5 Days Traditional Cooking Holidays in Albania

  • Florian Guesthouse and Hotel, Dobraç, Reparti Ushtarak Isa Jakupi, 4007 Shkodër, Albania

Vegetarian Culinary Vacations in Shokder

Immerse yourself in the Albanian culture and learn how to cook the most delicious authentic dishes during this holiday. Experience everything this beautiful region has to offer and treat yourself to the healthy options that will be presented to you in the kitchen every day. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy amazing homemade wines and participate in the making, as well as visiting iconic sites that will take your breath away.

Highlights

  • Daily cooking classes
  • Raki, jam, and wine tastings
  • Learn how jam and wine are made
  • Day trip to the lake, castle, or to the famous bridge
  • Traditional Albanian, vegetarian, organic meals
  • Pick fruits and vegetables from the garden
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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Florian Guesthouse and Hotel is a small family run bed and breakfast that was started in 2009. It is located amongst orchards and vineyards in a very authentic part of Northern Albania, just a short walk from the center of Shkoder and a short bike ride to the lake. They have a number of different rooms and all of them are private; except the dormitory, which can be booked individually per bed or on a group basis.

During this holiday, the daily schedule will be very flexible and can adjust to your wishes; however, the typical day will start by cooking breakfast together around 08:00. After breakfast, you will participate in the cooking course with Emmannuella for two hours. You will prepare lunch at 12:00 and after lunch, you are free to explore Shokder at your leisure. Dinner will be prepared at around 18:00 and you can drink wine and chat with the other guests.

You are always free to assist with the meal preparations or simply observe. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a day trip to the lake, to the castle, or to the famous bridge nearby from the Ottoman Empire. On your free time, you can also walk around the orchard and gardens and pick some of the delicious fruits and vegetables that you will find.

Sample menu

  • Byrek - A crispy, multi-layered pastry filled with ingredient combinations such as cheese, ground meat, onions, vegetables and eggs. Byrek variations exist throughout the Balkans, with each country offering a different take on this savory classic.
  • Homemade wine - Lovingly made by Emanuela’s father, Zef, using grapes grown in the family’s vineyard.
  • Rustic bread - Whether prepared using whole-grain wheat flour or gluten-free corn flour, the result is always delicious!
  • Soup - Incorporating colorful vegetables and handfuls of fresh herbs, fresh lemon juice often drizzled onto the steaming-hot soup. Emanuela often makes cabbage or fish-based soups with her students, but the possibilities are practically endless. It’s also common in Albania to serve a sprig of green onion on the side, so that you can nibble on it as you enjoy the soup.
  • Traditional Albanian salads - Made from vegetables grown in the garden of Emanuela’s home. Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are popular ingredients, but ingredient combinations depend upon what is fresh and in-season.

A day trip to the lake, castle, or to the nearby bridge dating back to the Ottoman Empire will be part of this holiday's itinerary.

  • Emannuela

    Self Taught (Chef)

    Emannuella is a chef who has worked in Albanian cuisine for over 10 years. She works in Shkoder, while living with her family at the guest house. She was taught traditional Albanian and Italian cooking at a local women’s shelter where she works, and her food is second to none.

This holiday will take place in Shkoder, Albania. If you are planning on visiting the Albanian Northern Alps, or maybe extending your journey over to Montenegro, Shkoder is an essential stop along the way. You will enjoy exploring the area and tourists are always welcomed and assisted by the Albanian locals in more languages than you would expect.

North Albania Tours serves mainly vegetarian Albanian cuisine, prepared with ingredients grown organically in their own garden. You can also help yourself to the fruit and vegetables in their orchards and gardens. At the guesthouse, you can taste and buy wine that is made by Florian's father. He has made organically grown wine and Rakia for over 45 years.

Artisans

During this visit, you will be able to see traditional handmade Albanian handicrafts, such as Albanian flags and much more.

Communist jail

During the communist times, most of the prisoners in this jail were Catholic priests or clergy, Muslim imams, and other political prisoners.

Lake Buna

Lake Buna is a gypsy settlement and the largest lake in the Balkans.

Mesi Bridge

Built in the 18th century by Kara Mahmud Bushati, the local Ottoman pasha, this bridge is often referred to as the "Lord of the Rings Bridge". It is one of the longest Ottoman bridges in the area and spans the Kir River.

Other activities

On request, North Albania Tours offers horse-riding tours or they can organize tours to the nearby mountains, rivers, lakes, sea, museums, castles, and different historical places in the countryside. They can also organize discount transportation to Montenegro. An optional mountain ferry tour with hiking is also available at additional cost.

Restaurants with traditional Albanian cuisine

Shkoder has many restaurants that offer traditional meals, including either seafood or mountain food.

Rozafa Castle

Set on a rocky hill, approximately 130 meters above sea level, this imposing fortress has beautiful views of Shkoder and its surrounding areas. It was built by the Illyrians and is more than 1,000 years old.

  • 1 day-trip to the lake, to the castle, or to the famous bridge nearby
  • 1 jam making course
  • 1 two-hour cooking course each day
  • 1 wine making course
  • 3 daily vegetarian, organic meals
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Bikes that you can borrow
  • Jam tasting
  • Raki tasting
  • Wine tasting
  • Wine with every dinner
  • Additional activities
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Transfers

Driving directions from Montenegro

Coming from Montenegro, turn down from E762 Road towards Shtoj i Ri.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza (TIA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request at an additional cost. For more information, please send an inquiry to North Albania Tours​.

Arrival by taxi

From the bus station, ask any taxi driver to take you to Florian’s Guesthouse. They should know where it is. The taxi should be no more than 3 EUR or 4 EUR from there.

GPS

N 42.099000, E 19.516000

  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Shkoder, Albania

North Albania Tours is a local and experienced tour operator specializing in excursions and that also provides accommodation, transportation, and transfer services within Albania

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5 days / 4 nights

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