A lbania is one of those places travelers stumble upon every now and then – a country isolated from the outside world for so long that it gives new meaning to the term “emerging nation.” In Albania’s case even its language is unrelated to its neighbors beyond its borders.
Although new on the tourism scene and still rough around the edges, its hospitable people are beginning to build its reputation on the tourism map.
Visit its capital of Tirana, and see the country’s two UNESCO world heritage towns: Berati, the “city of a thousand windows” and Gjirokastra, the old Ottoman merchant town that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country’s idyllic Ionian Coast beaches are beautiful.
Just don’t expect all the amenities you’ll find in better-developed nations quite yet.
Good to Know:
A Bunker Mentality
All over Albania you see signs of the former Communist regime – thousands and thousands of mushroom-shape concrete and steel bunkers. Ostensibly, they were built to protect the country in case of invasion but they almost certainly had the added effect of keeping the local citizens in line, as well.