Albania is opening to tourism more and more each year, but we still have many stereotypes about it. Some of those stereotypes are no longer true.
It is true that Albania is poor country with unbelievably beautiful nature and many contrasts. While on country and in suburbs people are still living in poverty, the most common vehicles on roads are – Mercedes Benz. It is important that everybody drive a Mercedes even if they have nothing to eat and their houses aren´t finished. Oh, well 🙂 .
On contrary the nature is very beautiful – from turquoise sea on the south to mountainous parts of Prokletija on north.
On this year´s journey to Albania we were exploring towns Gjirokastro and Berat that are under Unesco´s protection. We reached Gjirokastro in the middle of the day, in great heat, so we didn´t have any energy or desire for further exploring. We were just trying to find some shady and cool place. But the town is really charming with its characteristic houses and is protected by Unesco. If we were not able to fully feel Girokastro because of the heat, we can´t say the same for Berat – town of lights in middle part of Albania.
The town spreads on the hills on both sides of the river and closes at one end with Unesco´s fortress from which there is great view on surroundings and on the other side of the old town, that spreads to the hill. The area around fortress is much bigger than we accepted and is ideal for morning or evening walk. Inside the fortress there are interesting paved streets, parks, beautiful Orthodox church and some guesthouses offering food and lodging. We stayed at Guest house Kris inside of Unesco´s fortress, that we warmly recommend. It was cheap and idyllic. We could have easily stayed a few more nights there, but we have to go forward to Montenegro.
Don´t let the stereotypes of Albania prevent you to visit it, if you will be wandering around that places. There are many beautiful places to be found here; and those less beautiful are just training of gratitude for everything that we have in our little country 🙂 .