Are you planing to visit Kruja? Here are some tips what to do in Kruja in a one day visit. Kruja is a town in north-central Albania. Located 20 km from the capital. Most of the tourists who visit Albania ends up at least for one day in Kruja for visiting the Kruja castle and the old bazaar. There are also many Albanians visiting the town on weekends.
I suggest starting the day early in the morning with a hike up to Kruja mountain. There are amazing views towards the town, Albanian sea shore and the mountains of Qafshtama National Park. On the top of the mountain there is a Bektashi (a Muslim religious sect) Temple very interesting to visit. This temple was created in 13th century by the Sari Saltik semi-legendary Turkish dervish, venerated as a saint by the Bektashi in the Balkans and parts of Middle East. The bonus of the hike up to the mountain hasn’t finished yet. At the temple there are always people waiting for you to come and they invite you for a coffee and ashure (a bektashi traditional desert maid by wheat) at their fireplace. They are very happy to have guests and share some interesting stories of the place.
The hole hike (up and down) could be finished in three hours. And if you don’t like to hike, there is another possibility to go to the temple by car – from Kruja center keep left uphill toward road “Rruga e Malit”.
After the mountain take a visit at Kruja bazaar, Kruja castle, Skenderbeg (Albanians hero) museum and ethnographic museum. All of cites are very closed to each other.
The final bonus is beers and food at one of the traditional restaurants near the castle. 🙂
For more pictures of the hike and town visit click here.
Trail distance: 2.12 kilometers
Elevation min: 615 meters, max: 1,117 meters
Accum. height uphill: 498 meters, downhill: 11 meters
Difficulty level: Easy
Time: one hour and 20 minutes the way up
Download the GPS track here.
From Kruja center (the Skenderbeg statue) follow the road uphill and turn off left at the junction for going to the trail-head of the mountain. If you take the stairs down at Panorama hotel you will get yourself at the old bazaar.
After you turn off left follow the road “Rruga e Malit”, pass the police post and keep following the same road for few hundred meters until you will see a footpath going up to the mountain. At the trail head is a board of the road investment (Dec 2011). The trailhead is lined by fences in the middle of two houses. The trail is broad and easy to follow – no junctions at all – and takes you up on the mountain in approx. 1 hour.
For going by car keep following the road Rruga e Malit which is recently paved.
Enjoy Kruja! 🙂 Would love to hear how it went.