If you comply with any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you might be right here studying this, I will assume you do!) then you might have undoubtedly examine Albania.
This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly consideration just lately for vacationers on the lookout 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 kind of individuals who gained’t shut up about it.
Despite having been to many extra nations since then, each time individuals ask, “what country has been your favorite” or “what country left the greatest impression,” the reply is at all times Albania.
Here Are Some Things That Surprised Me The Most About Albania:
Keep The Promise
The very first thing that shocked me probably the most about Albania was the individuals.
The individuals you can find 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 may need heard individuals discuss with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan individuals 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 let you know the variety of occasions we now have interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to strategy at first however ended up ingesting 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 individuals will exit of their method that will help you and make you’re feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and preserving 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 motive 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 referred to as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our palms 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 could 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 once 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 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 associates rapidly 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: a lot of these we met have been Americans, as we will 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 may spend right here and reside comfortably.
My residence in Saranda price below $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and good TVs. I have associates who pay below $300 a month for his or her residence as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be performed.
You can get a beer for below a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported objects) may be very low-cost as nicely.
However, one factor to know is you could additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.
Pro-tip: turn out to be regulars at a number 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 needless to say the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so be certain to know any rental agreements beforehand.
Many individuals I know had their lease doubled in the summertime, so that is one thing to work out earlier than signing something.
Ok, let’s speak in regards to the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months achieve this looking for the Albanian Riviera, and for good motive.
Albania has probably the most lovely 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 may get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into increasingly well-known as being as lovely 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 practically as crowded as different in style European locations, a lot of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.
While beautiful, I was so shocked that these locations get crowded rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.
If you might be 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 a part of them and their household on a visit (severely).
Postcard Perfect Views
I was, and proceed to be shocked at simply how lovely Albania is. Everywhere you look, there will likely be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and the whole lot 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 lovely and essential, actually, that it has simply turn out to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe.
If you might be fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll doubtless be shocked to see how straightforward 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 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 pinnacle, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems and seems 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 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 in regards to the Rakia energy, although!
But severely, in case you are on the lookout for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with great individuals and engaging tradition… the reply is at all times Albania.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com