Ardenica Monastery

Top choice in Albania

This rarely visited yet magnificent little monastery is remotely located on a hilltop between the towns of Lushjë and Fier. With your own transport it's worth dropping by to see the fantastic interiors – particularly the iconostasis of saints and sinners, dragons and angels – of the 18th-century Church of St Mary. Equally impressive is the golden pulpit, which positively heaves with adornments, not to mention the frescoes of the Zografi brothers that can be seen on display upstairs.

The monastery isn't really set up for visitors, but there's usually a custodian inside who can let you in and escort you around; consider tipping 200 lekë.