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 will have undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly consideration just lately for vacationers on the lookout for one thing completely different, reasonably priced, and exquisite.
Digital nomads additionally like it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months at the beginning of 2021 residing in Albania, and I am a kind of individuals who gained’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra nations since then, every time individuals ask, “what country has been your favorite” or “what country left the greatest impression,” the reply is at all times 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 might need heard individuals consult with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan individuals might sound 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 over time.
I can’t inform you the variety of occasions we’ve interacted with some gruff older males whom we had been a bit intimidated to method at first however ended up ingesting rakia round a desk with their household by the tip of the dialog.
In Albania, there’s a time period: BESA, which implies to maintain the promise.
This is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the individuals will exit of their method that will help you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and holding the promise of peace.
For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the driving force realized we had been not sure the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my telephone, scary proper?
Upon taking my telephone he known as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our palms and escort us there, ensuring we had been okay.
We had been actually speechless at how out of his method 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 reputation for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania shouldn’t be such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we had been stunned to see so many different ex-pats residing right here already.
When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, nevertheless it ended up being the one nation the place we made so many buddies rapidly 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 had 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 possibly can spend right here and stay comfortably.
My condo in Saranda value underneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and good TVs. I have buddies who pay underneath $300 a month for his or her condo as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be accomplished.
You can get a beer for underneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (other than imported gadgets) could be very low-cost as properly.
However, one factor to know is which you can additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: change into regulars at among the seaside bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of contemporary mussels each time and in every single place you go!
In the tip, it’s all about the way you need to stay, however do remember the fact that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer time season approaches, so ensure that to know 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 discuss concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that looking for the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.
Albania has essentially the most lovely seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unimaginable.
Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you possibly can get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is changing into increasingly well-known as being as lovely 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 appreciate, although, is that whereas not almost as crowded as different common European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer time.
While beautiful, I was so stunned that these locations get crowded rapidly, 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 seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’re going to most likely insist you be a part of them and their household on a visit (significantly).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be stunned at simply how lovely Albania is. Everywhere you look, there can be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and all the things in between.
One factor that I couldn’t imagine 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 lovely and vital, in reality, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania house for some time, you’ll seemingly be stunned to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover through public busses and, in fact, 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 top, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems 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 brought about some confusion.
Luckily, Albanians are understanding and affected person with foreigners, so it’s all good.
I hope my expertise leads you to ebook 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 concerning the Rakia energy, although!
But significantly, 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 at all times Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com