If you’d like you to witness the scene of a momentous event in Albania’s history then head northeast to Krujë Castle, popularly named after the Albanian national icon Skanderbeg. As the Ottoman Empire conquered the surrounding region this fortress stood firm, holding out against Mehmed II’s armies in three successive sieges during the 1400s. To give you an idea of its national importance, the castle is on the back of Albania’s 500 Lekë banknote. Inside the gothic building is an exhibition devoted to Skanderbeg, and you should also take a moment to bask in the rugged upland beauty of the setting 550 metres above sea level.
– Krujë Bazaar
This neighbourhood of Krujë is a step back in time, as Krujë’s entire 18th and 19th-century commercial district has been carefully preserved and continues to thrive. The market extends all the way from the gates of the castle to the centre of Krujë and is made up of a single cobblestone street along which all sorts of sellers tout their wares from wooden stalls. As you stroll through the bazaar you’ll also even get to see artisans crafting items in their workshops. For a keepsake you could pick up hand-carved wooden ornaments, a bottle of locally distilled raki or hand-woven textiles.