The city of the Ali Pashe Tepelena and Vjosa – Queen of the rivers of Europe.
Tepelena often referred to as the city of Ali Pasha Tepelena , is located in the province of Derven, in the south of Albania. This city is crisscrossed by the mighty Vjosa river, and its natural beauty is further enhanced by its proximity to the Shendelli mountain in the northeast, the Kurvelesh mountains in the central part, and the Golik mountain and Mezhgoran gorge in the south. These natural features, including the Shendelli-Lunxheri- Bureto mountain range and Trebeshina-Dhembel-Nemercke , create a captivating landscape, adorned by the convergence of the two largest rivers in Albania, the Vjosa and Drinos , making it a favored destination for both international and domestic tourists.
Tepelena’s strategic location is nothing short of remarkable, with its ancient walls embracing rocky terrain and the imposing presence of Ali Pasha Tepelena’s castle reigning above. Beyond the confines of this historically rich town, one can explore villages steeped in history, meandering through the scenic Kurvelesh highlands via a wooded mountain road, which also reveals Ali’s water supply in Benca, an archictectural marvel from bygone era.
The history of Tepelena dates back to the 7th century when the foundations for a castle were laid at the pivotal junction where the roads of Vjosa, the Kelcyra gorge, Drinos , and Mallakastra intersect. Notably, in 1789, the city found itself under the leadership of Ali Pasha Tepelena, who established hic castle, revered monument that continues to captive the imaginations of all who visit.
Tepelena’s cold water sources are not just tourist attraction that guides travelers further south in Albania; they are an enduring symbol of nature’s allure, continuously piquing the interest of nature enthusiast and tourists alike.
The culture of Tepelena is equally compelling, as it encompasses the diverse territories located to the right of the Vjosa River Valley and the Laberia province. With this rich tapestry of culture and history, Tepelena offers a multifaceted experience for its visitors.
For those seeking to explore the wonders of Tepelena, we recommend the following must-visit attractions:
1. Europe’s Last Wild River, the Queen of Vjosa Rivers.
2. Ali Pasha’s Castle, a testament to history and architectural grandeur.
3. Ali’s Water Supply in Bença, an engineering marvel of the past.
4. Tepelena’s Cold Water, a natural treasure that beckons nature enthusiasts.
5. Nivica’s Canyons and Waterfalls, a splendid showcase of nature’s artistry.
6. Holy Places, including mosques, churches, and tekkes, providing spiritual insights and cultural enrichment.