ALBANIA

Ottoman Architecture || Beautiful Beaches || Communist History

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Albania is a small, mountainous country in the Mediterranean that is bordered by Montenegro, Kosova, Macedonia, and Greece. It is actually called Shqipëriawhich means “land of the eagles” by its people, instead of Albania as most people know it.

It has a very long and interesting historybeautiful landscapes, and is rich in culture. We highly recommend you put this little country firmly on your list of “places to visit” and then visit it sooner than later before everyone else discovers it!

For four decades Albania was under the rule of Communist leader Enver Hoxha and was characterised by isolation, poverty, and above all, paranoia. Thankfully since the early 1990s that has changed and Albania is now building itself back up and has opened its doors to visitors from all over the world.

By clicking on the images below you’ll be taken to posts from our trip which include the attractions, reviews of the places we stayed, and our complete trip itinerary. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Albania and we’d be happy to help in any way we can. We hope you enjoy your visit to Albania!

INSPIRATION AND ITINERARIES

21 PHOTOS TO INSPIRE YOU TO VISIT ALBANIA

  In this, my last post to wrap up our trip to Albania, I asked Lee and the kiddo to lend me a hand to help inspire you to start planning your own trip to this awesome little country. I asked them to select seven of their favourite photos that they each took on...

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Exploring Albania: Trip Summary

Albania. Not likely a country you could point out with confidence on a map, and I'll admit I couldn't have done it either before we booked our trip, but my goodness this is one country you should make it a mission to learn where it is and all about it. And then you...

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EXPERIENCE ALBANIA

As visitors to Albania, we were treated to stunning scenery from mountains (lots and lots of mountains), rivers, lakes, and then scenic coastal drives along the Adriatic and Ionian seas with their sandy or pebbled beaches. Along with all this beautiful scenery, we visited historic Ottoman-Era towns, like Berat and Gjirokastra, and modern cities, like Tirana and Durres. There are Byzantine churches alongside Muslim mosques, and the monasteries to explore.

We visited natural wonders, like the Blue Eye, which is a water spring bubbling up to the surface from more than 50 meters below. We then learned about Albania’s more recent history of the people’s life under communism and all those bunkers. Then the icing on the cake – we visited ancient Greek and Roman ruins and two UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Our time in Albania was AMAZING and we’d encourage everyone to add it to their travel list. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

5 Must-See Sights for your Visit to Tirana

Not nearly as 'behind the times' as one might think, Tirana is lively, colourful, and chaotic in places. The city has relics of its Ottoman, Italian and Communist past to explore and we'd like to share five of the sights that you shouldn't miss...

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A Photo Walk Around Durres

About 25 miles from Tirana you'll find Durres which is Albania's second largest city and its main port. It's not exactly the prettiest city one could visit, with busy cranes and docks right next to the city centre, but it has some interesting buildings and a few...

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The Blue Eye: A Great Place to Skip Rocks

When I told the kiddo the next post I was going to write about Albania would be about the Blue Eye his response was "I remember that. It's a great place to skip rocks!" So if you like to skip rocks, we've found your place to do it. About 25 km from Saranda, on the...

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UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint

On our 4th day in Albania we were up bright and early for one of the sights I was most looking forward to on our tour - the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint. And it did not disappoint. Way back in 44 BC, Caesar arrived and recognized the potential for a town on...

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An Evening Stroll Around Saranda

Called one of the sunniest places in Europe with its Mediterranean climate and 270+ days of sunshine a year, Saranda is a great spot to stay if you're looking for something a little more urban and close to some of the best sights in Albania- like the Blue Eye and...

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Picture Perfect Palermo

As we continued heading south from Himara we were treated to more beautiful scenery out the windows the coach and then we reached Palermo.  Porto Palermo to be precise with its castle that has a highly debated and intriguing history. The castle is situated in the bay...

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UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES

For a small country, Albania is big on history and culture and has several sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list, or submitted on the tentative list.

 We visited two of their wonderful UNESCO sites on our trip. 

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint

On our 4th day in Albania we were up bright and early for one of the sights I was most looking forward to on our tour - the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint. And it did not disappoint. Way back in 44 BC, Caesar arrived and recognized the potential for a town on...

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