8 Things to do in Permet, Albania – Full Travel Guide

Last Updated on April 22, 2023

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Permet is still a relatively undiscovered gem, but this location won’t stay secret for long. Permet has some of the most beautiful natural scenes, interesting history, and delicious food in Albania.

It’s known as the City of Roses as it is dubbed the cleanest and greenest city in Albania. There are so many great things to do in Permet and around the area.

Enjoy these 8 things to do in Permet, Albania, stone bridge over still waters of a river with rocky hills and cliffs behind interspersed with green shrubs

Permet is home to only 10,000 residents. It’s relatively small, but don’t worry, Permet still packs a punch and is well worth the trip whether you’re thinking of a day trip or the weekend.

My partner and I stayed in Permet for only 1 night, but we could have easily stayed for 2 or 3 if we wanted to take our trip a little slower.

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History of Permet

In the 14th century, Permet was taken over by Ottoman rule and you can see a reminiscence of this today with the old Ottoman bridges which we will talk more about below.

Fast forward to the communism era, Permet was nicknamed ‘The Hero City’. The name comes from stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Locals believe that the city was named in the Middle Ages after a hero who was called Premt.

According to local stories, Premt was the ruler of the fortress which was situated upon the famous big rock in the centre of the city.

When Permet was invaded he threw himself off the Big Rock because he would rather die than suffer a hard death by the enemies. Pretty brutal! 

Permet and the surrounding have been well preserved over the years. There have been efforts for Shell to start digging in some of the natural springs, but locals have protested and driven efforts away.

The area is a gem for natural resources, but the Albanians understand the damage that could be done and always try to push back on these efforts.

How to get to Permet

Permet is not normally a route that many travelling naturally go through unless you’re travelling from Korce to Saranda and you’re taking the southern route.

Your options to get there are either to drive or take the bus. I recommend hiring a car in Albania if you feel confident enough to drive the roads.

Otherwise, you can check out my guide on the Albania bus timetables to see what times are available for getting to Permet.

Find out what to do in permet, campervan travelling to Permet with a background of rolling green hills and mountains and a road lined with tall and vibrant green trees

Korce to Permet

The road from Korça is incredibly beautiful though. The road is not in the best condition and what I mean by that is that there are tons of potholes and it’s obviously not kept up on maintenance.

However, before we travelled through this route, I was told that it was a super bad road and you’re better to go from the other side.

We tried the road out anyway and although it was long it was well worth the drive, I highly recommend it.

The views are stunning, and you get to kind of drive through the edge of the Fir of Hotova National Park which is just incredible.

I remember there was a sharp turn when you went through the town of Leskovik, and I was just amazed at the landscape.

During the road you’re basically travelling on the edge of Greece too, so the landscape is mountainous and just well seeing.

Take your time if you’re coming from Korce to Permet and enjoy the view!

The total drive from Korce is around 3 hours on google maps but we ended up taking around 4 or 5 hours. We did stop a lot for photos though and to take in some of the views.

Saranda to Permet

The drive takes around 2 hours and is a popular day-trip destination for visitors and expats in Saranda. The road is smooth and in good condition for your way there.

Tirana to Permet

As with most places, if you want to travel from Tirana to Permet, your options are to drive or take the bus.

The drive usually takes 3-4 hours, though the bus can be longer. There are several buses a day travelling from Tirana to Permet.

When is the best time to visit Permet?

The best time to visit Permet in my opinion is Spring. Since the city is called the city of roses you can expect Permet to be lit up in blossoms as well as a lot fewer people at the hot springs.

The most popular time to visit is summer since that’s the tourist season of Albania. The hot pools can get packed with people and since they are not warm, it makes the water feel even colder.

Anytime the weather is a little chilly, that’s a great time to go to Permet and check out the nearby springs.

Locals visit all year round because of the healing properties of the springs but tourists flock here when it’s summer.

8 Best Things to do in Permet

Although the local area is famously known by tourists for the Benje hot springs, there are plenty of other things to do in Permet which is why I would recommend more than a day here.

Let’s get into what to do in Permet when you visit in order to see as much of this beautiful city and surrounding area as possible.

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1. Walk to the top of The big rock

Within the centre of the city, you will notice a giant rock which you can walk to the top of! I highly recommend doing this as you get a stunning view of the city and the Vjosa River.

Even though you might be thinking it’s just a rock, trust me the short walk up is worth it! At the top, there are also remains of some ruins that date back to the 4th century!

When we visited back in spring the entire top was covered in these beautiful wildflowers, so we managed to get some beautiful pictures of the city from there.

