The Southern Albania Road Trip: Part 5, Farma Sotira and Korca

In Part 5 of our Albanian road trip, we drove the narrow and winding road from Permet to Korca, stopping at Farma Sotira in Leskovik along the way! In Korca, we visited museums, the cathedral, and the park – all in the rain!

Thursday, August 2, 2018, 10:33pm

Lunch at Farma Sotira in Leskovik

With all our bags packed and my apartment back to normal, we loaded up the car, and then we were off and on our way to Korca! The drive intimidated Mom at first since she’d gotten so many warnings to take things slow and drive carefully, but she bravely took on the many twists and turns in the road.

The scenery, as always, was breathtaking.

The scenery, as always, was breathtaking. I admired the mountains from the front seat as we drove slowly through the Albanian countryside. We passed through narrow mountain roads, forest paths, and wide, green fields in the valleys. Through it all, Mom we steady at the wheel and the car’s music kept me awake.

We stopped about halfway between Permet and Korca and ate at Farma Sotira just outside of Leskovik, which was a cozy and picturesque space in the heart of the mountain forest.  Continue reading “The Southern Albania Road Trip: Part 5, Farma Sotira and Korca”


Cathedrals and Icons in Korca

On the second day of our Grand Southern Albania Tour, Laurel and I went on a walking tour of Korca! We explored the Resurrection Cathedral, the National Museum of Medieval Art, and cobblestone-lined back alleyways before hitting the road again!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 11:07pm

After our long journey to Macedonia, we started our day bright and early again with a walking tour at 9:00am.

We met up with our tour guide, Teuta, in the old bazaar area. She worked for Pelion Travel & Tours, and she gave Peace Corps volunteers a special discount for tours! 

All in all, we visited 6 locations on our tour, and having a guide along really helped to make each stop more meaningful

The weather was crisp but sunny. In the shade I felt chilly, but in the sun I was comfortably warm. Korca in the late fall has a very different atmosphere than the city in the midst of Beer Fest. The streets were quieter, the hustle and bustle of everyday life felt more subdued, and there were definitely less tourists roaming the streets.

Teuta quickly found us in the nearly empty bazaar, and she immediately jumped into our walking tour, sharing facts about the city and stories about the buildings we passed on our way to our first stop. She was friendly and professional, and her English was great!

All in all, we visited 6 locations on our tour. Having a guide along really helped to make each stop more meaningful since Teuta was able to explain the significance of each place, but if you’re looking for a self-guided tour, this is a great route!  Continue reading “Cathedrals and Icons in Korca”

The Korca Beer Festival

I’m not a big fan of beer, but the Korca Beer Fest was a great excuse to spend some time with other volunteers, explore the beautiful city of Korca, and relax out of site!

On my first trip out of site, I went to the Korca Beer Festival, which is an annual event held every summer to celebrate the country’s most famous national brew. To be totally honest, I’m not a big fan of beer, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see other volunteers and visit Korca!

The “Paris of Albania,” Korca has a great combination of old culture mixed with new amenities.

Korca is a city in southern Albania about four hours away from Permet via a long and winding road. It’s known as the “Paris of Albania,” and it has a great combination of old culture mixed with new amenities. There are many museums to explore, a beautiful pedonale (pedestrian street) lined with cute coffee shops, and even a movie theater (which is a rarity in Albania).

The Korca Beer Fest itself is one of the largest events in the country, and thousands of people flock to the festival for its live music and many domestic beer brands. Entrance is free, which is a huge plus, but the local hotels and hostels get booked quickly (so it’s best to arrange for accommodations well in advance).

My trip to Korca was a weekend filled with long bus rides, conversations over coffee, and (of course) evenings at the festival. Continue reading “The Korca Beer Festival”