During the early centuries of Christianity the Region of Himara has played an important role as being part of the Byzantine Empire. On the first millenia Himara was a member of the Despotate of Epirus and for some years it also played the role of the capital. During the Ottoman period the most serious problem for the Church was the massive return to Muslims.
(Approximately 5 km south from Drymades) Just after passing the village of Ilias on your right is a narrow road that leads to the beach of Gjipe. The area of Gjipe, a former Albanian military outpost, is home to the Monastery of Saint Theodore. The monastery was originally built in the 14th century, but was not finished until nearly 500 years later in 1860, with construction funded by contributions from other neighbouring monasteries.
Although today it remains in an abandoned state, again efforts have been made to renovate the monastery to its old glory. In addition to the old ruins, there are various remains of the communist era within the monastery when used as a military base. The monastery has been visited by tourists a few years ago when a narrow road was built for cars ending in a vacation square a few hundred meters from the monastery. Continuing towards the coast the road takes you to Gjipe beach, a beautiful and clean beach hidden inside the narrow neck of Gjipe Canyon.
Part of the descent will be on foot on narrow, rocky paths; extreme caution should be exercised when descending or ascending these paths to the beach. Admission is free to the monastery, though a small donation for its upkeep is encouraged.