08 August 2017

Albanie: nouvelle destination bon marché

France 2 television broadcast a documentary about Albania, considering our country as the Pearl of the Balkans. Here is the description of the video in french:

"L’Albanie, aussi connue sous l’appellation la Perle des Balkans à cause de sa nature préservée, de ses paysages montagneux et de ses eaux cristallines. Destination parfaite pour les amoureux de la nature, et qui est considérée comme étant un paradis secret car encore méconnue des touristes, bien que le nombre de ceux-ci ait doublé cette année. De plus, l’Albanie a un fort patrimoine historique et architectural, comme le prouve la ville de Berat, située à 2h30 de la capitale, Tirana. Berat est une ville classée au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité, et qui a des influences Byzantine, Grecque, et Ottomane. En outre, si le nombre de touristes est passé de 5 milles à 35 milles en seulement quelques années, c’est aussi parce que l’Albanie reste une destination très peu cher, environ 500 euros par personne pour une semaine"

Vanity Fair: Summer in the sea of Albania

The Italian Magazine “Vanity Fair” recommends all its readers to go in Albania to experience amazing summer vacations, full of surprises. 
Photo Credits: Albania Holidays

If you are more into cultural heritage Albania has three UNESCO sites, the ancient city of Berat, Gjirokastra city and Butrint.
1. Berat known as the “City of a Thousand Windows”  with the Osumi River running lightly at the slopes of the mountains, the stone houses dimly lit in the dark night and the Church of the Dormition of Mary looking up from the town holding its precious icons (and, in a few steps, even those Of the Onufri museum).
2. Gjirokastra, among the outdoor cafés, typical local souvenirs and antique bazaars and the crumbling Ottoman-era mansion, ready to recast the façade, here the compass is the castle with the generous view of the old town and some “modern" stunts.
3. And then, for archaeology enthusiasts, there is the inevitable Butrint. Well preserved, well-kept and positioned in a landscape hanging between the sea and the dense biodiversity. It is most important site of Albania, inviting visitors on a backward journey in history between the ruins of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian civilizations and Ottoman time..

Photo Credits: Albania Holidays

The most beautiful seaside 
The winding coastal road connecting the city of Valona to Saranda is one of the most spectacular in the whole Mediterranean. Above the 1,027 meters of altitude of the Llogaraja pass , in fact, from the bay of Palasa and down to the head of Stillo , the so-called "Albanian Riviera" is a succession of bays and resorts, more or less Tourism of great numbers. Beaches of Himara, Porto Palermo and Dhermi preserve a more discreet charm. Walking along this last stretch of Albanian coast, among the villages of the immediate hinterland of sleepy air, small family hotels and tiny creeks to discover in total freedom.
Furthermore, the Corfu Island is now only a handful of sea miles, and those looking for a postcard sea (or maybe it would be better to say from Facebook), coming down a bit can hit a shot Sure about Ksamil. Its four tiny islets, easily accessible by swimming or pedaling directly from the beach, invite you to enjoy in transparent waters where, outside the high season, the fish are amazed by the presence of bathers. In July and August, however, here as elsewhere is always the timing that makes the difference: wake up early and the lonely dive is assured!
Photo Credits: Albania Holidays
Food in Albania
In Albania cooking is a serious topic. Thanks to the increasing return of young people who have studied and worked in the fields of agriculture and catering in Italy, the country boasts excellent addresses.
Traditional dishes, such as pork, the typical salty cake made from thinly packed pasta filled with vegetables, cheese or meat, are now accompanied by a search for product quality, possibly seasonal and zero kilometers.

Photo Credits: Albania Holidays
Traditional food at Mrizi Zanave

See full article here 

31 July 2017

The Dutch Media "Volkskrant " promotes Albania

Volkskrant one of the oldest and the most popular newspaper in Netherlands has published an article about Albania. A writer and a photographer from Netherland visited Albania and share their experiences on this article.  Dutch media is now added to the list of other international media which recommend Albania as “must-visit-now” destination.  
Photo credits: Franky Verdickt 

They were looking for an azure sea, empty beach with no high-rise buildings around the beach and they discovered the south of Albania.

“This was the Mediterranean Sea, the sea where were often, but this time in another world. The concrete bunkers seemed to be left behind by decorative pieces from a science fiction film. The tomatoes and watermelons tastes so sweets and the coffee in Albania is sublime.”. 
Photo credits: Franky Verdickt  
The difference between Corfu Island and Saranda is that Corfu is very crowded and you don’t enjoy very much, in Albania’s southern beaches you will find relaxation in small hidden bays.

After exploring the Albanian Riviera they visited Gjirokastra, the UNESCO city where Enver Hoxha was born. This city is like a fairytale with steep streets, stone rooftops.

