Why you should visit Albania this year

Albania is a magical piece of land that offers to visitors picturesque villages, buzzling towns, dreamy beaches and hidden ancient treasures where to touch history with hands. The country is also home to some of the wildest wonders to see in Europe -which include untouched rivers, ancient lakes and some of the most impressive bays in the Balkans. The diversity and authenticity of Albania make it a unique place to go for all kinds of holidays and type of travellers. But, most of all Albania is a place where is easy to bond with the people who live there. Visiting Albania is a real adventure. A country in Europe, but not like the rest of Europe, a place with a warm heart, where hospitality, pride and tradition intertwine and people are always happy to help you and welcome you.

Vjosa River, ©Antoine Similon

In these 4 past months of the year, tourist arrivals nearly doubled last year (in 2022: 7.5 million of visitors visited the country). Albania is now set to become even more of a hot spot: the Balkan country recently designated one of Europe’s most prominent rivers as a national park (Vjosa). A truly wild river -270 km-, habitat of wild animals (lynx, otters, Egyptian vulture) that rises in north-western of Greece, course through Albania before meeting the Adriatic Sea north of Vlora. This is an exciting announcement for the environment, of course, but for Albanian tourism too giving the country a new landmark to begin showcasing to the world. Adventurous globetrotters to Vjosa River National park can enjoy many outdoor activities, including rafting excursions.

Archaeological park of Apollonia, ©Sara Darcaj

The best time of the year to visit Albania is between May-June and September-October where local temperatures range from 13 to 23 degrees Celsius, there are no crowds, you can enjoy empty beaches, old villages and archaeological sites. Albania is a safe and well connected country. Tirana International Airport has daily flights with a lot of European cities. Just a two-hour drive from the capital Tirana, you can find charming coastal towns with old city centres, mountains in the background and beaches beautiful enough to rival those of the neighbour countries. The Albanian Riviera is nowadays a top summer destination thanks to its idyllic beaches -both sandy and pebbly- nature and culture. You can join excursions, boat trips, trekking, visit archaeological sites (Apollonia, Byllis, Butrint) and old monasteries and discover more about the ancient history of Albania. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the UNESCO sites of Albania, Berat, Gjirokaster and Butrint Park. The two cities are filled with art, culture and history, and home to some of the prettiest buildings you’ll see in Albania and the Balkans, historical neighbourhoods, old castles, picturesque churches, mosques.

Featured image: Albanian Riviera, ©Edin Murati