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Western Balkans: Europe’s new adventure playground

Travel May 15, 2017

Rafting and kayaking in Albania: Thanks to some of the most stunning scenery in the Balkans as well as several enthusiastic local tour operators, Albania is an up-and-coming contender on the European adventure sports scene. Hiking in the Albanian Alps (home to bears, wolves and deer, among other wildlife) is particularly popular; the highlight is trekking the area around Theth and Valbonë villages, set in the dramatic wilderness of the Accursed Mountains…

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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…

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