Albania Stories and Tips

Albania - Travelling

Albania is not an easy country to get around. I had friends so we drove in their car. The roads are atrocious, so relatively short distances take a long time. The landscape, is poor, and quite varied. We passed through small towns, with decaying, empty factories. It seems most things were desroyed in an orgy of destruction after the revolution. There are also many, olive groves, harsh, wild mountains, and unspoilt beaches.

Skodra in the north is quite nice. The castle above affords superb views over the town, lake and river below. The mountains form a breathtaking backdrop. heading South, Gyrokaster is the most interesting place. It is made entirely of grey stone, even the roofs. It is protected by zig zagging rows of single man bunkers through the fields. When I asked who they expected to attack them, I was told, enigmatically, "enemies of the people".

From here you can loop back across the mountains to the coast at Serande. Here you can see Corfu in the distance. The facilities are a bit lacking, but the sandy beach is lovely, with clean uncrowded water.

The drive back up the coast to Tirana, has some nerve racking mountain roads, with precipices on the side, and unphased oncoming traffic to get the adrenalin pumping.

I would strongly recommend going with a local who can speak Albanian, or at least Italian. Not much English is spoken out of the capital.

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