06 December 2017

Le Parisien: L’Albanie des grands trésors à petits prix

Le Parisien, un journal quotidien français au site Web, publie un article dans l'Albanie, ce pays de l’ex-bloc communiste, encore peu connu, recèle d’innombrables richesses. Patrimoine préservé, paysages sauvages et plages sublimes.
Longtemps enserrée dans un carcan communiste, l’Albanie ne s’est ouverte au tourisme que dans les années 1990. Certes, les routes sont encore en mauvais état, les infrastructures d’hébergement, de qualité inégale, et le patrimoine, très mal mis en valeur, mais le « Pays des aigles », dont le drapeau arbore deux rapaces, ne manque pas d’arguments pour les amoureux d’histoire, de nature et de plages. Sur une superficie guère plus grande que la Bretagne, l’Albanie offre des paysages grandioses, avec ses majestueuses montagnes sur les trois quarts de son territoire, ses lacs, ses rivières, ses parcs préservés et son immense littoral de près de 400 kilomètres, qui fait alterner
longues plages, petites criques et falaises plongeant dans la mer.

L’Albanie c’est  une destination bon marché, notamment au niveau de l’hébergement et de la gastronomie subtile aux accents méditerranéens.

05 December 2017

Albania among best trips 2018 by National Geographic

Albania is listed among 21 places to be visited in 2018 by the most prestigious media National Geographic. This is great news for our country. But the most important thing is that we are listed for such an extraordinary underwater world, which is still unexplored and unknown even for Albanians themselves. This is a call  for all people who love to dive and explore the underwater world. It is the only country among other 21 placed in the list, to be suggested by National Geographic for such a special underwater tour. Here is what the article says about Albania:

“Sunken aqueducts, shipwrecks, and rarely visited caves are a few of the relatively untouched treasures awaiting divers in Albania. Decades of isolation under communist leader Enver Hoxha limited development and inadvertently preserved underwater cultural heritage, particularly off the southern coast.”
You may ask why scuba diving wasn’t famous in Albania, because the dictator Hoxha banned scuba diving to prevent Albanians from escaping.

24 November 2017

Telegraph: Albania- Europe's next big beach holiday destination?!

“Albania is like a missing piece in an otherwise completed jigsaw - the final portion of the landmass along the Adriatic which has not become a beach-holiday stalwart”. This is how Telegraph, the UK multimedia news brand describes our country, Albania. This media promoted Albania as a travel destination in several articles and this one is written by the author Chris Leadbeater, who sees Albania as a unique destination different from neighbor countries such as Greece, Montenegro and Croatia.
Ksamil Beach, Credit © 2011 Azem Ramadani 
“But if you take another glance at the map, one remaining pocket of the relatively unknown may just stare back at you. Albania is like a missing piece in an otherwise completed jigsaw - the final portion of the landmass along the Adriatic which has not become a beach-holiday stalwart” writes Telegraph.
Albania, by contrast, is still almost unheard of as a package destination - despite the fact that its 265 miles of seaside are in a prime location. In a rare event, the country can claim to be lapped by not just one sea, but two - the Adriatic and the Ionian are deemed to meet in the sheltered Vlorë Bay (where Vlorë, the country's third largest city sits). That, at this point, the distance between Albania and elbow of Puglia, away to the west in Italy, is just 60 miles, only emphasizes the splendor of this Balkan country's location.
There should be a caveat here, of course. To say that Albania is almost unheard of as a package destination is to overlook the many Albanian tourists who are well aware of their home state's suitability for a week on the sand. There are plenty of rooms, and plenty of paying customers, in the hotel zones of Durrës (the second city, in the north of the country) and Saranda (the key tourism hotspot, in the south, close to the Greek border). It is just that, as yet, there are very few Britons among them. The cat remains in the bag.
Photo source: Telegraph
Albania is already an intriguing country to visit - Tirana is an increasingly cosmopolitan city, while the country's wealth of ancient archaeological sites (including the likes of Apollonia and Butrint) might almost rival Italy. But in a time when question marks linger over traditional beach destinations such as Egypt and Turkey, it could be that, in the next three or four years, its main appeal will be as a place in the sun. Mystery solved.

See full article here!

02 November 2017

Culture Trip: A weekend in Llogara National Park in Albania

Albania is a country rich with national parks, be it in North or South. Nature enthusiasts will always find something to explore in Albania. Culture Trip is known for its recommendations and articles about travel destination around the globe has published a guide on ‘How to Spend a Weekend in Albania’s Beautiful Llogora National Park’. Feride Yalav-Heckeroth, the author of this article gives and impressive  scenery about the National Park of Llogara.

