Thursday, January 19, 2017

6 Reasons to Visit Kosovo- Top Backpacker Destination



A couple traveling from Melbourne, Australia, enjoyed a lot their trip to Kosovo and decides to highlight “6 Reasons to Visit Kosovo” on their website, “Goats on the road”.

They admitted first that they didn’t know much about Kosovo, but after they visited this place, their opinion changed a lot. And here are some reasons to visit Kosovo listed by Goats on the Road:
The reason number one is that Kosovo is Tourist Free Zone. “Kosovo is probably one of the last truly off-the-beaten-path destinations in Europe.”

The 2nd reason is that the country of Kosovo is a beautiful place, with the amazing city of Prizren, and Old Bazaar of Gjakova.

The 3d reason is: Kosovo is Possibly the Cheapest Country in Europe. Accommodation costs are on par with the rest of eastern Europe, with a highly rated hostel costing around 10 euro per night. A beer should cost no more than 1.50 euro. You can usually find a meal for less than 5 euro per person (and that’s at a ‘fancy’ restaurant). A burek or cevapcici sandwich will only cost a couple of euros. Plus, most attractions are free of charge!


The 4th reason to visit the country is people and food. Kosovars are wonderful people according to Goats on The Road. What about a Macchiato in Kosovo? Kosovo Makes the Best Macchiatos in Europe (and perhaps the world?)

Reason5. The cobble stoned streets of Prizren are a great place to sit in the sun with a tiny cup of deliciousness, and watch the world go by. You will be joined by plenty of locals, especially on weekends. Coffee is a way of life here!

Reason6. Last but not least, is the fascinating history of Kosovo.
By visiting Kosovo, you have the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts about one of the most significant conflicts of recent times. It brings history out of the text books, and into real life.

See full article: http://www.goatsontheroad.com/6-reasons-visit-kosovo-top-backpacker-destination/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

Monday, December 19, 2016

Prizren in Kosovo is among 6 Top Balkan Destinations for 2017- by Vogue.com

Vogue: Prizren stands as the country’s beacon of creativity
City of Prizren attracts a lot of traveler writers because of its rich Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Prizren has made it to be on the Vogue’s list “6 Non-Touristy Balkans Destinations That Should Top Your 2017 Travel Lists by Vogue.” The travel writer and photographer Michaela Trimble describes the city of Prizren as the country’s beacon of creativity. There’s no perfect time to visit Prizren, but during August you can enjoy more time while the city hosts DokuFest, the largest film festival in all of Kosovo, featuring live music sets, photo exhibitions, and screenings of more than 200 films from around the world.

Prizren, old houses 
 “In Kosovo, Prizren stands as the country’s beacon of creativity, set at the base of the Sharr Mountains along the river Bistrica and host to rich Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Visit during August when the city hosts DokuFest, the largest film festival in all of Kosovo, featuring live music sets, photo exhibitions, and screenings of more than 200 films from around the world. Stay at Hotel Kacinari or Hotel Centrum Prizren, and to get the most of both city and country life, tour the area with Butterfly Outdoor Adventure and Airtour: Begin with an interactive workshop at a local filigree factory, dine on kebabs near Prizren’s Stone Bridge at Te Syla, and venture uphill to the Prizren Fortress, which offers the perfect view of bustling Prizren from above. Head into nature on a hike to Struzha, where you can stay at a traditional guesthouse and enjoy a campfire and local meal before completing a cross-country hike from Kosovo to Macedonia, summiting Scarpa Peak and passing Kara Nikolla Lake along the way.”


Prizren, view from above

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kosovo Holidays, a reputable and efficient English-speaking tour operator

Kosovo Holidays, is a reputable and efficient English-speaking tour operator offering group and custom trips for activities from outdoor adventures and Bosnian village lunches to cultural city and wine-tasting visits throughout Kosovo, Margo Pleiff wrote for San Francisco Chronicle.
She had an adventurous experience in Kosovo and shared her impressions of this trip with others in the article tittled: "Europe’s youngest nation, Kosovo is full of surprises"

"It is hard to believe that Kosovo is the youngest nation in Europe, of 8 years old, and the numbers of visitors who come to Kosovo are increasing every year. We explored this beautiful country together with Kosovo Holidays tour guide, Arsim Rexhepi", she said.

Margo finds Kosovo full of surprises as she gets to know the wild beauty of the mountains and the old city of Prizren. She has seen a lot of fascinating sites of Kosovo and definitely says a lot of things in her article.


