May is a perfect month to visit Gjirokastra. The weather is warm, and the days are longer. So in 24 hours you can see plenty of things if you wish. Here you have many day trips in Gjirokastra which are offered by local tour operators.
You can’t miss the Neck of Bazaar even though it is under restoration. You may consider to watch workers as they shape the stones and lay them out nicely in the historical center. Carving the stone has been a long tradition of this city. The shops of bazaar are all open and you can buy some souvenirs, during your way up to the castle.
Tourists visiting Gjirokastra for the first time, shouldn’t miss the Castle and its history. It will take 2 hours to see the Castle and the two museums inside it.
Army Museum inside the Castle of Gjirokastra
If you have visited the Castle before, you can choose to visit some of famous houses in Gjirokastra, such as Zekate, Skenduli, Angonate, etc, to have the feeling how the Gjirokastra people (namely Gjirokastrian) lived here, centuries ago. If you are a fun of Ismail Kadare, the Albanian famous writer, you can go and see his restored house, now turned into museum. Another museum in the same area is the Ethnographic Museum, once the house of the late dictator Enver Hoxha. The house has nothing to do with Enver Hoxha itself, but it hosts rich full collection of items typical Gjirokastra houses.
Zekate House inside Gjirokastra
Don’t leave the city without testing the food of Gjirokastra. Some restaurants, especially in the old bazaar are serving traditional dishes. You can taste and learn about some of characteristic cuisine of Gjirokastra. That is what you can do in a full day trip in Gjirokastra.
If you have more than one day to spend, one option is to visit nearby archaeological parks such as Antigonea or Hadrianopolis. This is for people who love history and archaeology.
Antigonea Archaeological Park Gjirokastra
If you like adventure, and want to see the rural life, we suggest you visit the regions of Zagoria, Lunxheria, Libohova either by car, or by horses. There are many long tours taking you deep into this area to experience slow tourism, knowing people and living with them.
Horse riding in Zagoria Gjirokastra
Dropulli area is another good option for people who wants to explore beautiful nature, and enjoy very tasty organic foods.
Here are some of our recommended places for you. One or two days are not enough to explore Gjirokastra. There are also some events in the city and villages around during the May, such as Martyrs Day (5 May), International Family day in Lazarat (15 May); Museum Day (18 May), Cattle ascent to the mountain- a traditional ritual of people in Gjirokastra (26 May at Asim Zenel) and opening of Tourism Season ceremony at the end of the month.
Take some holidays, to fully enjoy Gjirokastra. If you want to explore other cities like Permet and Tepelena, we will give you plenty of recommendations in other dedicated articles. Whatever you choose, the visit to this region will give you an unforgettable experience. Visit Gjirokastra region!