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 will have undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly consideration lately for vacationers on the lookout for one thing completely different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally adore it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months at first 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 international locations since then, at any time when 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’ll discover 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 discuss 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 got 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 manner that will help you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and maintaining 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 had been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t communicate any English and was shouting at us and demanding my cellphone, scary proper?
Upon taking my cellphone 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 manner 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 communicate 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 is just not 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, however it ended up being the one nation the place we made so many pals rapidly as there was a fairly 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: 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 realizing this and was nonetheless stunned at how little you’ll be able to spend right here and stay comfortably.
My house in Saranda value below $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and good TVs. I have pals who pay below $300 a month for his or her house as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be performed.
You can get a beer for below a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported gadgets) could be very low cost as effectively.
However, one factor to grasp is 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 recent mussels each time and all over the 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 pricey because the summer season season approaches, so be sure to grasp any rental agreements beforehand.
Many individuals I know had their lease 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 achieve this seeking 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’ll be able to get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is turning 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 comprehend, although, is that whereas not practically 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 rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually on the lookout 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 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 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 lovely and essential, in truth, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania residence for some time, you’ll doubtless be stunned to see how simple a lot of the nation is to discover by way of 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 individuals point out sure and no.
Yes is Po, and No is Jo. Not too tough, proper?
Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the pinnacle, 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 will 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 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 significantly, if you’re on the lookout for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and interesting tradition… the reply is at all times Albania.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the newest reopening information, conversations, and Q&A’s taking place every day!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your e-mail handle to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s newest breaking journey information, straight to your inbox.
This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com