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 got undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly more consideration lately for vacationers searching for one thing totally different, inexpensive, and exquisite.
Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months at first 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 nations 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 shocked me probably the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals you will see on this nation are a few of 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 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 through the years.
I can’t inform you the variety of occasions we now have interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to method at first however ended up ingesting 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 individuals will exit of their approach that will help you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and retaining 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 driving force realized we have 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 discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to principally maintain our arms 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 could 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 just isn’t such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, once we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we have been shocked 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 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 are able to 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 shocked at how little you’ll be able to spend right here and reside comfortably.
My condominium in Saranda price beneath $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 beneath $300 a month for his or her condominium as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be completed.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported objects) may be very low cost as effectively.
However, one factor to grasp is that you may 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 few of the seashore bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of recent mussels each time and in all places you go!
In the top, it’s all about the way you need to reside, however do understand that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer time season approaches, so be sure 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 achieve this in the hunt for the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.
Albania has probably the most lovely 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 increasingly more 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 almost as crowded as different in style European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer time.
While gorgeous, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you might be actually searching 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 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 will likely be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and the whole lot 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 necessary, in truth, that it has simply develop into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania house for some time, you’ll doubtless be shocked to see how straightforward 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 extensively 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 troublesome, proper?
Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, that 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 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 critically, if you’re searching for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and engaging tradition… the reply is at all times Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com