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Berat, Albania


Berat highlights

historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Berat is the ninth largest city by population of the Republic of Albania. Berat, UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2008, comprises a unique style of architecture with influences from several civilizations that have managed to coexist for centuries throughout the history. Like many cities in Albania, Berat comprises an old fortified city filled with churches and mosques painted with grandiose wealth of visible murals and frescos. Berat is one of the main cultural centers of the country.


Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to
Berat, Albania - Monterrasol private tours to Berat, Albania. Travel agency offers custom private car tours to see Berat in Albania. Order custom private tour to Berat with departure date on request.
Berat, Albania
Monterrasol private car tours to


Other places we know in Albania

Apollonia - Known for ancient theatre, archaeological site, museum, orthodox monastery; archaeological site is a UNESCO Tentative List Site

Durrës (Durres) - Known for archaeological site, architecture, beach, marina, venetian empire; ancient theatre is a UNESCO Tentative List Site

Gjirokastër (Gjirokaster) - Known for fortress, historical center, medieval old town, museum, viewpoint; historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Krujë (Kruje) - Known for castle, historical center, museum

Tepelenë (Tepelene) - Known for castle





Last reviewed: 7 January 2021

Berat description

The name of the city is probably derived from the Old Slavonic Belgrad, meaning "White City", under which name it was known in Greek, Bulgarian, Latin and Slavic documents during the High and Late Middle Ages. It is believed to have been the site of the ancient city Antipatreia, while during the early Byzantine Empire the name of the town was Pulcheriopolis. In the Republic of Venice the city was known as Belgrado di Romania, while in the Ottoman Empire it was also known as Belgrad-i Arnavud ("Albanian Belgrade") to distinguish it from Belgrade in Serbia.

The town Berat lies on the right bank of the river Osum, a short distance from the point where it is joined by the Molisht river. The old city centre consists of three parts: Kalaja (on the castle hill), Mangalem (at the foot of the castle hill) and Gorica (on the left bank of the Osum). It has a wealth of beautiful buildings of high architectural and historical interest. The pine forests above the city, on the slopes of the towering Tomorr mountains, provide a backdrop of appropriate grandeur. The Osumi river has cut a 915-meter deep gorge through the limestone rock on the west side of the valley to form a precipitous natural fortress, around which the town was built on several river terraces.

According to an Albanian legend, the Tomorr mountain was originally a giant, who fought with another giant (mountain) called Shpirag over a young woman. They killed each other and the girl drowned in her tears, which then became the Osum river.

Mount Shpirag, named after the second giant, is on the left bank of the gorge, above the district of Gorica. Berat is known to Albanians as the city of "One above another Windows" (a similar epithet is sometimes applied to Gjirokastra), or The City of Two Thousand Steps. It was proclaimed a 'Museum City' by the dictator Enver Hoxha in June 1961.

The town is still renowned for its historic architecture and scenic beauty and is also known as the "Town of a Thousand Windows", due to the many large windows of the old decorated houses overlooking the town.

It is unclear whether it really means "Thousand" or "One over Another" windows. Indeed, the quarter is built in a very steep place and windows seem to be one over another. Similar views can be seen in Melnik (Bulgaria), Gjirokastër (Albania), as well as Catanzaro (Italy), where an Albanian minority once lived.

The earliest recorded inhabitants of the city (6th century BC) were the ancient Ilyrian tribe of the Dassaretae or Dexarioi, the northernmost subgroup of the Chaonians, and the region was known as Dessaretis after them. Modern Berat occupies the site of Antipatreia, which originally was a settlement of the Dexarioi and later a Macedonian stronghold in southern Illyria.

The town became part of the unstable frontier of the Byzantine Empire following the fall of the western Roman Empire and, along with much of the rest of the Balkan peninsula, it suffered from repeated invasions by Slavs. During the Roman and early Byzantine period, the city was known as Pulcheriopolis.

The coexistence of religious and cultural communities over several centuries, beginning in the 4th century BC into the 18th century is apparent in Berat. The town also bears testimony to the architectural excellence of traditional Balkan housing construction, which date to the late 18th and the 19th centuries. Some of the landmarks of that historical period could be seen in the Berat Castle, churches of the Byzantine era such as the Church of St. Mary of Blaherna (13th century), the Bachelors' Mosque, the National Ethnographic Museum, the Sultan's Mosque (built between 1481 and 1512), Leaden Mosque (built in 1555) and the Gorica Bridge.

Berat Castle is built on a rocky hill on the right bank of the river Osum and is accessible only from the south. After being burned down by the Romans in 200 BC the walls were strengthened in the 5th century under Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, and were rebuilt during the 6th century under the Emperor Justinian I and again in the 13th century under the Despot of Epirus, Michael Komnenos Doukas, cousin of the Byzantine Emperor. The main entrance, on the north side, is defended by a fortified courtyard and there are three smaller entrances. The fortress of Berat in its present state, even though considerably damaged, remains a magnificent sight. The surface that it encompasses made it possible to house a considerable portion of the town's inhabitants. The buildings inside the fortress were built during the 13th century and because of their characteristic architecture are preserved as cultural monuments.

