Albania has pristine beaches, awe-inspiring mountains, and a beautiful coastline second to none. It blends interesting culture with magnificent nature. And Albania is full of light – the same light and warmth that makes people flock to Italy, Croatia and Greece – and it shares a sheltered and beautiful Mediterranean coast. Great food, friendly people and affordable prices emphasise that Albania is a gem to discover.

Albania’s wonders are almost unheard of in the west. When I told friends and family I was going to Albania, everyone was surprised, and most asked “why?”. The perception of Albania in mainstream western culture is as a gloomy, uninteresting, previously communist and possibly unsafe country. Many people, even the well-educated, aren’t sure where it is. The reality of Albania is the opposite.

Not everywhere in Albania is an unspoiled, undiscovered paradise though. Some places, like the unique and wonderful Blue Eye spring, are extremely popular. Although unknown in the west, Albania has long drawn visitors from neighbouring countries in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Albania has also become popular with Italians seeking quieter summer holidays than is possible on Italy’s coast.

Albania is ripe for discovery by independent and adventurous travellers. On my recent trip I noticed young Western Europeans fuelled by travel blogs and Instagram, already exploring Albania despite the lack of decent printed travel guides for this region. The posts below show some of the adventures possible in Albania.

The Blue Eye spring in Albania
Exploring the Albanian Riviera: an affordable paradise coast in Europe