The small city of Korca, is located in southeastern Albania and might only be 3 hours from Tirana by car, but it feels completely off the beaten tourist track. The city is positioned at 850 meters above the sea and surrounded by Morava Mountains. It is called city of the Serenate, The Small Paris, City of Love, Beer city and also, First School City in Albania.
Inhabited since the the Bronze Age, this old city was mentioned for the first time only in 1280, in medieval document. Thus the current appearance is due to the modernization of Ottoman era, wen was conquered from Turkish in 1440. At that time it became flourishing and wellknown for the manufacture of carpets and for a bazaar inside the city, that is now preserved as a national monument. The city as well is known for its typical neighborhoods that are old villas or lower houses paved with pebbles.
The country’s eighth-largest city by population, Korça has a history that dates back to the 13th century. and is known for its role in Albanian culture and intellectual heritage (most famously for being home to the first Albanian language school), world-class museums, beautiful old churches, and pretty architecture. Historical document date the city back to the early Middle Ages when the province at that time, was under the control of the Muzakaj feudal family.
Firstly, Korca was mentioned in 1280 and it was inahbited since the Broze Age
The architecture of Korca urban city has Ottoman, French and Arumenian influences, even the parks are beautiful which offers an unique experience in Albania. Mostly the markets, monuments, mosques and churches of the city are the important testimony of the historical-cultural part, that served as a crossroad for the Balkans.
Over the centuries, this city was a very important commercial market and has been the starting point of the caravans for their journeys to Turkey, Greece and Russia. Through all the 19th century Korca became the most important economic and cultural center of the region.
An interesting thing to know s that the current appearance of the city is due t the modernization of Ottoman era, while was conueres by Turkey in 1440.
Korca is an all-season destination with relatively mild weather year-round. Winter brings cold overnight temperatures and snow while the warmer months see the town come alive with festivals and special events. Also Korça’s villages are amazing. Voskopoja, for example, is an amazing village. A thing you can do in Korça is to visit the center and the main boulevard. In both sides there are coffee bars and shops. Most beautiful view is during the season of lights that means late December. Unforgettable is the snow that usually begin in the second week of the December. That is the time where tourists start to come and they stay as long as 1 week.
The winter season begin from November to March and there are fewer tourist as the temperature drops to 2 degrees. Although if you are someone that like the cold, winter is amazing for a visit to Korca as well.
There you can find multiple activities. Something we suggest is to visit the market there and to buy a handmade bracelet. That will be something that will remind you of Korça.
What to visit in Korca:
The National Museum of Education – the first Albanian school opened in 1887.
The National Museum of Medieval Art – is a must.
The Archaeological Museum
The House-Museum of famous Vangjush Mio
The Museum of Oriental Art “Bratko”.
There are several small villages around Korca that also seem to be a touristic attraction. As it is located in the nearby mountains, there you can explore Voskopoja, Dardha, Boboshtica ore Vithkuq. These villages have become famous for the possibility that they offer to many people who practice sports and other outdoors activities.
Both Voskopoja and Vithkuqi are also known for the byzantine churches with the the paintings of the walls. Painters all over the country were there to help in the paintings or iconostasis. But not only, they very often went to do this work even outside the borders.
On the way to the capital city don`t forget to visit also: the Lake of Prespa, The Drenova National Park, The Kamenica village and touristic village of Lin. The Prespa Lake is the largest National Park in the country.