18 May 2015

The best beaches of the Albanian Riviera

Lonely Planet in a new article describe the best beaches of the Albanian Riviera, known for
unspoilt sands, backed by rolling hills covered in olive groves, rustic accommodation right next to the water, and grilled meats and cold beers. The first in line is Palasa, then Dhermi, Ksamil, Bunec, Himara and Borsh. Just idyllic and breathtaking spots. Here is the article:

The best beaches of the Albanian Riviera

by Tom Masters Lonely Planet
Albania’s rugged coastline, with traditional villages nestled in isolated bays and golden beaches lapped by turquoise waters, was a revelation when travellers first started discovering the country a decade ago. Since then Europe’s last untouched beaches have changed almost beyond recognition, but there’s still plenty of reason to come here and explore this magnificent coastline where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet.

You may have heard of the Albanian Riviera and its beaches, once catchwords of true backpackerdom – their names were synonymous with unspoilt sands backed by rolling hills covered in olive groves, rustic accommodation right next to the water, and grilled meats and cold beers for the equivalent of a handful of change. Inevitably that hasn’t endured; asphalt roads now connect all but the most far-flung of the Riviera’s villages, while hotels, restaurants and holiday homes dot the coastline. Today you’re more likely to be competing for beach space with a day-tripping family from Tirana than a crowd of international shoestringers. And yet, despite the Riviera’s transformation, there are still idyllic and breathtaking spots along this craggy coast.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/albania/southern-albania/travel-tips-and-articles/the-best-beaches-of-the-albanian-riviera#ixzz3aU2n9V56





29 April 2015

Tirana, the unknown land

The most prestigious media channels are suggesting Albania as travel destination for 2015. Is good to see that these days, the well known french newspaper Le Figaro wrote about our beautiful country ranking Tirana in the 3-d place to travel for this year.

The article describe the center of Tirana, the squares and monumental avenues dating from the communist era, as very interesting to visit.

"The Skanderbeg square marks the heart of Tirana. Nearby are concentrated Natural History Museum, the Grand Mosque, the opera, the pyramid, etc. Beyond that, the aim for the former district Blloku become the haunt of youth finds its shops, terraces, restaurants and bars with live music every weekend", said the article which is titled: "Vancouver, Tirana...: 5 destinations inédites accessibles en direct au départ de la France"
Scanderbeg Square, Tirana
 Read the original article:

www.lefigaro.fr/voyages/2015/04/22/30003-20150422ARTFIG00029-vancouver-tirana-5-destinations-inedites-accessibles-en-direct-au-depart-de-la-france.php

13 April 2015

Great impressions for our Folk Tour


A group of Western European tourists just finished a folk tour organized for 10 days from Albania Holidays. Our guests learned how to dance Albanian folk Music taking certificates for that at the end of the course. This is one of the most favorite tours for Albania Holiday’s clients, because the experience they get is unforgettable. They get to know our tradition, learn about our costumes, our polyphony songs, about our musical instruments and our diverse culture. Their trainers are professional lead dancers of the National Ensemble of Folk and Dance. This time they had the chance to see a Folk dance Event organized in Tirana a week ago.

Of course the tour includes some trips in Berat, Permet, Gjirokastra with the focus on music and our tradition. After dancing and traveling they were always offered lunches and dinners, in some of the most traditional places around our country.

“Happy to see how much they enjoy dancing and drinking Raki, like Albanians”, our guide says. Our tourists are always happy with this tour, promising they will come back some day.




08 April 2015

Butrint, Albania - among top 10 national parks in Europe

One of the most prestigious newspaper in Europe "The Guardian", published an article about  Top 10 national parks in Europe, based on readers and travelers tips. Butrint Park- Albania, is ranked among these top 10 national parks.

Here it is what The Guardian writes about the Butrint park:

“Very few visitors, and stunning ancient Greek, Roman, Frankish and Ottoman remains,” is what led ID4690527 to suggest the Butrint national park in Albania. In the south-west of the country, it is a must-see for fans of ancient history; it boasts a number of significant archaeological sites and is considered a “microcosm of Albanian history”.

Butrint-Albania

Here is the full article:

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/apr/08/top-10-national-parks-europe-readers-travel-tips?CMP=fb_gu

02 April 2015

Open for adventure




"As a visitor, one wonders how Albania, - a European country with such beautiful sea coast and of course bathing water, so high mountains to hike in and with so many well-preserved historical sites to marvel at, has taken over 20 years to appear on the international tourist map. Anyway, this fact is today probably Albania's greatest asset as a tourist destination. Capital Tirana is a colorful acquaintance with many popular restaurants and hip cafes, fine parks and inspiring pulse. Albania is mountainous. Adventure tourism is in its infancy but something that is invested vigorously. Already arranged both rafting and kayaking, wreck diving and hiking in the dramatic surroundings".

This is how a Swedish Journalist, Kicki Lind describes Albania. This article recommending Albania as a very attractive tourist destination was published in three newspapers in Sweden. Here is a summary of this article:

**
Open for adventure
by Kicki Lind

How could it have taken over twenty years for a country that holds so much to see appear on the international tourist map?... Times have changed. Albania is nowadays an open country, and many of the people who fled Albania during the Stalin-inspired dictatorial regime has returned... There was a time when Albania was standing alone against the rest of the world. The dictator Enver Hoxha had in the 1940s, 50s and 60s chummy contacts with both Tito and Mao as Moscow, but broke in turn these into a confidence that Albania could be attacked from both East and West... The bunkers vary in size and remains a prominent feature on the Albanian countryside. Some smaller bunkers are now used for everything from mushroom cultivation to cabanas while others razed to the ground so that building materials can be reused. Hoxha's own bunker on 2685 square meters just outside Tirana was among the larger and was until recently with the military's list of secret items. Most Albanian bunkers are a few square meters while Hoxha's bunkers holds 106 rooms and a cinema. It has now been opened to the public.... The world is notoriously full of places where cruel story turned into tourist attraction. In Albania stands island of Sazan, an hour's boat ride outside the coastal city of Vlora, in line to be such a place. ... the island since Roman times been used as a military base... now there is a hope that Sazan to have become an interesting historical and cultural outdoor museum of the Cold War.
... And certainly, as a tourist country, Albania is cheap, the price level is probably the lowest in Europe. But let us hope that the increasing amount of visitors interested in more than sunbathing and swimming, the Albanians themselves are able to take care of its magnificent scenery and the dignity manages to preserve at least some of their ancient traditions...

