Albania is located in the most comfortable part of Europe - in the Balkans, on the shores of the warm Ionian and Adriatic seas. Greece and Montenegro, which are much more popular among tourists, are nearby, but Albania is gradually beginning to take away the glory of the best vacation spot from its neighbors.
The advantages of rest in Albania include affordable prices. The country has not yet been spoiled by crowds of tourists; food and housing are very inexpensive here. Albania has everything for recreation - clean beaches, picturesque canyons, untouched nature, a lot of interesting historical places and attractive corners.
The service is at a fairly high, truly European level, and the locals are very hospitable and respectful of travelers. What you should definitely do in Albania is to get acquainted with the local cuisine and wines. Believe me, Albania is in no way inferior to France in this regard, it will delight you with its culinary delights and a huge selection of different varieties of a noble drink.
We also recommend visiting not only the capital Tirana, but also cities such as Berat, Pogradets and Saranda, where there is also something to see. The relatively modest size of this country can also be attributed to the advantages of Albania - you will have time to get acquainted with almost all of its beauties during one trip.
What to see in Albania?
The most interesting and beautiful places, photos and a brief description.
National Ethnographic Museum in Berat
The museum in the city of Berat was opened relatively recently - in 1979. The building itself, built according to the traditional Berat architecture, attracts attention, as well as the amazing immovable furniture, literally built into the house. The National Ethnographic Museum allows you to get acquainted with the life of local residents, their traditions and crafts, in particular, the process of producing olive oil. The museum's collection includes more than a thousand exhibits.
This is a family business, the owners of which will be happy to show tourists all the features of wine production and give tastings of various varieties of a noble drink, which is the pride of Albania. First, visitors to the winery of the Chobo family are introduced to the production itself, and then to the collection of wines, where bottles from each year of the harvest are stored. There are both white and red wines here, the richness of the choice simply makes your eyes widen. The wine cellar itself is also quite picturesque, with mosaics and ancient amphoras for storage. The winery is located near the city of Berat.
If Tirana is the main city of Albania, then Skanderbeg Square is its center, the heart of the city, where the most important buildings and sights are located. The center of the square is occupied by a monument to Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania. Around are such interesting buildings as the Haji Ethem Bay Mosque, the Opera House, the National Museum and the Saat Kuda clock tower, built in 1822. Skanderbeg Square is comparable in size to Red Square, all of its buildings are designed in the style of Italian classicism.
Tirana National Historical Museum
This museum was founded in 1981 and is located on Skanderbeg Square in the center of Tirana. This is the largest of all Albanian museums, it has a collection of more than five thousand exhibits. In the museum, we advise you to definitely visit the Pavilion of Antiquity, where exhibits from the Paleolithic era are collected. There is a separate Pavilion of the Middle Ages, as well as departments of iconography, renaissance, anti-fascism, independence and ethnography. Everything is located very conveniently for tourists, allows you to get acquainted with all stages of the history of Albania.
This is the largest lake of the entire Balkan Peninsula, located simultaneously in Albania and Montenegro. Lake Skadar attracts tourists with its picturesque shores, rich flora and fauna, clean water and untouched natural areas that are under state protection. Navigation on Lake Skadar is well developed, so it is better to travel on it by ship. Moreover, the reservoir is known for its islands, on which churches with tombs were built.
This is the most famous resort in Albania, which will amaze tourists with the purest water and an amazing beach. At first, it seems that on the beach you are met by ordinary, though incredibly snow-white and too coarse sand. However, looking closely, you can understand that this is not sand, but stones ground to such a fine state. The water in the resort of Ksamil, located near the city of Saranda, is an incredible blue color, just like in the pool. In addition, there are several uninhabited islands that can be reached by swimming.
Berat, which is located 123 kilometers from Tirana, is not in vain called the city-museum. This is really a real museum of ancient architecture and history. Berat Castle is one of the most famous places in the city, located in the very center, as expected - on a hill. The citadel was erected in the XIII century, towering over the entire city and the riverbed. Not only tourists come here, but also newlyweds. The views from the citadel are stunning, and inside there are several ancient temples and a collection of historical artifacts.
The Rozafa Fortress is located near the city of Shkodra, in a picturesque place - on a rocky hill, surrounded by two rivers at once - the Drin and the Boyan. Scientists believe that the fortress began to be built in the 3rd century BC. She survived the capture by the Romans, and the siege by the Ottomans, and the war with the Montenegrins. Thanks to a local legend, the fortress of Rozafa has become a place of pilgrimage for young women who ask for a happy motherhood. Newlyweds often come here, attracted by the beautiful views. And tourists are primarily attracted by antiquity and the amazing history of this place, although the fortress itself has not been completely preserved. A museum has been created in one of the surviving buildings.
Karst source "Blue Eye"
This spring, located in the south of Albania, got its name for a very simple reason - its waters are really amazing blue. The Blue Eye spring is today part of the national park and is protected by the state. You can get to the source only on foot, after walking a few kilometers. The "Blue Eye" can scare tourists with its unexplored depth - it seems literally bottomless. We do not recommend swimming - the water here is icy and even in hot summers it does not warm up above 13 degrees.
Archaeological Museum-Reserve of Butrint
This museum-reserve is located in the southern part of Albania, near the city of Saranda, not far from the Greek border. Known for its excavations and medieval Venetian fortress. Archaeologists managed to unearth the walls of the acropolis, the sanctuary of Asclepius, the theater of the 3rd century BC, the remains of many residential and public buildings, including baths decorated with mosaics, on the territory of Butrint. You can visit the archaeological museum of Butrint on the way to the sea beaches - it is located just two kilometers from the coast.