Albania or Shqipëria as albanians call it is a beautiful country with remarkable nature and many interesting places for hiking. However, I doubt we can say that we know it as well as other balkan countries like Turkey, Greece and Macedonia. As a tourist destination Albania remains aside from “the spotlight”, but that doesn’t make it less attractive. If you have decided that for your next trip you want something different, don’t hesitate to consider a trip to the land of eagles. It has a typical Balkan feeling, but it also brings unique Adriatic note. The attractions are many, and because the country is not big, you will not have to travel long days, so you can see the more important of them.
Some useful geographic information: North Albania borders on Montenegro, the Republic of Kosovo to the Northeast, Macedonia to the East and Greece to the South. The country has an outlet on the Adriatic Sea to the West, and the Ionian Sea to the Southwest. This makes it really great, albeit unconventional, a place for summer vacation. Area is 29 176 sq.m. miles, of which 27 805 sq. km land and 1 371 sq. km water territory. The relief of the country is hilly and low mountainous, but passable in winter is difficult. This is mainly because of the bad road infrastructure – something that is not entirely unfamiliar.
In spring and summer, Albania is an interesting place for tourism, a dose of exoticism and a touch of Balkan hospitality. Try necessarily local cuisine that brings the typical Adriatic spirit, slightly resembles the Italian and Greek.
The first National Park is located in southwestern Albania. This is a great place to visit, where you can explore the ancient village. It is located in a very scenic, but hard to get. In it you will see the ancient Amphitheater, Venetian castle and the Acropolis, there is also a well-governed Museum exhibition.
If you love to spend summer near the water, in Albania there are many beautiful places for that. Skadar Lake is a great place to relax and is an exceptionally beautiful, especially down by the ancient fortress Rozafa. Interestingly, half of the Lake is conducted in Albania, and the other in Montenegro. You can also visit the Ohrid Lake – the Albanian part, it is quite easy and is not jammed with tourists, as in neighboring Macedonia.
If you’re looking for beaches and beach holiday – all over the Adriatic coast of Albania there are wonderful places for vacation – there’s a reason it’s called the Albanian Riviera. Keep an eye on the towns of Vlora, Saranda and Duras. Albania has a remarkable conditions and nature and the only explanation that is more popular as a destination resort, is a weak development of advertising and tourism. This, of course, could easily be explained by the internal political problems of the country. The prices are still quite low, but still there are hotels, and it’s not hard to find a good offer.
Another popular and quite an exotic destination is “The Bottomless Lake”, or as I call it local “Blue eye”. The Lake is located near the town of Saranda, on the Western side of the mountains Mali and Gere. This is the largest spring in Albania where crossing several underground sources of water – a remarkable natural phenomenon. This makes it difficult for the exact measurement of the depth of the eye, but I still believe that it is between 45 and 80 yards.
If you’re brave enough you can dive in the crystal waters of the Lake. There is no ban on swimming in it, but the low temperature of the water (about 10 degrees) and high pressure makes it not especially comfortable for bathrooms. The entry into “Blue eye” remains the area reserved for lovers of extreme experiences. In fact, the groundwater pressure is so great that it is claimed that if you throw a stone into a pond, after a few minutes it will come to the surface.