If you observe any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you’re right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you’ve got undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly consideration not too long ago for vacationers in search of one thing completely different, inexpensive, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months initially of 2021 dwelling in Albania, and I am a type of individuals who received’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra nations since then, every time individuals ask, “what country has been your favorite” or “what country left the greatest impression,” the reply is all the time Albania.
Here Are Some Things That Surprised Me The Most About Albania:
Keep The Promise
The very first thing that shocked me essentially the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals one can find on this nation are a few of the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I have ever encountered in all my years of touring and dwelling overseas.
You may need heard individuals consult with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan individuals may appear a bit tough across the edges, however that is only a little bit of a tough exterior that a few of them have constructed up over time.
I can’t let you know the variety of instances we now have interacted with some gruff older males whom we had been a bit intimidated to strategy at first however ended up consuming rakia round a desk with their household by the top of the dialog.
In Albania, there’s a time period: BESA, which implies to maintain the promise.
This is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the individuals will exit of their method that will help you and make you’re feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and preserving the promise of peace.
Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week
For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the motive force realized we had been not sure the place to go. He didn’t communicate any English and was shouting at us and demanding my telephone, scary proper?
Upon taking my telephone he referred to as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our palms and escort us there, ensuring we had been okay.
We had been actually speechless at how out of his method he went to assist us. This is the Balkan hospitality that I am speaking about. Name one other nation the place this might occur, I’ll wait.
A Not-So-Secret Secret
It’s humorous as a result of most individuals I communicate to about Albania have by no means heard of it, and it appears the one ones who do know are different vacationers and digital nomads.
While it was once a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in reputation for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania just isn’t such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we had been shocked to see so many different ex-pats dwelling right here already.
When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, however it ended up being the one nation the place we made so many mates shortly as there was a fairly well-established neighborhood of ex-pats and locals right here. So, if Albania was a secret earlier than social media, it wasn’t a really well-kept one.
Note: a lot of these we met had been Americans, as we will keep a year visa-free.
From Budget To Bougie
Albania is an affordable destination, that is completely true, and most vacationers who come already know this.
I got here to Albania understanding this and was nonetheless shocked at how little you possibly can spend right here and dwell comfortably.
My condo in Saranda price beneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have mates who pay beneath $300 a month for his or her condo as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be achieved.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported objects) may be very low-cost as nicely.
However, one factor to know is you could additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: turn out to be regulars at a few of the seaside bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of contemporary mussels each time and in all places you go!
In the top, it’s all about the way you need to dwell, however do take into account that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so make sure that to know any rental agreements beforehand.
Many individuals I know had their hire doubled in the summertime, so that is one thing to work out earlier than signing something.
Ok, let’s discuss concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months achieve this in the hunt for the Albanian Riviera, and for good motive.
Albania has essentially the most stunning seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unimaginable.
Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you possibly can get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into increasingly well-known as being as stunning because the Caribbean.
@maldivosaur Best seashores in Albania half 1 #hot #holiday #beach #destination #travel #traveldestinations #albania ♬ Calm Down Andre Soueid – andresoueid
One factor to appreciate, although, is that whereas not practically as crowded as different common European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While beautiful, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually in search of a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll in all probability insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (critically).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be shocked at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there might be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every part in between.
One factor that I couldn’t imagine was the crystal clear green-blue of the Vjosa river that runs from Greece throughout Albania and into the Adriatic Sea.
This river is so stunning and necessary, in actual fact, that it has simply turn out to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania residence for some time, you’ll possible be shocked to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover by way of public busses and, after all, by renting a automobile.
Yes Means No And No Means Yes
While English is broadly spoken in Albania, the official language is Albanian, known as Shqip. When talking Shqip, one factor to concentrate to is how individuals point out sure and no.
Yes is Po, and No is Jo. Not too troublesome, proper?
Now comes the difficult half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears to be like and seems like No to a foreigner.
@maptrekking how cute is that this place?! #albania🇦🇱 #travelalbania #visitalbania #traveltiktok ♬ albania. – ssuzieed
When they imply no, they nod their head up and down and say Jo. Still with me?
If you suppose it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about dwelling it. You would suppose it could get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay brought on some confusion.
Luckily, Albanians are understanding and affected person with foreigners, so it’s all good.
I hope my expertise leads you to e-book that ticket, bus, and even the ferry from Corfu, Greece to discover Albania and all it has to supply.
Don’t inform me I didn’t warn you concerning the Rakia power, although!
But critically, in case you are in search of an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with great individuals and interesting tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the newest reopening information, conversations, and Q&A’s occurring each day!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your e-mail handle to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s newest breaking journey information, straight to your inbox.
This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com