ALBANIA: NEW LOVE ON THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Albania is still a little-studied, mysterious and incomprehensible country for us. Although it is located in Europe, adjacent to Greece, Montenegro and nearby Croatia. But, alas: while very few of our compatriots go there for educational purposes or just to rest on the sea. This injustice must be corrected! We invite you to plunge into the history, nature and life of Albania with AvesTravel!
Something about Albania
Let us say at once that the Albanians call their homeland not Albania, but the Skipper, the country of eagles, which, by the way, are also present on the country’s coat of arms. Small in area Albania (less than 29 thousand km ²), with a population not exceeding 3 million people, is part of the Balkan Peninsula, washed by two seas: the Adriatic and the Ionian. The local population communicates among themselves in Albanian (ancient Illyrian), a very difficult language for perception.
Albanian leks are used in cash settlements (100 leks – approximately $ 0.81), but the American and European currencies are also readily accepted.
Path to Albania
There are no direct flights to Albania yet. It is necessary to change in Budapest, Vienna, Milan or another city. And the road takes more than six hours. Nevertheless, we are sure: an incredible vacation in Albania will justify these temporary inconveniences!
Arriving in the capital Tirana, then you can use cheap minibuses (white and red vans), buses or trains. You can also rent a car if you have an international driving license. True, the quality of roads leaves much to be desired, but we, Ukrainians, are no strangers 🙂
What to see in Albania
Albania, which is still undiscovered for tourists, is in fact very interesting from the point of view of historical sights and architecture, the extraordinary nature and communication with the local population.
History lovers will be interested to get acquainted with the ancient city of Berat, famous for its architectural Ottoman monuments, to visit the ancient castle, towering in the middle of Gjirokastra, to visit the existing excavations of ancient villages in Butrint. By the way, many medieval castles are scattered throughout the country.
Nature lovers will love the Albanian Alps, the Tomor massif with the ancient monastery Bektash, the deep canyons of Skrapara, the Lure park of national importance. And fans of a lazy beach holiday will appreciate the sandy and rocky beaches of this country.
Climate and nature of Albania
The climate of Albania is mild, with warm (+ 5–10 ° С) short winter on the coast, and hot (+ 28–32 ° C) long (from May to October) summer. The mountains, of course, are covered with snow, and here the air is filled with frost (up to –20 ° C). Most of the year in this country shines a bright sun.
The plant and animal world is very diverse in the vast expanses of Albania. Here you can meet wolves, brown bears, wild boar, roe deer, lynx and other inhabitants of forests and high mountains. A variety of fish inhabit the waterways, and many birds nest along the banks.
Despite the wonderful nature and spiritual people, Albania has not yet become a Mecca for holidaymakers. But there is confidence that this phenomenon is temporary. The fact is that for a long time Albania lived isolated from the outside world by life. And only a few years ago, this country opened up for tourists who can now travel freely here. By the way, citizens of Ukraine do not need a visa to Albania.
For all tourists interested in Albania and Albanians, the local population will give the “last shirt” – it is so hospitable and welcoming, with an open look and a kind smile. And they will feed you truly like a king!
The 400-year stay under the Ottoman leadership has made Albanian cuisine very similar to Turkish. Here you can eat chebureks and kebabs, eat lamb, bite this meat abundance with olives, fresh fruits and vegetable salads. Vegetarians will gladly taste the famous local vegetarian stew. Many establishments offer visitors dishes of Greek and Italian cuisine, with their gorgeous fresh vegetable salads, flavored with feta and seasoned with local olive oil. All this delicacy is washed down with fragrant herbal tea with sweets.
Local restaurants also offer bozu – a sweet low-alcohol drink that has been leading its history since the days of the Ottoman Empire!
Shopping in Albania
Lovers of shopping in Albania will not be bored either! The widest range of handmade souvenirs: ceramic, copper, wooden carvings, embroidery, national clothes, local musical instruments – all this can be cheaply bought in shops, shops, and markets.
Holidays in Albania
Wonderful beaches, stretching along the cleanest sea, with their diversity attract tourists eager for new impressions. Sandy, pebbly, rocky beaches, real sea grottoes and caves – there is plenty to choose from! The cleanest air, a healthy climate and fresh products make Albania an excellent place for rest and recuperation. By the way, thanks to these conditions, Albanians are called Balkan centenarians.And if we take into account that the prices for services here are much lower compared to prices in other Mediterranean countries, and the air is cleaner, then there is no doubt: Albania has a great tourist future!
They are waiting for us there, which means – we must go!