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 case 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’ve gotten undoubtedly examine Albania.

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

colorful fishing boats saranda albania

Digital nomads additionally like it, and for good reason.

I spent 5 months firstly 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 international locations since then, at any time when folks 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
In case you get to Berat, ask for Lili (you’re welcome)

Preserve The Promise

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

The folks you will discover 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 folks discuss 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 over time.

I can’t let you know the variety of instances we’ve interacted with some gruff older males whom we had been a bit intimidated to method at first however ended up ingesting rakia round a desk with their household by the top 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 manner that can assist you and make you are feeling welcome, permitting them to be reliable and protecting 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 had been uncertain the place to go. He didn’t converse any English and was shouting at us and demanding my telephone, scary proper?

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

We had 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 may 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 a little bit of a secret, Albania has been rising in recognition for a lot of causes.

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

When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, however it ended up being the one nation the place we made so many mates shortly 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.

Word: lots of these we met had been People, 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 Price range 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 reside comfortably.

My residence in Saranda price underneath $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 underneath $300 a month for his or her residence as a result of they made some good native connections, so it may be completed. 

You will get a beer for underneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (except for imported objects) may 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: change into 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 in all places you go!

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

In the long run, it’s all about the way you wish to reside, however do needless to say the Albanian Riviera will get pricey because the summer time season approaches, so make certain to know any rental agreements beforehand.

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

Seashore Please 

Okay, let’s speak 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 probably the most lovely seashores I’ve ever seen. The rocky shores make for crystal-clear water, and the sunsets are unimaginable.

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 lovely because the Caribbean. 

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

One factor to appreciate, although, is that whereas not practically as crowded as different widespread European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer time.

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

If you’re 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 (significantly). 

bunkers in albania
Bunkers Bunkers In all places

Postcard Excellent Views 

I used to be, and proceed to be stunned at simply how lovely Albania is. In all places you look, there will likely be a turquoise coast crashing under the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and all the pieces 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 lovely and essential, in reality, that it has simply change into the primary Wild River National Park in Europe. 

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

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 folks point out sure and no.

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

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

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

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

In case you suppose it’s a bit complicated to learn, think about residing it. You’d suppose it could get simpler, and it did, however even after months, there have been nonetheless many conditions the place this interplay brought on 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 power, although!

However significantly, in case you are searching for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with great folks 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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