Gerti Boshnjaku
  • Male
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Albania
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Are you connected to the tourism/travel/hospitality industries or travel media in any way? If so, please specify how (kindly include any relevant company names/Web sites!).
I have an information News Website about Albania.
On which destinations & travel topics can you advise members especially well?
What destinations are you most interested in learning about?

Gerti Boshnjaku's Blog

Visiting Gjirokastra, Albania's 'Stone City'

Gjirokastra (also spelled Gjirokastër) is a town in southern Albania which in 2005 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a highly historic city and placed on slopes of the Drino River valley, with beautiful scenery and bordered by high mountains.

Known as the "City of a Thousand Stairs" Gjirokastra is characterized…


Posted on October 17, 2015 at 3:00pm

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At 5:41am on July 25, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hi Gerti - thank you so much for everything! My email is Leyla [a-t] women-on-the-road [dot] com... I have been able to make a lot of contacts so I'm very pleased that this trip will be exciting - I'll be writing a lot about Albania when I return!

Speaking of which, I will be in Tirana on Tuesday 21 August in case you are available to meet. Let me know! Best, Leyla

At 1:09am on July 22, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Dear Gerti,

Plans are moving along! I think we have resolved our transport issues to the North - we will take public transport and are pretty clear on how to handle that. It should be no problem.

However, I would like to ask your tour company for a quotation for a tour to the South. I think it will be too expensive for me but if it can free me a bit to work I am happy to at least compare the prices. Can you put us in touch?

Thank you!

At 2:51am on July 18, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hello Gerti, Things are moving forward!

I have decided to use public transportation for the North. It seems relatively straightforward and I will go to Valbona rather than Theth as it is much more straightforward. 

I now have several questions if you are able to answer them or point me towards someone who can?

1. Can we use our national (French and British) drivers' licences or must we have international drivers licences to rent a car?

2. Can you recommend a reliable and not too expensive car rental agency?

3. Can we organize to meet you on our first day in Tirana - I would like to interview you for my website.

4. I still need some urgent itinerary help as follows: Which DIRECTION should I travel?

Tirana - Elbasani - Korca - Gjirokastra - Riviera - Berati - Tirana

OR the other way around:

Tirana - Berati - Riviera - Gjirokastra - Korca - Elbasani - Tirana

I would like to make sure I drive the route with the least sheer drops and dangerous mountains and usually on mountains one way is better than another...

Your help as always is much appreciated!

At 5:25am on July 13, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hi Gerti, this is brilliant information, thank you. I think I would like to go to Theth rather than Valbona as I hear it's more isolated and less traveled... I will now do some research on this itinerary because there are several places on it that I have little interest in seeing... I would prefer fewer places but more time. Remember my trip is designed to yield a number of travel articles so I need a bit of time in some places.

I can't take a guide for the whole trip because the nature of my work is independent travel and finding my way around is part of the work. But if I want to get to Theth I definitely will need an expert driver and a 4x4 vehicle so I would be interested in contacting your travel agent for that part. For the rest I think I will rent a car if you think the roads are good enough. Let me focus another few days on my itinerary so I can reduce the number of places and I'll get back to you if you don't mind. Many thanks for all your help!

At 5:05pm on July 7, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hi Gerti, I think I now have a vague itinerary. I've posted it at Go Pro Travelling at Have a look.

I would spend 1-3 days in the north, and the rest in the South. The cities I've marked are the ones I 'think' I should see but I'm completely open about changing my itinerary. I've tried to see as much as possible, with as much variety as possible, bearing in mind I also need to take a lot of photos. The one thing I have no desire to experience are resorts and the like (although I will try to get to the beach for a few hours for photos). If you cannot access the map let me know and I will write out the itinerary.

I think a car rental would be best perhaps for 10 days in the South. What I need is a good reliable map, and some idea of which roads I should/should not take and amend my itinerary accordingly. I'm particularly interested in meeting Albanians, in all walks of life. I'm told many Albanians speak Italian and some speak French so that will help. (Is this true?)

Please let me know what you think, and thank you again! Leyla

At 12:19pm on July 5, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hi Gerti, when I have my itinerary perhaps you can help me identify a trustworthy guide? Also how much time would I need? Much as I would like to take my time I'm afraid I can't... would two days leaving from Shkodra be enough for the northern portion?

I would also be pleased to have a recommendation for the 1-2 most trustworthy car rental agencies (with the best cars of course). And can you recommend the best road map for Albania?

More soon, Leyla

PS Are you in Tirana?

At 11:58am on July 5, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hi Gerti, thanks for your reply! I'm still working on my itinerary but it is beginning to take shape. In the north I was hoping to take the Komani Ferry and visit Thethi - I'm just not certain how easy that is or how long it would take. I'm thinking that it might make sense to have a guide with a vehicle who REALLY KNOWS the area - I hear the road to Thethi is quite scary and I would only want to go with someone who has taken that road many times and knows it well.

I would then rent a small car for all my visiting to the south I think. Let me know if this makes sense - and meantime I'll try to finalize some sort of itinerary and let you know.

Thanks again, Leyla

At 4:44am on June 21, 2012, Leyla Giray Alyanak said…

Hello Gerti, I'm a member here as well and am trying to organize my visit to Albania end August/early September. I plan on spending two weeks in the country and would like to see the major sights in the North and South (no resorts). I will be blogging/writing about the trip.

My question concerns transportation: because two weeks is quite short, I'm concerned about taking public transport - I worry I will spend too much time chasing buses and not enough seeing what I should see. I thought of renting a car - but I can only afford a small car and I read in some of the travel guides that many of the sights are only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle or old Mercedes taxis. Do you know if that is the case? And if car rental is the way to go, do you have a reliable company to recommend? Many thanks!

At 1:31pm on June 17, 2012, Tripatini said…

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