Gjirokastra (also spelled Gjirokaster) is a truly unique historical city and often a highlight of any holiday to Albania. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Gjirokastra is a marvellously preserved example of a Byazantine settlement that subsequently fell under Ottoman rule. The city is dominated by its imperial 12th century castle, which looms over a cascade of charming stone houses on the hills below. An austere but cordial and diverse place, Gjirokastra is considered to be the centre of Albania’s Greek community.
While here, make sure to visit The Blue Eye, an unusual underwater spring with remarkably blue water fringed by pretty oak trees and colourful flowers.