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If there is a country that never ceases, the surprise is Albania. This small Balkan state has for some time entered the list of the most popular destinations to be visited by more adventurous tourists for many reasons: it is easy to reach, is economical, good eating, people are welcoming and places to be very beautiful.
This is how the famous Italian journalist Francesca Masotti, published in her blog "Francesca on the top World"
In addition to the famous destinations, such as the southern coast, the UNESCO capital and cities, Albania retains authentic treasures that deserve to be included in the travel itinerary. Here are the ten reasons why it is worth going to Albania (immediately).
The first reason to visit Albania is definitely the Albanian Riviera. This is and remains my favorite place to spend summer holidays in Europe. Not only crystal clear waters, soft sandy beaches or white stones, great food, glamorous villages, but also breathtaking scenery, ancient monasteries, fortresses, and orthodox churches with blue domes: Riviera is a miracle clean.
Tirana is my favorite city in Albania, a place full of things to see, museums to visit and places to discover. The Albanian capital is always able to astonish, because it is a city with a constant evolution, always in motion and where you are not upset. In addition to the classic tournament that inevitably includes a stop at giant (and beautiful) Skanderbeg Square, I recommend entering the back alleys to go to the discovery of real Tirana, made from low houses, fruit markets and vegetables and frequented by locals.
Historical Cities of Berat and Gjirokastra
Albania is the home of three UNESCO countries, two of which are the historic cities of Berat and Gjirokastra. Both of these cities Berat and Gjirokastra are indefinable stops during the Albanian itinerary not only for their indisputable beauty but also for their great cultural value. Indeed, cities are two of the best examples of Ottoman architecture in the world, as well as places of peaceful coexistence of different religions and cultures.
One of the most attractive places I was lucky to visit in Albania was the Lake Ohrid, which takes its name from the same beautiful city on the Macedonian side. The calm that transmits this place can not be defined in words, it is necessary to be there to realize it. The panoramas are so beautiful that it looks like a painting: the quiet lake in the background and the magnificent mountains. While pink shades in the sky are a spell.
People have unique hospitality
One of the reasons why a trip to Albania is more than an adventure is the opportunity to spend time with people living there. Albanians are unique hosts: I have never met such a friendly people and always ready to help others, like the Albanian people.
An excellent alternative to the Albanian Riviera is Karaburun Peninsula. To achieve it you need to take a wonderful boat trip (lasting about an hour) leading to the discovery of one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Karaburun was in the past a military peninsula, for several years has opened its doors to the public and today is one of the most beautiful places in southern Albania.
Tourism is not yet very developed
If you are tired of the acceleration of tourists, waiting in endless queues and visiting places that everyone now knows, Albania is the place for you. Hurry though, because many are aware of this Balkan jewel and many areas have begun to be frequented by a number of tourists. There are still many places that can be visited without any trace of tourists, such as the Zvërnec Monastery, ten minutes drive from Vlora, a mystical place of unmatched beauty.
What about food? Albanian food is simply fantastic. Products found in markets distributed almost everywhere in the main cities are very fresh and have a unique taste, something increasingly difficult to find in Italy. The restaurants (even the most luxurious ones) offer excellent ways at moderate prices, compared to those of Western Europe and a large variety of dishes. Eating on the road is a real culinary adventure! To try the pie (in one of its many varieties) and trileche (three kinds of dessert): get ready to go back home a few pounds more!
Albania is a country of ancient, really ancient history, where they left their traces, among others, Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and Venetians. My advice is to devote some time to visit at least one of the two most important archaeological parks in the country, Butrint and Apollonia. The latter is located near the city of Fier, just over an hour away from Tirana and is where the Emperor Oktavian has studied in the past. But Butrint is the true flag of Albania, a country of unique beauty, set in a beautiful natural setting, behind the beach of Ksamil.
There is plenty to see, in addition to popular destinations
If you already know the place and want to go to the discovery of lesser known but just as beautiful countries, do not worry: Albania is a constant surprise. In addition to classical destinations such as the Riviera, capital and historic cities, Kruja, the city of the Albanian national hero Skënderbeu (located in the mountains) and Korça, considered together with Shkodra as one of the most cultural cities of Albania, deserve a visit. All you need to start the adventure. Welcome to Albania!