If you observe any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you might be right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you’ve gotten undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining an increasing number of consideration lately for vacationers on the lookout for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months firstly of 2021 residing in Albania, and I am a type of individuals who received’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra international locations since then, each 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 essentially the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals you can see on this nation are among the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I have ever encountered in all my years of touring and residing overseas.
You may need heard individuals check 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 through the years.
I can’t let you know the variety of instances we’ve interacted with some gruff older males whom we have 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 approach that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and conserving the promise of peace.
For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the motive force realized we have been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my cellphone, scary proper?
Upon taking my cellphone he referred to as our guesthouse and found out the place it was, after which proceeded to principally maintain our palms and escort us there, ensuring we have been okay.
We have been actually speechless at how out of his approach 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 converse 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 have been stunned to see so many different ex-pats residing 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 shortly as there was a fairly 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 have 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 stay comfortably.
My house in Saranda value underneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have mates who pay underneath $300 a month for his or her house as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be carried out.
You can get a beer for underneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (other than imported gadgets) could be very low cost as nicely.
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: turn out to be regulars at among the seashore bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of contemporary mussels each time and in all places you go!
In the tip, it’s all about the way you need to stay, however do remember that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so be certain 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 speak in regards to the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that seeking the Albanian Riviera, and for good cause.
Albania has essentially the most stunning seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unbelievable.
Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you’ll be able to get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into an increasing number of 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 understand, although, is that whereas not almost as crowded as different well-liked European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While gorgeous, I was so stunned that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you might be actually on the lookout for a quiet place to flee, head north and hunt down some smaller seashore cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll most likely insist you be a part of them and their household on a visit (critically).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there shall be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every part 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 necessary, in truth, that it has simply turn out to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll doubtless be stunned to see how simple 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 broadly 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 difficult half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the pinnacle, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems to be and seems 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 residing it. You would assume it could get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay triggered 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 critically, in case you are on the lookout for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and interesting tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com