9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

Albania is a place often misunderstood.  Between Montenegro and Greece lies a hidden paradise that, more often than not, people miss or don’t even know where it is on a map.  I feel in love with Albania. Its landscapes are vast, the people are friendly and I felt safe at all times.  There is so much to see and do in Albania but here are 9 reasons why you need to visit Albania right now.

 

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. The most beautiful beaches in Europe

Albania has some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in Europe and even the world.  The best part?  Although the Albanian Rivera is probably the most touristic place in Albania the crowds are nothing compared to other parts of Europe.  When you arrive in Albania head straight for the Rivera and explore some of the hidden paradises that are waiting to be discovered.  With crystal blue water, white sand beaches and cheap beer, you will be happy with your decision to come here instead of Corfu where you will pay triple the amount.  Beaches like Ksamil, which is pictured above is not to be missed.  Also, take a look at Butrint beach that is equally as beautiful.  There are great bus links between the beaches but don’t expect to find a timetable online.  You are better off to ask a local and go with the flow.

 

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. The people are incredibly friendly, trustworthy and honest

While travelling the world I have met some really lovely people but Albanians stood out to me.  From 20 men yelling and running after the bus that I was just about to miss to the locals welcoming me and telling me they are happy I picked Albania to travel around, every single person I met was friendly.  Even though a majority of people who I asked directions didn’t speak a word of English they always lead me to someone who did or gave me recommendations on where to go, etc.  The Albanian people are really helpful and have great hospitality too.  Trust is extremely important to Albanians so you can count on them if you ever need something.  They are also very generous!  Expect to be treated like a queen and given endless amounts of Rakia (equivalent to moonshine).

 

  1. Albania has many beautiful castles and historic sites

There is are UNESCO heritage sites, beautiful castles and ancient forts dotted all around the country.  Butrint has Roman ruins dating back 2000 years ago along with Berat and Gjirokastra, which also have UNESCO sites that you should definitely visit.

 

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. The history is fascinating

Albania went through some tough shit, there’s no other way to say it.  The country was under a tight communist rule for 47 years.  During that time, Albanians were controlled with just about everything.  It was the first all atheist country in the world in 1967 as all religion was banned in the communist era.  If you want to learn more and gain a better understanding about the history then don’t forget to go the National History Museum in Tirana.

 

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. It’s got character, lots of character

Out of all the places I travelled to in Europe I say Albania has the most character.  I don’t think I have laughed to myself more times than I did in Albania.  Visiting the town of Shkoder I felt like I had travelled back in time.  You will feel like this all over Albania.  You really have to be prepared to go with the flow and not have much planned for your visit to Albania.  If you are trying to research when a bus is, or how long it will take, I would stop now.  Just ask the locals, it’s the best way.  Bus times change often but are usually reliable.  The country has a charming personality.  To sum it up, one of my favourite saying while I was there was ‘aye?’ with a confused look on my face.  It will sometimes feel as though you’re travelling in the old days but that’s one of the huge positives about Albania.  Don’t expect your trip to be boring!

 

  1. It’s super affordable

This has got to be one of the top 3 countries when it comes to affordability.  Expect to purchase a litre of wine for a couple of euros or a main meal for only a few.  If you’re on a budget this is the perfect place to come.  If not, you will live like kings!  A bed at a hostel can cost 5-10 euros, it’s insane.  Also, another great thing is the portion sizes.  Let’s just say you get value for money and being a total tight-arse when it comes to money, Albania is heaven.

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. Natural beauty

From rolling mountains and beautiful beaches along with colourful waters, it’s no wonder Albania is a paradise for nature lovers.  Most of Albania is filled with mountainous territory giving it marvellous views and many natural wonders.  One of which is not to be missed is called the Blue Eye, or Syri i kaltër in Albanian. It’s located in the South, not far from Sarandё. This natural spring is a phenomenon that still cannot be explained.  It’s extremely colourful but be warned, the water is super cold.