2. Experience the food

Take the time to journey from Tirana to Permet for these activities, close up shot of an Albanian dish with cheese and peppers in a ceramic dish with a spoon sticking out

Permet is known for making great brandy, raki and fruit preserves which includes one called gliko. So, of course, one of the best things to do in Permet is to indulge in the local food and drink.

Due to its positioning, the products from Permet are delicious. I highly recommend checking out one of the great restaurants here.

Permet is part of the slow food movement. Slow food is a global organisation that was founded in 1989.

Their mission is to prevent the disappearance of local food and traditions throughout the world and preserve those dishes for lifetimes to come.

The slow food movement is active in over 160 countries and Albania has some incredible gastronomy experiences because of this organisation.

Because of Permet’s positioning, the traditional Albanian food here is next level! So fresh, delicious and full of flavour.

Where to eat in Permet

There are two notable restaurants that I recommend you try when going to Permet.

Taste all the best things to eat in Permet, close up shot of the traditional Albanian dish fergese in a white ceramic bowl on a wooden table

The first one I recommend is Familjari. We had an array of dishes like Fergese, grilled meat and more. The food was extremely good, all while being super affordable.

The next restaurant I recommend is Trifilia, where they again have great food at low prices.

This is the most popular restaurant in the city, and it has a lovely balcony rooftop. The staff are super friendly and helpful too!

3. Soak in the Benje hot pools

Make sure to enjoy the Permet hot springs, photo of Anita in the Benje hot pools with old bridge in the background

This is one of the main reasons why people know Permet is because of these hot pools, or thermal baths.

Now let me clarify, despite the name, the Benje hot springs are not hot, don’t expect a steaming hot pool, they are definitely lukewarm but it’s still worth it. 

There is one big pool that has been artificially made and then they are several more, the further down the valley you walk.

Although the big one is the main attraction, I recommend checking out the smaller ones too!

The Permet hot springs can get busy in the summer. We visited in spring and there was still a fair amount of people visiting.

The further you walk, the less people there are because a lot of tourists just visit the main pool and that’s it. But keep walking and you may find a spot to yourself!

When we visited, we saw a couple of camper vans parked here which is such a great idea.

If you are travelling in a van or campervan there are some great spots to park up and camp for the night right by the main pool 

4. Lengarica Canyon

Don't miss out on the Benje hot springs, picture of Anita standing in the middle of the canyon with tall white rocky cliffs behind

If you keep walking past the hot pools around 200 metres, you will be in Lengarcia Canyon which is stunning. You can do a guided tour if you wish to go deep into the canyon.

This is definitely one of the top things to do in Permet for those who love exploring the beauty of nature.

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5. Grab some local produce

You will notice near the pools are local markets that have a bunch of local products and souvenirs. If you want a great souvenir, try one of the many local preserves or honey, it’s delicious.

In the summertime, there will be vendors selling byrek and meat so you should have to worry about bringing food to the hot pools.

6. Katiut Bridge

Find your new favourite things to see in Permet, picture of Anita walking over the Old Ottoman bridge in Benje with rocky hillside and green bushes behind on a hot sunny day

This bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 19th century and is a real highlight when visiting the Benje hot pools.

With many of the historic monuments, Ali pasha commissioned the Bridge, so it is also known as Ali Pasha Ottoman Bridge.

Make sure you walk to the top, but I do have to warn you, be careful as the stones in the summer can be extremely slippery and you do not want to fall off.

If you visit the big hot pool, you will have no choice but to walk over it unless you wade through the river below.

7. Visit the many broken bridges.

Explore all the different corners of Permet, Albania, view looking out along an old broken bridge with wooden boards broken and missing suspended over bright green water with lush green areas behind

 If you are going to and from Permet, look out for some interesting bridges along the way. We came across an array of broken, old bridges which made for fantastic photo opportunities.

Be careful as many of them look like they are hanging on by a thread. But do be sure to look out for them during your travels!

We probably stopped 4 or 5 times because there were so many photo opportunities along the way.

8. 4×4 to Çorovoda

Take a trip to Permet, Albania this summer, aerial view of the lush Albania landscape with rolling mountains and forest stretching off into the distance under a wide blue sky

So, this is something to do if you have a 4×4 and if you’re looking to do something off the beaten track in Albania when you either leave or get to Permet.

Çorovoda is a small mountain town right next to the Osumi Canyon which is a popular destination for tourists.

