Albania is a new destination and country in the Western Balkans where you can experience adventures and cultural trips. If you think you know Albania, think again. This addictive country has a myriad faces. In the rugged north, the Alps are so fierce they're 'accursed', while the south enjoys one of Europe’s least known and most beautiful coastlines. Tirana is filled with craziness, from its traffic to its nightlife, but on its doorstep are mosques, citadels, Ottoman architecture and a stunning dose of medieval Balkans. The real surprise of Albania is the people. Their warmth to strangers is infectious and you’re bound to find yourself swapping stories over a glass of raki or three.
Numerous experiences and adventures await you! Do not hesitate to visit Albania, the newest destination in Southeastern Europe.
On the Albanian Riviera, the sleepy town of Himarë awaits: Situated on the Ionian Sea and an accessible base point to sparsely visited alcoves like Gjipea Beach and Grama Bay, this town offers dramatic scenery you won’t tire of. The Ceraunian Mountains serve as the backdrop to crystal-clear beaches, and local outfitters like Zbulo deliver travelers to the nearby Llogara National Park, a stomping ground for those seeking to hike and cycle in the wild and spot indigenous species like native wolves, wildcats, and eagles. During a visit, meander up and down the Southern Albanian Coast, opting for a stay at Drymades Inn in Dhermi or Jaroal Hotel in Saranda. Roam the streets of Himarë to find a café that calls to you, and don’t miss a chance to dine at Veranda in neighboring Qeparo, where you can enjoy a homemade meal alfresco, underneath a blanket of shade trees and ivy.
Locals stroll along a cobblestoned walkway, canoes drift in the lake’s oscillating waters, and a choir practices on the Church of St. Sophia steps as dusk begins to set: Welcome to Ohrid, Macedonia, an utterly perfect town full of Old World charm, set on the banks of brilliant Lake Ohrid. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits at the intersection of three national parks, attracting hikers, bikers, and climbers to town, as well as those in search of a holiday, and it’s also the perfect place to enjoy Macedonia’s flourishing wine harvest. Stay in one of Ohrid’s many lakefront properties like Hotel Tino, or opt inland at Villa St. Sophia or Vila Mal Sveti Kliment. Wander Ohrid’s old town: Pass homes decorated with bougainvillea, flower pots, and ivy until you reach Kaneo Beach, home to family-run Restaurant Kaj Kanevche. End the night at Jazz Inn, a dive-bar-meets-live-music venue where locals convene. Visit Ohrid’s most photographed landmark, Church of St. John at Kaneo, and view the city from atop Samuel’s Fortress. For scenic views, take a drive through National Park Galičica to neighboring Lake Prespa, and enjoy an evening boat cruise to Restaurant Ostrovo set near the Black Drim River and the Monastery of Saint Naum.
In Kosovo, Prizren stands as the country’s beacon of creativity, set at the base of the Sharr Mountains along the river Bistrica and host to rich Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Visit during August when the city hosts DokuFest, the largest film festival in all of Kosovo, featuring live music sets, photo exhibitions, and screenings of more than 200 films from around the world. Stay at Hotel Kacinari or Hotel Centrum Prizren, and to get the most of both city and country life, tour the area with Butterfly Outdoor Adventure and Airtour: Begin with an interactive workshop at a local ﬁligree factory, dine on kebabs near Prizren’s Stone Bridge at Te Syla, and venture uphill to the Prizren Fortress, which offers the perfect view of bustling Prizren from above. Head into nature on a hike to Struzha, where you can stay at a traditional guesthouse and enjoy a campfire and local meal before completing a cross-country hike from Kosovo to Macedonia, summiting Scarpa Peak and passing Kara Nikolla Lake along the way.