Llogara National Park Albania, Vlorë

Llogara National Park

The Llogara National Park is a national park situated inside the Ceraunian Mountains facing the Albanian Riviera in the southwestern corner of Albania, spanning an total area of 10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi). The park terrain includes large mountain meadows, vertical rock faces, precipices, as well as numerous peaks. Forests occupy the majority of the territory. It was established in 1966 to protect several ecosystems and biodiversity of national importance.

The climate of Llogara is mediterranean, having hot summers and generally warm to cool, dry winters. The park falls within the Illyrian deciduous forests terrestrial ecoregion of the Palearctic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub up to 600 metres (2,000 ft) above the sea level. The flora of the park is diverse and is characterized with high endemism due to the combination of southern geographic latitude and high altitude variation. The forests are composed of diverse species of deciduous and coniferous trees such as bosnian pine, black pine, bulgarian fir, silver fir, ash trees, kermes oak, tree heather, prickly juniper, common box, spurge laurel, spindle, european yew and so on. The vertebrate fauna of the national park consists of large number of species. Among the species of highest conservation value are Griffon vulture, Golden eagle, Rock partridge, Fallow deer, Roe deer, European wildcat, Chamois, Red squirrel, Eurasian otter, European otter, Stone marten, Wolf and the Red fox.

Llogara is a popular tourist destination. Tourism is the most important sector in the park and has the largest potential to be a source for sustainable income. Along the SH8 there are several restaurants, hotels, and a small wooden cabin complex. The area of the park and the surrounding mountains are used mainly for hiking and tracking tours. A paragliding site serving annually as the 9th FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship venue is located south of Llogara. Along the twisting road are several local vendors of honey and mountain tea. Caesar's Pass (Albanian: Qafa e Cezarit) named after Julius Caesar who marched down near the area in pursuit of Pompey is also located near Llogara Pass. Air currents that flow through the area have caused trees to bend in many interesting shapes, such as the Pisha e Flamurit.