Possibly the most unknown country in Europe and at the same time one of the most surprising. That is Albania . When planning your holidays you have to take into account everything you can see, enjoy and get to know during your trip. So we will try to show you both the main tourist attractions and the secrets of the Albanian country.
What to see in Albania
Like the rest of the Balkans, the historical traces left by its inhabitants since ancient times are still visible. Greeks and Romans first laid the foundations of the first civilisations. Later, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans, Serbs and Bulgarians also made their ambitions felt. The mosaic of influences left by them in architecture, cuisine and folklore is the best legacy for an Albania that is finally opening up to tourism.
Today’s Tirana has nothing to do with the Albanian capital of the 1990s. Cheerful, full of colour thanks to urban development and with a great pace, Tirana is worth the effort to delve into the long-suffering history it has lived through. The bunkers museum, the cable car on Mount Datji and its trendy clubs are just a small handful of reasons.
National History Museum of Albania
Unesco World Heritage Site
As cultural and natural properties of Albania, included in the Unesco World Heritage , we can find the ancient city of Butrinto : Greek colony, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman city; the beautiful cities of Gjirokastër and Berat , examples of Ottoman cities in the Balkans; the primary beech forests of the Carpathian Mountains (shared with other regions of Europe) as a Natural Heritage Site; and the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region.
Theatre of Butrint- Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock
Other fantastic sites such as the Basse Selca tombs, the ancient city of Apollonia, or the Bashtova Castle are also on the waiting list to join the select club.
Nor should we forget the Albanian folk isopolyphony, an intangible cultural heritage inscribed in 2008 on the list of World Heritage Sites.
Few can expect gems like the Roman amphitheatre in Dürres , alpine villages like Theth , turquoise springs like the Blue Eye or immense lakes like Shkoder. The Blue Eye is one of the places that make Albania different, making the small Balkan country a constant surprise. In the city of Berat you will find out why it is called the city of a thousand windows.They will look at you from inside them and you won’t be able to choose just one.
Blue Hole of Albania
From Mediterranean Albania to mountainous Albania with awe-inspiring peaks of over two thousand metres, the country allows you to combine a trip to relax on the coast enjoying the beaches, and the next day to be climbing alpine peaks whose contrast is spectacular.
In addition to the famous The Blue Eye, excursions to Koman Lake , Butrinto National Park, the Grunas Waterfalls, the Osum Canyon – Osumi Canyon or the Ottoman Kadiut Bridge and Banjat e Benjës hot springs . The boat trip across the Koman Lake looks like something out of a trip to the Norwegian fjords, but…no…we are in Albania.
If you like trekking, then take note, the hiking route between Theth and Valbona is one of the best in Europe. We’re sure you won’t forget it.
The Albanian Riviera has made a name for itself among other Mediterranean coastlines. From May until well into autumn, you can enjoy swimming in Albania, choosing between beaches with a guaranteed nightlife or more secluded coves. There are also some breathtaking places along the coast, such as the Ksamil Islands to watch the sunset, Gjipe beach with its cliffs, or Drymades.
Dhermi Beach in Albania
There are so many castles in Albania that we can make a thematic route of them. The rugged landscape of the Albanian geography was conducive to the construction of castles such as Gjirokastra Fortress, Porto Palermo, Borshi Castle, and so on, until we become experts at feeling all the walls.
Ali Pasha Castle on the island of Ksamil
Traditions and folk folklore expressed vividly and intensely in festivals and events. All this is accompanied by a gastronomy with Mediterranean touches but with clear Balkan and Turkish influences.
Holidays for everyone
Tourism has many facets and Albania has something for everyone. In Saranda , in the south of Albania and opposite Corfu, many families arrive for a relaxing sun and beach holiday with organised trips. Others opt for a roadtrip at their own pace crossing the country from north to south, fascinated by scenic roads like those of the Llogara Pass, while others focus on Albania’s mountains, seeking trekking and long walks in near solitude.
Still not sure what to see in Albania? You just need to make up your mind now.