If you comply with any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you’re right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you’ve gotten undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining an increasing number of consideration not too long ago for vacationers on the lookout for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months firstly of 2021 dwelling in Albania, and I am a type of individuals who gained’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra nations since then, each time individuals ask, “what country has been your favorite” or “what country left the greatest impression,” the reply is at all times Albania.
Here Are Some Things That Surprised Me The Most About Albania:
Keep The Promise
The very first thing that stunned me probably the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals you will discover 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 might need heard individuals seek advice from “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan individuals might sound 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 inform you the variety of instances we’ve 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 tip 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 retaining the promise of peace.
For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the driving 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 cellphone, scary proper?
Upon taking my cellphone he known as our guesthouse and found out the place it was, after which proceeded to principally maintain our fingers 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 a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in reputation for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania isn’t such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we had been stunned 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 buddies shortly as there was a fairly well-established group 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 figuring out this and was nonetheless stunned at how little you possibly can spend right here and reside comfortably.
My residence in Saranda price beneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and good TVs. I have buddies who pay beneath $300 a month for his or her residence as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be carried out.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported gadgets) could be very low cost as properly.
However, one factor to grasp is you can 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 every single place you go!
In the tip, it’s all about the way you need to reside, however do remember that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so ensure to grasp 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 speak concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that looking for the Albanian Riviera, and for good motive.
Albania has probably the most stunning seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unbelievable.
Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you possibly can take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into an increasing number of 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 understand, although, is that whereas not practically as crowded as different standard European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While beautiful, I was so stunned that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually on the lookout for a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll most likely insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (critically).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there shall be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every part in between.
One factor that I couldn’t consider 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 essential, actually, that it has simply turn out to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll possible be stunned to see how simple many of the nation is to discover by way of public busses and, after all, by renting a automotive.
Yes Means No And No Means Yes
While English is extensively 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 tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears and appears 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 might get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay precipitated 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 energy, although!
But critically, in case you are on the lookout for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with great individuals and engaging tradition… the reply is at all times 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 taking place day by day!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your electronic mail deal with to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s newest breaking journey information, straight to your inbox.
This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com