Find out the adventure experience of Margo Pleiff in Kosovo:
“For all the highly visible strife of the 1990s, Kosovo turns out to be a safe, diverse, wildly beautiful and inexpensive English-speaking destination with good roads, hotels and restaurants. National parks make up 11 percent of the land area with scenic, accessible mountain terrain.
There are traditional mountain villages and UNESCO cultural icons, including 13th century monasteries. Rarely visited even by Western Europeans who flock to nearby Croatia, it’s also still charmingly unpretentious and welcoming. And, as I said, they love Americans like no other place I’ve ever been. The landmark 16th century Old Stone Bridge arches elegantly over the Bistrica River. I visit the 1615 Sinan Pasha Mosque and Kosovo’s grand UNESCO-protected 14th century Our Lady of Ljeviš Orthodox Church. In the well-preserved Ottoman quarter, Turkish is spoken by one of the country’s many minorities that also include Bosniaks, Serbs, Roma and Ashkalia. Walking up a steep pathway to the castle encircling a hilltop overlooking Prizren, there are great views of the city, with its more than 20 mosque spires pointing heavenward. Spinning around, I watch pink sunset rays lighting up the snow-capped peaks of the Sharr mountain range. In the morning, hiking guide Edis Krusha drives us up a canyon road, zigzagging through forest and past hilltop castle ruins toward those mountains. After 90 minutes, we arrive at Prevalla, in winter a small ski center at 5,000 feet, and lace up our boots as a young shepherd urges a herd of sheep past us toward summer pastures.

Hiking up the flank of one of the Sharr’s highest peaks, 8,559-foot Bistra, we cross alpine meadows blazing with wild orange crocuses and set up a picnic alongside a bubbling spring with views of valleys and snowy peaks. Bistra is on the Via Dinarica route, a 1,200-mile hiking trail crossing eight Western Balkan countries. It was named Outside magazine’s best new trail for 2014.

See full article: http://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/Europe-s-youngest-nation-Kosovo-is-full-of-9442814.php?cmpid=twitter-premium#photo-10958190

Monday, October 24, 2016

Nat Geo Traveler in an adventurous tour to Kosovo

The new state of Kosovo is remarkable for its beautiful nature and cultural heritage. Some of the best travel magazines are writing about this new born destination. But this time the hospitality of Kosovo has impressed the writer and traveler of Nat Geo Traveler. She starts her route from Montenegro border with Kosovo. Here is how she is describing her tour to Kosovo:

By Emily Chappell

“What does a landmine look like anyway?” I suddenly wondered, as I freewheeled down the Cakor Pass into the canyons of Kosovo. I’d read all the warnings. Stick to the road. Avoid camping anywhere that hasn’t obviously been grazed in the last 10 years. Don’t approach suspicious devices. But I had no idea what qualified as a ‘device’, or what might make it ‘suspicious’.
I hadn’t seen another human being the whole afternoon — since, in fact, I’d turned off the main route in Montenegro and followed this narrow lane up into the mountains. Not a single car had passed me. I wondered if they knew something I didn’t, fretting about landmines and roadblocks and kidnappings as I slowly climbed up above the treeline, gazing back at mountaintops that had towered over me the previous day, and sweating steadily in the late autumn sunshine, that morning’s frozen fingers and steaming breath already a distant memory.
So, I’d entered Kosovo through the back door. No border guards; no passport stamps; no one even knew I was here. Shaking with nervousness, excitement and exhaustion, I followed the river, watching the sunlight retreat to the tops of the surrounding cliffs, and wondering what I’d do when darkness fell. Camping was a bad idea in landmine country and Peje was several hours’ ride away. Eventually, the gorge opened out, and down on the floodplain I spotted what must be a resort: a large building surrounded by log cabins, with an encouraging plume of smoke emanating from the chimney.
The place was deserted save for the owner, an elderly man in a flat cap, and a teenage waiter, who translated our exchange. Of course I could camp here. Anywhere I wanted. The old man swept his hand in a wide arc to indicate that what was his was now mine. Then another brief conference in Albanian.
“My boss, he is worried you will be too cold,” said the teenage waiter. “He will give you a room for free.” And so that there could be no doubt about it: “Gratis. No money.”
Tears came into my eyes as I thanked the owner in every language I could think of and shook his hand. Within five minutes my bicycle was locked safely in a barn and I was standing in the doorway of a large, clean, hotel room. Within half an hour, I was watching as five days of sweat and grime swirled down the plug hole. Soon after, I crawled into the big bed, stretched myself out to all four corners, and fell asleep with the feeling of cotton on my clean skin.

See full article: http://www.natgeotraveller.co.uk/destinations/europe/kosovo/kosovo-treading-carefully

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New York Times: The Medieval Monasteries of Kosovo


New York Times, one of the world's most prestigious media organization dedicated a full article to Kosovo’s Medieval Monasteries and its tourism prospective.
The journalist Elisabeth Zerofsky traveled to Kosovo through a cultural tour to discover what this new born destination is offering for outside world. This article is focused at Gracanica Monastery, and other cultural heritages and historical sites, and the their resistance during the hard times.
“Gracanica was the last monastery constructed, in the early 14th century, by the Serbian King Stefan Milutin, who had promised God that he would build a church for each of the 40-odd years of his reign.

One need not count oneself among the faithful to be silenced by the suffusion of contemplation and color — seabed blue, the opulent scarlets and gold halos of the sainted patriarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, their faces blackened remarkably little over seven centuries.”

