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.

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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).

17 October 2017

Momondo: Explore one of Europe’s best kept secret - Albania

“Albania is an untouched and undiscovered piece of Europe’s complex puzzle. Filled with fairy-tale landscapes, eye-boggling views, rich culture and incredibly hospitable locals, Albania should be considered one of the top destinations to visit for an authentic travel experience. Travel writer Anita Hendrieka has set about to discover the country’s finest experiences.”- writes Momondo.
 Momondo is a global travel search and comparison site, based in Copenhagen, Denmark and shares articles for different tourism destination all over the world. Albania, one of Europe’s most untraveled and charming gems is promoted with a long article, highlighting the best things to do in Albania. Splitting Albania between North and South, there are mesmerizing landscapes and breathtaking coastline,- the country has it all.
Source: Momondo

If you go to Southern Albania you will get natural and ancient wonders, like coastal towns of Saranda, Ksamil and Himara. But if you are looking for ancient towns, go to Berat and Gjirokastra.
“Further north towards the centre of Albania is beautiful Berat, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. With over 2400 years of history, Berat is a pearl of Albania’s past. A castle is perched overlooking the city, and leading up to it is an assortment of Ottoman influenced white houses, giving Berat its nickname: the “town with a thousand windows”.
© Pero Kvrzica

Gjirokastёr is often referred to as the twin city of Berat, but don’t be mistaken to think you can visit one and not the other. Like Berat, Gjirokastёr also has white Ottoman-styled houses, but with flatter stone roofs, and they’re so unique and well-preserved the city has been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage list. Come see its cobbled streets, small fortresses and stone houses, and relish in its culinary art, too.
© Serial Hikers

For culture and history buffs alike visit Tirana.
Albania’s lively capital Tirana is a melting pot of culture and the beating heart of this fascinating country. After communism fell in 1992 Tirana was given a makeover, and this once restricted and dull city was flipped upside down – it was painted with bright colours, streets were lined with bars and restaurants, and public squares popped up all over the city. A weekend in Tirana is best spent checking out the array of top-notch museums, admiring the murals that are scattered around the city and bar crawling. During winter it’s the centre of Albanian nightlife when locals return from their summer work elsewhere.
© a.dombrowski

Two other cities that are worth a visit are: Durresi and Shkodra. Durrёs is the most ancient city in Albania, dating back to the seventh century BC. It’s renowned for its ancient ruins, including the largest Roman amphitheater in the Balkans.
Close towards the border of Montenegro is Shkodёr, also known as the gateway to the Albanian Alps. Many writers, artists, photographers and painters were born here, and it’s known to be a culturally rich city.

See full article here