After much umming and ahhing we have finally decided on a destination for our next European holiday and it may not be the one that immediately springs to mind: it’s Albania.
The first thing most people have asked us when we’ve told them this is “why Albania?”
It is a destination we came to in a roundabout way, after initially considering Croatia. (Thanks to some amazing stories we’ve heard about it from friends and some gorgeous photos I’ve seen on Instagram).
However, thanks to its growing popularity, prices in Croatia have leapt up in recent years. Some of the blogs I’ve read also spoke about over-crowding in some of the more popular areas. So instead we moved on to Montenegro, before Albania appeared on our radar.
Once we started researching it we realised it had so much to offer. So here’s five reasons why I think a holiday in Albania should be on your travel list.
1. Albania’s stunning scenery
As soon as I opened a guidebook on Albania I was captivated by its variety of landscapes and scenery. From the beautiful national park of Thethi in the north, with what looks like amazing hikes. To the Albania Riviera in the south, where a string of stunning beaches follow one another.
After the fun of our Spanish roadtrip last year, we decided to hire a car in Albania to give us the freedom to explore more.
Unfortunately our schedule means that we’re not going to have time to travel north to the Alps, but we can’t wait to check out the beaches of the Ionian Coast. We’re particularly looking forward to the coastal drives we’ve read so much about.
2. Albania’s history
Albania’s long and colourful history means that it has a lot to offer history aficionados. From its Ottoman-era castles right up to the relics of the recent communist regime its inhabitants lived under.
We’re starting our holiday in Albania in the capital of Tirana, which still bears the hallmarks of communist architecture. We’ll then experience a total contrast at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gjirokastra, which has a castle and beautifully preserved Ottoman architecture.
3. The Albania Riviera
Forget France and Italy, the Albanian Riviera is where it’s at apparently. Although these once secret beaches are no longer as off the beaten track as they used to be and are now packed during the summer months. We’re travelling out of season though, so are hoping to discover some of the hidden magic for ourselves!
4. The cost of travelling in Albania
During the planning of our holiday in Albania we have been amazed at how cheap things are. The flights themselves came in at £110 each and a hire car for two weeks was only £90. AirBnBs and apartments are also hovering around the £30 a night mark.
If you’re looking to keep costs down for your 2020 holiday, Albania may just be the way to go.
5. The people of Albania
One of the things I’m most looking forward to is meeting some of the people of Albania. Without fail, every single review I have read of the country has highlighted how friendly people are and how much they will go out of their way to help you.
I have also read that they are very welcoming to children, which will be perfect for our little adventurer who loves meeting new people.
Our holiday in Albania begins in just two weeks and we can’t wait to get started. I’ll be sharing moments from our trip across all of my social media channels, so if you have any specific questions about Albania, please feel free to get in touch!
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