Tours and Destinations

LEZHA

Down there in the Mediterranean!

The city of Lezha is situated in the North-Western part of Albania, close to the Adriatic Sea. The historic documents find that this city has been
inhabited by Illiro-Albanians from the 8th century on. According to researchers, its name “Lisso” and “Lissus” is a linguistic form of the old Illyrian name “Lisi.”

Lezha, through the port of Shengjin, has made possible different economic and cultural exchanges with the outside world, which affected the social development of the region. This is one of the reasons whyLezha has hosted historical events of national significance such as: The League of Lezha in 1444, where our national hero, GjergjKastrioti- Skenderbeu, gathered for the first time the Albanians rulers and founded the first Albanian state, the Council of Arberia or the Council of Arben in 1703. This Council was initiated by Pope Clement XI (of Albanian origin), and Disk Smajevic(1701 1713), the archbishop of Tivar.

Info:

Surface: 508 km²
Population: 108 352 banorë
Density: 213 banorë/km²
Urban Population: 60 %
Rural population: 40 %
Urban towns: 2
Rural towns: 65
Administrative Units: 10
Post Code: 4501-4509
Phone prefix: +355(0) 215

The Municipality of Lezha, one of the 61 Albanian municipalities, is situated in the North-Western part of the country.Its coastal line extends for 38 km in the Adriatic Sea from the Lowland of Shkodra until River Mat. The Municipality is composed of 10 administrative units with a population of 108 352 inhabitantsand a surface area of508 km2. The territory of the municipality is composed of a mountainous area in the east (65%) and a flat, green area in the west (35%). The majority of the population lives in the rural area (around 60%), while 40% live in the urban centers. Lezha has a favorable geographic position. It lies between 41056’ 52” and 41O39’45” geographic width and 19035’20” and 19052’20” geographic length and is situated 55 km away from the capital and the Rinas airport. The distance Lezhë-Shkodër is 35 km, Lezhë-Durrës (the industrial port and the chief terminalof ships to Albania) is 70 km and Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo,is only a 220 km away.

Ethnography

In the area of Lezha, there is a huge variety of traditional clothes. They are all unique in shapes and meaning. The clothing of women, men and children is colorful, embroi- dered, and adorned with gold and silver. The costumes of Kallmet and Pllana are unique and cannot be found in any other region in the country. Because of the demo- graphic shifts within the country, one can find the cos- tume of Zadrima, Malesia and Mirdita in other regions of the country. They all preserve the uniqueness of Lezha and rank the municipality as one with the most diverse costumes.

Handicrafts

Lezha is also known for its handicraft. This has been transmitted generation after generation and is particularly prevalent in the zone of Zadrima. Construction handicraft includes the produc- tion of roof tiles, mud plates, and vases. The families of the Zadrima area have a tradition in the production of handicrafts and ornaments for personal use. In Lezhe, we have a center for handicrafts which is getting the attention of girls and women who work in this field. The works of these handicraft workers have been also selected by the Vatican as clothes for its clerics.

Gastronomy

The cuisine changes as you move east away from the sea to the high mountains from the typical fish dish to the roasted lamb. Nevertheless, the first phrase in the Albanian culinary vocabulary is meat and all of the ways in which it can be cooked. The vegetables are sold both in their raw state and pickled. In the city of Lezha, it is impossible not to see foods like byrek, kebab, shish kebab, donuts, sugar canes – for those who want an “on the go” meal. For those who like fine cooking, in Lezha, you will find some of the best restaurants of Albania.

The Memorial of Scanderbeg

Scanderbeg Memorial is the place that hosted the League of Lezha on 2 March 1444 and where our national hero Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeg was buried on 17 January 1468. The object, belonging to the 14th century, is in the form of a basilica and is 17 m tall and 8m wide. According to legends, when the Turks invaded Lezha in 1478, they opened the grave of Scanderbeg; they used his bones, covered them in gold and silver and used them as talisman to bring them good fortune in battles. The memorial is one of the most important monuments in Albanian history.

The Obelisk

Obelisk is a monument in the heart of the city. It is a memorial to the League of Lezha held on 2 March 1444 where Gjergj Kastriot Scanderbeg, brought together all the Albanian princes. Obelisk was built using 346 lime blocks, each with a weight of 1 ton. It has the typical ancient shape of a trapezoid with a narrow base. This obelisk is made of 8 rows of blocks and 4 ribbons; in the middle, it holds a marble plate(7m x 2.40m) with the shield and helmet of Scanderbeg. The eight swords surround the shield on both sides and “2 March 1444” is inscribed in bronze letters.

The Castle

The western edge of Lezha is the 186 m tall hill on which the castle sits. It does not only dominate the sea coast but it also closes almost all the roads that lead inside the city. Thanks to its favorable geographic po- sition, this hill has been inhabited since the middle of the first millennium before Christ. The footprints of the 5th century walls, the fortifying walls and the Akropo- lis of the ancient Lissus are marvelous even today. In the 9th century, the medieval castle of Lezha was built on top of these historic ruins. This gave Lezha the role of an urban center.

