The return of travel has revealed the depth of our drive to explore the world. Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? This year’s list has all these elements and more, writes Alex Crevar in an article, according to “The New York Times”.
In the list of 52 places to travel in 2023, the Vjosa River is also listed.
Cycling through the canyons and valleys of one of Europe’s last natural waterways.
Protecting the Vjosa, as one of the last unprotected rivers in Europe, has not been easy.
After a decade of proposed projects that threatened to alter the waterway’s wild flow, its myriad ecosystems and its valleys filled with ancient communities, the Albanian government signed an agreement last June to create the Wild River National Park of Vjosa.
The realization of this pledge, scheduled to become a reality in 2023, will create a global model of protection by preserving the country’s canyon-covered stretch, a 120-mile stretch of a 169-mile waterway that runs from the Pindus Mountains to Greece to the Adriatic Sea, and including tributaries about 60 miles.
For travelers, on trails such as the new UNESCO cycling route in Albania (opening in January 2023), which runs along the river and visits World Heritage sites such as the city of Gjirokastra, the protection of Vjosa and its river system , with over 1,100 animal species, encourages responsible exploration of alpine settlements, where locals welcome adventurers for coffee, raki (local fruit brandy) and a chance to eat the often-overlooked Balkan food.
Prime Minister Edi Rama, bringing attention to the article in question, describes Vjosa as the queen of the rivers of Europe. According to him, the largest American newspaper, The New York Times, suggests Vjosa among the first in the list of destinations to be visited this year, describing it as a rare beauty, unique ecosystem, which this spring is also baptized as The first National Park of a wild river in Europe, which makes 2023 the year of Vjosa