Llogora | © Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Llogara is not only a place to find solitude in nature but also to get active. With its forests, wild animals, and breathtaking peaks, a weekend in Llogora National Park is a perfect getaway from routine.
After the deeply winding roads that lead away from Albania’s seaside and up into the mountains (make sure to stop to take some photos of the incredible view), the Llogora National Park spreads out with its dense forests and beautiful rocky peaks. The national park was established in 1966 so that the thriving ecosystems and biodiversity present in the area would be protected. As such, the park is rife with natural life, from the coniferous forests (including many species such as silver fir, kermes oak, and black pine) to species such as griffon vultures, golden eagles, rock partridges, European wildcats, red foxes, chamois, wolves, otters, and red squirrels.
One of the best places to stay (especially for families) is the Llogora Tourist Village, an alpine lodge-style hotel with an additional array of private small wooden houses that are spread out in its garden. The hotel, which overlooks the mountains, also has a little sanctuary for a group of fallow deer, and some of the rooms look out over the animals, including two bucks with quite large antlers. The hotel also has a great restaurant that serves classic Albanian and Italian cuisine and has views of the large indoor pool. Of course, there’s much more to do in Llogora than lounging in your hotel and enjoying the fresh mountain air and view.
Llogora | © Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

For those looking to get active, the park has plenty of hiking routes that lead all the way up to the top for even more impressive and panoramic views. One of the most popular treks is the approximately 30-minute climb to the phone masts on the clifftop to the west. The views from here are stunning, but you’ll often come across mist because of the proximity of the sea; however, even the incessant waves of fine clouds racing over the landscape are beautiful in its own right. Another hike includes the path to Qafa e Thelle (the Deep Pass).
A more challenging hike is the ascent to the top of Mount Çika (at an altitude of 2,045 meters of 6,709 feet); it rewards hikers with another set of amazing vistas from a bird’s-eye view. If you’re unsure of hiking by yourself and would rather someone show you the way, a hiking guide can always be arranged by talking to the reception at your hotel. South of the park is also a paragliding site, which holds the FAI World Paragliding Accuracy Championship annually, and tandem flights with licensed experts are also available.

26 October 2017

National Geographic: Albanie, la plus belle destination pour 2018

Le magazine National Geographic fr, publie les 14 plus belles destinations pour 2018. Parmi elles, l'Albanie..


Dictature communiste durant des décennies, l’Albanie s’ouvre doucement. Découvrez ses villes ottomanes (Berat et Gjirokastra), ses amphithéâtres gréco-romains, ses plages… et, surtout, sa nature inexplorée : sommets alpins, vallées verdoyantes et zones humides à la faune riche. Pourquoi maintenant? Circuit à pied ou à cheval, trek, rafting, kayak… L’Albanie joue à fond la carte de l’aventure. Dernière initiative en date: en mai dernier, un chemin de randonnée a été ouvert dans la réserve naturelle de la péninsule de Karaburun, une ancienne base militaire accessible seulement à pied ou en bateau. On traverse la presqu’île en partant d’une petite baie propice à la plongée sous-marine, et on termine en découvrant une vaste grotte de 600 m2.

Cliquez ici:

Start now your adventure in Albania!

Albania, a communist dictatorship for decades, slowly opens for tourists. Discover its Ottoman cities (Berat and Gjirokastra), its Greco-Roman amphitheatres, its beaches ... and, above all, its unexplored nature: alpine summits, green valleys and wetlands with rich fauna. 
Why now? Circuit on foot or on horseback, trek, rafting, kayak ... Albania plays thoroughly the map of the adventure. Last initiative: Last May, a hiking trail was opened in the Karaburun Peninsula Nature Reserve, a former military base accessible only by boat. We cross the peninsula from a small bay suitable for scuba diving, and we end by discovering a large cave of 600 m2.

20 October 2017

Suitcase magazine: Why Albania needs to be your next European escape

Why Albania needs to be your next European escape-  this is the title of the article published by Suitcase travel magazine.  This media known for quality of the writing about tourism destinations is suggesting its readers  to visit Albania, a country full of surprises.
Lottie Gross is the author of the article, a contributor in several travel magazines and this is not the first time that she writes for Albania. “When you think sun, sea and sand, Albania certainly isn’t the first destination that comes to mind. Well, think again. Pack up your preconceptions and discover a country full of intrigue; its architecture, language and history weave together to create a cultural fabric unlike any other European destination.
Photo source: Suitcase
It’s ripe for exploration and here’s why:
  1. There’s an entire coastline of gorgeous, deserted beaches
  2. There’s a fascinating recent history most people know little about
  3. You can go even further back in time in old Ottoman towns
  4. You can take one of the world’s most beautiful boat trips
  5. There’s food for all palates

Photo source: Suitcase
Albania is home to some of the Mediterranean’s most pristine and unadulterated beaches. As the country sits sandwiched between Greece and Montenegro, soft sandy shores and warm waters tickle its entire western side.
A coastline so sparkling should be overrun with international visitors sunning themselves on the sands, but instead it’s the locals (and a few Germans and Norwegians in certain spots) that enjoy these relatively quiet shores.
Beyond the beaches and the capital, Albania’s countryside is peppered with charming towns and cities that are such a pleasure to explore it’s near impossible to leave them behind.
Gjirokastra, home of the revered author Ismail Kadare, clings to a hillside in the central part of the country, south of Tirana. Tall, Ottoman-style houses, built mostly in the 19th century, stand to attention on the steep, winding cobbled streets. A few hours north of Gjirokastra, the hilltop town of Berat is perhaps the country’s most atmospheric. Housed within the walls of an old citadel, Kalasa, at the top of a seriously steep slope, this ancient maze of streets is still home to hundreds.
In the far north a Valbona is one of the most beautiful places in Albania. Tucked amongst the Dinaric Alps, the mountains strike up from the floor like shards of broken glass and the river runs a perfect cyan through its centre.
Photo source: Suitcase

Albanian food cobbles together some of the best bits of Turkish, Italian and Slavic cuisine. Everyday staples include qoftë (pronounced chof-tuh), a grilled minced lamb sausage, spit-roasted lamb kebabs and kos (yoghurt).