Ilirjan Lamthi Guesthouse
We are happy to welcome you to our Guesthouse and home! Here you can relax and enjoy our genuine traditional way of life, on the farm which is still worked today using the same methods as our ancestors. In addition to the cows, sheep, horses and chickens, Ilirjan’s pride and joy are his Bees which visitors will enjoy through the fresh honey on their breakfast table, as well as the sweet smell which quietly floats throughout our farm. Inside, the house has been renovated for greater comfort and efficiency, but still keeps the same appearance, decorated with warm and colorful carpets and handicrafts made by Ilirjan’s mother Tone and wife Lumterija (she’s well named – her name means “Joyfulness.”).
Where We Are and What to Do Here:
We are in Rrogam, one of the group of houses at the furthest end of the Valley. From here you can walk (5 min) to the small restaurant at Kol Gjoni’s, or 20 minutes west to the restaurant at Fushe e Gjes. A walk into Valbona Qender will take 30-40 minutes.
Being in Rrogam puts visitors in a good place to explore the western reaches of Valbona Valley, and of course to begin the walk to Theth. From our house you can easily explore routes to Kukaj, Maja e Rosit, or begin the walk to Jezerces Lakes and the ‘long way around’ to Theth. To the south you have the possibility of exploring Zhaborre and Çeta Harushës, or begin the western path to the ‘lost village’ of Curraj i Eperm. From our house it is about 1 hour to Gjelaj (often labelled “Rrogam” in maps), the start of the Qafa e Valbonës trail to Theth. A nice day walk from here is to the Burimi i Valbonës – the waterfall which is the source of the Valbona River.
If you are interested in learning more about – and participating in – our way of life, we are happy to arrange day activities for you. Ilirjan can show you round the bees and help you make your own honey. Tone and Lumterija would honestly really enjoy teaching you to stitch carpets or knit papuce (sock-slippers). In season, the children can take you to pick the traditional Çaj Mali (mountain tea) – Or if you’re interested in learning to cook Malësori-style, we’re happy to show you how. Farm activities vary with the season, but there’s always something that needs doing! Rates per day for a “cultural guide” are generally 30€.
Contact & Reservations:
Please feel free to contact us directly. Ilirjan’s telephone number is 355 (0)6728 97 046. Please be aware that telephone reception is not reliable in Rrogam, and that the only language spoken in our house is Albanian (Shqip), although Ardit and Ardita have been learning English with Catherine (but it’s only been 2 months!). We accept payment in cash, Albanian Lek or Euro. If you let us know you’re coming, we’re happy to reserve rooms (or beds) for you. If your plans change we will understand, but we do ask that you please let us know – then we can give the room to someone else! We have a good 4WD vehicle, and are happy to arrange transport for you. [nb: Please feel free to email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org. She (I) will let you know if she (I) is (am) able to pass on the reservation].