TIRANA, November 20
Someone that drives non-stop from Tirana to Vlora misses the chance to explore a huge number of overlooked destinations along the road, especially in the Fieri region. Besides Apollonia and Bylis Archeological Parks, Ardenica Monastery, or Divjaka-Karavasta National Park that are popular tourist attractions, Fieri is home to many other underrated destinations.
Let the river be your guide
Semani River, the second-longest in Albania, is a confluence formed in Kozara village, Kucova area, where Osumi and Devolli rivers join together to form one single body of water. Semani is a meandering river. If seen from above it has a typical snake-like pattern as it flows through Myzeqe flatland, also known as Gylakea or Savra. According to various documents and hypotheses, Devolli and Osumi had their own independent flows during ancient times and they met somewhere close to the Adriatic coast. Various names were used for the river during the centuries. According to Pouqeville, the river name was Aspus (the ancient name of Osumi River) while Anna Comnena and other Byzantine historians refer to the river as Charzanes. Other names include Ergenta, Ersenta, Epasa, etc.
Exploration of the lower part of Semani starts in Mbrostar following the itinerary to Libofsha.
The village is famous as home to the first Albanian school in Myzeqe area. Besides this, Libofsha is one of the best places to visit for spiritual travelers. Among the local people, Libofsha is known as the village of churches and monasteries. There are 15 churches in the village and it seems that spiritual tours make a unique tourism offer for the entire area. In Libofsha churches, visitors can admire, frescos and wall paintings by Cetiri Brothers, Kostandin and son Terpo.
What to see:
Shen Kolli Church in Daullas. This is one of the most beautiful churches in Myzeqe area was built in 1777.
Shen Gjergji Church was built in 1776.
Shen Kozmai and Shen Meria Monastery in Kolkondas
Ardenica Monastery in the top of the hill overlooks the Seman Valley. Situated only 10 kilometers from in the Ardenica hills and 237 m above the sea level, this monastery is a mosaic of history, culture, and religion mixed together and inherited in church icons and paintings.
Read also: The Monks’ Olive Oil Legacy at Ardenica Monastery
The crown of Old Seman River in Ndernenas
The crown of Old Seman River is situated close to Adriatik Village in Ndernenas area. This interesting site, kind of unique, was formed by a detached winding of Seman River. It is located 10 meters above the sea level and the lush vegetation is home to rich biodiversity. The crown can be explored on foot or by bike.
The Seman pine forest is an interesting destination, but unfortunately, it has been damaged by fires and lack of management. The forest leads to the sand dunes of Ndernenas beach.
Its coast which is part of the Adriatic Sea, with its strong waves, offers the possibility to practice kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and other water sports. The Darezeza beach is the only coast in the Balkans region, which offers these kinds of sports in the water.
Read also: Best Places to Explore Along Shkumbini River
Photo credit: L. Cika