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Things to see and do in Albania

Travel July 15, 2017

Hike through the Albanian Alps. Explore ancient archaeological sites. Cycle the mountains for unbeatable views. Be on the look out for birds of prey. Find fantastic frescoes in Voskopoja. Delve into Tirana’s communist past. Uncover the legend of Rozafa Castle. Meet Albania’s national hero at Kruja. Explore the Ottoman architecture of Gjirokastra and Berati. Reclaim the abandoned city of Butrint. Raft down Albania’s rivers. Stand in awe at the religious art. Set sail on the Lake Komani ferry. And many more attractions…

Post-Communist Paradise in Albania

Travel May 14, 2017

Europe has a secret. It’s called Albania—a Maryland-size playground of rugged peaks, emerald seas, and ripping rivers. The only catch? It’s really poor, graft is rampant, and there’s little environmental regulation. Pack your bribe money for a warts-and-all jaunt through the wildest post-Communist state on earth. The Osum River flows out of Albania’s Korça highlands and hooks north to sluice through a 16-mile-long gorge called the Osum Canyon, one of Europe’s most spectacular white-water runs. A steady rain has riled the river into a Class III fury that’s now hurtling us through a particularly beautiful section…

The Best Value European Destination You’ve Never Heard Of

Travel September 5, 2016

Prizren, the country’s second-largest city (with less than 200,000 people), is a medieval beauty at the foot of the Sar Mountains. A few of the attractions around the city are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the 14th-century Dečani Monastery and three other medieval buildings. Some are currently under renovation, but you can gain access if you know the right people; or you can just wander around and enjoy them from the outside. As the city is doing its best to improve these sites for tourists, please be patient and understand that these things take time — but still go and check them out…

  • Welcome to my place . . . Albania

    by on January 29, 2019 - 0 Comments

    ‘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 […]

  • Kosovo: Life in the land of popstars

    by on January 29, 2019 - 0 Comments

    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 […]

  • Tirana city guide: Where to eat, drink, shop and stay in Albania’s capital

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    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. […]

  • Ava Max: My parents left Albania in 1990 and lived in a church in Paris for a whole year

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Albanian-American Singer-songwriter Ava Max has had a remarkable few months since the release of her breakout single Sweet But Psycho, which narrowly missed becoming the UK Christmas number one. Ava Max is buzzing. She’s bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and raring to go at the start of what many critics are already predicting will be a stellar pop […]

  • Communist Concentration Camps of the Past Haunt Today’s Albania

    by on January 22, 2019 - 0 Comments

    TEPELENA, Albania—Simon Mirakaj was 4 years old in 1949 when, together with his mother and two siblings, he was transferred to an internment camp a few miles from the town of Tepelena in southern Albania. His family’s odyssey of displacement first started in July 1945, when the communist government of Albania, headed by dictator Enver […]

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