Peja

Not to be confused with Pécs.

Peja (Peja/Pejë in Albanian or Peć in Serbian), is a city in northwestern Kosovo.

Understand

Peja overlooking Rugova Gorge

Peja "City of Tourism" has a rich cultural and historical inheritance being host to a UNESCO world heritage site, access to another one and surrounding by stunning nature. The city lies in northwestern part of Kosovo, at the foot of Bjeshkët e Nemuna (Accursed Mountains) and Rugova Canyon, between 42o and 40o of parallels of Northern hemisphere and between the 20o and 18o of meridians. The municipality of Peja in total has a surface of 603km2, while urban part has a surface of 20km2. The altitude of the city is 521m above the sea level, and the highest peak is 2,522m at the place called Guri i Kuq (Red Stone) in Bjeshkët e Nemuna Mountains. You only need to pass through Rugova Canyon once, to notice its incomparable beauties but also to realize that the valley is hiding many undiscovered treasures from its seekers. Peja lies on the banks of Lumbardh River springing from Bjeshkët e Nemuna with a length of 63km after which it joins the longest river in Kosovo Drini i Bardhe. The spring of Drini i Bardhe is also in Peja municipality in the village Radavc, where has created marvelous and attractive waterfalls for the visitors along-side its length of 30m. Peja with the Rugova Canyon besides its beauties and numerous surprises like lakes, waterfalls and marvellous caves has been a stage of a past filled with myths, legends and incomparable historical heritage.

Population

The entire region is inhabited by 180,000 citizens; more than 100,000 are concentrated in the city of Peja. In the last decade there is a huge settlement of the population in the city, due to better living conditions and more employment opportunities. The majority of the population is Albanians who are approximately 90%, while the rest of 10% is comprised of Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Roma, etc.

Climate

The climate in Peja is continental with a cold winter and relatively hot summers. Autumn brings heavy rains and there are mild temperatures during the spring. People of Peja likes a lot winter season especially when is snowing as they use this opportunity for skiing.

Tourist Promotion office

Talk

Albanian and Serbian languages are official, though other languages as Bosnian and Rom are used and spoken. The dominating language is Albanian. English language is quite popular in Peja; the majority of local youths speak fluent English.

Get in

By car

To get to Peja, you can use several Kosovo border crossings with neighbouring countries. The nearest city in Republic of Montenegro is Rozhaje, which is 40km away, while border point Kulla is only 15 km from the center of the Peja. The Qakor border point, which passes through Rugova Canyon, is currently closed to motorized traffic and pedestrians alike.

From Albania you can use two border crossing points, through Qafa e Morines using the Tirana-Pristina highway getting out to Prizren, and the second connection through Qafa Thana border point to Gjakova than Peja.

From the capital of Macedonia, Skopje, you can use Hani i Elezit border point, continuing to Pristina which is 80km away from Peja. As well you can use “Globoqica” border point passing by Sharr Mountains continuing through Prizren and Gjakova which is 120km from Peja.

From Serbia, you can go through Merdare border point to Pristina, continue to Peja, and then go through the border point Jarinje, through Mitrovica.

By plane

The nearest airport is Prishtina International Airport Adem Jashari, located 65km away, where you can get a taxi or a bus to reach Peja.

By bus

Direct buses:

From Montenegro:

By train

Get around

You can easily get around Peja on foot, it's probably the best way of seeing the city. If you're tired or in a hurry there are numerous taxis available for little money; the average cab ride doesn't exceed €2. If you prefer you can also use one of the city buses that cover the town for €0.50.

See

Ethnographic Museum (Konaku i Tahir Beut)gaia
The Monastery of the Patriarchate of Pec

Further afield

Boge in Winter, Rugove
Rugova Gorge

Do

Parks

Peja is known as one of the cities with most green areas in Kosovo, is called as well as “Green Peja”. In Karagaç neighborhood is located “Big Park”, in the central part of the park is a beautiful artificial lake surrounded by flowers of variety of plants and trees. During the summertime, many people visit the park for relax, fun and jogging. Peja Big Park has its legend; the biggest part of the park in ancient times was used as graveyard.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

There are more than 375 different types of herbs that grow on Bjeshkët e Nemuna including Leontopodium Alpinum, Primula Auricula, Gentiana Hyphylla, Blueberries, Chamomile, Mountain Tea, White Spruce, and Picea Abies.

Fauna

Various species of wild animals common to the Balkans live in the territory of Bjeshkët e Nemuna, but in the Rugova Valley, there are also several species of endangered animals, including the European marble pole cat, Wild Rooster, Lynx, Viper, Wild Cat, Brown Bear, Rupicapra, Wolf, Fox and Golden Eagle.

