Përmet is a town in one of the greenest and most beautiful areas in the south of Albania, which earned it the nickname ‘City of Roses’. The town is not located on the major touristic routes and has therefore been long ignored as a tourist destination, but the beautiful surroundings of the Vjosa river valley are starting to attract more and more visitors. Përmet has about 10,000 inhabitants and a good amount of hotels and restaurants so it’s a great base from which to explore the incredible nature and heritage in the area.
How To Get To Përmet
Përmet is located northeast of Gjirokastra, next to the Fir of Hotova National Park. There is one daily bus from Saranda to Përmet, but there are also several daily buses from Gjirokastra and Tirana. From Saranda, it takes about 2 hours to get to Përmet by car. The road is paved and in a good condition, but be careful if you plan to come from the other side as the road from Korça to Përmet is very beautiful, but also very bad and even inaccessible during severe winter weather. If you don’t have your own transportation, renting a car is a great idea as you will be able to make as many stops at beautiful places along the way and you can also visit other places like the Benja Thermal Baths.
What To See And Do In Përmet
Përmet is a great base to explore the surrounding nature, but the town itself is definitely also worth exploring.
Take A Walk Through The Park At The Riverfront
Përmet is located at the banks of the last wild river of Europe, the Vjosa. Between the town and the river, there is nice park where you can take a stroll to take in the beauty of the river valley. There are roses and other flowers, and a kids playground, you’ll pass by the mosque, and at the end you can’t miss the large rock, the “Stone of the City”.
Climb Up The Stone Of The City
The Stone of the City is a giant rock at the riverfront of the town, with 101 steps leading to its top. From the top you can take in the breathtaking views and also find the remains of an old castle.
Wander The Cobbled Streets Of The Old Town
When you enter Përmet, at first the town looks like a communist style town, which just had a facelift, but behind that façade lies the charming old part of the town. The several small cobbled streets lead you up the hill between beautiful old buildings with gardens where melons, tangerines and grapes are growing. You will also find the Saint Nicholas Church and the Church of Saint Friday (also called Shën Premtes in Albanian or St. Paraskevi in Greek).
Hike Up To The Saint Mary’s Church Of Leusa
From the center of Përmet, an easy 30-40 minute hike will lead you to the Saint Mary’s Church in the village of Leusa. The church is in a well preserved condition and beautifully decorated with many murals and the hike up the hill offers stunning views over the town and river valley.
Visit The Benja Thermal Baths
The thermal waters of Benja are said to have a therapeutic working and the environment is simply stunning, so it’s no surprise that the Benja Thermal Baths are the biggest attraction around Përmet. There are several pools along the Lengarica River, which makes hiking in the Langarica Canyon very popular. At the entrance you’ll also see the iconic Ottoman Kadiut Bridge.
Go Rafting On The Vjosa River
The Vjosa River is the last remaining wild river in Europe and hopefully it stays that way. Depending on the season, weather and water levels, you can explore the amazing valley on a little adventure while rafting or kayaking on this clear blue river.
Explore The Nature On A Horse
You don’t need a 4×4 or be a fanatic hiker to explore the beautiful nature, as you can also soak up the fresh air on the back of a horse. Horseback riding is a great way to get off the beaten path and there are several places where you can book a trip with or without a guide.
Visit The Fir Of Hotova National Park
The Fir of Hotova-Dangelli National Park is the largest national park of Albania and spans an area of 344 square kilometers, with mountains, valleys, canyons, gorges and rivers. The park is great for hiking, 4×4 drives, and horseback riding, but you can also visit some picturesque villages and visit the museum of the Frashëri brothers.
Tours From Saranda To Përmet
Are you looking to visit Përmet or the Benja Thermal Springs without the hassle of arranging transportation and finding your way? Then book a day trip from Saranda!
Best Restaurants In Përmet
Përmet is located in a very fertile area and has some great fresh produce, so the food served is incredibly delicious. To get a taste of the best local specialties, try out Familjari, Trifilia, Sofra Përmetare or the restaurant in Villa Përmet.
Hotels In Përmet
Since Përmet is about a two hour ride from Saranda, you might want to stay the night here to have more time to enjoy the beautiful environment. Përmet has plenty of options, but here are some of our recommendations:
- Funky Guest House & Adventures: This guest house is located right on the corner of the main square in the center and has a shared lounge and a terrace as well. A buffet breakfast is available in the morning and at the guest house you can also book tours and adventures.
- Villa Përmet: This hotel is located in a historic building in the old part of Përmet and because of its location a bit up the hill, it offers amazing views over the city.
- The Mosaic House: This guest house is also located in a traditional house in the old town and has a lovely and quiet garden where you can find a piece of historic mosaic.
Other Practical Info About Përmet
The police station in Përmet is located in the center at the corner of the entrance road with Rruga Shëtitorja Mentor Xhemali. For emergencies you can always call the following numbers:
General Emergencies – 112
Ambulance – 127
Fire – 128
Police – 129
You can also read more about staying safe in Albania on our Health & Safety page.
Banks And ATMs
There are two banks in Përmet which each have an ATM as well: Raiffeisen Bank and Tirana Bank.
The post office in Përmet is located just around the corner from the main square in the center.
Shopping In Përmet
There are several smaller and larger grocery stores, bakeries and other shops in Përmet. For souvenirs, it’s worth checking out the antique shop on Shetitorja Mentor Xhemali, which has a large collection of interesting objects, antiques, handmade articles and souvenirs.
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