Hiking near the village of Shipska, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Korca, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Pogradec, Albania on May 12th!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Wonderful day at Langarica Canyon and Benja Thermal Waters

We wanted to get an early start because we had read that the hot springs area can get busy. And, there is a lot of hiking in and around the canyon behind the hot springs, so we knew we would be in for a full day.

Langarica Canyon is located only 12 kms (7 miles) from the town of Permet. And Benja Hot Springs is located at the entrance to the canyon. And both attractions are located within Fir of Hotova-Dangelli National Park, the largest national park in Albania.

We couldn't find any information online about how much it costs. That's because... it's all free!

Looking back at Permet as we head south.

Things are so nice and green.
It's a beautiful time of year in Albania!

Looking south towards Greece.
We are only about 25 kms (15 miles) from the Greek border.

We arrived at about 10:00am. There is no entrance gate, and no fees to pay. Imagine a national park where nature is free for everyone to enjoy. What a concept. Have I mentioned that we really like Albania?

There are two washroom buildings, and a few informational signs.

And, there is a fantastic free camping area!

A few motorhomes enjoying the day.
GPS 40.243393, 20.431213

There is an Ottoman era bridge to bring you to the main pool.
Can you see Ruth on the bridge?


We decided we would go for a hike along the top of the canyon, and then explore the canyon itself, and then go for a swim at the end.

The main pool on the left.

It does look inviting.

Even some caves to explore!

And fantastic views.
What a great spot.

Me!
It is shorts and t-shirt weather.

We came across a few little patches of these odd red flowers.

Scenery along the way.

Still lots of snow up there!

Beautiful views.

We stopped at this viewpoint to have a snack.

Can't get enough of the views.

Looking up the canyon.

Gorgeous.

Me!

Ruth!

The canyon goes for 5 kms (3 miles).

Caves.

We did a two hour hike up to the viewpoints, so it was already 12:15pm by the time we got back to the Ottoman bridge. We explored the caves for a few minutes, then headed into the canyon. The problem of course is that we really should have water shoes for doing this kind of thing. We saw people trying to do it in bare feet, but they didn't get very far very quickly.

At the first water crossing, we took off our hiking boots and socks, and then put them back on on the other side of the river. But there are five or six crossings, as well as areas where you actually have to walk up the river in the water. So we decided to simply leave them on and let them get wet. That turned out to be the best way to do it.

Bridge as seen from the caves.

Inside the cave.

Ruth and the bridge.

And then we headed into the canyon...

Water pouring right out of the rocks!

There are several pools along the way.
The water is not hot... lukewarm, I would say.



Into the canyon!

Me.
Yes, the water at this point was cold!

Exploring along the way.

Canyon hiking In Albania.

Can you see the people further up?
What a neat spot!


I took a video for you...

Wow!

We sat and had another snack here.

This is as far as we made it.

It would be a full day to hike the entire canyon and back. Another reason to return with our motorhome and spend three or four days here.




Me!

So we're making our way out fo the canyon, and there are a few people still making their way in.

This one girl in a red bikini stops us and asks if we want to be interviewed for Albanian television. Well, it would be rude not to stop and talk to a girl in a red bikini! So she filmed us on her iPhone and asked a few questions. She said she would send a link when it is posted to youtube, but we haven't heard from her yet. It was all legit, because we saw a radio-television van parked in the parking lot later.

Edit: Here is the youtube link. We are at at the 15:00 mark, but you can't hear what we are saying, and you can't understand the translated language. But you can look at our pretty faces!

Our bikini clad news reporter.

We made it back to the main pool and then went for a swim. Like I said earlier, the water is not hot. Barely lukewarm. I do not enjoy cold water, but I was able to get in no problem.

Ruth in the Benja Thermal Waters.

What a great day we had. It was almost 4:30pm by the time we got back to the apartment.

Today is moving day again! We are headed to the city of Korca (pop 75,000). Korca is only 56 kms (35 miles) away as the crow flies... but driving it is 135 kms (84 miles) and it takes five hours to get there!

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Decent price drop on the Kindle Paperwhite.

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20 comments:

  1. Gorgeous hiking area...the water looks inviting!

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    1. It is a stunning area, the water in the river was cool but on a hot summer day it would be nice to take a dip in. The thermal pools were nice and relaxing though and that big one at the mouth of the river has the most beautiful view. :-)

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  2. Imagine the torrent that once roared through there to carve that canyon!!!

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    1. I would imagine that there are still times when torrents of water come down through the canyon even these days when they have heavy rains. Just imagine the amount of time that was needed to carve that canyon as well! Nature is an amazing thing, that is for sure.

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  3. Some of the other parts of Albania you've taken us too looked kind of dull, but this one's a real winner. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We are so glad that you enjoyed this post. It was definitely a beautiful sight to see and explore.

      We have found that most of the places that we have explored and been beautiful, especially since we got into the mountains but if ruined castles or old churches aren't your thing then I guess it may have looked a bit dull.

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  4. That was definitely worth the hike into the Canyon.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your move.

    It's about time.

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    1. It certainly was. We can't wait to go back in our motorhome and spend several days there. When we do that we will try to hike back as far as we can in the canyon. There is also another hiking trail at the top of the canyon on the opposite side from where we were as well, so there would be lots to keep us busy. :-)

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  5. Replies
    1. It definitely was and there was still a lot more hiking that could have been done in and around the canyon. We really look forward to going back there again one day. :-)

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  6. See, this is the reason I faithfully read your blog. Not everyone would stop to talk to and photograph a lovely, nearly naked young lady, but you can count on Kevin to always go the extra mile for his readers. I celebrate your dedication!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lee... it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

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  7. Beautiful are i can see why you would want to come back and explore.

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    1. The canyon was fantastic, we enjoyed our day so much. We really look forward to coming back here and do some more exploring and it will be nice to have our motorhome with us then too. :-)

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  8. Beautiful national park. Are there places to rv? I think Albania is one of your best countries in terms of history, ruins, scenery and food.

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    1. Yes, it is a beautiful national park.

      Lots of places to RV, you just have to be careful with some of the roads once you are off the main road, not all of them are RV friendly unless you have a 4X4. they have campgrounds in a number of places and lots of boondocking opportunities. We look forward to coming back here with our motorhome. :-)

      We are pretty happy here in Albania, we are definitely loving the mountain scenery. We think it would be pretty easy to live here.

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  9. Wow, amazing. Absolutely gorgeous scenery.

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    1. We totally agree with you, the scenery was stunning. :-)

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  10. What an absolutely stunning area. Would love to spend a few days there in a motorhome.

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    Replies
    1. You would love it here! The thermal pools aren't hot but they aren't cold either. They were definitely nice and relaxing to sit in and enjoy the surrounding scenery and the hike up the canyon was a lot of fun too. :-)

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