Albania is the Europe you never knew existed. Rugged mountains laced with quiet hiking trails, ancient ruins hiding in the shade of trees, stunning beaches ripe for exploration and fast-developing urban centres. But visiting Albania is much more than just ticking off key sites; it’s experiencing a country that was isolated from much of the rest of the continent until the early ‘90s. And while it’s been playing catch up ever since, Albania retains an air of an older and wilder Europe. It’s a place where tradition matters. A place with unexpected adventure at the end of every dusty country lane. A place that could change your whole idea of twenty-first-century Europe. So: where to begin? From its historic capital to its beach-lined coast, these are the best places to visit in Albania.
Stuart Butler is a travel writer and guidebook author who has travelled extensively in Albania. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines and check out our latest travel guides written by local experts.
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