Sports

ski center

Peja is well known for sports and sport successes were a lot of youth are practicing various sports. Most famous sports are basketball, football and handball. Peja clubs have been many times Kosovo champions in many sports, though individual sports are developed as well like karate, judo, athletics, boxing and of course skiing.

Peja paragliding

Extreme sports

Talking about extreme sports you will see that Peja is one of Kosovo's cities with the largest attendance extreme sports such as: hiking, paragliding, freestyle skiing, mountain bike, snowshoes trekking, rock climbing, caving etc. With their respective clubs like: ”Marimangat e Pejes", "Aragoniti", “Klubi i Ciklistive” etc.

Events

For the fact that that Peja is an ancient cultural city and known by various handicrafts should be noted that of complete certain periods in Peja can encounter various fairs and events such as memorials, concerts and exhibitions. Some of the fairs and events that Municipality of Peja organizes are:

Buy

Peja has a few malls and around 100 stores. You can shop for anything you want. You can find all sorts of items, electronic, ceramic and granite tiles (Qeramika DEKOS), clothes and groceries in fair prices. Most furnished stores are located in and around the center. Meanwhile in the suburbs in some places you only find the basics.

Traditional costumes

A special segment of the commercial life in Peja is crafts who are mainly located in Çarshia e Gjate (Old Bazaar) exercising their knowledge in their shops like: traditional Albanian Plis makers (wool hats), dress makers, shoe smiths, watch smiths, gold and silver artisan works, barbers etc. Some of these crafts already disappeared or is exercised by an individual as the legacy and memory of the past. The most decorated pieces of local costumes for the females are shirts, waists, socks and for men’s costume, socks and the waist. Besides costumes, different textile products are very interesting. The uniqueness of the textile it’s not only in the working techniques but a complex of different factors like colors and motives through which the woman of this region are presented as wonderful weavers and painters that have sometimes made masterpieces. In the village of Rugova traditional costumes are still worn with a lot of dignity and in the national museum and in different galleries are exposed traditional costumes and handicrafts from the region. The uniqueness of the traditional clothing’s and other objects of the Peja culture can be found by visiting the Ethnographic Museum which is located in the nearby Haxhi Zeka Square.

Eat

Gastronomy of Peja is characterized with authentic and original food, freshly cooked from milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, honey, forest tea, pie, flija (corn pie), kaqamak, boiled cheese, leqenik and healthy bread from corn. At the restaurants you can always find traditional, oriental and european gastronomy.

In Peja restaurants and hotels beside the Wine of Radavci known for its high quality it is served "Peja Beer" produced in Peja, using natural water from the spring of Drin i Bardhe. Besides from alcoholic drinks you can find as well other traditional and oriental drinks like Boza, Salep, Ardiq, Ajron, Shurup Trandafili etc.

Drink

Cafés dominate the appearance of Peja's center. Trendiest places are filled with youth during school breaks and holidays. Locals can sit hours sipping their macchiatos, and there is always time to drink coffee. Most of cafés have free wi-fi connection, and in those which don't you can usually connect to internet by using neighbor cafés wi-fi. As typical in Balkans, smoking is allowed almost anywhere, so don't expect to breathe fresh air in a terrace.

One club in Peja

Tap water in Peja comes from the mountain springs and is safe to drink.

The best beer from Kosova Birra Peja is brewed in Peja and you can order it in practically every café and restaurant.

Local strong alcohol, raki, is worth trying. Drink a shot after eating to stimulate your digestion or let it warm your body in cool night in the mountains.

Try the wine from the Rahovec region, it's the only local wine in Peja. They serve it as the house wine at "Art Design," and you can also find it in most supermarkets. It's a light-bodied wine, with a clean taste.

In Peja restaurants and hotels beside the Wine of Radavci known for its high quality it is served "Peja Beer" produced in Peja, using natural water from the spring of Drin i Bardhe. Besides from alcoholic drinks you can find as well other traditional and oriental drinks like Boza, Salep, Ardiq, Ajron, Shurup Trandafili.


Bars

Peja is not a city known for night life, but for local youth there are plenty of places where you can spend the afternoon and evenings. Most frequented pubs are: Green bar, Exit bar, Home café, Café Café, Prince Coffee House, Jazz bar, Gemvara. All these bars are located in the city center.

Clubs

Also for the older age groups in the restaurants and hotels of the city of Peja, during weekends you can have dinner under the sound of old traditional urban music. This pleasure you can experience at Hotel Dukagjini, Hotel Cocktail and Art Design Restaurant.

Sleep

Hotel Dukagjini

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 25, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.