The 8 finest locations to go to in Albania

Albania is slowly changing into the jewel of the Balkans resulting from its glowing crystal waters, spectacular mountains, and affordability for all sorts of vacationers. Include an open thoughts and a tough plan, and be able to be submerged in a wealthy tradition like no different in Europe. 

For those who’re planning a visit to this magnificent vacation spot and are on the lookout for probably the most stunning locations to go to however do not know the place to go in Albania, we’ve bought you coated.  

The sprawling mountains surrounding Theth make it one Albania’s finest climbing locations © Radim Ryba / Getty Pictures

1. The Village of Theth

 Greatest place for climbing and journey lovers

Theth would possibly simply be probably the most peaceable place to go to in Albania. This small village nestled in between the Albanian Alps is ideal in the event you’re on the lookout for the perfect climbing within the nation and dramatic landscapes to get pleasure from.

There are two hikes you should do whereas visiting Theth. The primary is the hike to the Blue Eye, which leads you thru a forest, over rivers and eventually to a vibrant blue pure spring. This hike is simple to average and excellent in the event you’re not an skilled hiker.

The second advisable hike is likely one of the hottest within the nation and some of the stunning locations in Albania: the hike from the village of Theth to Valbona, generally known as the “Theth to Valbona hike.” This path begins from the highest of Theth village, close to Visitor Home Gjelaj, and it leads you thru the Albanian Alps to breathtaking views on the high. It’s not for the faint-hearted, as it’ll take roughly six to eight hours to finish – however you may be glad you probably did it! 

Planning tip: Be sure you carry money with you, as ATMs may be exhausting to come back by, and nearly every thing will should be paid for in money.

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Old houses and orthodox church in the old city of Korce
Korce is stuffed with stunning villas and spiritual facilities, such because the Resurrection Cathedral © Uwe Seidner / Shutterstock

2. Korce

Prettiest place in Albania

Once you go to Korce, be certain to walk via the Pazari i Vjeter, which is the outdated bazaar of the town. Right here, you’ll be able to admire the bazaar’s Thirteenth-century model within the type of outdated cobbled streets and Ottoman-style structure. 

Once you go to this space, make sure you pop into The Kooperativa, a communist-themed cafe that provides you a glimpse of Albania’s communist historical past from 1944 till 1991. 

Attempt the standard alcoholic drink known as Raki, comprised of distilled grapes and extremely popular in Albania. You would possibly even catch somebody having a glass of Raki with their morning espresso!

Streets of Old Town Gjirokaster, Albania
Wander the well-preserved streets of the fairytale-like Outdated City Gjirokastra © Pintai Suchachaisri / Getty Pictures

3. Gjirokastra

Greatest metropolis for Albanian traditions

Generally known as the town of stone, Gjirokastra is a Unesco metropolis within the south of Albania. It was the birthplace of the previous communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. 

Top-of-the-line issues to do right here, other than strolling the bazaar and visiting the fort of Gjirokastra, is to wander across the Zekati Family HomeThis conventional home was constructed between 1811-1812 and is a fantastic instance of a number of the most fascinating Albanian house and marriage traditions. Once you go to, one of many relations will present you round and clarify the completely different rooms and their functions.

For those who love wine and need a foodie expertise, then you could make a journey to Te Fucite (The Barrels). This household restaurant and vineyard specializing in easy handmade wine affords platters of native delicacies so that you can attempt whereas overlooking their winery and the encircling mountains.

Planning tip: Attempt the dish known as Pasha Qofte, which is actually a cream soup comprised of milk with small meatballs inside. It’s a scrumptious dish you’ll be able to solely discover in Gjirokastër.

People enjoy time on the beach, play snooker or having good food in the reataurant
Loosen up on Dhermi’s seashores by day and hit the beachside bars by evening © Franz Aberham / Getty Pictures

4. Dhermi

Greatest place to go for seashores 

For those who’re on the lookout for a vacation spot the place you’ll be able to lay about and get a solar tan whereas having fun with a dip within the sea, then you could go to Dhermi. It’s one of many pearls of the Albanian Riviera and residential to many summer time music festivals, together with the Kala festival and ION festival.

