Albania - The Land of the Eagles - Heritage of Illyria
Home to beautiful virgin beaches, snow peaked mountains, plethora of biological diversity, rich archaeological heritage, colorful culture and heart-warming generosity; Albania has got it all. The Republic of Albania, as it is officially called, is a small country situated in South-East Europe. Tirana is the capital of Albania and is the most populous and financial centre of the country. The country has also got worldwide recognition, being the birthplace of Mother Teresa and local historical icon, Skanderbeg.
Albania is blessed by nature, with the Dinaric Alps and Pindus Mountain Ranges, Ionian and Adriatic Seas, Lakes Ohrid and Shkodėr, diversified forests (with almost 3000 types of flora and many endangered animal species) and a Mediterranean climate. All this, including many ancestral monuments and sites and a warm welcoming culture, has made Albania one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in recent times.
As the climate is relatively mild throughout the year, tourists can enjoy visiting the country all year round; but the country is covered with beautiful blooms in spring and fall making it the best seasons to visit. The tourists can enjoy many outdoor activities like mountain climbing, fishing, kayaking, trekking, etc. There are also many national parks in Albania, offering a rich flora and fauna treasure. Nature enthusiasts can find birds like Golden eagle, Dalmatian Pelican, animals like lynx, gray bear and endangered species like European sea sturgeon, Pygmy cormorant, and a variety of other species in these national parks.
Witnessing two major ancient civilizations – Roman and Greek, Albania has many archaeological sites and monuments, some as old as 7th century, a treat for history lovers. For the urban buffs, Albania offers a vibrant nightlife with many nightclubs, pubs and discos along with theatres, musicals and movie shows. The country is also famous for its great cuisine and as the Albanian people are known to be foodies, there are number of good cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the country.
Albania caters to all kind of tourists, whether it is backpackers, historical lovers or the urban travelers and is rightly called as the ‘New Mediterranean Love’.
Tourism in Albania is characterized by the archaeological heritage from Greek, Roman and Ottoman times, unspoiled beaches, mountainous topography, delicious traditional Albanian cuisine, Cold War era artifacts, unique traditions and hospitality, and the wild and peculiar atmosphere of the countryside. Although still underdeveloped, tourism has seen an impressive increase in recent years. Lonely Planet ranked Albania as the no. 1 destination to be visited in 2011. Albania was ranked fourth in MSN Travel's 2012 Hottest Destinations.
The bulk of tourists coming to Albania is made up of Albanians coming from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and expats from Greece, and Italy. These prefer mostly beach tourism, while rural tourism is slowly gaining popularity. Foreign tourists mostly come from Eastern Europe, particularly from Poland, and the Czech Republic, and also from Western Europe such as Germany, Italy, France, and Scandinavian countries.
In August 2011, American actress with Albanian origin Eliza Dushku visited Albania to film a promotional documentary on her father's country of origin with a crew from the Travel Channel and Lonely Planet. More than 3,000,000 tourists had visited the country in the first eight months of 2011.
Pro-United States sentiment is strong and widespread among the Albanian population.
Albanians remembered that Woodrow Wilson had protected Albanian independence in 1919 and many Albanian children were named Wilson in president's honour. In our Time the Names Laura, Bill, Demokrat, Amerikan are very popular.
Towns and archaeological sites
- A thousand and one window town of Berat
- Old port city of Durrės (Dyrrhachium)
- