You want to lie on the most beautiful beaches in Europe, living life to its fullest?
You want to have those beaches (almost) to yourself?
Because listen. If you forget about Greece, Spain and the French riviera for a second and look at Albania, you can get the exact same thing there, only cheaper and less crowded.
Stick around, because in this article I’ll give you a taste of what Albania is about. And not just the brilliant beaches. No, we’re also going through quaint UNESCO towns, epic nature and hypnotic mountains.
Let’s dig in.
A place nicknamed ‘City of a Thousand Windows’ and ‘The White City’ can hardly be boring, right? Berat is pretty jaw-droping with its UNESCO town status, its white skyline and history going back 2.500 years.
Read my post about things to do in Berat.
2. THE BLUE EYE (SYRI I KALTëR)
Speaking of magical places.. Check out the Blue Eye (also known locally as Syri i Kaltër). This hypnotic pool of deep blue water looks like the iris of an eye, and no one knows how deep it is.
If you haven’t heard of the Albanian Riviera, let me introduce you to Himare. It’s a beach town along the riviera and one of the highlights.
4. BORSH BEACH
Another stunner of the Albanian riviera is Borsh beach. It’s 8km long and the longest beach in Albania. Here’s an example – and I don’t know why it sounds like Russian soup either so don’t ask.
And now to my personal favorite: Gjirokastër. This UNESCO town is so quaint, pretty and idyllic. It’s located in the mountains so imagine those views!
6. SOUTHERN ALBANIA
You know, I almost didn’t go to Albania because it was out of season (November). But then I wouldn’t have seen this.
Another photo from legendary Gjirokastër. It’s very medieval and well-preserved. I haven’t seen houses like these anywhere else in the world. Have you?
8. LORI BEACH (KSAMIL)
Aah, my favorite beach town in Albania: Ksamil (pronounced samil). There are several beaches to choose from. And the best part? You have them all to yourself.
Back in Berat, you can spend days soaking in those beautiful white houses and mountainous surroundings. Both sides of the river is worth a visit.
10. BORA BORA BEACH (KSAMIL)
Yes, yes, and yes. Any beach that sounds like French Polynesia and actually lives up to it deserves some hype. Here’s Bora Bora in low season – imagine this place in the summer with lounge chairs, cocktails and Jack Johnson playing in the background.
♬ Make you banana pancakes. Pretend like it’s the weekend now…. ♬
If I told you that you can visit Gjirokastër on a day trip from Corfu, would you go? The ferry ride to Sarandë only takes 30 minutes, and from there it’s just a 1.5 hour drive to Gjirokastër. The Blue Eye is on the way.
12. NEAR THE BORDER TO GREECE
Spellbinding nature; oh yes, you’ll come across this in Albania, too.
13. THE ALBANIAN RIVIERA
This is what road tripping along the riviera looks like. I’ll give you a proper introduction to the best beaches in Albania within the next couple of weeks. This is Dhërmi, by the way.
Sarandë is the hub of the riviera. It’s a good place to base yourself when you explore the nearby beaches. And – it’s only 15 minutes drive from the fantastic Ksamil islands.
15. DHëRMI BEACH
And let’s finish off with another picture from the riviera. Just because it’s reason alone to visit the captivating Albania.