A few mil outside Sarandra is the National Park and World Heritage Butrint, a large and very evocative archaeological site with more than 3000 years old. Butrint has been both Greek colony and Roman city and it hardly needs to be especially historically literate to be seized by the powerful atmosphere that fits in the amphitheater, among the pillars and portals, and in the old swimming pool surrounded by lush greenery and salty sea breezes. It is orderly and exciting without even one souvenir salesman in sight.... Another few miles from there, up in the mountains inland, lies the village Pilur whose little more than a hundred residents seem to take a rather sleepy existence. It is precisely in Pilur as Albanian polyphony, an old song tradition that is characterized by multiple melody parts simultaneously, is said to have originated and villagers actively tradition. The polyphonic singing has been given by Unesco World Heritage status as "a masterpiece of humanity's oral and intangible cultural heritage...
As a visitor, one wonders how it is that a European country with such beautiful sea coast and of course bathing water, so high mountains to hike in and with so many well-preserved historical sites to marvel at, has taken over 20 years to appear on the international tourist map. Anyway, this fact is today probably Albania's greatest asset as a tourist destination.

Capital Tirana is a colorful acquaintance with many popular restaurants and hip cafes, fine parks and inspiring pulse. Heavy gray statues reminiscent of another time is now almost piquant feature of the cityscape that is characterized by hilarious lively venues where språkas, drinking cappuccino, latte, macchiato and domestic brew raki from early morning to late evening. Unemployment remains high and income disparities great but the younger generation in Albania face the future with confidence. The express speed.

Albania is mountainous. Adventure tourism is in its infancy but something that is invested vigorously. Already arranged both rafting and kayaking, wreck diving and hiking in the dramatic surroundings.




Full article:

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/resor/oppet-for-aventyr/

01 April 2015

Albania among Hot Travel Destinations for 2015

Albania did it again. It is ranked among the Top 28 Destination to travel for 2015, from Travel Squire, a very prestigious digital Magazine who gives people everything to plan next adventure and keeps tourists update with next destinations around the world.

Albania and Myanmar are listed for the first time as travel destination from this Magazine. Albania is in the second part of Article, in the 11th place, leaving behind Greece, London, and other places. There are three photos published on the site, showing Gjirokastra, Alps, and Tabak Bridge in Tirana.

But why a tourist should visit Albania? Here is a description for our country in Travel Squire:

Albania is a breathtakingly beautiful, unspoiled place filled with natural, cultural and historical gems. Like a time capsule, the country opens up its treasures to give the traveler access to long forgotten places. As a crossroads of civilization, Albania has been touched by so many ancient cultures from the Romans to Venetians to the Ottomans, all of whom left behind their own special flavors. The country is littered with extraordinary ruins, beautiful ancient churches and abbeys, castles and forts, towns and villages almost frozen in time, brilliant and unspoiled beaches along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and rugged natural beauty that begins at the coast and soars up into the isolated mountains. Where to start; there is so much? Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites: Butriniti, a multi-layered ancient city with temples, a 1,500 seat theatre, basilica, the fortress of Ali Pasha, Venetian towers and more; Gjirokastra (The “City of Stone”), which reflects life during the 14-19th century; and Berati, with traces of the Illyrian, Byzantine and Ottoman periods, old churches decorated with wall paintings, icons and wood engravings. Visit castles and ancient churches: The Lezha Castle whose origins date to Illyrian times; Petrelë Castle, whose history dates to Justinian I and was rebuilt by the Venetians in the 15th century and the Ottomans in the 16th century. In Korçë you’ll find the 14th century monastery of St. John the Forerunner. If you’re looking for natural adventure, head for Albania’s highlands, renowned for outdoor activities and the Adriatic Coast for peaceful seaside vistas.





Read the full article:

http://travelsquire.com/hot-destinations-2015-part-2/

05 March 2015

Hiking in Albania’s Accursed Mountains

The Accursed Mountains (or Bjeshket e Namuna) are so beautiful, and so spectacular and unspoiled that impress every tourist traveling in north of Albania. Everyone is considering the tour to the wild north of Albania as one of the last great European adventures. Lonely Planet, the well-known travel guide suggests everyone to make a trip to Albania sooner rather than later to enjoy the so-called Accursed Mountains in all their isolated glory. Thank you Lonely Planet, we love to see more about Albania in your travel guide.


***
Hiking in Albania’s Accursed Mountains
By Tom Masters, Lonely Planet

While Albania may have gone from a virtually unknown land to a well-established stop on the Balkan backpacker trail in barely a decade, its interior remains little known. But a popular three-day round trip that combines a spectacular ferry ride and a fantastic day hike between two remote mountain hamlets has put northern Albania’s mysterious highlands on the map.Make this trip sooner rather than later to enjoy the so-called Accursed Mountains in all their isolated glory.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/albania/northern-albania/travel-tips-and-articles/hiking-in-albanias-accursed-mountains#ixzz3TVkdm6Dk