I Spent 5 Months In This Trending Country And Here’s What Surprised Me The Most

I Spent 5 Months In This Trending Country And Here’s What Surprised Me The Most

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Should you comply with any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you might be right here studying this, I’ll assume you do!) then you’ve gotten undoubtedly examine Albania.

This small nation positioned on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining increasingly more consideration lately for vacationers searching for one thing completely different, inexpensive, and delightful.

colorful fishing boats saranda albania

Digital nomads additionally find it irresistible, and for good reason.

I spent 5 months at first of 2021 residing in Albania, and I’m a kind of individuals who gained’t shut up about it.

Regardless of having been to many extra nations since then, each time individuals ask, “what nation has been your favourite” or “what nation left the best impression,” the reply is all the time Albania. 

Right here Are Some Issues That Shocked Me The Most About Albania: 

berat albania white houses
Should you get to Berat, ask for Lili (you’re welcome)

Maintain The Promise

The very first thing that stunned me essentially the most about Albania was the individuals.

The individuals you can see on this nation are a number of the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I’ve ever encountered in all my years of touring and residing overseas.

You may need heard individuals consult with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan individuals may appear a bit tough across the edges, however that is only a little bit of a tough exterior that a few of them have constructed up over time.

I can’t inform you the variety of occasions we now have interacted with some gruff older males whom we have been a bit intimidated to strategy at first however ended up ingesting rakia round a desk with their household by the tip of the dialog. 

In Albania, there’s a time period: BESA, which implies to maintain the promise.

That is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the individuals will exit of their manner that will help you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and maintaining the promise of peace. 

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gjirokasta albania buildings
The city of Gjirokaster can’t be missed

For instance: One time we took a public bus to a different metropolis and upon reaching the vacation spot, the driving force realized we have been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my cellphone, scary proper?

Upon taking my cellphone he known as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to mainly maintain our fingers and escort us there, ensuring we have been okay.

We have been actually speechless at how out of his manner he went to assist us. That is the Balkan hospitality that I’m speaking about. Identify one other nation the place this is able to occur, I’ll wait. 

A Not-So-Secret Secret 

It’s humorous as a result of most individuals I converse to about Albania have by no means heard of it, and it appears the one ones who do know are different vacationers and digital nomads.

Whereas it was once a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in recognition for a lot of causes.

After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania is just not such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. But, once we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we have been stunned to see so many different ex-pats residing right here already.

When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, but it surely ended up being the one nation the place we made so many associates rapidly as there was a reasonably well-established group of ex-pats and locals right here. So, if Albania was a secret earlier than social media, it wasn’t a really well-kept one.

Be aware: lots of these we met have been Individuals, as we will keep a year visa-free

woman standing in Gjirokaster
 castle Albania
An Albanian couple helped us get in right here once we confirmed up simply at closing, so good!

From Funds To Bougie

Albania is an affordable destination, that is completely true, and most vacationers who come already know this.

I got here to Albania understanding this and was nonetheless stunned at how little you’ll be able to spend right here and stay comfortably.

My house in Saranda price beneath $500 a month and had sea views and a pool, to not point out high-speed wifi and sensible TVs. I’ve associates who pay beneath $300 a month for his or her house as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be achieved. 

You may get a beer for beneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (other than imported objects) could be very low-cost as effectively.

Nonetheless, one factor to know is you can additionally splurge in Albania, and a few lodging and eating places can run you Western costs after which some.

Professional-tip: turn out to be regulars at a number of the seashore bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of contemporary mussels each time and all over the place you go!

korca beer and mussels on the beach albania
Having fun with free mussels on the seashore in Saranda

Ultimately, it’s all about the way you need to stay, however do take into account that the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer season season approaches, so make certain to know any rental agreements beforehand.

Many individuals I do know had their hire doubled in the summertime, so that is one thing to work out earlier than signing something. 

Seashore Please 

Okay, let’s discuss concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that in the hunt for the Albanian Riviera, and for good purpose.

Albania has essentially the most stunning seashores I’ve ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unbelievable.

Saranda has some first rate smaller seashores round it you’ll be able to get pleasure from, and naturally, Ksamil is changing into increasingly more well-known as being as stunning because the Caribbean. 

@maldivosaur Greatest seashores in Albania half 1 #hot #holiday #beach #destination #travel #traveldestinations #albania ♬ Calm Down Andre Soueid – andresoueid

One factor to understand, although, is that whereas not almost as crowded as different standard European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.

Whereas beautiful, I used to be so stunned that these locations get crowded rapidly, and costs begin to creep up.

If you’re actually searching for a quiet place to flee, head north and hunt down some smaller seashore cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll most likely insist you be part of them and their household on a visit (critically). 

bunkers in albania
Bunkers Bunkers In every single place

Postcard Good Views 

I used to be, and proceed to be stunned at simply how stunning Albania is. In every single place you look, there will likely be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every part in between.

One factor that I couldn’t consider was the crystal clear green-blue of the Vjosa river that runs from Greece throughout Albania and into the Adriatic Sea.

This river is so stunning and vital, in reality, that it has simply turn out to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe. 

If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania residence for some time, you’ll doubtless be stunned to see how simple a lot of the nation is to discover through public busses and, in fact, by renting a automotive. 

blue lakes and mountains in Albania

Sure Means No And No Means Sure 

Whereas English is broadly spoken in Albania, the official language is Albanian, known as Shqip. When talking Shqip, one factor to concentrate to is how individuals point out sure and no.

Sure is Po, and No is Jo. Not too tough, proper?

Now comes the tough half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the top, that means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which appears and seems like No to a foreigner. 

@maptrekking how cute is that this place?! #albania???????? #travelalbania #visitalbania #traveltiktok ♬ albania. – ssuzieed

Once they imply no, they nod their head up and down and say Jo. Nonetheless with me?

Should you assume it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about residing it. You’d assume it could get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay triggered some confusion.

Fortunately, Albanians are understanding and affected person with foreigners, so it’s all good. 

I hope my expertise leads you to e-book that ticket, bus, and even the ferry from Corfu, Greece to discover Albania and all it has to supply.

Don’t inform me I didn’t warn you concerning the Rakia energy, although!

However critically, in case you are searching for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic individuals and interesting tradition… the reply is all the time Albania. 

woman in field in albania with mountains
Thanks for all of the recollections Albania!

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