Berat related tours

We at Monterrasol Travel welcome you to see Berat during multi-day private car tour. Contact us if you would like to customize your tour to Berat.

We have developed several tours that visiting this beautiful place. But, if you have a special conditions or any from these tours fit you, please do not hesitate to contact us, we can organize a tour exactly as you would like. And remember, we have no problems to take you from almost any place where you stay, hotel or private accommodation.


Travel 15 days Adriatic coast of Montenegro and Albania + discover Greece mainland. All seasons tour from Tivat to Athens.

tour starts in: Tivat, Montenegro

tour finishes in: Athens, Greece

tour duration: 15 days (14 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Greece, Montenegro

tour destinations: Apollonia, Arta, Bar, Berat, Budva, Dajbabe, Delphi, Dodoni, Durrës, Gjirokastër, Hosios Loukas, Ioannina, Kotor, Krujë, Livadeia, Mesolongi, Nafpaktos, Oiniades, Parga

Let's come together to 15 days all seasons tour to explore 3 countries: Montenegro, Albania, Greece. In Montenegro, we will visit town Kotor (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. In coastal town Budva we will walk its narrow streets of historical center and surrounding walls. We also will visit Old Bar, the settlement known from Byzantine Empire ages. On the way to Albania we will visit cave monastery Dajbabe with unique frescoes. In Albania, we need to see historical center of town Krije and its museum, admire ancient theater in Durres, wonder on beautiful sea on Divjaka beach, and come to sleep in town Berat (UNESCO World Heritage Site), called as town of thousand windows. After Berat, we will visit archaeological site Apollonia (UNESCO Tentative List site), and come to see historical center of town Gjirokaster (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here in Gjirokaster we will walk in Ottoman fortress and see local museum. In Greece, we will stay in mainland, and see fortress of Ioannina, together with historical town and Silversmithing museum. We will admire huge amphitheater at Dodoni archaeological site (UNESCO Tentative List site), and cute small coastal town Parga with small fortress and gorgeous beach. Next day we will visit Nekromanteio Acheron, a Greek temple of necromancy, walk over famous bridge in Arta and see local museum. We will visit archaeological site Oeniadae (UNESCO Tentative List site), known for its shipyard and small amphitheater. On the way to Nafpaktos we need to see a Messolonghi lagoon, unique biodiversity area. In Nafpaktos, we will walk inside a fortress, and will see why in the port there is the statue of Cervantes. Next place we will see if famous Delphi (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the place of Delphian Oracle, now it's large archaeological site and museum with extended collection. Next, on the way to Athens, we will see hidden in mountains monastery Hosios Loukas (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and walk along of river in historical center of Livadeia. The sane day evening we will arrive to Athens.

all seasons tour

15 days

Price from € 1,887

 



Greece+Albania off-season UNESCO sites tour 19 days from Igoumenitsa. Visit most of UNESCO Greece mainland and Albania places.

tour starts in: Igoumenitsa, Greece

tour finishes in: Igoumenitsa, Greece

tour duration: 19 days (18 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Greece

tour destinations: Aigai, Apollonia, Arachova, Arta, Berat, Butrint, Delphi, Dodoni, Galaxidi, Gjirokastër, Hosios Loukas, Ioannina, Larissa, Lëkurësi, Mesolongi, Meteora, Metsovo, Nafpaktos, Nicopolis, Oiniades, Parga, Porto Palermo, Rio, Servia, Thermopylae, Volos

This off-season 19 days (18 nights) tour covers several important UNESCO World Heritage sites located in Greece mainland and south Albania. Together with that will also visited numerous UNESCO Tentative List sites. Come to see beautiful Mediterranean land and visit stunning sites in the off-peak months! During the tour here is plenty of things to do: from fascinating museums to imposing archaeological sites, and from mouthwatering gastronomy to perfect- picture villages and towns. Both Greece and Albania is the ideal destination if you enjoy nature and dramatic landscapes, regardless the time of the year you plan to visit it.

off-season only tour

19 days

Price from € 2,434

 



Explore Croatia Bosnia Montenegro Albania Greece by cultural tour 21 days. Balkans roadtrip from Zagreb to Athens. Old towns, fortresses, monasteries, UNESCO sites.

tour starts in: Zagreb, Croatia

tour finishes in: Athens, Greece

tour duration: 21 days (20 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro

tour destinations: Apollonia, Arachova, Arta, Bar, Berat, Blagaj, Budva, Dajbabe, Delphi, Dodoni, Dubovac, Dubrovnik, Gjirokastër, Hosios Loukas, Ioannina, Kotor, Kravica, Livadeia, Loreto, Mesolongi, Mostar, Nafpaktos, Nehaj, Ostrog, Parga, Podgorica, Počitelj, Radimlja, Split, Stolac, Trebinje, Trogir, Zadar, Zavala, Šibenik

