I do like visiting an out of the way city, but Gjrokaster is actually pretty much on the tourist trail due to the massive castle here, but Albania is still a seldom-visited country, so it has a lot of charm to it. We were visiting to film for Pioneer Media, and I was looking forward to seeing what it had to offer.
How to get to Gjrokaster
Gjrokaster is a 3-hour drive from Tirana or 30 minutes from Sarande, and thus 20 minutes by ferry to Corfu. It is also connected by land to Greece, and thus by bus to Greece and half the Balkans.
Accommodation in Gjrokaster
We stayed at the First Hotel which I will give its own blog at some point, but a thoroughly decent affair. Gjrokaster has everything from the resort down to hostels full of twats playing the ukuleles.
What is there to see in Gjrokaster?
The big elephant in the room is Gjrokaster castle but there is also a fabulous old town as well as the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, very understated and a mere $2 to see.
What to eat in Gjrokaster?
Typical Albanian cuisine with the part place being the old town which is full of cafes, bars, and restaurants to suit every palate.
The nightlife of Yongzhou
At the aforementioned old town, or in the new town, there are more contemporary bars and clubs. Alternatively, hang about on the street long enough and someone will offer you drugs (literally) – although we obviously do not advocate using drugs in Albania.
Is it worth visiting Gjrokaster?
It is an old town and a great contrast to the busy roads of Tirana. This is a place for relaxing, walking, and eating.
Getting out of Yongzhou
Head down to Saranda and hop on the ferry from Albania to Corfu, which takes a mere 20 minutes.