The Cathedral of Kallmet The Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Church “The Heart of Christ” is built from the archbishop of Lezha in the beginning of the 20th century, Monsignor Luigj Bumci. This church was about to be destructed in 1967 but then turned into a storehouse. After the 90s, it was reconstructed and now is distinguished as one of the most beautiful catholic churches in Albania. The first footprints can be found in year 1639 with a church and a house for the poor while in 1857, it was fully built. On April 14, 1882, close to this church opened the college, the first school of its kind in Albania.

Our Lady of Annunciation Church

Our Lady of Annunciation Church It is said that the establishment of this church and the Franciscan monastery nearby dates back to 1219-1220 when Francis of Azissi came back from the Holy Land. The legend says that Saint Francis took a pine branch where he stopped to spend the night (in the hill in front of the city of Lezha) and drew the foun- dations of a church. The construction was finished by a priest from Lezha called Dom Lleshi. Today, the Church of Lady Nunciata are fully restored, preserving the ancient walls which attest to its history.

The church of Santa Barbara

In Pllana, southeast of Lezha, there is one of the earliest and most interesting churches in the whole country. St. Barbara’s church rises up the hillside between a greenery and is a 14th-century Benedictine building. On the outside the church is simply handled, built with limestone and limestone stones. The church is illuminated by 6 arched and one round window. The frescoes, some of the most interesting in Albania belong to the 17th century. Their Byzantine style and clarity in the scenery making it unique in its kind.

Church of St. Veneranda, Balldre

This church dates back to the third century and it is fully preserved with all its architectonic elements in a a rectangular shape. The frescos preserve important values in the history of their development in different phases. The fresco “The Last Supper”, painted by Dalmatian masters, is even more unique because it presents a point of view on this event similar of that of Leonardo Da Vinci. In this fresco, Jesus is alongside his disciples including Judas, while there are only 6 glasses on the table, differently from the official version of the Catholic church with 12 glasses.

The antique Lezha

The Illyrian walls which lie from the city castle down to river Drin are evidence of the importance that this antique city had. The city was commonly known as the city of 12 gates because of the number of the gates that the wall had. The fortifying walls of Lissi are more powerful than those of Apollon, which again points to the significance of the city in the ancient Illiro-Epiriot civilization. The city had two ports: the coastal port called “Nimpheum” (Shengjin today) and the river port of Old- drini (Drini today). The excavations continue.

The Church of Saint Euphemia

It is mentioned for the first time in a document of 1343. It is located in the mountain over Kallmet. There is a source of water springing out of the rock which is chanelled inside the church as it is seen as purifying water from the Catholic believers. According to the legend, the fountain sprang when two workers were building the church and were very thirsty, saw the image of Saint Euphemia and water sprang out. It is located in the northwestern part of mount Vela (1172m), at 372 m height and in the center of an idyllic oasis called “The Forest of Saint Euphemia.”

Kune-Vain Lagoons

The two lagoons lie in between the city of Lezha and the Adriatic Sea in both sides of the Drin river estuary. Although they are always mentioned together because of their importance, they are two separate entities and different importance. If in Kune, you can go for the wonderful beach, in Vain, you can go for the tranquility of the forest or hunting. The lagoons host some of the best restaurants in the region.

The Church of Saint John, the Beheaded, (Mërqi)

The church of the beheaded Saint John ose the Church of Arber is mentioned for the first time in 1629. This church is of special importance for the history of the dioceze of Lezha because in 1703, on the request of Pope Clement XI, the church hosted the “League of Arber.” The churc has a simple rect- angular shape with measures 9.10m x 25.40m. The foundations of the old church have been restored. She is located in the hill in front of Merqi town.

The Church of Saint Michael, Grykë Manati

The church is positioned on top of the town of Gryke Manati and presents a pictoresque view. The church walls are preserved today almost up to the height of the roof. The church has been covered with stone plates, which are still preserved today for the most part. Also preserved are the footprints of the altar and the temple of the church in general. The church is made even more attractive by the fountain that pumps fresh water east of the church.

OUR BOAT TOUR!

If you are looking for a different way to discover Adriatic sea, Rafaelo II offers daily tours from Shengjin to various destination.

Tour offers:

-Sailing with speed boat
-local guide
-drinks on sail (beer, juice and water)

We offer an authentic experience for everyone who wants to discover the beach, the port and the lagoon; in other words, the relationship of Lezha with the sea.
Called Nymfeum in antiquity, the name was connected to the forest of Fairies located between Shengjin and Velipoje. Later, it was called Medea, after the name of the Argounat princess, Medea, the name of which is found several times in north-western Albania. After the conversion to Christianity, the name took another form “Saint John of Medea.” Today survives only the “Saint John” part and its port. But few know Shengjin as a port. He is mainly known for its beautiful beach surrounded by pine forests and protected by the mountain who sits as a crown. Situated in the cross – roads of the main roads, the Shengjin beach manages to accept 100 000 vacationers per day. The beach com – bines with the active life during the peak season with some of the best restaurants, bars, clubs and live music spaces, making it one of the most important resources for tourism in the eastern Adriatic.

