Holidays to Albania fly right under the radar, so they’re a top pick for off-the-beaten-track breaks.
All about Albania
Ready to explore one of Europe’s hidden gems? Albania fringes the Adriatic Sea, with borders that run alongside Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Greece. It’s a great spot for a road trip, with super scenic coastal roads sandwiched between the sea and sprawling national parks. Inland, the capital – Tirana – lines up museums inside former military bunkers, plus a lively nightlife scene set up in a former Soviet neighbourhood.
Move over France – Albania has its own stretch of mountain-backed coastline, known as the Albanian Riviera. The picturesque Llogara National Park pairs coastal views with the mighty Ceraunian Mountains for your camera roll. Further inland, you can pick fruit and veg in the green fields of Saranda, or visit Lake Ohrid in the sleepy village of Lin. If you head west, you'll come across the charming coastal city of Durres. A city of two halves where you can get your culture and beach fix in one hit. And an extra bonus for travel lovers – the border with Macedonia runs right down the middle of the lake, so one boat trip ticks off two countries from the bucket list.
Towns with history
Albania is home to plenty of cute villages and towns, with a UNESCO World Heritage Site thrown in for good measure. Berat and Gjirokastra are on the list as rare examples of the architecture from the Ottoman period in the 15th century. Both are made for history buffs, with old churches and castles that look like they’re straight from Cinderella. And not forgetting Tirana, this capital city has many flashbacks to its communist history. You've got Bunk'Art – a former army bunker turned museum, or Skanderberg Square named after the national hero who helped the country gain its independence.