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Valon

  • Company Website

Guide at a Glance

  • Company

    ETNO

  • Locations

    Prishtina, Kosovo

  • Activities

    Heritage-History Tour, Private Tour, Sightseeing

  • Guiding Experience

    11 years

  • Languages

    Croatian, English

  • Favorite Trip

    Full Day Private Tour of Kosovo

Guide Bio

Get to Know Heritage-History Guide Valon

Imagine touring a hidden gem in the world: Kosovo. Now imagine touring it with a guide who has earned degrees in folklore and ethnology, two areas of study that make for one fascinating person to chat with. Heritage-history guide Valon, dear readers, is the best thing to have hit Eastern Europe’s tourist industry in a long time; he’s revitalizing it, making embarking on a guided tour of Prishtina 100% appealing. We caught up with Valon to learn more about what it’s like to be a tour guide in Kosovo. Be warned: his energy and enthusiasm are contagious.

Valon, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. First off, from your profile, I see you studied ethnology and folklore, two areas of academia that are invaluable to the guiding profession. Did you choose these subjects with guiding in mind, or did entering into the tourist industry come later?

Ethnology and folklore have worked wonders for my career as a guide; my trips are great because they’re packed with fascinating facts and stories. Right after getting my degrees, I entered into the guiding field because I not only wanted to put into practice straight away all the information I learned in University, but I saw a need to promote Kosovo, so I took it upon myself to chip in. In addition to guiding, I work as a curator in the ethnological museum in Prishtina.

You have extensive knowledge of Kosovo’s heritage and history, as well as its people. What are your favorite things about each?

The Republic of Kosovo may only be 10,800 square kilometers large, but we are very rich culturally, and the land is incredibly beautiful. I like that one can see artifacts and archeological locations from the neolithic, Roman, and Greek times. For example, we have beautiful caves that date back millions of years, and they’re some of the best in Europe. I also appreciate that our country is influenced by both the East and West; being multi-dimensional is a gift.

In working as a tour guide in Kosovo, what has been the biggest highlight?

When Madeleinel Albright, a Czechoslovakian-born American politician and diplomat, and the first woman to have become the United States Secretary of State, came to visit!

What are some tips you have for visitors to Kosovo?

Talk to the locals; they know the most interesting things about Albanian history, and they can tell you stories that have been passed on for generations and generations, stories that nobody else knows.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Depending on the season, each day I work for between 5 and 10 hours, but, in reality, it never really feels like I am working because I love my job so much. I live for this stuff. Daily, I meet people from all over the world, which means I have been able to create lasting friendships from America to China. It’s great.

What is the best trip you have ever lead?

Since my goal is to make every trip the best trip, this is too tricky to answer!

Ever had any odd requests from clients?

Since we go by the motto over here that tourists are kings, no request could ever be too odd, wink wink.

Since I’m a stranger to your part of the world, and since you claim, “the food is very tasty and cheap,” I’m curious as to what the cuisine is like. What’s your favorite local dish?

Well, because of our mix of East and West influences, we have some awesome spices going on in our cuisine. The traditional dishes that I most prefer are flija (multiple crepe-like layers brushed with cream and served with our rendition of clotted cream), leqenik (corn bread, often filled with spinach or cheese), and kaqamak (a delicious kind of maize porridge).

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Japan and Canada! I want to visit Japan because of the awesome technology and the rich sense of tradition. Tradition is priceless.

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I am Valon Shkodra from Prishtina-Kosova. Since I graduated from the faculty of Ethnology in 2006 I have worked with tourists. I continued on with my schooling and finished my Masters degree in Ethnology and Folklore. I have also completed a Masters exchange for one year in Finland and participated in some training and workshops in different countries in Europe and the USA.

I have enjoyed guiding so much and have made it my career. Through this work I have made friends from different countries all over the world – I get great joy when I get an email, postcard or letter from them. One of my other motivations for guiding is that I would really like to promote my country – it is the youngest in Europe. It is a safe country, the people are very friendly, the food is very tasty and cheap, and Kosovo is very rich in historic heritage and natural views. Tourist must visit my country Kosovo because it is so unique and has influences from the West and from the East.

Valon's Reviews

  • valonshkodra
    Reply

    Dear, Thank you very much for email and great words. It was my pleasure to do guide in Kosovo for your excellent group. Kosovo is small country but very reach in cultural heritage and beautiful landscape, people are very friendly your welcome any time.

  • kazuko
    Reply

    2015年5月21日発のクラブツーリズムでコソボ、アルバニア、マケドニア3か国6日間ツアーに参加した際に、コソボのガイドValonさんに、私を含めた16名の観光客が大変お世話になりました。さすがヨーロッパの方です。非常に紳士な方で尊敬に当たる方でした。5月のコソボは山肌の草原に黄色い小さな花、赤い花が、いたるところに咲いていて、素朴で静かな美しい国でした。人々の心、Valonさんの心は、昔の日本人がそうであったように情熱があり、親切で、現時点ではヨーロッパの中で、一番新しい国ですが、ずっとこのままであってほしいなと思いました。 Thank you very much Mr.Valon.日本に来られた時は、今度は私が、大阪、京都、奈良、滋賀、和歌山をご案内いたしましょう!!! Translation through google translate: Kosovo in the club tourism May 21 departure, 2015, Albania, when you participate in Macedonia three countries 6 days tour, the Kosovo guide Valon’s, 16 people tourists, including me now very indebtedIt was. Indeed it is more of Europe. It was those very hit the respected gentleman person. Kosovo of May the small yellow flowers in meadows of mountain surface, red flowers, is in bloom everywhere, was rustic and quiet beautiful country. People’s minds, Valon’s mind, there is a passion as old Japanese was so, kind, in at the moment in Europe, but is the best new country, much as Na want to be in this state I think I was. Thank you very much Mr.Valon. When you came to Japan, I now have, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Shiga, let will guide the Wakayama !!!

ETNO

Hi, I am Valon Shkodra from Prishtina-Kosovo. Since 2006 I have been guiding and working with tourists. I offer a wide variety of tours through all of Kosovo including adventure, car, hiking, cycling, food, heritage-history, everyday life, museum, shopping, sightseeing, and skiing tours.

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