It’s a colourful town and very beautiful, but the drive there, if you choose the 4×4 route, is INSANE. Expect to see a side of Albania that 90% of tourists in Albania don’t get to see.

You weave through small villages, mountains and get some of the most stunning views I have come across whilst living in Albania for 5 years. 

If you have a drone or camera you will want to stop multiple times to soak in the landscapes. The road is definitely only fit for a 4×4.

Especially if you visit in winter in which it may be difficult or not able to pass through here at all. We visited in autumn time and the road was fairly good, only a couple of mud puddles.

For someone who has an existential crisis every time she’s in a car on the edge of a cliff, it was terrifying at times but if you’re an avid 4x4er then I’m sure you will be in heaven.

Where to stay in Permet

There’s a variety of different accommodation options In and around Permet. From luxury villas to traditional houses and guest houses which are extremely popular in Albania.

With nearly every stay in Albania, you can expect breakfast which is usually a selection of fresh ingredients like cheese, salad, Petulla (which is a fried doughnut) and juice, coffee or tea.

I have found from staying in hundreds of places here that breakfast is always usually of exceptional quality.

Traditional Guest House Permet 

Work out what to do in Permet for your next vacation, neatly set breakfast table with plates of food and benches with cushions sitting on an old stone covered balcony with a view overlooking a wide valley complete with a river and green fields leading towards some rolling hills and mountains in the distance

If you’re looking for a traditional experience, then staying in this guest house is a great pick. You get the most beautiful view over the valley and landscape when you arrive.

This accommodation is not within Permet, but 6km from the city centre. It’s nearer the Benje hot springs than the city of Permet so if you’re looking to stay in nature then it’s perfect.

The owners will tell you all about the history of this magical ancient building over some Rakia and homemade wine. 

The road leading there can be a little difficult to find so keep that in mind, but when you get here the trip is worth it. It’s recommended, if you can, to arrive here during the daytime. 

Check for the latest prices and availability

Funky Guest house & adventure

Discover where to stay in Permet, Albania, upwards view of the side of a building with window and flower baskets with red flowers hanging out next to an outstretched black hanging sign which reads

This accommodation option has fantastic reviews and provides an excursion that I haven’t seen elsewhere in Permet- horseback riding!

If you want to see the springs and local area via horseback, then you’re going to love this place.

The guest house is cosy, clean and equipped rooms with a great buffet breakfast which is included.

The guest house is right in the centre of Permet so it’s close to all the restaurants and sightseeing in this city.

The rooms are clean and up to date so you can enjoy an excellent quality room at a very affordable price.

Check for the latest prices and availability

The Mosaic House

Check out the best places to stay in Permet, Albania, interior of hotel room with large double bed covered in neat bed sheets with pictures hanging on the walls and an exposed stonework wall on one side

This beautiful house was built in the 19th century and I’m sure you will feel like part of the family as soon as you arrive. The house still has an original mosaic from 1908 within the front terrace.

The breakfast is one of the best in Permet, with all fresh ingredients homemade by the family. The courtyard is a beautiful place to relax with a glass of homemade wine.

Mosaic House is situated right in Permet city so it’s easily accessible to the other restaurants and sights nearby.

Check for the latest prices and availability

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is Permet worth visiting?

Definitely! Permet is really unique and full of charm. It’s also one of the most beautiful parts of Albania with many hidden gems to discover. The Benje Thermal Baths are a must-visit! Permet also produces some of the best food and drink in the country and the restaurants here are all top notch.

✅ What is Permet known for?

By far the most famous attraction in Permet is the Benje hot springs. People come from all over the country – and even the world – to visit these stunning Permet hot springs and spend the day bathing.

✅ When is the best time to visit Permet Albania?

I think the best time to visit Permet is in the spring. In spring the weather is just right and there are significantly less tourists than in the summers!

If you’re planning on visiting Permet then I hope that travel guide to the city and nearby hot pools were helpful for you. If you do have any further questions about what to do in Permet, then feel free to leave them in the comments below. And if you ended up visiting then tell me how you liked it!

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The Comments

  • Nati Perez
    March 10, 2024

    Hi! Can you tell me how long was the drove to Çorovoda in 4×4… we would like to do this trip and than contoniu to the left at the canyon to go to Gijokaster.
    Like you say there is not many info about this trip.
    We will go in may.
    Kind regards from Belgium.

    • Samara
      > Nati Perez
      March 12, 2024

      Hi Nati! The drive from memory was around 4 hours but this was a few years ago and the road might be better or it might be worse. Best to take your time and plan for most of the day to drive, stopover and take pictures and enjoying the view!