The Charming Half-Abandoned Village of Old Qeparo, Albania
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Last Updated on July 2, 2021
The charming small village of Old Qeparo is one you will instantly fall in love with like I did. Along the Albanian Riviera, in between Borsh and Porto Palermo is one of the best places to see what a traditional village was like in Albania. There are two parts to Qeparo, the lower and upper parts. The lower part of Qeparo has a beautiful beach and a few places to stay and relax in, if you want to be up and close to the sea. The other part of Qeparo is the old upper village and is positioned on top of a mountain 300m above sea level.
About Old Qeparo
Old Qeparo is incredibly fascinating to me as its half abandoned. It feels as if this village has been left behind yet the character that this place has is immense and there is huge potential for future tourism here. But it’s one of those places you visit where you wish and hope that it stays exactly the same, so it doesn’t lose any of its charm. The village was pretty much abandoned in the 90’s after the fall of communism in Albania. Many families moved to different locations and countries to survive. These days there are some people living there in the old original stone houses which have been preserved and re-done.
The architecture is incredible. You will be blessed with windy cobbled paths, ruins of once stood stone buildings and a step back in time. Unlike many other old Albanian villages, Qeparo has preserved a lot of the buildings although many of them are slowly being left to nature.
In the centre of the village stands an old oak tree as well as the church of St Mary with its beautiful clock tower and bell, which was built in 1796. About 1 kilometre north of the village is the tower of Ali Pasha. You can get here by walking the ancient walking trail from Qeparo.
How to get there
The road to upper Qeparo can be taken by a turn off after/before the lower part of Qeparo. You drive for around 5-10 minutes up a windy road to reach the village. Within the village itself, you cannot drive so you have to park your car near the centre and walk around.
Where to stay
There are no reputable properties to stay at online in upper Qeparo unfortunately but there is bound to be the future. You can stay in the lower part of Qeparo as there are many beachfront properties. One of the best to stay in is Hotel Riviera.
Nearby points of interest
Borsh: I highly recommend a trip to Borsh Castle located in Borsh. It’s a really beautiful ruined castle with a mosque which was built in the castle by the Ottomans. Below is Borsh beach which is the longest strip of beach in Albania. It’s one of the best to get away from the crowds in the summertime!
Port Palermo: Ali Pasha’s castle of Port Palermo is one to visit as it’s one of the best-preserved castles in Albania. It has a unique location as a thin piece of land connects it with the mainland.
Himara: this sleepy coastal town is perfect if you want to get away from everything. I highly recommend a walk through old Himara where the castle is situated, on top of the hill. You will feel like you have stepped back in time! Make sure you relax at the local beaches and soak up the sun.
Saranda: Not too far of a drive away is the very south of the Albanian Riviera and the seaside city of Saranda. There are a lot of things to do here as you can see from my post 26 things to do in Saranda here.
There’s everything you need to know about Old Qeparo. Make sure you put this place at the top of your places to see in Albania list!
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