30 August 2017

The Best beaches on Albanian Riviera

The Rear View Mirror published an article about the beautiful Albanian riviera, suggesting the best beaches everyone should see, stay and relax throughout the summer.
"The Albanian Riviera stretches from the southern side of the Llogara National Park down towards the Greek border at Butrint National Park and Ksamil. Not surprisingly, this section of the southern Albanian coast is the most popular destination for tourists in Albania".. There are four main towns on the riviera where you’ll most likely want to stay. There are plenty of smaller beach towns and villages in between but the bigger towns obviously have more facilities, cafes, restaurants and nightlife" the article says.

Here is what you can expect when staying on the Albanian Riviera:
Ksamil is the southernmost beach town close to the Greek border and opposite the Greek island of Corfu. Here you’ll find white sandy beaches, the beautiful Ksamil Islands and a very chilled beach community. It’s part of Butrint National Park and the city of Saranda. Ksamil has one of the best beaches (it gets extremely busy in summer), excellent seafood restaurants and some nightlife. Being close to the Butrint archeological site is a bonus.

Himara is a small town and the most central of the riviera beaches making it perfect to use as a base for exploring the entire Albanian Riviera. There are many smaller beaches around Himara so it’s an especially good choice if you’re looking for a quiet place to swim and secluded beaches and coves. Himara is also in close proximity to Porto Palermo, home to a small castle, beach and an abandoned Soviet submarine base.

Dhermi is one of the most popular beaches in Albania due to the turquoise water and shady pine tree covered beach. There’s more accommodation than in Himara and is particularly attractive to younger Albanians with many nightlife options. It’s not the quietest destination and in my opinion is too built up. I personally prefer to stay in Himara which is only 30 minutes away.
Saranda is the biggest city on the southern Albanian coastline. It’s massively built up with ugly high rise apartments, many of which sit empty. The newer area away from port (in the south of the city) has poor infrastructure and services but the most awesome sunsets and lowest prices. However, Saranda is a great place to use as a base for visiting Butrint National Park, Ksamil, Blue Eye Spring and Gjirokastra. The beaches in Saranda are not nice and I suggest getting away from the city if you want to swim.

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

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