Albania: Best new destination in Europe

Albania: Best new destination in Europe

by Alejandra Flores
Stripes Europe

Crystal clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, picturesque harbors and ancient history. Most people would associate this with Spain Greece, or Italy. All beautiful places to visit, but nowadays very overcrowded and overpriced. What if there was a place with all of these things for half the price and half the people? Too good to be true? Think again! You can find all those things in Ksamil, Albania. 

Located just above Greece, Albania is becoming a new vacation destination. Just like Greece, Ksamil offers turquoise waters and sunny days. While most of Europe’s beaches have become overcrowded, Ksamil’s beaches still have many hidden gems not discovered by many. Take time to explore the coast to find some gorgeous beach destinations. Feeling a little adventurous? Some of the best beaches are only accessed via boat to uninhabited islands off the coast.  

After the beach, visit Saranda to explore their picturesque port city. Here find quaint restaurants right on the pier, or take a scenic stroll on the harbor’s edge. Walk on cobblestoned roads, eat delectable Albanian food and enjoy a drink overlooking the intensely blue water.  

Continue experiencing Albania through their history. First, stop at Botrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to visit some of Albania’s oldest sites. This site includes an amphitheater, monastery and watchtower. Next, head to Gjrokaster, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience an ancient Albanian city with traditional stone houses and an old fort. Educational and surreal, these sites will give you an insight into Albanian culture and history. Lastly, head to Syri and Kalter to visit the natural phenomena of the area. This phenomenon dubbed the “blue eye” is an alluring pool of a deep dark blue circle in the center resembling an eye encompassed by lighter shades of blue and turquoise.  

The best part about Ksumil is that it is half the cost of other popular beach destinations in Europe, and it’s not as touristy as other places. For example, there are no resorts but mostly locally owned hotels.  

Whether it’s the beach, the food, the scenery, nature or the prices, Albania will not be a disappointment. I would recommend going sooner than later, it won’t stay a secret forever! 

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