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Sunday, July 26, 2015

EUROPE’S LAST SECRET – THE TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT ALBANIA NOW!

“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
If ever there was a time to plan a trip to Albania, it’s now. As we explored the south of Europe, we started hearing more and more about this Mediterranean gem but the word on the street or the internet, rather, could not have been more confusing. So we wanted to find out for ourselves. The truth is, Albania is amazing and here are the top 10 reasons to visit Albania now!
Saranda, Albania
Saranda, Albania
1. Undiscovered non-tourist Mediterranean destination
Sure, visiting the famous landmarks around the world like Eiffel tower or Vatican can be fun, but why not go somewhere completely different and be the first one to discover the most amazing gems before thousands of tourist descend. Following years of communist regime and its ultimate collapse in the early 1990’s, Albania is in the midst of a major facelift offering thousands of years of history and natural beauty. Thus, while others navigate the overcrowded streets in neighboring Greece or Italy, Albania offers plenty of peace and quiet enjoyment, local lifestyle, untouched nature and pure pleasure of having all the amazing treasures pretty much to yourself.
Saranda, Albania
Saranda, Albania
2. Phenomenal weather 
Located in the south of Europe, right across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and neighboring to the south with Greece, Albania features gorgeous Mediterranean climate all year long, with warm summers and mild winters, especially along the coastline. Can you feel the warm breeze caressing your cheeks?
Saranda, Albania
Saranda, Albania
3. Pristine beaches
Albania features hundreds of miles of immaculate coastline and a rich offering of sandy and pebble excitement. Plenty to choose for you beach lovers. Most importantly the beaches, especially those to the south close to Saranda and Ksamil, feature amazing turquoise, crystal clear water and are simply irresistible. No matter how much you like the sun and getting your tan on, I promise you will not resist a refreshing dip in those crystal clear blues.
Ksamil, Albania
Ksamil, Albania
4. Stunning mountain ranges
Are there any more beautiful places than those with both the sea and the mountains? Well, Albania has both and plenty of it. There are two large European mountain ranges which dominate Albania: the Dinaric or Albanian Alps to the north and Pindus Mountains also referred to as the “spine of Albania” stretching all the way from the north to the south of the country and reaching over 2000 m above sea level. The mountain ranges feature breathtaking glacial and alpine lakes, as well as, a diversity of natural beauty. Plenty of joy for your claiming or skiing adventure.
Gjirokastër, Albania
Gjirokastër, Albania
5. Archeological and UNESCO wonders
As if the beautiful weather and phenomenal geographic scenery were not enough, there is also something for a history buff and archeological explorer in you. Considering Albania’s close proximity to Greece, it is not surprising to find abundantly rich and captivating archeological sites, castles, UNESCO heritage sites and ancient history throughout Albania. The current archaeological discoveries point to the early Iron Age B.C. displaying intriguing remains of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. Did I mention having it all to yourself? (see #1)
Butrint, Albania
Butrint, Albania
6. Delicious food
With the glorious coastal location, Albania offers delicious selection of fresh seafood from octopus to squid, mussels, shrimp and fish prepared in variety of ways. You will also enjoy phenomenal freshly grilled pork, chicken and well-seasoned juicy stake. All that in a garden-fresh company of organic fruit and veggies from the local market. Yummy…
Fresh salad & fried mussels
Fresh salad & fried mussels
7. Feels wonderful for your wallet
As a developing country, Albania offers prices you will not see anywhere in Europe, especially not in the Mediterranean. You simply cannot beat the lodging prices. A beautiful, new and modern apartment for a family of four, stunning sea view, fully equipped kitchen and in the center of the city  – all that starting at $35 per night. And local food, oh so good. Enjoy a huge gyro for lunch at a whopping $1.30 per person or seafood dinner for two that may set you back $15. Feeling rich yet?
Relaxing and inexpensive
Relaxing and inexpensive
8. Friendly Locals
The people of Albania are warm and welcoming. They are excited to see their country transform and welcome visitors from around the world. We had a great time making new friends in Albania, from our bus driver, to shop and restaurant owners and many locals met on the street. Despite the word on the internet, most of the people we met spoke English and few that didn’t were game for some hand gestures and Google translator fun! Albanians are helpful, easygoing and excited to welcome the world.
Meeting local shepherd
Meeting local shepherd
9. Safe and tolerant
We were not sure what to expect when arriving in Albania, so we were very excited to feel freedom and safety. The country is extremely religiously tolerant with Christianity and Islam peacefully co-exiting side by side. When visiting Albania you will hear the call to prayer and see the crowds filling up the Catholic and Orthodox churches at the same times. Locals are friendly and family oriented. Whether you use public transportation or enjoy evening out, you will have a peace of mind.
Evening in Saranda
Evening in Saranda
10. Great investment opportunityYes, I know. Most of us don’t pick vacation destinations to do business, but…aren’t we all dreaming of this amazing vacation spot to call home? Unfortunately, unless you are a millionaire, most of the breathtaking, warm-weather, sea-view destinations are probably out of reach, but not in Albania. The country is developing quickly and offers plenty of investment opportunity allowing foreigners to purchase delightfully affordable sea view properties without much hassle. These coastal apartments with a million dollar sea views start as a low as $50,000. Feeling fabulous yet?http://www.travelme.world/europes-last-secret-the-top-10-reasons-to-visit-albania-now/
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