Albania used to be hidden from the rest of Europe due to the harsh regime it had to endure under the communist rule of its prime minister of 40 years Enver Hoxha. However, since coming out from under this blanket of oppression and isolation following the Revolutions of 1991 and the fall of communism it has been on a twisting and turning path on the road to recovery and modernity.

Saranda, Albania - Photograph by Elion Jashari on Unsplash
Saranda, Albania – Photograph by Elion Jashari on Unsplash
Best time to visit Albania:April to October

Albania is an incredibly beautiful piece of mainland Europe and possesses some of the most impressive scenery on the continent which is very diverse and includes everything from mountains to lakes and miles and miles of stunning beaches.

Visitors are welcome here and have been for a long time with Albania being a secret destination for most backpackers. But now the secret is out and it is well worth a visit.

Things to See in Albania:

  • Berat – the Ottoman town preserved on the hillside
  • Ruins at Butrint – hidden in the forest with a lakeside setting
  • Tirana – the bustling heart of Albania with shops, cafes and museums
  • Gjirokastra – see the views from the castle and Ottoman mansions

Things to Do in Albania:

  • Explore the beautiful beaches and coves of the Ionian coast
  • Visit the mountains by taking the ferry across Lake Koman
  • Do the trek between Valbona and Theth
  • Swim in the depths of the Blue Eye Spring.
Blue Eye Spring Albania - Wikimedia Commons
Blue Eye Spring Albania – Wikimedia Commons

Quick Facts About Albania:

Population:3 Million
Area:28,748 Sq Km
Official Language:Albanian
Currency:Albanian lek
Food:Roast lamb, fresh fish and Byrek, an Albanian fast food consisting of layered pastry filled with cheese, potato or minced meat
Drink:Raki (aniseed-flavoured grape brandy
Konjak (cognac)
Flag of Albania
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