‘It’s good to appreciate how far Albania has come since the dictatorship ended in 1991’… Some 40 minutes’ drive from Tirana is the town of Kruja, set on a dramatic escarpment and home to the country’s largest antiques and handcrafts market. Handwoven kilims, bold and sometimes gaudy traditional costumes and carved wood utensils can all be bought very affordably, and there is plenty of communist-era memorabilia on sale too. If you can’t get to Kruja check out the newly refurbished covered market in Tirana for the excellent “mountain tea”…
When people think of Kosovo, they probably remember the war-torn country in the late 1990s. What they probably don’t think of is the fact that there is no place in Europe that can boast as many popstars per capital as Kosovo. Before telling you who those popstars are, let me emphasise that this was not the case when I first visited this country, back in 2004.
Dua Lipa (pictured below) has been at number one in the pop charts for more than 10 weeks. She is a perfect example of the positive vibe of the Kosovan capital Pristina, combined with a western attitude (she grew up partly in the UK). Another singer, also originally from Pristina, is the female with the most number 10 hits: Rita Ora…
Albania is coming in from the cold. After decades of isolation, Europe’s last undiscovered country is set on modernising and attracting visitors. Its capital, Tirana, is at the heart of this plan.
The first ever low-cost flights between the UK and Albania started in April 2018, when Wizz Air opened its new London Luton-Tirana route. And the historic city is in the midst of massive changes as part of the highly ambitious new Tirana 2030 project, devised by Milan’s Stefano Boeri Architects, which will totally reimagine Albania’s capital – filling it with concentric rings of green space, new public schools and eco-friendly housing.
Sunbathing on pristine beaches, trekking through lonely mountains, exploring ancient ruins… if this sounds like your idea of heaven, you NEED to travel to Albania ASAP. The Balkan gem has avoided mass tourism unlike many of its neighbours, so travel in Albania means many off-the-beaten-path experiences and oodles of authentic local charm.
From numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites to lush mountains and crystal clear Albanian beaches along the Albanian Riviera, adventure awaits you at every turn – and despite what some people may expect, it’s super safe…
Quickly becoming a traveler hotspot, Albania’s mix of modernity and tradition combined with its stunning scenery has made it one of Europe’s must-see destinations. We round-up some of the country’s most beautiful towns and cities, from historic Gjirokastra to the tiny mountain village of Theth.
“Every year the numbers are increasing, with official statistics from the authorities showing that 1007 yachts visited just Saranda port in 2018, compared to 842 in 2017…” Albania is not commonly thought of as a superyacht destination, but every year more and more yachts are visiting the country. Because of its proximity to Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Italy, and its unspoiled natural beauty, Albania has been dubbed by some as the next Montenegro, with prolific superyachts, including sailing yacht A, Pelorus, Tango, Zeus and Queen K, having visited just this year…
One hour flight distance from European capitals. Stretches along seashores of the Adriatic and Ionian seas. More than 300km of coastline. Memorable holidays. Unexplored shores. A varying landscape of nature. More than 2700m high mountains. More than 7700 acres of forests. Hidden Valleys. In the heart of mountains, tall-stone architecture, guest houses. More than 3200 […]
When Nato eventually intervened in 1999 to stop the ethnic cleansing by Serbian forces of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, the UK prime minister Tony Blair was hailed as a hero. As refugees returned to the province, several new parents of baby boys called their sons Tony Blair. For Kosovan Albanians, Tony Blair is more than […]
“Why not give yourself a break from the unending cavalcade of modern high-speed insanity, and rest up with this album of deep soul from Southern Albania.” – Ry Cooder Brazilian Samba, Bosnian Sevdah, New Orleans Jazz, Cuban son – and Albanian Saze! The turn of the last century saw mass migrations to the world’s cities […]
From the Adriatic coastline to the Accursed Mountains, a new generation of chefs is putting a modern twist on the country’s traditional dishes. “Drying our homemade jufka pasta in the sun”, “watermelon jam”, “corn bread and white cheese”, “sucking clover in the meadows”, “omelette with wild fennel”, “fritters with plum and honey sauce”… These are all […]
Have the beach to yourself… Eat superb seafood… Hike through alpine countryside… Explore underground nuclear bunkers… See a living citadel… Drink home-grown wines… Shop for antiques; Just outside the capital, the town of Kruja is famous for being the stronghold of Albanian national hero Skanderbeg during his resistance against the Ottomans in the fifteenth century. […]