• Albania,
    © Ollirg / 123RF
  • Albania
    © iStockphoto.com / Gosiek-B
1      
  • Compare your :
  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Flight + Hotel
  • Private Rentals
  • Cars
  • Holidays
  • Destination

Travel to Albania for a getaway on the Adriatic coast

By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile
For those wishing to travel to Albania will not be disappointed. the Adriatic Sea to the north and the Ionian Sea to the south, Albania harbours the most beautiful virgin beaches in the Adriatic. Despite serious economic difficulties inherited from Enver Hoxha's extreme communism, the country was able to preserve its captivating history notably through its monuments. In Tirana, its capital, most tourist attractions are concentrated around Skanderbeg Square. As for inland towns, they offer a wonderful journey back in time. The journey ends 9,032 ft high, at the summit of Mount Korab. Do not forget to visit the magnificent archaeological site in the town of Butrint, which has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1992.

Our Editorial team's advice

Here, distances should be multiplied by five, before getting an itinerary. Do not get fooled by the apparent proximity of destinations as indicated on maps as Albania remains behind the times.
There are many untouched beaches and coves, which are difficult to find on the rest of the Mediterranean coast.
The town of Gjirokasta, with its medieval roofing-slate houses, inspired the most wonderful novel of Ismaļl Kadare ('Chronicle in Stone').
Lastly, the ancient site of Butrint, opening both to the blue Ionian sea and to the green of an inside lake, is a wonder.

pros

  • +The country has not been saturated by a tourist invasion.
  • +90 mile coastal area with white sand beaches and untouched coves.
  • +Five big lakes.
  • +Towns and landscapes of another era.

cons

  • -Limited tourist equipment and poor state of roads.
  • -The presence of the Mafia.
  • -The current state of the country is deplorable. The war in Kosovo caused thousands of Kosovar citizens to flee to Albania.

Traditions

Haggling is not only meant to obtain good businesses, but is also a form of politeness. The pleasure must last and finally you make a good deal. Albanian life is regulated by the Kanum (canon in Greek). This code of honour is also closely linked to the laws of hospitality and protection of travellers.

Food

In addition to the Balkan dishes made from cheechkebabs (kebabs) and koftes (meatballs), you have delicious Albanian specialties such as tave kosi (lamb with yoghurt), fergese tirane (meat, liver, eggs and tomatoes), ēomlek (meat and onion), rosto me salce kosi (sour cream roastbeef) and kukurec (mutton-stuffed tripes). You also have a wide variety of sea water and freshwater fish. Albanian wines are plentiful and of good quality. Local beverage is raki (anisette) or ouzo. The Scanderberg cognac is said to be the best. There is foreign but also local beer and Fernet (local Fernet Branca) to push everything down. Cheers is 'Guezuar!'

Souvenirs

In hotel shops and those in town, and bazars (especially that of Kruje), you get carpets, silver and copper filigrees, wood and alabaster sculptures, ceramics, a lot of embroidery, leather, books and local folk music. Shops and markets are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.