Old Himara and the Castle, otherwise known as Barbakas, are in themselves important monument which testifies to the human presence in the Himara region of 3500 years. It has existed since the middle of the century. of IV BC. Himara, is included in the Epirot tribe of the Caons and is mentioned in some ancient writings of Homer, the Greek geographer Strabo, Pliny, the English scholar N. Hammond, etc. Historical facts show that Himara is often referred to by the name or toponym Chimera, which represented a mythological being.
The culinary tradition of Himara is conditioned by the geographical position sea-hill-mountain and includes a variety of local dishes derived from the riches of land and sea. Residents have focused their cuisine on meat and dairy by-products, fish, olives, citrus fruits, and local specialties such as honey, glucose, etc. If you go to visit Himara families you will find on the table lamb meat; pies; honey; typical dishes such as Ksirogjak, Përvëlak, Çepele, Faqefurash,etc. Surely you can’t stay without enjoying drinks like brandy, wine, liker or fresh juices.
The province of Himara is known for its artisanal crafts in the processing of local products and their conservation. The preservation of culinary traditions can be observed in the form of modernization of production methods. The riches and resources of the area have fostered the creation of authentic traditions of daily life, in addition to adding natural beauties.
The Albanian folk iso-polyphony declared “Masterpiece of the Oral Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO on November 25, 2005 is a pride of Himara and Albanian Culture. The song of the soul, transmitted by the inhabitants since the time of war, in daily life, in family, cultural and artistic events. This great spiritual wealth of Himarjote is initially portrayed with Neço Muka and Koço Çakali. In 1929, the first records were recorded in Paris, combining the sounds of Neço Muka’s polyphony and the classical music of Tefta Tashko.
The history of polyphonic song would be enriched with the creation of the new group in 1949-1950 with receiver Dhimitër Varfin. Other names like Andrea Bala, Panajot Kukaveshi, Lefter Çipa, etc. Everyone has created a love for Himara songs. These events are followed by the voices of old polyphonic music and the voices of the new generation.
Evidence indicates that in antiquity Porto Palermo was the abode of merchant and fishing vessels. The fishing activity to meet the demands of businesses and residents of Himara and beyond is carried out mainly by the fishing fleet.
The fishermen of Himara have a long experience on their shoulders and have served the tourism of Himara for many years. Fishermen, mostly those in their late 70s, confess that they experienced different situations under the regimes of the time. Recalling with nostalgia the limitations conditioned by the communist regime until the period of the rapid development of Himara in Democracy. The variety of fish species in the Himara area is relevant. Nowadays fishing has become a tourist attraction through trawlers as well as the consumption of seafood. But there are also those who practice fishing as a sport or spend their free time.
The castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena is located on the peninsula of Porto Palermo. It has a triangular shape and is located in a geographical position that helped to protect it. On the seaside, we find a trapezoidal surface that is surrounded by walls equipped with turrets. The rest consists of a large number of rooms covered with arches. The current castle was rebuilt in 1819 with an area of 4-5 hectares, with three entrances and three towers.
The castle is much older than Ali Pasha, he has restored it as a gift to one of his wives, Vasiliqia. The source of light in the castle are the “bedenat”, from where the fresh sea air enters and the view that appears from them is rare. From there you can see the coast and the Bay of Brides, according to legends, where Ali Pasha’s bride, Vasiliqia, bathed. In this castle, Ali Pasha Tepelena also received George Byron. His figure and verses are found today carved in a bronze bas-relief, on the castle walls.
In the second week of August, the Honey Festival was held in Himara, an event organized by the Municipality of Himara in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and the CNVP.
The event was attended by over 50 companies that promoted their products.
Beekeeping in the Himara area is an ancient tradition and honey produced in the area is one of the most popular not only in the local market but above all in the foreign market.
The event was an important showcase to promote not only honey but also other local products including mountain tea, blueberries, wild rose, walnuts and hazelnuts, apples, grapes and very tasty animal products.
Visitors who took part in the event also showed great interest in handicrafts such as stone, wood and foodstuffs.
The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is a species of crab that lives in the western Atlantic, and in particular on the east coast of the United States and in the bay of Mexico that has gradually invaded the Mediterranean, especially after the enlargement of the Suez Canal.
In the last 10 years it has also reached the Albanian coast, especially along the lagoon areas. It is a species of important size that can measure up to 15 cm in length and 50 in width it represents a real threat to the native species of the areas where it has gradually settled also because of its voracity and aggressiveness.
Numerous information and awareness campaigns have been organized by environmental organizations, in collaboration with fishermen, on the damage caused by this invasion and possible actions to tackle it.
One of the proposed ways to contain its expansion and limit the damage that this predator creates to native species is certainly its use for food use.
As part of the BLUE LAND project, a team of photographers, with the support of Vlora Protected Area Administration, fishermen and environmental organizations, made a stop in Porto Palermo in June to create and collect photo / video documentation to describe the future Blue Land of Porto Palermo.
The BLUE LAND project is funded by the Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro program and is implemented jointly by Ciheam – Bari, National Agency for Protected Areas-Napa (Albania), INCA Albania, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro , University of Montenegro – Marinagy Institute of Biology, Cooperative Research Institute-ICR, in collaboration with AICS Tirana and Puglia Region, Department of Agriculture, Rural and Environmental Development.
It was held from 25 to 28 April 2019, the now usual appointment of the South Outdoor Festival, the event organized by GIZ Albania to celebrate all the activities that take place outdoors.
The event takes place every year in a different town on the Albanian coast. The location chosen for the 2019 edition was the village of Borsh, and exactly its renowned olive fields, just 200 meters from the coast, which make it one of the most renowned places for the production of olive oil.
The village of Borsh, located halfway between Dhërmi and Saranda, guards Albania’s longest beach, a spectacular 7 km long white pebble bay bathed by crystal clear sea and surrounded by Mediterranean scrubland as far as the eye can see.
Sports and cultural activities, music, nature and traditional gastronomy are the main activities of this year that took place between the mountains and the sea.
South Outdoor “is an initiative carried out under the program” Sustainable development of rural areas “, financed by the German government.
A murales to raise awareness of pollution at sea was drawn on a wall located on the national road of Himara, by some painters of the city.
The work depicts a large fish in front of a pile of garbage lying on the bottom. The aim of this work is to increase the awareness of the community about the risks associated with pollution of the seas and, more generally, of the environment.
All the irresponsible waste dispersed in the environment ends up in the sea and, reduced in microplastics by the action of the currents, they end up entering the food circle that arrives on our tables.
The choice to paint this work on a busy street is also dictated by the need to raise awareness among as many people as possible and to stimulate the adoption of more responsible behavior.