Explore 5 Balkans countries Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece in 21 days cultural tour from Zagreb to Athens. Discover Adriatic coast of Croatia; venetian towns of Dalmatian rivier; medieval towns of Montenegro; famous Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia, Montenegro and Greece; archaeological places in Albania and Greece; medieval fortresses of Croatia, Albania and Greece; UNESCO sites of Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece.

off-season only tour

21 days

Price from € 2,969

 



Greece+Albania off-season UNESCO sites tour 22 days from Athens. Visit most of UNESCO Greece mainland and Albania sites.

tour starts in: Athens, Greece

tour finishes in: Athens, Greece

tour duration: 22 days (21 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Greece

tour destinations: Apollonia, Argos, Arta, Berat, Butrint, Corinth, Delphi, Epidaurus, Gjirokastër, Hosios Loukas, Ioannina, Kalamata, Lamia, Livadeia, Lëkurësi, Mesolongi, Messene, Meteora, Mycenae, Mystras, Nafpaktos, Nafplio, Olympia, Patras, Porto Palermo, Rio, Sparta, Thermopylae, Trikala

This off-season 22 days (21 nights) tour covers the most important UNESCO World Heritage sites located in Greece mainland and all UNESCO World Heritage sites of Albania. Thw tour is also allow to visit many UNESCO Tentative List sites. Come to see beautiful Mediterranean land and visit stunning sites in the off-peak months! During the tour here is plenty of things to do: from fascinating museums to imposing archaeological sites, and from mouthwatering gastronomy to perfect- picture villages and towns. Both Greece and Albania is the ideal destination if you enjoy nature and dramatic landscapes, regardless the time of the year you plan to visit it.

off-season only tour

22 days

Price from € 3,053

 



Off-season Greece+Albania UNESCO places 26 days tour from Athens. Visit most of UNESCO Greece+Albania places.

tour starts in: Athens, Greece

tour finishes in: Athens, Greece

tour duration: 26 days (25 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Greece

tour destinations: Aigai, Apollonia, Argos, Arta, Berat, Butrint, Corinth, Delphi, Dodoni, Epidaurus, Gjirokastër, Hosios Loukas, Ioannina, Kalamata, Kaninë, Lamia, Larissa, Livadeia, Lëkurësi, Mesolongi, Messene, Meteora, Mycenae, Mystras, Nafpaktos, Nafplio, Olympia, Patras, Porto Palermo, Rio, Sparta, Tepelenë, Thermopylae, Trikala

The off-season tour 26 days tour started in Athens cover most of UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites in 2 countries, Greece and Albania. Additionally, the tour cover several places in Greece that submitted to the UNESCO tentative list. Visiting UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites in Greece. This off-season tour will allow you to visit not only some of Greece's eighteen UNESCO World Heritage sites but also some of the country's fourteen sites in the UNESCO tentative list, together with other top destinations across this beautiful Mediterranean land. Come and visit this stunning country in the off-peak months! You will quickly understand why Greece is much more than just a perfect summer destination. Greece is a truly year-round destination! It boasts plenty of things to do: from fascinating museums to imposing archaeological sites, and from mouthwatering gastronomy to perfect- picture villages and towns. Greece is the ideal destination if you enjoy nature and dramatic landscapes, regardless the time of the year you plan to visit it.

off-season only tour

26 days

Price from € 3,681

 



Explore Croatia Bosnia Montenegro Albania Greece by cultural tour 32 days. Balkans roadtrip from Zagreb to Athens. Old towns, fortresses, monasteries, UNESCO sites.

tour starts in: Zagreb, Croatia

tour finishes in: Athens, Greece

tour duration: 32 days (31 nights)

tour countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro

tour destinations: Apollonia, Argos, Arta, Bar, Berat, Blagaj, Budva, Corinth, Dajbabe, Dodoni, Dubovac, Durrës, Epidaurus, Gjirokastër, Ioannina, Kalamata, Koroni, Kotor, Kravica, Krujë, Lezhë, Loutraki, Mesolongi, Messene, Methoni, Međugorje, Mostar, Mycenae, Mystras, Nafpaktos, Nafplio, Nehaj, Oiniades, Olympia, Omiš, Ostrog, Palaia Epidaurus, Parga, Patras, Podgorica, Počitelj, Preza, Radimlja, Sparta, Split, Tiryns, Trebinje, Trogir, Tvrdoš, Vjetrenica, Zadar, Zavala, Šibenik

Explore 5 Balkans countries Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece in 32 days cultural tour from Zagreb to Athens. Discover Adriatic coast of Croatia; venetian towns of Dalmatian riviera; medieval towns of Montenegro; famous Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia, Montenegro and Greece; archaeological places in Albania and Greece; medieval fortresses of Croatia, Albania and Greece; UNESCO sites of Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece.

off-season only tour

32 days

Price from € 4,747

 



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