Vjosa the Blue Heart of Europe

By Klara Kita, Vjosa Explorer

Vjosa River known since the Illyrian times as “The blue heart of Albania” is not just a river for the people who have been living next to it generation after generation. It is an inseparable part of the environment as well as their everyday lives. Along with Vjosa there is something else that floats in the same way as its water does. It is called “life of the heart”. It is a beautiful way for the habitants to express the importance of this magnificent river in the continuation of life.

Coming down from the GreekBlue Heart - Vjosa Explorer 2 mountain of “Pindi” where it is called “Aoos”, the river makes its way to the Adriatic Sea in a 270 km journey. As one of the last wild rivers in Europe, Vjosa keeps the crown in the kingdom of waters. The wildlife which develops inside the river is free just like its own path.

There have been attempts to interfere into this perfect convenience between the river and the environment, but luckily none of those went to the predicted ending. Vjosa itself offers a large range of natural resources and beauty. It is a happy view when you see all the fields green from crops along its path.

Being a wild river with a lot of rocks and rapids along the way, Vjosa is perfect for extreme water sports. There is a beautiful way to use the river’s uniqueness and increase the number of visitors in this natural environment. One of the organisations which has taken seriously the value of it is “Vjosa Explorer” who have IRF certified raft guides.

The wildness of Vjosa and the beauty of the adventure is the perfect combination to have unforgettable memories and fall in love with this magnificent river.

Blue Heart - Vjosa Explorer 1There was a time when news about building dams on Vjosa River held huge demonstrations and it still does. The “Save Vjosa” or “No Dams in Vjosa” slogan is part of every conversation when it comes to protecting our river from getting destroyed from this unapproved interference. There is so much natural value and a huge amount of importance that Vjosa River holds inside its own direction that if we, humans place our hands on it we will bring nothing but destruction.

The river is a very important part of the everyday life of the people who have created a living alongside its path. It is now a harmonic convenience between them and Vjosa. I once asked my father about the dams they are thinking of building and his answer filled me with so much inspiration. He told me: ” Vjosa has been part of my life ever since I began to walk by myself on this land. It was a happiness for my childhood and a living source during the times of my grown-up life. I cannot imagine living here without hearing the sweet sound of Vjosa water. It is not just a river. Vjosa is part of my history.”

After this my father’s statement I have only one thing to say:

Save Vjosa the Blue Heart of Europe, and let its water flow