See full article here

13 July 2017

Swap Costa Brava for the turquoise waters of Ksamil, Albanian Riviera

The Culture Trip, one of the most popular travel guides in the world, has listed the beach of Ksamil in Albania on 3rd place among 8 cheaper summer destinations in Europe.  Culture Trip recommends that everyone should go on vacation in the Albanian Riviera, while compares Ksamil beach with Costa Brava in Spain, with the only difference that Albania is much cheaper.
Ksamil, Albanian Riviera | © Cannm01/WikiCommons

“When choosing the perfect beach for your summer vacation, the color of the water counts! The more turquoise, the better. Saying so, it is quite surprising that Albania hasn’t fallen into the spotlight, with its Caribbean-colored water and rugged cliffs along the coastline. Ksamil is among the favorite seaside resorts for both locals and foreigners.”

See full article here !

01 July 2017

Daily Sabah: Albanian Riviera offers unexpected experiences to visitors

Daily Sabah, a nationwide publication based in Turkey has published the article about Albanian Riviera. Ernest Whitman Piper is the journalist who saw and wrote about the beautiful beaches of our country.
“Snuggled between the Adriatic Sea and the Balkan Mountains, Albania has just as good a Mediterranean Riviera, with comparatively fewer tourists and Mafiosi, and is about a zillion times cheaper. It's got a pinball history of tribal conflict, time under the Ottoman reign, and paranoid, isolationist midcentury Communism. What's not to like?”, says Piper. 
Durres -Albania Holidays    

Durresi : After arriving at the Airport of Tirana, they head to coastal town of  Durresi: “The coastline upon first glance was a rugged thing, pale jagged rocks jutting out above green slopes. It was astonishing: parabolas of green earth curved up and closed us into the valley.”
Himara: The town of Himare was a single avenue along a walled beach, with a tangle of residential backstreets sliding up the coastal slope.
Himara-Albania Holidays

Borsh: Our next stop was through the village of Borsh, where the men were selling milk from tractors in the road. A bunch of hollowed-out resorts stood on either side of the single lane road, and we followed a dirt path through what looked like a jungle to the beach. Finally, a real beach, although still completely deserted. There was a small cafe/bar and some beach chairs and we took out our shorts and read books on the beach chairs.
Borsh -Albania Holidays

Saranda: We almost didn't stop in Sarande, but they had a neat castle (called Lekures). It's situated right outside the city proper on a summit overlooking the coastline.
Our trip across the Riviera had to stop here, since Sarande was the last town before the Greek border and we were out of driving time. But if you wanted to extend your trip a little bit, there are a few good cultural options outside of Sarande. There's the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO world heritage site. It's the remains of a Roman city, stone pillars and standing churches on a forested peninsula. There's also the Monastery of Forty Saints, or the Ksamil islands, or the ancient town of Finiq (named for the Phonecians, naturally). We were overloaded on concrete, so we opted for the Blue Eye Spring as a change of pace. I find it amazing that one can traverse the entire Albanian Riviera, stay in derelict hotels where all the plaster flakes off in huge chunks, have a beach to yourself, and then go visit some long-ignored Roman ruins and hike all over them.
Saranda, view from Lekursi Castle

Albania No 1 on the list of "15 Up and coming Destinations Around the World"

One of the most prestigious travel websites, Travel and Leisure has listed Albania as the 1st up-coming destinations around the world. Albania has made to be the first on the list leaving behind much known destinations in the world such as: India, Peru, Egypt, Mexico etc.
“Albania rose eight places to land in the 98th spot this year, meaning it's one of the most exciting up-and-coming destinations for tourists.”
Getty Images/ AWL Images RM
You can’t miss the Albanian Riviera for a perfect summer vacation and if you want to something ancient from Albania, go to city of Gjirokastra.
As Travel and Leisure suggests visiting the Albanian Riviera for teal waters and nearly year-round sun, or wander through Gjirokastra, ‘The City of Stone,’ for a dose of culture and history.”

Photo: Albania Holidays

29 June 2017

Foreign citizens are not allowed to work as a tourist guide in Albania without Albanian certificate

The Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship has announced a new law regarding foreign tour operators. 

According to law no. 93/2015 “On tourism” and Decision of the Council of Ministers no. 692, dated 05.10.2016, the activity of tourist guide in the Albanian territory may not be exercised without the relevant certificate from the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

The foreign tour operator, offering travel packages comprising visits in the territory of the Republic of Albania, has the obligation to ensure that the tourist group is accompanied by a certified guide by the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship. In case of inspection, the foreign tour operator has the obligation to produce the service contract entered into with the certified tourist guide or Albanian tour operator.
The exercise of this activity by foreign citizens, in absence of a certified tourist guide, is punishable by a fine amounting to 150.000 Albanian Lek. The State Market Surveillance Inspectorate, under the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship, exercises control and takes measures against infringements.

Source: Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship