The Langarica river valley, part of the Fir of Hotova National Park east of Përmet, is worth visiting for several natural and cultural sights. Bënja village, high up on a hillside overlooking the valley, is a calm spot for a walk and has the pretty 18th-century St Mary's church with its cypress trees and heavy stone slab roof, with a high pulpit and separate rooms for men and women. The annual village festival takes place here on November 21. Back down by the river, you'll soon come across the popular Llixhat e Bënjësthermal springs, where sulpher-rich hot water bubbles up from a deep tectonical fault into several constructed pools along the river. The water and mud are said to be good against all kinds of ailments, but it's also just lovely to soak in the warm water while taking in the rugged landscape - admission is free. As if that's not enough, the pools are framed by the exquisite hump-backed Ottoman-era Katiu bridge, built in the 18th-century at the lowest point in the valley that allowed for stable foundations. At 6 metres high and 15m wide, it's a beauty. Just beyond the bridge the valley narrows dramatically and for 3km becomes the Langarica canyon, with lush vegetation, birdlife and caves.