Why Albania is the best travel destination you’ve never considered

“With a fascinating history, natural beauty, to-die-for Mediterranean cuisine, and a bundle of eccentricity, Shqipëri, as Albania is known in its native tongue, is Europe’s unpolished diamond.
• Culture
Albania is unlike any other country on earth. After over 500 years under Ottoman rule, the 20th century saw it become one of the most isolated countries in the world, after the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha broke off ties with the USSR, China, and Yugoslavia.
• Food
All of this walking and reverse-nodding will no doubt leave you hungry, but thankfully you’re in the right part of the world for a feast. The cuisine here is best described as a fusion of its geography: tavë kosi, earthenware dishes of lamb, egg, and yogurt, Balkan-style savoury byrek pastries, and fëgesë, a vegetable dish with cottage cheese and spices from Ottoman days.
• Cities
UNESCO-listed Berat, aka ‘the town of a thousand windows’, is known for its preserved white Ottoman houses and steep cobblestone pathway that leads to a 13th-century castle that would look at home in the Seven Kingdoms. The Osumi River flowing below hosts rafting adventures through its canyons, or a gorgeous afternoon stroll for the less daring.
• Nature
Albania boasts 30 per cent of all plant life in Europe, much of it found in the country’s 15 national parks.
And whether you’re skirting around the sleepy streets near Lake Ohrid or the bustling streets of Tirana, keep an eye out for sheep, goats, and other animals: it’s not usual to share a dusty road with a traditional herder and their flock!”

Read More