Kosovo travel guide

Kosovo travel guide


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

If you want to understand Kosovo, look no further than its Olympic gold medal winner for judo, Majlinda Kelmendi. In the countryís Olympic debut in 2016, this 25 year old did her country proud by taking gold. She was only eight years old when war broke out and, after years of hardship in her home town of Peja, she took up judo when the war ended. A beautiful ball of energy, who has survived a war, she is a smiling, determined young woman, with mountain strength. Just like the country she represents. Because Kosovo is not only the newest country in Europe, but also has the youngest population, with over 70 percent under the age of 35. The cities are culturally cool, the stunning mountain regions invite healthy outdoor living and there is a great sense of welcome and multi-cultural pride. Plus the golden sun shines on its mountains, valleys and lakes throughout the summer making it, on many fronts, a guaranteed winner.

Read more in our Kosovo travel guide.
Kosovo is...

a place to leave your preconceptions behind and go enjoy the now. A now that is filled with nature, nurture and noble people.
Kosovo isn't...

all grey and war torn. It has 270 days of sunshine a year, wildflower-filled mountain meadows and is as hot as Dubrovnik in summer.
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If you'd like to chat about Kosovo or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
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Kosovo map & highlights


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME

There are a lot of places to worship in Kosovo, no matter what your belief system. You have ancient Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches, the famous Ottoman mosques in Pristina , 13 churches alone in the village of Velika Hoča, and of course, there is so much to worship in nature. From the Rugova Canyon to the many peaks over 2,000m in the Prokletije Mountains, with stunning waterfalls and lakes in between. And then, to be truly Kosovar, one must also worship Dionysus, the god of wine. Because with over 270 days of sunshine on its slopes, itís a country that knows how to embrace its now thankfully happier climes. With wine and more wine.
Boge Gjakova Peja Pristina Prizren Visoki Decani Monastery

Bogë

This must be one of the smallest ski resorts in Europe, nestled into the Rugova Valley in the Prokletije (aka Accursed) Mountains with a maze of stunning hiking trails that follow ancient, and indeed contemporary shepherdsí paths, and hardly a tourist in sight. Stay in a traditional wooden house, and hike out to the likes of Little Lake Lićenat, at an elevation of 2,341m.

Gjakova

An Ottoman city close to the border with Albania it was badly hit during the Kosovo War of 1998-99, when many of the townís ethnic Albanians were driven out, and homes destroyed. Now home again and making up almost all of the population, buildings are still being rebuilt, although many ancient ones also perished. Still, it is a town to learn about these difficult times, and support its restoration projects.

Peja

A dramatic location at the entrance to the Rugova Canyon and the Accursed Mountains, but is also a wonderful place from which to find traditional rural villages such as Goraědevac, with ancient log dwellings, including a 16th century log cabin church. Donít miss a chance to visit the Banja e Pejes natural hot springs, and cool down afterwards back in town with the local brew, Birra Peja.

Pristina

The capitalís ancient architecture was badly hit under Soviet rule, although there are still Ottoman mosques and an old town to explore. Today, itís the culture, youthful joie de vivre around Rexhep Ruci main street, music and peacemaking history that attract. Also outdoor pools in summer, such as in GŽrmia Park. Buy local handicrafts such as traditional silver and artisan foods here to support the local economy.

Prizren

An ancient city, and Kosovoís second largest, Prizren has architecture dating back to Roman, medieval and Ottoman times. Buildings stretch out around the River Bistrica, overlooked by the äar Mountains. An elegant town with a hefty history, the Ottoman fortress, Orthodox Cathedral, UNESCO Church of Our Lady of Ljeviö and Ottoman Sofi Sinan Pasha Mosque are multicultural marvels.

Visoki Dečani Monastery

 At the foot of the Prokletije Mountains, this serene Serbian Orthodox place of worship is home to an exquisite collection of Byzantine frescoes. When it snows, Decani Brotherhood monks, in long black robes, make a striking sight walking through the glistening white. Throughout the war, they gave refuge to people of all ethnicities in a church still protected by UN Peacekeepers.

Photo credits: [topbox: Ben Njeri] [Map topbox: Agim Mala] [Boge: Bleron «aka ] [Gjakova: Rinor.e] [Peja: Otaulant] [Pristina: Antti T. Nissinen] [Prizren: Berat Hoxha] [Visoki Decani monastery: Pudelek] [Helpdesk: Aljabakphoto ]
Written by Catherine Mack
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