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’ve gotten undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining an increasing number of consideration not too long ago for vacationers in search of one thing totally different, inexpensive, and exquisite.
Digital nomads additionally like it, and for good reason.
I spent 5 months at the beginning of 2021 residing in Albania, and I am a type of individuals who gained’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra international locations since then, each time individuals 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 probably the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals you will see that 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 instances we’ve got 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 top 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 individuals will exit of their method that will help you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and preserving the promise of peace.
For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the motive force realized we have been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my cellphone, scary proper?
Upon taking my cellphone 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 method 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 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 is just not such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. Yet, after 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 associates shortly as there was a reasonably well-established neighborhood 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: lots 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 may spend right here and dwell comfortably.
My house in Saranda value beneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I have associates 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 finished.
You can get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported gadgets) could be very low cost as properly.
However, one factor to know is which you can 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 seaside 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 wish to dwell, however do remember that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer season season approaches, so make certain to know 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 discuss concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that searching for the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.
Albania has probably 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 may get pleasure from, 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 understand, although, is that whereas not almost as crowded as different widespread European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While gorgeous, I was so stunned that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you’re actually in search of 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 (severely).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. Everywhere you look, there will probably be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every little thing in between.
One factor that I couldn’t consider 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, in actual fact, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll probably be stunned to see how straightforward a lot of the nation is to discover through public busses and, in fact, 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 tough, proper?
Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears 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 prompted some confusion.
Luckily, Albanians are understanding and affected person with foreigners, so it’s all good.
I hope my expertise leads you to ebook 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 severely, if you’re in search of an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with great individuals and engaging tradition… the reply is all the time Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com