See an unexplored Albania in a rustic farm stay next month

Travellers who love authentic local culture and eating from the source will soon have a selection of places to enjoy both in Albania. From 8 to 10 May, a collection of six new agrotourism family farms will open their doors to guests for a three-day retreat throughout villages in the country's beautiful and mountainous northern region.

Travel News - Shkodra-Albania
Shkodra region is part of Albania’s rising agrotourism scene. Image by © RilindH / Getty Images

Part of the AgroTourism Albania project (supported by the United States Agency for International Development), the retreat will spotlight farms that have been working hard to shift their skills from agriculture to tourism by providing authentic experiences, great meals, cooking workshops, and guesthouse accommodation - all while seeing Albania in all its natural flavour.

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Wine-tasting will be part of the experience. Image by Westend61/Getty Images

For the farms - in the areas of Shkodër, Malësi e Madhë, and Pukë – the idea behind the retreat is to get them ready for the upcoming tourism season. The retreat guests will include international trade partners, travel journalists and Albanian tourism agencies. The event will include hiking, wine-tasting, pie-baking and jam-making. The three-day gathering will also serve as the launch of the OriginAL brand of certified 100% Albanian products, such as tea and honey, which provide a way for locals to further market their strengths.

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A village farm in the Albanian countryside. Image by © Bridget Nurre Jennions / Lonely Planet

The farms participating in the project include: Devin Farm in Qerret village; Anete and Dioniz Marku Farm in Ganjollë village; Rruga e Mullirit in Reç village; Kantina Kopliku winery in Koplik; Shega Agroturism in Muriqan; and Agrotourism Lajthiza e Vogel in Pukë. The farm families taking part in the retreat have been mentored in preparation for a shift into the tourism industry, so they can more fully utilise age-old skills.

Over the last year or so, the Brand Albania initiative, also supported by USAID, has been leading ‘Learning by Doing’ workshops to share sustainable skills and further prepare the farms for perfecting products, traveller communication and marketing themselves to a growing tourism market in Albania. Travellers wishing to book a stay at one of the six farms can do so online via the IntoAlbania platform.