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 an increasing number of consideration just lately for vacationers on the lookout for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and delightful.
Digital nomads additionally like it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months initially of 2021 residing in Albania, and I am a kind of individuals who received’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra nations since then, each time 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 stunned me essentially the most about Albania was the folks.
The folks you can find 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 folks check with “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 through the years.
I can’t inform you the variety of occasions we’ve interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to strategy 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 approach that can assist you and make you’re feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and conserving 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 not sure the place to go. He didn’t communicate any English and was shouting at us and demanding my telephone, scary proper?
Upon taking my telephone he known as our guesthouse and found out 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 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 isn’t such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, once we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we have been stunned to see so many different ex-pats residing right here already.
When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, but it surely ended up being the one nation the place we made so many mates 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 stunned at how little you possibly can spend right here and reside comfortably.
My residence in Saranda value underneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have mates who pay underneath $300 a month for his or her residence as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be achieved.
You can get a beer for underneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported objects) could be very low cost as properly.
However, one factor to know 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: change 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 tip, it’s all about the way you need to reside, however do understand that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer time season approaches, so be sure to know any rental agreements beforehand.
Many folks 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 concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that in the hunt 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 respectable smaller seashores round it you possibly can take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is changing into an increasing number of 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 comprehend, although, is that whereas not almost as crowded as different widespread European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer time.
While beautiful, I was so stunned that these locations get crowded shortly, 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 seashore cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’re going to 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 stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there will likely be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and all the things 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 essential, actually, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania house for some time, you’ll doubtless be stunned to see how straightforward many 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 folks 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 top, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems to be and appears 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 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 on the lookout for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with great folks and engaging tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com