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 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 completely different, inexpensive, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months initially 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 folks ask, “what country has been your favorite” or “what country left the greatest impression,” the reply is all the time 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 will discover 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 residing overseas.
You might need heard folks seek advice from “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 over time.
I can’t let you know the variety of instances we’ve interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to method at first however ended up consuming 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 folks will exit of their manner that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and maintaining 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 known as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our arms and escort us there, ensuring we have been okay.
We have 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 is able to 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 recognition for a lot of causes.
After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania will not be such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after 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, nevertheless it ended up being the one nation the place we made so many buddies rapidly as there was a reasonably 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 stay comfortably.
My house in Saranda price beneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have buddies who pay beneath $300 a month for his or her house as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be achieved.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (other than imported objects) may be very low cost as properly.
However, one factor to know is which you could additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: turn 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 tip, it’s all about the way you wish to stay, however do remember that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so be certain to know 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 speak concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months achieve this searching for the Albanian Riviera, and for good cause.
Albania has essentially the most stunning 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 take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into increasingly well-known as being as stunning 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 standard European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While gorgeous, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded rapidly, 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 seaside cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll in all probability insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (significantly).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be shocked at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there might be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every little 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 stunning and necessary, in reality, that it has simply turn into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania house for some time, you’ll probably be shocked to see how simple a lot of the nation is to discover by way of public busses and, after all, by renting a automobile.
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 folks 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 pinnacle, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems and feels 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 suppose it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about residing it. You would suppose 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 guide 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 concerning the Rakia energy, although!
But significantly, in case you are searching for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic folks and interesting tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com