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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In the event you comply with any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you’re right here studying this, I’ll assume you do!) then you might have undoubtedly examine Albania.

This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining an increasing number of consideration not too long ago for vacationers searching for one thing totally different, reasonably priced, and exquisite.

colorful fishing boats saranda albania

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

I spent 5 months initially of 2021 dwelling in Albania, and I’m a kind of individuals who received’t shut up about it.

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

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

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

Maintain The Promise

The very first thing that shocked me probably the most about Albania was the folks.

The folks you’ll find on this nation are a few of the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I’ve ever encountered in all my years of touring and dwelling overseas.

You might need heard folks consult with “Balkan Hospitality,” and that is completely a factor. Balkan folks 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 through the years.

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

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

That is extra of a lifestyle right here, and the folks will exit of their method that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and holding 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 motive force realized we have been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t communicate any English and was shouting at us and demanding my telephone, scary proper?

Upon taking my telephone he referred to as our guesthouse and discovered the place it was, after which proceeded to principally maintain our palms and escort us there, ensuring we have been okay.

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

A Not-So-Secret Secret 

It’s humorous as a result of most individuals I communicate 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 a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in reputation for a lot of causes.

After going viral on TikTok recently, Albania is just not such a top-secret vacation spot anymore. But, after we arrived in Albania in January 2021, we have been shocked to see so many different ex-pats dwelling 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 mates shortly as there was a reasonably well-established neighborhood 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.

Notice: lots of these we met have been People, as we are able to keep a year visa-free

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

From Finances To Bougie

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

I got here to Albania realizing this and was nonetheless shocked at how little you may spend right here and reside comfortably.

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

You will get a beer for below a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported gadgets) may be very low cost as properly.

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

Professional-tip: develop into regulars at a few of the seashore bars within the early days of the opening season (springtime) and be handled to a free bowl of recent mussels each time and in every single 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 reside, however do understand that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer time season approaches, so ensure to grasp 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. 

Seaside Please 

Okay, let’s speak concerning the seashores. Most individuals who come to Albania within the hotter months accomplish that searching for the Albanian Riviera, and for good cause.

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

Saranda has some respectable smaller seashores round it you may take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into an increasing number of well-known as being as lovely 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 in style European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer time.

Whereas gorgeous, I used to be so shocked that these locations get crowded shortly, and costs begin to creep up.

In case you are actually searching for a quiet place to flee, head north and search out some smaller seashore cities alongside the coast. Ask any native, and they’ll most likely insist you be a part of them and their household on a visit (severely). 

bunkers in albania
Bunkers Bunkers In all places

Postcard Excellent Views 

I used to be, and proceed to be shocked at simply how lovely Albania is. In all places you look, there will probably be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and every thing in between.

One factor that I couldn’t imagine 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 lovely and vital, in reality, that it has simply develop into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe. 

In case you are fortunate sufficient to name Albania house for some time, you’ll seemingly be shocked to see how simple many of the nation is to discover through public busses and, after all, by renting a automotive. 

blue lakes and mountains in Albania

Sure Means No And No Means Sure 

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

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

Now comes the difficult half, Albanians point out sure with a shake of the pinnacle, which means they’re saying Po and shaking their head, which seems to be and appears 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?

In the event you suppose it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about dwelling it. You’ll suppose it might get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay brought about some confusion.

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

I hope my expertise leads you to ebook 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 severely, in case you are searching for an attention-grabbing and distinctive place to discover, with great folks and interesting tradition… the reply is at all times Albania. 

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

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