Publié: Tue Jul 26 2022
Albania — The Secret Balkan Gem
A small country in the Balkans that offers diverse landscape corners with the Alps, lakes, and the coast along the Adriatic Sea. Immerse yourself in the history of the country, enjoy Caribbean flair or hike through untouched landscapes — this article will guide you through 8 spots in Albania that should be on your bucket list.
A stop in the capital is a must on your trip. Tirana has a rich history and is experiencing an economic boom in the 21st century.
The center is Skanderberg Square, where you’ll stand in front of the Opera House, the National Historical Museum, the Et`hem Bey Mosque and the 35-meter high clock tower. A few years ago, the city center was given a new coat of paint. Since then, the buildings shine with flashy colors and patterns.
Soak up the sun in Albania? The best place for that is in Ksamil. The beaches of the south, also known as the Caribbean of Albania, have earned this name because of the turquoise sea and white sand — one bay after the other!
If you have a choice, be sure to enjoy the beaches of Ksamil in the low season. The beautiful corners are not exactly unknown and attract some visitors.
The Blue Eye
From Ksamil in the direction of Gjirokastra you will pass a special place in Albania — the famous Blue Eye. Also known as Syri i Kaltër, the hole has dug itself 50 meters into the depth and shines in a rich blue-green tone.
From a vantage point you can look down on the magical play of colors. It’s best to plan this stop in conjunction with a visit to the historic city of Gjirokastra.
The City of a Thousand Windows
One of the most popular sights in Albania is the cityscape of Berat. The name “City of a Thousand Windows” originated thanks to the Mangalem neighborhood. Here, the houses with their large windows are lined up close together and become a real eye-catcher.
By the way, Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a special charm. You stroll through winding alleys, past small churches. Above the city lies a fortress from which you can look over the roofs of Berat.
A highlight of nature awaits you in the south of Albania. Here, the 161-kilometer-long Osum River flows through the country, forming Albania’s Grand Canyon along its route. The canyon is 13 kilometers long, between two and 30 meters wide and up to 80 meters deep.
Starting from Çorovoda you can best explore the natural spectacle. A road leads directly along the river, which gives you great views again and again. A viewpoint is located about nine kilometers after the start on a narrow bridge over the gorge.
In the north of Albania, the Drin River winds its way through the Albanian Alps. Along its route there are many reservoirs. One of them is the idyllic Lake Koman, which stretches over 35 kilometers. Hundred meters high rock walls create a very special picture.
The best way to discover the reservoir is on a ferry or a boat and sail through the up to 50 meters narrow places. The surroundings of the lake are especially interesting for nature lovers.
We continue with the historically oldest city in Albania. Shkodra has an incredible 2,400 years under its belt. Before Tirana, this historic city was the cultural center of the country.
On the southern edge of Shkodra stands the most important sight of the city. Here lies the Rozafa Fortress. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can gaze into the distance from the fortress. Also worth seeing are the city’s central mosque and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
The most beautiful beaches are located in the south, while the highest mountains await you in the north. The peaks of the Albanian Alps rise up to 2,600 meters and are THE destination for hiking and trekking enthusiasts.
There are countless hiking trails to explore. On the routes you will pass mountain lakes and great viewpoints. The hiking experience usually starts with a crossing of the Koman reservoir.