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 have got undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly more consideration just lately for vacationers searching for one thing completely different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
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 all the time 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 can see on this nation are a number 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 consult with “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 had been a bit intimidated to method 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 suggests to maintain the promise.
This is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the individuals will exit of their manner that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and protecting 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 referred to as our guesthouse and discovered 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 manner he went to assist us. This is the Balkan hospitality that I am speaking about. Name one other nation the place this is able to 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 recognition for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania shouldn’t be such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, once 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 mates 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: 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’ll be able to spend right here and dwell 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 mates 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 finished.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported gadgets) may be very low-cost as effectively.
However, one factor to grasp is 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 number of the seashore bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of recent mussels each time and all over the place you go!
In the tip, it’s all about the way you wish to dwell, however do understand that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer season season approaches, so ensure that 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 discuss in regards to the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that searching for the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.
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 respectable smaller seashores round it you’ll be able to get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is changing 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 almost as crowded as different in style 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 rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually searching for a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seashore cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll in all probability insist you be a part of them and their household on a visit (significantly).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there will likely be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and the whole lot 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 vital, in reality, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania residence for some time, you’ll probably be stunned to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover through 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 tough, proper?
Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the pinnacle, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears to be like and feels 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 assume it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about dwelling it. You would assume it will get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay brought on 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 in regards to the Rakia energy, although!
But significantly, if you’re searching for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and engaging tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com