 

  1. It’s a safe travel destination

There seems to be a misunderstanding of Albania and unfortunately, majority of that comes from the movie ‘Taken’ and other Hollywood films.  Let’s get this straight, Albanian people are not off the movie ‘Taken’.  They are extremely humble and trustworthy people so please stop associating Albanians with sex traffickers from the movie.  There are bad people everywhere in the world, no matter which country you go to.  I felt a lot safer in Albania than I did in other popular European cities.  As a woman travelling alone I never felt targeted, uncomfortable or harassed.  In fact, Albanian men are very respectful.  I even went to an Albanian club and never once felt objectified like I have in other European, American and New Zealand clubs.  Hitchhiking in Albania is extremely common with tourists and sometimes the only way to get from A to be B if you want to get off the beaten path.  Although I didn’t try hitchhiking myself, I do know of people that basically hitchhiked throughout the country and can vouch that they felt safe the entire time.

9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania  9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

  1. Albanians love foreigners!

They welcome you with open arms and open hearts, that’s when you know it’s a great travel destination.  “Where are you from?”, is a popular question expect when travelling around Albanian.  When stated “New Zealand” their faces lit up with happiness, joy and a little confusion at times. Yes, New Zealand is a long way.

 

Albanian really made an impression on me and I am so happy to be sharing 9 reasons why you should come and enjoy the country too.  I could name about 100 more!  I loved it so much that I plan to visit Albania multiple times this year to see more of the country as I still have so much more to see and experience in Albania.

 

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9 Reasons Why You Need To Visit Albania

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17 Comments

  1. June 2, 2017 / 1:34 am

    Haven’t been yet, but 2 & 9 make me more likely to go.

  2. June 3, 2017 / 2:10 am

    Going to Albania this summer, super excited!

  3. June 3, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Although I live in Greece which is next to Albania, I have never visited. Friends can confirm what you are saying, the friendly people, the affordable destination and the historic cities. A destination I am planning to visit soon.

  4. June 3, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    I went to Albania last year, and I loved it! Hoping to go back when it’s summer (I was there in autumn and it was getting quite chilly already).

  5. June 4, 2017 / 5:16 am

    To us, Albania has always had such a negative image but it looks beautiful, from the architecture to the natural beauty of the beaches.

  6. gokulr27
    June 4, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    More the offbeat it gets, more the merrier. This country seems perfect for an introvert like me.

  7. June 4, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Good list! Unfortunately, I have so far only spend 1 night in Tirana. But I’d love to go back to explore Albania fully.

    Happy travels!
    C

  8. June 4, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    The line about the movie Taken is spot on. I never considered going to Albania before because of it haha But I’m definitely going within the year, right after Montenegro. 😀

  9. Nisha
    June 6, 2017 / 5:22 am

    What a time for me to read this. We have plans of going almost there and our plans does not include Albania 🙁 We turn to Croatia from Montenegro. The photos make me feel that I need to visit during my next visit to that region.

  10. June 6, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Albania looks so enchanting. The landscapes look so bewitching. Would love to head over there and commune with lovely nature out there.

  11. June 7, 2017 / 8:39 am

    These genuinely look like the most gorgeous beaches in Europe Anita. Dreamy! Thought I was looking at images of Fiji for something.

    Ryan

  12. June 8, 2017 / 1:32 am

    You have me convinced! It sounds like Albania is a perfect destination for tourism, I’m surprised that it hasn’t taken off as one of the major destinations in Europe. Though I guess if it was inundated with crowds that may take away from it’s appeal and start to affect it’s natural beauty as we’ve seen happen in other places. It’s great to hear that the people are so warm and welcoming – it’s interesting that when we hear about a country we literally know nothing about, we treat it with suspicion about whether or not it’s safe. Jumping to conclusions, especially about places like this, means we miss out!

    I hope I can visit Albania soon – thankyou for introducing me!

  13. June 16, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I think we often fall for the innocent ones. A place where innocence and serenity lies. I always feel some sort of pride and unexplainable fulfillment whenever I get to see places that are not common for people.

  14. June 17, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    I think Albania is one of the precious secrets of Europe and that’s why it’s on my list! And you just persuaded me more!

  15. July 16, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    In my country we used to call the North Korea of Europe and, before the dictatorship, very few people knew about this country! I am not surprised to see what you say about the beaches… This is a south Mediterranean country, hence the landscape shouldn’t be very different than the one you find in Greece, Spain, Italy or Greece. And yeah, its because must be very empty compared to its neighbors! I still have to discover more of Europe. I am from Europe myself but I’ve seen more than Asia and Africa than Europe itself. Another destination to put in the bucket list. Cheers!

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