Kosovo – Field of Black Birds

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1 Rugova Gorge_Mark Orfila_RG_thumb5Kosovo, a landlocked country in the central Balkans, is well-known for its ancient fortresses, monasteries, old bridges, charming villages and beautiful vineyards. Kosovo derives from “kosovo polje”and it means the field of blackbirds, which refers to the “turdus merula,” a European type of North American rusty-bellied thrush. This is a disputed land as Serbia continues to claim it as its own Autonomous Province of Kosovo, although the country was declared independent in February 2008.
The small country is bordered by Central Serbia to the north and east, Albania and Macedonia to the south and Montenegro to the west. Kosovo is home to large lakes, including Badovac, Gazivoda, Batlava and Radonjić. The main rivers are Ibar in the north and the White Drin. The White Drin flows north of the town Peć from the southern slopes of the Žljeb Mountain. If you are in this area, ensure to visit the White Drin Waterfall near the village of Radovac. In the southwest of Kosovo the White Drin runs through a short canyon which attracts divers from all over. The canyon boasts an old Ottoman bridge.
Orahovac, or Radovac, is located in the District of Gjakova, western Kosovo, and is the heartland of the local wine industry. Millions of litres of red and white wine are produced in this area. In the southern region, about fifty kilometers from the capital of Kosovo, the wine route allows you to admire the beautiful landscape with its rolling hills and magnificent mountain silhouettes. While you are in this area, you can enjoy a wine tasting or purchase wine at some of the following wine houses:
• Wine House, Bernjake, Orahovac: phone +377 45 47 17 87 or +377 44 60 42 88
• Stone Castle, Bernjake, Orahovac: phone + 381 29 276 053
• Bodrumi i Vjeter, Orahovac: phone + 377 44 204 209
• Eko, Orahovac: phone: +377 44 200 823
• Agroalf, Orahovac: + 377 44 230 546
• Sefa Wine, Orahovac: phone + 377 44 679 909
• Daka, Orahovac: phone + 377 44 356 933
• Baha, Orahovac: phone + 377 44 366 139
• Agrokosova Holding, Suhareke / Suva Reka: phone + 377 44 353 149

Beautiful landscape near Peja

Beautiful landscape near Peja

About thirteen kilometers north-east of Peja one can find the natural mineral hot-springs. You can visit the Rugova Gorge, which is located west of Peja. You will also find waterfalls, natural springs and hundreds of caves in this area. The caves are a popular tourist attraction, as some of the caves, such as Shpella e Kallabes-Kallaba, features great archaeological remains. Drini Bardhë Waterfalls lies about ten kilometers from the village Radavc and the natural beauty here is simply staggering. Not far from the waterfalls, you can relax in the hot spring baths in Banja e Pejes.
Peja lies in the midst of the Bjeshket e Nemuna Mountains and is well-known for its artificial lake surrounded by beautiful flowers, historical inheritance and green parks with playgrounds. The city is located approximately thirty-two miles from the borders of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro in east Kosovo. Peja center offers an array of shops, restaurants and cafés. The Pec Patriarchate, Orthodox monasteries, has been named a UNESCO Herritage Site and definitely worth a visit.
Bajrakli Xhamia Mosque

Bajrakli Xhamia Mosque

One of the most important and sacred buildings in Peja is the Bajrakli Xhamia Mosque which dates back to the period of the Ottoman Empire. Peja-Pec is a spring where people can drink water and is seen as a cultural monument by the locals. The Tower of Gockaj is located near the Kajnak and is a remarkable place to visit. It features a unique chimney and beautiful woodcraft inside.
Old Long Bazaar Street is one of the most interesting places to visit, and you can still find watchmakers, gown-makers and cap-makers here. Ensure to visit the fountain in Rrethishtja.
Explore the Capital of Kosovo – The City of Pristina
There are many direct flights from cities such as New York, London, Geneva, Zurich, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan and Verona to Pristina International Airport. The airport is located approximately fifteen kilometers southwest of the city. Airport buses are available at all hours of the day at two hourly intervals.
Pristina is a great city to wander around in the evenings. The people here are friendly, and you can enjoy the amazing atmosphere while having coffee, sitting in a bar or strolling down the streets and promenades. You can visit ODA Theater on Pallati i Rinisë 111, next to the City Stadium, for concerts and theater performances.
National Library, Pristina

National Library, Pristina

The Jashar Pasha Mosque on Nazim Gafurri Street is worth a visit, as well as the King’s Mosque, Mosque of Pirinaz and the Bazaar Mosque. People usually love or hate the architecture of the National Library on Rr Agim Ramadani 60, but it remains one of the must see tourist attractions.
Notable landmarks in the city include the Rilindja Tower and the National Theater. The Kosovo Museum, Sheshi Adam Jashari, offers a large collection of ethnological and archaeological artefacts. The museum is housed in a charming villa.
The city is home to a lively recreational park, Germia Park, where one can challenge the basketball and volleyball courts, a large swimming pool and enjoy a great meal at one of the restaurants.
Other Tourist Attractions in Kosovo
About thirty minutes from Pristina towards Gjilan you will find Ulpiana; one of the oldest cities in the Balkans used since Roman times. The city is near the left bank of the Gracanica River. In the south of the city archaeologists found ruins of an old building with beautiful mosaic. The foundation of a Basilica from the 4th century was found on the north side of the city.
For a great shopping experience, the Gjakova Old Bazaar is a must see. Buses from Pristina to Gjakova travel each hour, and it only takes about eighty minutes to reach the city. Gjakova Bazaar dates back to middle 1700s.
Street in Gjakova

Street in Gjakova

The mosque that is located in the center of the old bazaar was built in the fifteenth century. Gjakova also offers an amazing nightlife. You can enjoy a magnificent view of the city from the Qabrati Hill. For an excellent meal at a very reasonable price, you can visit Hani Te Qarshia e Vjeter. The Qingji I Ujit restaurant is probably the cheapest in town and serves delicious fish along with fresh salads.
Ensure to visit Prizren, a bustling city and the most historic city in Kosovo. You can travel by bus from Pristina to Prizren. The Kaljaja is a medieval fortress and was once controlled by the Ottomans. Kaljaja offers an amazing view and can be reached by following the path behind the mosque. Turkish Baths, Hammam, was built near the center of Prizren in 1563 and features cultural, architectural and historical values. Shadervan, the main square, is the gathering place for tourists and locals. This is a great place to enjoy lunch or coffee.
East from Prizren you can travel through the Zhupa National Park. To the southwest, you can experience the dramatic landscape of the mountains and visit Dragash. The area is spectacular. Each Friday there is a market day in Dragash where you can buy fresh produce, traditional food and souvenirs.
Visa Requirements for Kosovo
When applying for a visa, the applicant shall submit: A completed and signed application form; a recent photograph in accordance with the international standards and a copy of your travel document.
Supporting documents include documents indicating the purpose of the journey; proof of sufficient means to cover accommodation; documents indicating that the applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to the tourist’s country of origin and travel medical insurance valid throughout the territory of the Republic of Kosovo.

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