The Bikaj's

Energetic - LIVELY - FUN

The Bikaj's are an incredibly warm, welcoming and lively bunch to say the least.

They are a big family of nine; they have two parents and seven children aged 22 to 3.

Gazmend, Lule & Fonsi

The family's father, Gazmend, is as charismatic as they come. He is nearly always in high spirits and loves to socialise, sing (usually at random) and engage with visitors - not speaking their language is never a barrier for him! However, when it comes to his work, he is incredibly dedicated, and this has earned him a lot of respect within the local community.

The same goes for his wife, Lule, an incredibly tenacious and accomplished shepherdess in her own right. Being a mother of seven means that Lule must take necessary measures to keep her sometimes chaotic family in check. However, she is an affectionate and understanding caregiver.

Their first-born son, Fonsi, is 22 and one of The Shepherd's Way Albania guides. As the eldest son of his family, he had to take on a lot of work and responsibility from a young age. Like his father, he balances hard work with a positive, playful attitude. He loves his family and is incredibly close with his youngest brother Valdjon. Still, like many older brothers, he also loves to be cheeky and poke fun at them occasionally – much to the entertainment of his family, visitors and himself.

Valentina, Valeriana & Agneza

Next in line is 21-year-old Valentina, a girly-girl through and through. She loves fashion and beauty and any excuse to get dressed up. She is currently working her first independent job as a cook and cleaner at one of the local guesthouses in Lepushë.

18-year-old Valeriana is somewhat more introverted than her older sister but is just as sweet. She runs the home when her parents are away at work and is a very capable cook!

Next comes Agneza. She is 16 and like her other sisters, she has a girly side but also loves to sing and dance (and occasionally twerk). All the older girls are very good at caring for their younger siblings and "Stan" when their parents are out working with their animals or farm.

Albona, Vilson & Valdjon

Albona is child number five and more of a tomboy than her older sisters. This 13-year-old loves reading (Harry Potter is her favourite series), is good in school and is very active – she is almost always the first to jump up at any opportunity to play a game outside when living in the high pastures. Apart from Fonsi, she also speaks the best English from everyone at home, and she aspires to be a vet or a ballerina one day - she can't yet decide ;)

10-year-old Vilson is the second youngest in the family, and he also is very playful and enjoys going outside to play with his youngest brother or neighbours. Like most 10-year-olds, he loves to play video games on his father's phone when he can, but he also has a passion for music. He once sat and played with one of our guest's guitar for several hours, strumming late into the night...

Finally comes 3-year-old Valdjon. He's your typical boisterous toddler, running around the home and getting into whatever trouble he can. He's as adorable as he is cheeky, so he loves all the attention he can get from his family or visitors.

Every family member has specific duties to uphold when living in their summer encampment in "Bjeshk". Sometimes it's taking the animals out to graze. Other times it's cooking, preparing dairy products, keeping the home tidy, caring for the animals or working on their farm. By staying with the Bikaj's for a day (or a few), you will have the opportunity to experience their unique lifestyle and make memories you will never forget!

Meet our other host families!