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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When you observe any journey blogs or learn journey information, (and since you’re right here studying this, I’ll assume you do!) then you will have undoubtedly examine Albania.

This small nation situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe has been gaining an increasing number of consideration lately for vacationers searching for one thing totally different, inexpensive, and delightful.

colorful fishing boats saranda albania

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

I spent 5 months initially 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 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
When 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 number of the nicest, most useful, and most welcoming that I’ve ever encountered in all my years of touring and residing overseas.

You might need heard folks seek advice from “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 inform you the variety of instances we’ve got interacted with some gruff older males whom we had been a bit intimidated to method at first however ended up consuming 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 method that will help you and make you’re 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 driving force realized we had 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 found out the place it was, after which proceeded to principally maintain our palms and escort us there, ensuring we had been okay.

We had 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 may 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 recognition for a lot of causes.

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

When doing our analysis, we assumed it was comparatively unknown, nevertheless it 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.

Word: lots of these we met had 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 after 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 realizing this and was nonetheless shocked at how little you’ll be able to spend right here and stay comfortably.

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

You will get a beer for underneath a greenback at most locations, and meals (apart from imported gadgets) may be very low cost as nicely.

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

Professional-tip: grow 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 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 wish to stay, however do remember the fact that the Albanian Riviera will get expensive because the summer season season approaches, so be certain to grasp 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. 

Seaside Please 

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

Albania has probably the most stunning 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’ll be able to take pleasure in, and naturally, Ksamil is turning into an increasing number of well-known as being as stunning 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 standard European locations, lots of Albania’s seashores are removed from a secret come summer season.

Whereas gorgeous, I used to be so shocked 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’re going to in all probability insist you be a part of them and their household on a visit (severely). 

bunkers in albania
Bunkers Bunkers In all places

Postcard Good Views 

I used to be, and proceed to be shocked at simply how stunning Albania is. In all places you look, there might be a turquoise coast crashing beneath the cliffs, or mountains and gorges, rivers, and all the pieces 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 stunning and necessary, the truth is, that it has simply grow to be the primary Wild River National Park in Europe. 

If you’re fortunate sufficient to name Albania dwelling for some time, you’ll probably 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 troublesome, 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 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?

When 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 induced some confusion.

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

I hope my expertise leads you to guide 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, if you’re searching for an fascinating and distinctive place to discover, with fantastic folks and engaging 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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