Albania is a beautiful Mediterranean country, which is called the last secret of Europe.
Far from the classic tourist circuits, Albania is a still unknown destination and a still well-kept secret in Europe. And yet the country is a real treasure nestled in the heart of the Balkans. Located on the Balkan Peninsula and surrounded by Greece and Italy, Albania is full of surprising landscapes. With a territory made up mainly of forests and mountains, it is the ideal place for lovers of nature and outdoor activities. The 300 kilometers of coastline bordering the Adriatic Sea are full of idyllic beaches with Mediterranean charm. Endowed with a very rich cultural and historical heritage, Albania also called the land of eagles, is one of those places which have kept all their authenticity. Between its cosmopolitan capital Tirana, its large lakes to the east, its sunny coast, and the Albanian Alps, the country has plenty to delight any traveler. And that’s without counting the good humor and relaxed welcome of the Albanians! Make travel to Albania is the guarantee of an authentic trip off the beaten track in the heart of Europe.
UNESCO castles in many cities like Durres Berat, Gjirokaster. Blue beaches with turquoise waters and a boat tour to Karaburun is a unique experience
Further north, towards central Albania, is the beautiful Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Communism shaped most of the country’s architecture, but Berat is an exception, as it has retained a strong Ottoman influence.
With over 2400 years of history, Berat is a real treasure in Albania. A hilltop castle dominates the city and its dozens of small white houses with Ottoman architecture, which has earned Berat the nickname “city of a thousand windows”. The castle and its surroundings still shelter a good part of the inhabitants of Berat.
Gjirokastër is often considered the twin city of Berat, but don’t assume that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen the other. Like Berat, Gjirokastёr has white Ottoman-style houses, but with flatter stone roofs, so unique and well-preserved that the city was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Come and see its cobbled streets, small fortresses, and stone houses, and also discover its culinary wonders.
Berat and Gjirokastёr are not far from each other, and they are well connected by buses. They are essential during a trip to Albania!
Delicious food and lots of wineries
Great wines and delicate cuisine delight gourmets all year round. Lake Constance is a paradise for wine lovers and good food lovers: excursions can be combined brilliantly with good food and wine. Whether it’s multi-course menus in an elegant hotel or a plentiful snack at a winemaker’s – there’s something for everyone. But above all, great importance is attached around Lake Constance to the freshness of the products, their quality, and the regional variety. It is possible to discover in a short time the four countries, their regional specialties, and their wines.
Shala River a big and beautiful surprise for tourists
Life is spent on the banks of the Shala River, a branch of Lake Komani, considered by tourists to be the Albanian Tayland. A little hidden paradise and a perfect getaway to blend in with nature. Exploring by boat gives you an up-close glimpse of its unspoiled nature, wildlife, emerald waters, high mountain boulders towards this corner of Komani Lake, a great surprise for the eyes where life is taking place. During your time here, you will have lunch at one of the three guest houses in the area; you can choose to swim, relax on the patio, or other activities like fly fishing, zipline, or stroll in the woods or by the river to Stupe Creek, for a total of 3.5 hours.
A weekend in Albania, the capital is a mix of modern with past
Albania. Another country that was not, but then not at all, on my bucket list of places to visit. And yet… Landed in Tirana for a professional meeting, there I meet Alma Fortuzi, with her agency Incredible Albania that made me decide to stay an extra weekend to explore.
I highly recommend you to check Incredible Albania if you ever want to explore Albania.
I made great encounters and experienced strong moments. A bit of adventure too… It was a great discovery! So here it is, this trip dates from October 2013, but I still wanted to share it. I just hope to make you want to discover this country!