• Nov 25, 20
  • Albrafting

My name is Alma Spathara, and I was born and raised in Berat, Albania. After completing my high school education in Berat, I pursued a degree in Economics with a specialization in Finance at the University of Tirana. I am happily married and a proud mother of three children. My journey into the world of tourism began when I fell in love with Zamo Spathara, who is now my husband. Zamo’s deep appreciation for nature and his extensive knowledge in the field of tourism ignited my passion for food and travel. Together, we decided to invest in our hometown of Berat, firmly believing that the development of tourism is crucial for the economic growth of our country and for providing employment opportunities for young people, thus curbing emigration. In 1999, we embarked on a remarkable project called “Castle Park.” This touristic complex, consisting of a hotel and restaurant, was built in the most beautiful moment of my life, symbolizing the beginning of my love story with Zamo.

In the same period, we founded Albania Rafting Group, pioneering the introduction of the thrilling sport of rafting to Albania. Our company was the first to offer rafting experiences on rivers such as Vjosa in Permet, Osumi in Berat, Bistrica in Sarande, Drini i Zi in Diber, and Shkumbin in Elbasan. Today, Albania Rafting Group has established itself as a leader in adventure tourism, providing a diverse range of activities to cater to the adventurous spirit of travelers. In addition to rafting, our company offers a wide array of exciting activities such as kayaking, canyoning, hiking, packrafting, off-road tours, snowshoeing, and even cooking classes. We have carefully designed daily and multi-day tours that allow our guests to explore the hidden gems of Albania, promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. At Albania Rafting Group, we are committed to providing exceptional experiences that combine adventure, nature, culture, and culinary delights. Our team of experienced guides ensures the highest standards of safety and professionalism, while our deep knowledge of the local areas allows us to create immersive and unforgettable experiences for our guests. We take pride in showcasing the beauty of Albania’s untouched regions, taking our guests off the beaten path to discover hidden waterfalls, pristine rivers, breathtaking canyons, and charming villages. Our itineraries are carefully crafted to offer a perfect balance of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion, giving our guests a truly authentic and memorable Albanian experience. As a responsible tourism company, we are dedicated to preserving the natural environment and supporting local communities. We adhere to international standards of sustainability and environmental protection, ensuring that our activities have minimal impact on the delicate ecosystems we explore. We also collaborate with local communities, providing economic opportunities and promoting cultural exchange. Albania Rafting Group is proud to be at the forefront of adventure tourism in Albania, continuously striving to expand our offerings and provide unique and enriching experiences for our guests. We invite you to join us on an unforgettable journey through the wild and captivating landscapes of Albania, where adventure, nature, and culture converge. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Walks Worldwide and create exceptional multi-day trips that showcase the best of Albania’s adventure tourism and cultural heritage. Best regards, Alma Spathara Co-founder, Albania Rafting Group

The location of Castle Park holds historical significance, as it is believed to be the place where our national hero Skanderbeg shared his first kiss with his wife, Donika. Inspired by this romantic tale, we created a castle that represents youth and love. Castle Park is a magical destination, meticulously crafted with passion, courage, and attention to detail. Situated just 1.5 km from the city center, it is nestled between a mysterious forest and untouched nature, offering breathtaking views of the majestic Tomorri Mountain and the historic city of Berat, which boasts a rich history spanning 2,400 years. Growing up, I developed a deep appreciation for food, thanks to my two grandmothers who were excellent cooks. They passed down to me the traditional flavors and recipes that have become an integral part of my culinary journey. At our restaurant, we take great pride in offering the best traditional recipes made from hand-picked, locally sourced organic ingredients. Our commitment to using fresh, pure, and natural food is the key ingredient in our flavorful dishes. Our goal at Castle Park is not only to provide a memorable dining experience but also to revive ancient recipes that are at risk of extinction, while preserving our food heritage. We work closely with hardworking farmers from the fertile lands of Berat, sourcing the finest ingredients that make our dishes truly exceptional. Olive oil, a symbol of our city, takes center stage in our cuisine. A typical meal at Castle Park begins with freshly baked homemade bread accompanied by white goat butter, local cheeses, and olives. Our menu features a variety of traditional dishes that showcase the rich culinary heritage of Berat. From stuffed grape leaves (Japrak) filled with rice and fresh spices to mouthwatering pies, stuffed peppers, eggplants, and zucchinis, our offerings are a feast for the senses. Other favorites include casseroles with dried goat meat, Fergese (a dish made with peppers, cheese, tomatoes, and liver), Pispilit (a dish made with seven types of wild cabbage), and Berat steak. For dessert, our guests indulge in delights such as gems with wild fig, katmarr, and qumeshtor (a homemade pie with cherry jam). Berat is also renowned for its high-quality wines and brandy, produced from indigenous vineyards. Albanian cuisine is a blend of original recipes influenced by various cultures and cuisines that have left their mark on our history. The Ottoman conquest and Roman influence are particularly evident in our food and recipes. Furthermore, Albania’s strategic location on the map has made it a hub for spice traders throughout history, resulting in a wide variety of spices used in our cuisine. Despite these influences, Albanian recipes remain unique, seamlessly integrating and adapting different culinary traditions. 

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