Pristina has the beginnings of a tourism industry without the tourists, so to speak. The recently renovated airport gleams with anticipation but remains low in traffic, reflecting the euphoria that accompanied statehood eight years ago, which has turned into frustration.



The city is a postwar boomtown of sorts, with luxury high-rises popping up in every other neighborhood and cranes in primary colors punctuating the skyline. 
Still, 70 percent of the population is under 35, and many corners of Pristina rock with energy. On a weekend evening outside Dit e Nat, a bookstore of exposed brick and reclaimed wood floors that is also a cafe and event space, 30-somethings stood on a patch of gravel drinking Birra Prishtina and smoking Winstons while a Romany rock group performed.

See full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/travel/the-medieval-monasteries-of-kosovo.html

Friday, September 2, 2016

Lonely Planet: A guide to outdoor adventures in Kosovo


Stand anywhere in Kosovo and you will feel the pull of the mountains. This small, diamond-shaped country is almost completely surrounded by majestic peaks, making it perhaps one of Europe’s most surprising adventure sports destinations. Whether you prefer to take in the scenery while gripping the handlebars of a bike, or while zipping through the air high above a canyon or galloping through a lush mountain clearing, there’s plenty to offer even the most daring outdoors enthusiasts.

In spite of the growing variety of ways to experience Kosovo's natural beauty, the promotion efforts of its adventure industry have been largely of the word-of-mouth variety until recently. While those in the know might be happy to keep the unspoiled magic of Kosovo’s countryside a secret, we just had to share. Consider this your guide to thrill-seeking in Europe’s youngest country.


Hiking
For most of the people who have walked Kosovo’s craggy perimeter over the centuries, climbing mountains has been an essential way of life, whether that was to reach new plains of grass for animal feed or to trade with a neighbouring village. Thanks to its location along increasingly prominent mega-hiking trails – like the seven-country, 2000km Via Dinarica and the German-backed Peaks of the Balkans trail – a growing number of visitors to Kosovo have also started to claim its multitude of 2500m-plus peaks.


Biking
What better way to descend from your rocky heights than at the helm of a bike? While you can get your mountain biking fix on a visit to the capital Pristina and its 62km Germia Park, you must go further afield to western Kosovo to experience the country’s most heart-pounding routes. Although it’s becoming easier to find marked biking trails, you will likely need the guidance of local experts to find your way as a short-term visitor.

Other mountain adventures
Italian for ‘iron road’, the via ferrata mountaineering technique is best known for its use by soldiers crossing the Alps during WWI. Today, it is an increasingly popular way to reach some of Kosovo’s most splendid views from the top of Rugova Canyon outside the western city of Peja (Peć). The municipality brought in Italian experts to help design the country’s first via ferrata, which built demand for a second in the canyon – as well as its newest attraction: a zipline.


Horseback riding
Not all of Kosovo’s best outdoor attractions are out west. For those drawn to adventures of the equestrian variety, the eastern municipality of Gjilan (Gnjilane) is home to a fully fledged dude ranch: the aptly named Vali Ranch (vali-ranch.com). Catering to various levels of ability, the ranch offers lessons in its arena, as well as longer rides out through the neighbouring wooded hills. With three restaurants, a petting zoo, a spa and a (fairly kitsch) hotel on site, Vali Ranch is a family-friendly escape for all ages.


Snow sports
With its ring of mountains, Kosovo enjoys fairly regular snowfall in the winter. Though a €400 million deal to renovate the aging ski resort of Brezovica (brezovica-ski.com) seems to have stalled for the time being, it is still the country’s best option for carving fresh powder when the temperatures drop. The resort usually only has one operational lift, but – for the more adventurous – ski touring opens up endless possibilities to explore the exceptional untouched terrain in this part of the Sharr (Šar) Mountains.


Make it happen
Kosovo is easily accessible by plane, with daily direct flights connecting Pristina to Istanbul and several major Western European cities. Buses are the best option both for getting around Kosovo and for reaching it from neighbouring Balkan capitals like Skopje and Tirana. What comes up must come down.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Discover the extraordinary beauty of Kosovo by NatGeoTraveller

Kosovo has been in the focus of National Geographic Traveler magazine, one of the most widely read magazines in the world, reaching 21 countries. A beautiful video describing the real Kosovo and its touristic potential was published in the website: www.natgeotraveller.co.uk

Travel video of the week: Kosovo
This week, lets go to the heart of the Balkans to explore historic Kosovo

Filmed in Prizren, Brod, Mirusha Waterfalls, Pec and Rugova Canyon, Joerg Daiber captured what he found most captivating about this landlocked country: “Kosovo may not be on the travel bucket list for many people. The Kosovo War seems somehow not too long ago and the lack of beaches makes this country a white spot on the travel map. However, if you do go there you will be amazed by the extraordinary beauty of the back country, the vibrant city life and friendly people.”


Here is the full video: