If you comply with any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you’re right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you have got undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly consideration not too long ago for vacationers searching for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally adore it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months in the beginning of 2021 dwelling 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, each time folks 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 shocked me essentially the most about Albania was the folks.
The folks you can find on this nation are a number of the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I have ever encountered in all my years of touring and dwelling overseas.
You might need heard folks confer with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan folks 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 got interacted with some gruff older males whom we had been a bit intimidated to strategy at first however ended up consuming rakia round a desk with their household by the top 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 folks will exit of their means that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and protecting the promise of peace.
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For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the motive force realized we had been uncertain 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 referred to as our guesthouse and found out 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 means he went to assist us. This is the Balkan hospitality that I am speaking about. Name one other nation the place this may 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 once a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in recognition for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania just isn’t such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we had been shocked to see so many different ex-pats dwelling right here already.
When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, but it surely ended up being the one nation the place we made so many associates rapidly as there was a reasonably well-established neighborhood 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: lots 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 shocked at how little you may spend right here and dwell comfortably.
My condo in Saranda value below $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have associates who pay below $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 below a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported objects) could be very low-cost as nicely.
However, one factor to grasp is that you would be able to additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: develop into regulars at a number of the seaside bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of recent mussels each time and all over the place you go!
In the top, it’s all about the way you need to dwell, however do take into account that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer season season approaches, so be certain to grasp any rental agreements beforehand.
Many folks 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 in regards to the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that searching for the Albanian Riviera, and for good motive.
Albania has essentially the most lovely seashores I have ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unbelievable.
Saranda has some respectable smaller seashores round it you may take pleasure in, 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 fashionable European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While beautiful, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually searching for a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’re going to in all probability insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (critically).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be shocked at simply how lovely Albania is. Everywhere you look, there shall be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every thing 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, actually, that it has simply develop into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll seemingly be shocked to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover through public busses and, in fact, by renting a automobile.
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 folks point out sure and no.
Yes is Po, and No is Jo. Not too troublesome, proper?
Now comes the difficult half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears 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 dwelling 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 precipitated 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 power, although!
But critically, if you’re searching for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with great folks and engaging tradition… the reply is at all times Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com