Europe’s newest country, Kosovo is a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans rewarding visitors with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities and 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries brushed in medieval art – and that’s just for starters.
Kosovo is a growing destination for outdoor activities, with a terrific variety of landscapes. The mountains that hem in the Rugova Valley offer outstanding hiking and form part of the Peaks of the Balkans trail, connecting walking routes in Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. The Shar Mountains are great for skiing and offer a wilder and more off-beat walking experience. The highlight of the region is the man-made Gazivode Lake. Stretching over 24km, it’s the largest lake in Kosovo. The area surrounding the lake is all bouncy hills and pleasing forest and slowly an adventure tourism industry is starting to spring up around the lake and the Mokra Gora mountain.
The best-known of all and most distinctive one, “flija”, is prepared year-round but is a summer favorite. Flija made with “saç” is a specialty from the traditional Albanian cuisine, that is mostly prepared in mountainous areas. It is most certainly one of the typical Kosovar dishes that everyone local will recommend. Baklava is one of the traditional pastries of the Kosovar cuisine, although of Turkish origin. Bakllasarem is also a traditional food of Kosovo it is a salty pie with yogurt and garlic covering. The Kosovo cuisine developed under the influence Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Croatian Greek and Italian dishes. The national food of Kosovo is Cheese Byrek. Byrek is a type of baked or filled pastry. They are made of a thin flaky dough known as phyllo dough and are filled with salty cheese (often feta), minced meat, potatoes or other vegetables. Meat is well represented in their daily meals. Due to the harsh continental climate vegetables are seasonal flourishing mainly in the summer.
Many monuments of Kosovo date from the neolithic period. Throughout history many monuments were changed, destroyed and new elements were added to them. There are different types of monuments that date from the Illyrian period continuing with the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Late Antiquity and Middle Ages, Ottoman Empire etc. Most of the historical monuments are stationed in the district of the cities of Pristina, Prizren, Peja. Monuments in Kosovo mostly consist of ancient cities, castles (Kulla), monasteries, mosques and churches.
Some of the most famous monuments in Kosovo are: The ancient city of Ulpiana , Visoki Decani Monastery, Patriachate of Pec, Sultan Mehmet Fatih Mosque in Pristina and The house of League of Prizren.
Castles are also very common in Kosovo. The castle of Prizren, the city and castle of Artanë which was a huge trade city in the 13th century and earlier, the castle of Kekola an ancient Dardan castle which dates from the Bronze era (1300-1100 b.c), etc.