ALBANIA: EUROPE’S TOP NEW DESTINATION
Explore Albania through Albania Experience Landways, where travelers can enjoy trips to Albania that are tailor-made to their preferences. Albania Experience President Gazmend Haxhia shares his recommendations for Albania.
The MOST PICTURESQUE SPOT in all of Albania is the south of Albania, specifically Butrint, where you can see Albania’s history during Roman times. One of the highlights here is Saranda. The cities of Gjirokastra and Berat, UNESCO cities built on stone, are also very beautiful. In the north, the alps of Albania are a lovely combination of mountains, hills, green valleys, and people who live a very relaxed life.
FIRST-TIME VISITORS MUST START by heading to the south to Tirana for a five-day trip or do a three-day trip in the north which is extremely beautiful. You can go to Valbona River and Valbona Valley, where there are trees and mountains 2,000 meters high, and then visit the Shkodër City on the way back.
ONE THING YOU MUST DO in Albania is to walk around and meet the locals. You’ll be grabbed by the hand by people who don’t speak your language and they’ll say, “Come taste my cookie!” or “Where are you from?” This is very unusual. Locals like to see how you live, and they enjoy learning something new and finding out what motivated you to visit Albania. I find this attitude very special.
VISITORS MUST PARTICIPATE in a local wedding in Albania. Weddings are very big festivities where people dance a lot and it’s not unusual for locals to invite foreign visitors they meet to come along and enjoy. Even if you are only in Albania for a day or two, after participating in a local wedding, you will feel like you’ve known Albanians for years.
YOUR ITINERARY FOR A WEEKEND IN ALBANIA
9 PM Leave Manila via Turkish Airlines.
4 AM Arrive in Istanbul.
7 AM Board the plane to Albania.
830 AM Arrive in Albania.
9 AM Hop on an Avis Rent-a-Car and take a tour around the city to see the pulsing life of the capital.
11 AM Go on 15-minute cable car drive to Dajti Mountain to see the city.
12 NN Enjoy a lunch of local cuisine.
1 PM Check-in at your five-star boutique hotel.
2 PM Walk around the boulevard, see government and historical buildings with an experienced guide.
5 PM Head to the Block: a bustling place of coffee shops and bars.
7 PM Enjoy a sumptuous dinner of organic vegetables, meat, or fish.
10 PM Have a taste of the city’s nightlife or head back to your hotel.
Rent a car and go to Krujë, a historic town 10 minutes from the airport and 35 minutes from Tirana. It’s the birthplace of Albania’s national hero, George Castriot. Go shopping at the bazaars for traditional handicrafts created in a manner handed down through generations.
Leave for Durrës Beach for a light fish lunch. In the afternoon, head to Berat, another UNESCO World Heritage city. It’s a whole city on a castle where 300 families live. On the way back, have a relaxing coffee in the warmth of a café in the areas between Berat and the airport.
At the airport, we will see you off and give you a good Albanian kiss, wishing you will come
back – not for a weekend – but for week next time.