With idyllic seashores, fashionable seashore bars and views that may make you by no means need to depart, Dhermi is a hotspot for youthful generations on the lookout for the most popular events and the perfect vibes of the summer time. 

Attempt Restaurant Luciano for scrumptious meals overlooking the water, or head to Alevra restaurant and seashore bar to attempt some mouth-watering seafood with a twist.

Planning tip: Be sure you e book effectively prematurely in the event you’re visiting in July & August, as accommodations may be booked out because of the festivals talked about above.

5. Shkoder

Greatest northern metropolis in Albania

The town of Shkoder is a breath of recent air and is in contrast to some other metropolis in Albania. Once you arrive, you’ll discover a lot of the inhabitants peddling across the metropolis by bike. Whilst you’re there, do because the locals do and rent a bicycle for the day. Then head all the way down to Liqeni i Shkodrës. 

Whilst you’re within the space, be sure to go to Rozafa Citadel and ask one of many guides in regards to the legend of Rozafa. Additionally, once you attain the highest, you’ll expertise a powerful 360 view.

Planning tip: If you need to do the Theth to Valbona hike and don’t fancy taking everything of your baggage with you, a preferred choice is to go away your baggage within the metropolis of Shkoder along with your lodging. Shkoder is a superb metropolis to base your self in. The transfers will depart from there to take you to both Theth or Valbona.

6. Lin

Most peaceable village in Albania

The village of Lin just isn’t typically one you can see in guidebooks. Lin is a quiet village positioned on Lake Ohrid, which suggests there may be glorious fishing right here. For those who’re on the lookout for a lake getaway and craving silence and tranquility, go to Lin. 

Top-of-the-line issues to do is stroll to the archaeological web site on the hilltop, the place you’ll get to see the well-preserved mosaics of a Paleo-Christian church constructed within the sixth century. For those who go to within the summertime, the mosaics will likely be uncovered, and there must be a information who can inform you all about their historical past.

You additionally get an unbelievable view from the highest of Lin and might see North Macedonia as you look over Lake Ohrid.

A boy jumps off a pier into the Mediterranean Sea in Sarande (Saranda), Albania
Saranda’s proximity to stunning seashores and the Albanian River make it the right spot to remain outdoors © Joel Carillet / Getty Pictures

7. Saranda

Most visited place in Albania throughout summer time

Saranda is the southern gateway to the Albanian Riviera and probably the greatest cities to go to. That’s as a result of it’s near the gem of the nation, Ksamil Seashore. 

Get a lodge in Saranda, the place you’ll be near a number of the finest eating places in Albania and the town’s buzzing nightlife. Then discover the seashores of Saranda and Ksamil in the course of the day.

Top-of-the-line issues to do from Saranda is to hop on one of many day trip boat tours that depart from the boulevard and go to the seashores of Kakome and Krorez. For less than €30, you’ll be able to spend the day visiting the seashores that Albania is known for.

Planning tip: The most effective time to go to Saranda is in Might, June or September when the crowds will not be loopy however the seashore bars and eating places are open. As this can be a summer time vacation spot, most companies shut in the course of the low season.

Fishing boats in the harbor of Porto Palermo
Porto Palermo’s place on the Riviera makes for glorious swimming spots © Viktor Prymachenko / Shutterstock

8. Porto Palermo

Most underrated Albania Riviera vacation spot

Porto Palermo is a novel journey vacation spot due to its triangle-shaped fort. Not solely is Porto Palermo fort an excellent cause to cease right here, however there are additionally a number of the most stunning unspoiled and peaceable seashores. This makes a great spot for a tenting spot alongside the Albanian riviera coast. 

You may also lease a kayak and paddle alongside the seashores and quiet bays. As you kayak, you’ll see the outdated army submarine bunker located on the hill not removed from the principle seashores of Porto Palermo. 

Porto Palermo is stuffed with historical past and spectacular swimming bays and has a peaceable positioning alongside the Riviera.