One day Tourist Tours with Rafaelo II Boat

This giant natural treasure lies in Zallin e Madh and will last more Slavic “Velika plazha”, or “big field of Shtoj”, only four kilometers away from the urban center of Ulcinj. see the peace with astonishing attention to our precious nature.

Lake Shkodra is one of the youngest natural lakes on our continent. The eastern side of the lake, which is positioned in the Albanian shores, is rich in many species of aquatic plants and fauna. There is a perfect harmonisation of mountainous, plain and water terrains, which give this area a picturesque view. The tourist areas of Shiroka and Zogaj, as well as the picturesque places such as Bregu i Rana, Bishtiqendia, Stërbeqi, Grili, Shegani, etc., are considered as rare places.

The village of Marica, which is situated at the foot of Mount Rilla, is indistinguishable from other Bulgarian villages. Clean streets, lined courtyards with blooming trees and colorful flowers. In the heart of this clean and tastefully arranged village, a cultural monument is hidden among the beauty – the church “St. Nicholas”, a treasure of painting art.

This lagoon was once called the lake lagoon because there were many ponds, an interesting fish-eating mammal.It is surrounded by wetlands, communicates with the sea through a natural channel, in which due to tides and ebbs the water changes direction every 6 hours. There is salt water with an average temperature of 20-22C. This lagoon is rich in fish of various species and quite tasty. About 200 species of birds, migratory and permanent are found here.

The Buna River is located in the final south-western segment of the Albanian-Montenegrin border. This river originates from Lake Shkodra, very close to the city of Shkodra between the hill of Rozafa Castle and Tarabosh Mountain. Buna is the only emissary of the city of Shkodra.

At the foot of Rrenc Mountain, it descends to the beach, where very few meters of sandstone almost melts with the sea, which is “merciful” and does not swallow. The dark sand creates a special color combination once you kiss the blue sea. It is not clear where this whole sand belt starts from a few kilometers away, sometimes it seems to come down from the mountain and sometimes it seems to be crushed by the wet shore. The nearby trees provide shade on this ideal beach for camping, picnics in the fresh seasons, or to absorb the generous sunlight of the Albanian summer day, while the evenings and nights belong to the sleepless, those who whiten mornings to the sounds of music.

The Drini i Zi valley is located between the Korab mountain range to the east of the Lura range and the Martanesh-Gollobordë mountains to the west. It ranks among the largest and most important valleys in our country, both in terms of physico-geographical features and economic values.

The water basin of Mati includes the rivers Mati, Fani with its two tributaries Fani i Madh and Fani i Vogël and the river Uraka. The Mati River, from which the basin takes its name, originates from the heights of the Martanesh Captain about 1873 m.

Thanks to the positioning only 50 km away from Tirana, Laguna is easily accessible by car and you can spend an ideal weekend in the tranquility of natural postcards. The landscape is further enhanced by the small wooden huts built on the lagoon, which from a distance create the feeling as if you are observing the famous bungalows of the Pacific islands. In these wooden huts you will be able to enjoy the traditional and delicious cooking of Patoku restaurants.

The Ishëm River flows through Central Albania (74 km long; the basin area is 673 km2 and the average altitude above sea level is 357 m. It is formed by the confluence of the Tirana River, the Tërkuza and Zeza streams. Its Delta is located at Cape Rodon .

The Cape of Rodon is a peninsula-shaped strip of land that flows into the Adriatic Sea. It lies in a triangular shape between the bay of Rodon in the north and that of Lalzi in the south. Rodon Cape is the largest cape in our country, which closes the Drin Bay from the south. In parallel with its shore lie clay hills, which are distinguished by the round shapes that surround the entire cape. Some of them are covered by small forests creating two relaxing colors: the blue of the sea and the green of the coast.

Drin River Bay is a sea bay in the southeastern part of the Adriatic along the northern coast of Albania. The coastline of Drini Bay stretches from the Buna estuary.

The Cape of Rodon is a peninsula-shaped strip of land that flows into the Adriatic Sea. It lies in a triangular shape between the bay of Rodon in the north and that of Lalzi in the south. Rodon Cape is the largest cape in our country, which closes the Drin Bay from the south. In parallel with its shore lie clay hills, which are distinguished by the round shapes that surround the entire cape. Some of them are covered by small forests creating two relaxing colors: the blue of the sea and the green of the coast.

Follow us on

Share Your #RafaeloResort_tours Moments
Touring with us? Tag us by using #RafaeloResort_tours @rafaeloresort.
See what others have posted about these destinations and which of our trips could bring you there!

BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW

Best Available Rates, guaranteed, fast and friendly real time availability and booking.