For many, Albania is relatively unknown. However, with its beauty, fascinating history and culture dating back thousands of years, it has a lot to offer. On top of that, it is both safe and affordable. With more airlines offering cheap flights, it’s about to become much more accessible. Here you can read about Albania’s best destinations in 2019.
This historical city should be on your list of places to visit in Albania. Gjirokastra is fantastic and has become famous for its old houses that are very well preserved. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Gjirokastra is located just about 1-hour from Saranda. Because of this, it makes for an interesting day trip. However, if you have a few days to spare, we highly suggest to stay overnight in Gjirokastra and enjoy the historical atmosphere.
Hidden away deep in the forest, the Blue Eye (Syri i Kalter) is a natural spring. Here, crystal clear water bubbles up from 50 meters below the surface. The frigid water gently passes over the white sand producing a stunning turquoise color. This water then turns into a pretty green as it travels around the mountains.
Llogara National Park
Llogara National park is great for either a summer or a winter getaway. The park itself has many activities. Try hiking, paragliding, camping, or drive a short distance for swimming. The Llogara pass is one of the most beautiful drives in Europe. Experience the stunning views of the Albanian Riviera as you drive to the beach. Make sure to visit Palace, which is the best and one of the closest beaches to the national park (it’s actually one of Albania’s best beaches overall).
Bunec is a pebbly beach divided by a small river that flows from the mountains beyond. It is quiet and secluded, and known for being a great place to watch the sun go down. You can either camp or rent a room right to the water’s edge. If you are looking for somewhere quiet and tranquil, this is just the place for you.
The beach at Porto Palermo may be small, but what surrounds it makes it shine. Visit Ali Pasha’s 19th Century Castle or hike the dramatic Thunder Mountains, relaxing at the beach afterwards. This tiny bay makes you feel like you are swimming in a lagoon. During the communist regime, the area was closed off to civilians, but now it is one of Albania’s best destinations in the Albanian Riviera.
If you are looking for a town less crowded than Saranda, head a few hours’ north to Himara. The views are incredible and the people are friendly. There’s a promenade with some great restaurants to check out. Himara has a more relaxed, chill vibe than Saranda. We highly recommend making a trip to the old part of Himara. Here, nestled in the hills, you can find a castle and a small traditional village. The castle offers a unique view of the Riviera.
Just about 1 hour from Tirana, the capital of Albania is Bovilla Lake. This beautiful lake in the mountains is perfect if you want to take a break from the city.
This South-European country has long been in the shadows of neighboring countries like Greece and Montenegro. That said, Albania’s best destinations are up there with the best. We believe 2019 could be Albania’s year to shine!