A group of adventure lovers from the Czech Republic has launched a project to boost tourism in a remote village in northern Albania. Around one hundred volunteers travelled to Curraj Eperm in the Albanian mountains over the summer to build a bridge, reconstruct a local church and mark more than ninety kilometres of tourist trails. All of that out of sheer enthusiasm and for free.
I spoke to the head of the project, Jan Balák, a few weeks after his return from Albania and first asked him how he had discovered the hidden village:
“Three years ago I organised an expedition to Montenegro but in fact we spent most of the time in Albania. We discovered a beautiful country full of hospitable people and a year ago, we decided to return there and find a place which no tourist had visited before us.
“We found the Valley of Ceres, which is just a stone’s throw from Curraj Eperm. We reached the village from the Koma lake after a three-day journey. We were very surprised by the region, because it is absolutely isolated from the rest of the world. There is no electricity and the people are very hospitable. It is a beautiful place for tourism, but no one actually goes there. So this is how I got to Curraj Eperm.”
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