A day to Pellumbas Cave, the oldest human settlement in Tirana

Pellumbas Cave is situated 25 km far from Tirana. It is one of the oldest settlement in Tirana region, belonging to the Palaeolithic period, 30 000-50 000 years ago. 

It was discovered in 1995 when the scientists studied the findings inside, the age of stalactites and stalagmites and put this cave in the map of natural monuments of Albania. Pellumbas Cave is the 6th cave of this kind in Europe, though it is somehow small comparing to others. But its importance is very big because of its age.

Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

How to go there

You drive from Tirana in the national road Tirane-Elbasan. You turn left as you see the sign heading to Pellumbas Village and Theater Kame. The road is good until you reach the center of Pellumbas village, which is restored lately and have a very modern info point. You can ask there for the maps, buy souvenirs and also rent a flashlight or a hat to use them for your trip to Pellumbas Cave. Sportive shoes are a must for this long trip to the cave.

You start the very tight path, climbing to the mountin. The road is marked with many signs, and you have some benches where to rest during your trip. You have to mind your steps because the terrain is risky. It takes from 40 -60 minutes the walk until you reach the cave. If you look down the nature it is amazing and rewarding.

Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

The Erzen river is flowing down in its valley, between mountains. Everything is green and beautiful. You reach the cave and for a moment you feel stunned by its huge entrance and the giant rock on it.

No one can resist without a photo in the entrance of the cave. Then you enter inside, but the dark starts to be deeper and deeper. It is impossible to walk without a good flashlight. We had as a guide a young boy, about 11 years old from the village named, Orgito. He knows very good the place and he showed us the way.  For a person who visit this place for the first time is somehow scary. Bats are flying everywhere above our heads. The noise of water falling from the ceiling broke the silence inside the cave. Mind your steps all the time, because you can slide and fall into the mud.

Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

You open your eyes and start to see the figures and shapes created by stalactites and stalagmites. Some shapes looks like animals, some like people. The place is like a magic if you see with good light. At the end you see the main hall, where the maximum high is 45 m. The cave has a length of 360 m with a width which can vary between 10–15 m. All the tour inside the cave can last 15-20 minutes. After seeing the cave we started the way back to the mountain path.

Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

A good lunch at Pashai Restaurant

After that tough journey we reach to Pellumbas center, and went to Pashai Restorant. This restorant is managed by 2 brothers Duqi. This family is oldest in the area, and they are more than 60 families with the same surname in the village. Bardhi Duqi, one of the owners comes himself to take the order. He is so nice and shows us not only the menu, but explaining the dishes which are unique for this village. The best you can taste is the pie with different products such as with cottage cheese, with rice, tomatoes, nettles etc. The bread is modemade by the family. The salad, fresh cheese are also part of menu. All these fresh village foods you can accompany with good wine from the area, but also a glass of buttermilk is fine. The prices are very cheap for such a delicious and healthy food. Bardhi explains that especially the breakfast menu is the best he can offer. For the breakfast you have mountain tea, fresh milk, cheese, a special dish with eggs and cottage cheese, pie, ‘trahana’, pancakes with honey. All the breakfast will cost from 500 leke- 800 leke/ person, depends on your appetite. Bardhi says that is better to have a good breakfast and then to climb the mountain to the cave, so you have good energy to afford it. All he wants is the client to be satisfied and to come again for a lunch or a breakfast, not only to come here once for a visit to the cave. Agroturisim is the business where all his family focused their efforts, so he wants Pellumbas be heard even for the good culinary.

We left Pellumbas very tired, but happy, hopping to come again and bring friends to this beautiful and hospitable area. 

Pellumbas Cave in Tirana

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