Is Albania a great place to visit and why?
Albania is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. We traveled from the top of its north to the border with Greece and were delightfully surprised and pleased along the way.
Natural beauty - the Balkans around Valbona and Lake Komani provide some of the most spectacular scenery, hiking and camping we've known. The south offers beaches and islands with all the delights of Greece.
Ancient history - you can find well preserved traces of Greek and Roman settlements up and down the coast; and Ottoman influence throughout the country back to the middle ages.
Recent history - Tirana in particular reveals the madness under Hoxha, a North Korea style Communist leader after WW2. The privations and isolation of his people, as well as the current victory by the people over that past, is well worth witnessing. Often on the road you feel as if you stepped back in time, as goatherds take over the road or hand labor works the field.
Mix of cultures - whether it's religious practice, lifestyle, food or other forms of culture, you can find a striking mix in the country. Entertaining, enlightening and appealing.
The roads may not always be in the best shape or speedy, the tourist infrastructure is still catching up, but you can readily drive them and get around. What you see along the way is worth it.
Albania is a beautiful country with a miserable history that is shaken off in a hurry.
The characteristic gray of communism barely appears under the layers of paint on the facades of their cities.
The impressive beech and oak forests gradually cover the thousands of cement bunkers scattered everywhere.