If you observe any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you might be right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you have got undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly more consideration not too long ago for vacationers searching for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and exquisite.
Digital nomads additionally adore it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months initially 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 international locations since then, every 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 shocked me essentially 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 may appear 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 let you know the variety of instances now we have interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to strategy at first however ended up consuming rakia round a desk with their household by the top of the dialog.
In Albania, there’s a time period: BESA, which suggests to maintain the promise.
This is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the individuals will exit of their means that will help you and make you’re feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and protecting the promise of peace.
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For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the driving force realized we have been not sure the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my cellphone, scary proper?
Upon taking my cellphone he referred to as our guesthouse and found out the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our fingers and escort us there, ensuring we have been okay.
We have been actually speechless at how out of his means he went to assist us. This is the Balkan hospitality that I am speaking about. Name one other nation the place this could occur, I’ll wait.
A Not-So-Secret Secret
It’s humorous as a result of most individuals I converse 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 once a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in recognition 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 have been shocked to see so many different ex-pats dwelling right here already.
When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, but it surely ended up being the one nation the place we made so many buddies rapidly as there was a reasonably 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: lots of these we met have been Americans, as we are able to 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 understanding this and was nonetheless shocked at how little you may spend right here and dwell comfortably.
My condominium in Saranda value below $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 below $300 a month for his or her condominium as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be finished.
You can get a beer for below a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported gadgets) may be very low-cost as effectively.
However, one factor to know is that you could additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: change into 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 all over the place you go!
In the top, it’s all about the way you wish to dwell, however do remember the fact that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so be certain to know 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 discuss concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that in quest of the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.
Albania has essentially the most stunning seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unimaginable.
Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you may take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into increasingly more 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 comprehend, although, is that whereas not practically as crowded as different common European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While gorgeous, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you might be actually searching for a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll in all probability insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (significantly).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be shocked at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there might be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every part in between.
One factor that I couldn’t imagine 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 vital, actually, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll doubtless be shocked to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover by way of public busses and, after all, by renting a automobile.
Yes Means No And No Means Yes
While English is broadly 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 tough, proper?
Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears to be like 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 could get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay induced 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 power, although!
But significantly, if you’re searching for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and interesting tradition… the reply is at all times Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com