. The area is also home to numerous species of birds and reptiles.On the other hand, marine life includes globally endangered species of turtles and fish.
Natural Monuments and Protected Areas
The sustainable management of natural monuments in the area would benefit the local community. Rodoni Cape, St. Peter’s Beach, Kolendrekaj Forest, Rrushkull Managed Reserve, Patok-Fushekuqe-Ishem Managed Reserve are protected areas that provide opportunities for the implementation of sustainable tourism.
Historic and Cultural Heritage
Archeological expeditions found traces of human activity that date back to the Late Paleolithic. Findings from different historical periods give insights on the life of the inhabitants and the social and economic development of the local settlements. The most important data date back to the medieval times. Several important objects that still be visited today were built in that period. Some of them are Shen Ndou Church and Skenderbeu’s Castle, both in Rodoni Cape, Ishmi Castle, Gjuricaj Basilica, and the Tower of Sulejman Kulla in Gjuricaj.
A special place to visit is the burial place of famous painter Ibrahim Kodra in Ishem.
Music Lesson by Ibrahim Kodra, Credit: Kosovo National Art Gallery
Tourism as an Alternative for Sustainable Development
The natural and cultural potential of Ishem-Porto Romano area is considered a key factor for economic and social development, revenue generation, and employment. The area is suitable for various types of tourism like balneary tourism, agro-tourism, cultural tourism, ecotourism, and adventure tourism. The construction of a tourism port would be a major development for the area, but previous attempts failed due to property issues.
Beach in Rodoni Area
Article photo: Shen Ndou Church by Nikol Likja
Source: Sustainable Development Alternatives for Ishem-Porto Romano Coastal Area