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When countries are « discovered » by the travel community, it often has both negative and positive consequences.
The Balkan country of Albania, which used to go unnoticed, is no exception. Whereas a few years ago this little European gem flew under the radar; It’s clear now that the secret is out.
Having been lucky enough to spend an extended period of time in this fantastic country, I have nothing but praise for it, and its friendly locals wholeheartedly deserve the economic benefits brought to them by their recent tourism boom.
That being said, most of the press in Albania focuses on the coast, or the Albanian Riviera as it is commonly known, and for good reason. The beaches are out of this world, with crystal clear waters, fantastic fresh seafood and impressive cliffs that hug the coastline.
Yes, the country’s coastline ticks all the boxes and then some, but with recent fame comes massive crowds, and a visit to Albania’s beaches in July or August will likely leave you feeling a lot less relaxed than you expected, not to mention. with a lighter. wallet.
@gowithninna A glimpse of the Valbona Valley National Park! Highly recommended! #valbonetropoj #valbonavalleynationalpark #viajestiktok #traveladdicts #albanianantiktok #albanian #mountainlife #hiking ♬ This is Heaven – Nightshade
Summer in Albania is when prices skyrocket and the crowds descend on popular beaches, and while there are miles of beautiful, peaceful wild coastline, it’s unlikely the average traveler will be able to find them.
So your best bet is to spend the summer exploring some of Albania’s inland treasures, of which there are many. Cool mountains will generally lead to cooler temperatures, tourists (and many locals) will all be at the beach, and what’s left is a mix of pretty cobblestone streets, castles, and towns for you to enjoy.
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Please note that the beaches of Albania are it’s worth the hype; only contact them after everyone goes home. September and October are ideal times to explore the coast. Temperatures are still warm, sunbeds are plentiful, and prices are reasonable again.
But before relaxing on the Albanian Riviera in early fall, here are the best places to enjoy stunning Albanian views during the summer.
PS: No car? No problem! The bus system in Albania is surprisingly efficient, just don’t expect apps or websites. Ask the locals around, introduce yourself and wave when you see the oncoming bus. There are many countries where I would like No try this, but in Albania it’s normal and safe. Enjoy the ride and the scenery as you climb the mountain passes and enjoy the views.
With an easy day trip from the capital city of Tirana, you can find one of the most important cities in the country, the historic Kruja. With its grand castle as the main attraction here, the small town sits more than 600 meters above sea level and has panoramic views in every direction.
Famous as the hometown of the national hero Skanderbeg, Kruja receives a large number of visitors. Wander through the quaint bazaars and visit the Skanderbeg Museum on your visit, and sample local foods at the many restaurants.
Tucked away in the east of the country, you can find charming Korca, home to Albania’s first beer. Korca is known for its imprint on Albanian culture and intellectual heritage, and its location made it an important crossroads for caravans of the past, leaving it heavily influenced by Turkish, Greek, Russian and many other cultures.
The drive to Korca from Berat or Tirana is absolutely stunning, and you’ll meander along the shores of Lake Ohrid before reaching the city. Korca is a good starting point for those heading to the Ohird region of North Macedonia afterwards.
@albania360.com The place all year round 😍 #albania360 #albanian #korce #corca #bazaar #travel #fyyyy #viral video #videotrip ♬ I think I like it when it rains – WILLIS
You will pass this imposing little town in the hills on your way to the beach areas of Sarande and Ksamil, but it is worth stopping and perhaps exploring for a few days.
Gjirokaster means the city of stones, and with the uneven paths running up and down the hillside and stone Ottoman houses with stone roofs, you can see why.
Don’t miss the castle grounds for epic views and eat at some of the local spots for dishes you won’t find anywhere else. An hour from Gjirokaster, you can also reach Permet, with the impressive Vjosa River and thermal baths.
@feel.albania 📍Gjirokaster, Albania 🇦🇱 #visitbania #feelalbania #girokaster ♬ original sound – Feel Albania
This 2,500-year-old city looks like something out of a storybook, with its white Ottoman houses cascading down the hills one on top of the other, tiled roofs and wooden window frames as far as the eye can see.
Berat is small and most of it can be seen in one or two days. For a unique experience, stay on the castle grounds, where family-run guest houses and small restaurants cater to locals who have lived there for many years.
If you have time, head out into the hills outside of town and seek out some of the family owned wineries, each offering unique and memorable experiences.
@shqlperia Berat with Kucove 🇦🇱 #shqlperia #heavy #berati #kuçovo #kuçova #southern albania #south #south #alhqiperaemesme #suralbania #centralalbania #kucovare #advise #🇦🇱 #Albania #Albania #perty #albanianculture #albanian traditions #illyria #ilirian #albanian #Albanian #play ♬ original sound – 𐔍𐔑𐔢𐔙𐔍𐔀𐔓 🇦🇱
If you have seen the iconic image of the small church nestled between towering mountains, you may be familiar with Theth. Deep in the heart of the Albanian Alps, you’ll find Theth National Park, increasingly known for its famous Valbona Pass hike.
Home to the other Blue Eye, Theth offers a wealth of ways to explore Albania’s natural beauty. As snow can make roads impassable, Theth is best visited in the warmer months, but it can get busy so plan ahead if you wish to visit.
@ambradashi4 📍Theth ⛰#theth #syrikaltertheth #ujvaragrunasit #endlysaj #viral #albanian ♬ Nexhmije Pagarusha Baresha – Genvis Muça
Plus: if you fly to Albania, you’ll land in Tirana, take a few days off and explore this quirky city. Street cafes and al fresco dining at all hours of the night, the spy museum or bunker museum, and rooftop restaurants are all reasons to explore this safe little town for a taste of big city Albanian life. .
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com