In our list of European countries that you should visit, Albania has made up its place. Like tens of other small European countries, also known as the hidden gems, Albania is a destination everyone should visit at least once.
The country is located on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas shores and remains one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. While travellers may have overlooked it in the past, this enchanting country is now emerging as a captivating destination for adventure seekers, history enthusiasts, and nature lovers.
Albania has got the eye of travellers due to its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm-hearted locals; Albania offers a unique and authentic experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits here.
From the moment you set foot on Albanian soil, you will be captivated by the country’s natural beauty. From the towering peaks of the Albanian Alps to the pristine beaches of the Riviera, the diverse landscapes will leave you in awe.
Short History of Albania
Albania, a small country in Southeast Europe, has a rich and diverse history stretching back thousands of years. The region that is now Albania has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, with evidence of early human settlements dating back to the Stone Age.
In the 2nd century BCE, the Romans gradually expanded their regional influence. Roman rule brought urbanisation, infrastructure development, and the spread of Latin culture.
The Ottoman Empire, which emerged as a dominant force in the late 14th century, gradually expanded its control over Albania, incorporating it into its vast territories. Ottoman rule lasted nearly four centuries, profoundly shaping Albanian society, culture, and religion.
In 1912 Albania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire, becoming a sovereign state. Albania recently gained significant attention as a tourist destination following the end of its communist regime in the 1990s.
In the early years of Albania’s transition, tourism primarily consisted of adventurous travellers seeking to explore the country’s unspoiled landscapes and discover its hidden gems.
These early visitors were drawn to Albania’s stunning coastline, awe-inspiring mountains, and rich historical sites.
Both Hungary and Albania experienced Ottoman rule and in some cases rebelled against it, historically including the alliance between John Hunyadi and Gjergj Kastrioti.
So, let’s look at some reasons that make Albania worth discovering.
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Breathtaking Natural Beauty
Albania is a country blessed with a diverse and awe-inspiring natural beauty that captivates the hearts of all who visit. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of the natural world, Albania offers a paradise waiting to be explored.
The famous Albanian Alps stand tall and majestic in the northern part of the country. With their snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, and glacial lakes, they provide a dramatic environment for outdoor adventures. Hiking enthusiasts will be enthralled by the possibilities that lie within this terrain.
Mount Korab is a 2,700 meters long peak in Albania, attracting climbers worldwide. Scaling its rocky slopes and reaching the summit provides a sense of accomplishment and rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views.
If you are a skiing lover, then during the winter months, the Albanian mountains transform into a winter wonderland, attracting snow enthusiasts from near and far.
With well-groomed slopes and stunning alpine scenery, these resorts provide beginners and seasoned snow enthusiasts with a thrilling winter adventure.
Ideal Beach Experience
Albania offers diverse beach destinations that cater to every type of traveller. Whether you seek relaxation, water sports, or simply the beauty of nature, Albania’s beaches are sure to enchant and leave you wanting more.
The Albanian Riviera is a true gem, renowned for its breathtaking beauty and vibrant atmosphere. From Saranda in the south to Himara, the Riveria has charming coastal towns and beaches that cater to all preferences. Saranda offers a lively beachfront promenade, while Himara captivates visitors with its traditional charm.
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One of the unique aspects of Albania’s coastline is the presence of unspoiled and lesser-known beaches. These hidden gems offer a chance to escape the crowds and discover the true natural beauty.
Which City in Albania Should You Visit?
Each city in Albania offers a unique experience, blending history, culture, natural beauty, and local charm. Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania, Tirana is a vibrant and bustling metropolis that perfectly captures the country’s spirit of transformation.
The city boasts a mix of architectural styles, from Ottoman-era structures to communist-era buildings, alongside modern designs. You can explore Skanderbeg Square, the city’s heart, and visit landmarks like the National Historical Museum.
In recent years, Tirana has undergone significant development; with its colourful buildings, trendy cafes and lively atmosphere, the city is perfect for someone who wants to experience the city side of Albania.
Compared to many other European destinations, Albania offers excellent value for money. Accommodation, transportation, and dining options are generally more affordable, allowing travellers to experience the country without breaking the bank.
The favourable exchange rate and reasonable prices make Albania an attractive choice for budget-conscious travellers who want to enjoy a quality travel experience on a low budget.
Moreover, entrance fees to Albania’s historical sites, museums, and natural parks are often very affordable, especially compared to similar attractions in other countries. This allows travellers to immerse themselves in the country’s rich history and stunning landscapes without straining their budget.