Heroic-looking highlands, pretty bays overlooking the royal blue Ionian Sea, antique Ottoman villages and UNESCO walled cities. Once overlooked in favor of more-well known Mediterranean nations, Albania is fast gaining a reputation as a great place to travel. The Balkan country, tucked between Greece and Montenegro, might be small, but this gorgeous nation has a huge array of natural wonders. Mountainous hinterland, alpine villages, wild rivers, glacial lakes, cliffside castles and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Here are some of the best places to visit in Albania during fall.
There’s a reason Berat is one of Albania’s most popular sites. With its traditional Ottoman houses, ancient churches and mosques, views of the mountains, and Disney-like castle on a hill, you won’t be short of picture-perfect views in this UNESCO world heritage site.
Situated on a picturesque location on the Ionian coastline, between the mountains and sea, Dhërmi is one of Albania’s most beautiful villages crowded in summer but almost empty during fall. Its old tiny center looks like a postcard with traditional architecture, Orthodox churches, narrow alleyways, and glowing sunsets.
A village located in the centre of Albania, between the cities of Elbasan and Belsh, Dumre is known for one thing in particular: its saffron. The town is home to one of the best saffron in the Balkans that flowers in fall. It is harvested and worked by the company Victus Fed that produces saffron honey and tea too. The area is surrounded by stunning ancient lakes, hilly countryside and olive fields.
Sitting just over 14 km north of Greece, Leskovik is a small village in the Germenj-Shelegur natural park. The town is located a bit off the beaten tourist path. It is well worth the drive, especially since it is one of the most fairy tale-esque places in the country -think mountains, forests, lakes, vineyards and farms. Like Farma Sotira, an agro-tourism equipped with restaurant, pool and romantic wooden bungalows. Visits to the farm include horse riding, apitherapy and hiking in the woods.
POGRADEC AND THE LAKE
In Albania’s eastern crook, Lake Ohrid (shared with the neighbor North Macedonia) is a joy to behold, with its mountain backdrop, spirit-lifting views, and shoreline necklaced with handsome villages and the city of Pogradec. The town is an excellent base for exploring the surroundings, fishers villages, Lin basilica, Drilon National Park and eat traditional Albanian food.
Featured image: ©Shoqata Agroturizmit