Ten Reasons to visit Albania
1. Albania is in the belly of Europe. Above Greece, next to Italy. Easily accessible.
While Albania is not accessible by train, although there is a functional railroad connecting us with Montenegro, you can come here by car, boat or plane. We have an international airport called Mother Teresa Airport and three ports connecting us with Italy and Greece, that of Durres, Vlore and Saranda, with Durres being the largest one. If flight tickets are expensive, you can also check the neighboring airports of Skopje, Ohrid (both in Macedonia) or Podgorica in Montenegro. Sometimes, the price difference could save you money for a rental car while you’re here.
2. It is still sort of virgin compared to other touristy destinations.
The coastline is half sandy and half rocky, sometimes more than a couple km long. The best thing is that most of those beaches are almost empty, without people or sunbeds or umbrellas. Just you, your towel and snorkeling gear.
3. The Albanian language is unlike any other.
First, we have our own branch on the tree of Indo-European languages, like Greek and Armenian. Second, our alphabet has 36 letters. Third, in Albanian there is a one-to-one relationship between sounds and letters, and reading and writing Albanian is relatively easy if you know some simple rules
4. People are very welcoming, especially caring toward tourists, without being intrusive.
We have a big heart, it fits everyone. Our motto is, bread and salt. It has a very profound meaning for us. It means everyone is welcomed. Even if there isn’t enough food, we will share it with you. We will also go to extremes to protect you. This is based on the Besa (faith/word of honor) concept. Having said that, we will also respect your privacy. We won’t drag you from your sleeve if you take a look at shops or restaurant menus.
5. The coastline is one of the sunniest in Europe.
Such weather, the British would pay it with gold ducats. The average temperature on the coastline during summer months is 29-30 degrees. Take a look at the map, most of Europe needs more vitamin D.
6. Stunning geographical features, like mountains next to seaside, glacial and alpine lakes, plus a ton of diversity of natural beauty.
Look at the green waters, now look at the mountains in the far distance, now look back at the sandy beach and the cave, now again at the mountains in the background. Although one of the smallest countries of Europe, we have a very diverse geographical position. Look back at the photo, can you say no to that?
7. Plenty of archaeological sites, medieval castles and UNESCO Protected World Heritage Sites. Let’s thrown some communist era remnants to spice the historical aspect.
There are a lot of archaeological sites from the Greek and Roman era, well preserved ones like Buthrotum, Bylis, Apollonia, Amantia, Antigonea, Phoenice, Lower Selca, Durres Amphitheatre etc. A lot of castles like the one in Gjirokaster, Tepelene, Lezhe, Kruje, Shkoder, Berat etc. There are also protected old cities like the Stone City (Gjirokastra) or the City of 1000 Windows (Berat). As a result, we have everything for everyone.
8. Delicious and organic food, from sea products to meats and home grown veggies.
We might not have rich cooking books with thousands of recipes but we do have tasty and healthy veggies, simple cooking methods and you’ll excuse me while I lick my fingers.
9. Still very cheap compared to neighboring countries.
If you click on the above image, you’ll see Albania listed as the 49th country with the most expensive being the first. If you can’t find it, it’s because it is so damn cheap here, we don’t even make it to that list.
10. Albania was the first officially atheist state in the world.
Thanks to this guy, we made it to the history books as the first officially atheist state in the world. This guy, now dead, is Enver Hoxha, our ex-dictator. He was also paranoid. While we could pave our roads 10 times over, we decided to build bunkers. We also destroyed most of the churches and mosques but we still managed to save some, and those are pretty impressive. We also have other religious sites like pagan ones, albeit difficult to find if you don’t have a local guide.
If the above reasons are not enough, follow our blog, plenty of interesting things coming in the near future.