You might not Albania to be a trendy summer destination, but it's becoming more and more desirable to both backpackers and luxury travelers. This small country in the Balkan Peninsula is still flying under the radar for now, but it won't be for long. Thanks to its impressive Adriatic and Ionian coastline, miles-long beaches, scenic mountains and historic landmarks, Albania is becoming the exciting up-and-coming destination. Fewer tourists, luxury accommodation at affordable prices and dream-like scenery is waiting for you!
Welcome to the Albanian Riviera: the 'affordable Maldives'
The pictures of blissful Albanian beaches will immediately remind you of the famous Maldives. Turquoise waters and sandy shores are everything you need for the holiday of your dreams, and Albania has it all. The country was isolated until the early 1990s, and it could be described as Croatia 20 years ago: still not ruined by mass tourism and largely unknown outside its own borders. Scenic landscapes, an undisturbed coastline, intact nature and picturesque towns combined with extremely affordable prices are the ultimate combo for the perfect summer holiday. Sandwiched between Greece and Montenegro, this small but plentiful country won't be flying under the radar for too long, so book your flight before everyone else does! But first, take a look at the top 10 places in Albania to get some inspiration.
The most popular destination along the Albanian Riviera is without doubt Ksamil. With glassy waters, dream-like sandy beaches, and amazing seafood, Ksamil is the ultimate summer holiday destination in Albania. Nicknamed Albania's turquoise pearl thanks to the stunning color of the sea, Ksamil has recently become very popular among foreign tourists, so it can get crowded here during peak season in July and August. But although it can get busy here, it's the best place for your own slice of tropical paradise. There are a few different beaches and coves within Ksamil, so escape the crowds and head to the smaller beaches instead!
Located just opposite the Greek island of Corfu, Sarande is one of the most charming coastal towns in the country. Lying on the shores of the Ionian Sea, this Albanian hidden gem features incredible beauty. The town was once a small fishing village, but today it's a thriving city. It's a great starting point for exploring the nearby beaches like Pulebardhat, Pasqyrat and Manastiri, renowned for their outstanding beauty. Also, one of the best parts of Sarande is its affordable prices, so you'll get to be in paradise without breaking the bank!
3. Durres Beach
Durres is the biggest seaport and the second-largest town in the country, but it's mostly famed for its rich history. It's considered Albania's most ancient, with almost 3,000 years of history. It was founded by the Greeks and the remains of its rich history and culture can still be seen today. So, it's no surprise there are numerous archeological sites all over the city. Durres is also home to the second biggest Roman amphitheater in the Balkans.
Besides its historical sites, Durres also sports amazing beaches. The most popular is the Durres city beach, featuring golden sand and pristine, turquoise waters. Offering amazing spots for history buffs and those seeking some relaxation, Durres has the best of both worlds!
The village of Himara is one of the most loved and laid-back places in Albania. Fabulous beaches, scenic coves, tranquil sea and picturesque streets give this small fishing village a magical, unspoiled charm. With lots of blissful beaches nearby and numerous churches and monasteries, you'll hardly be disappointed with this town!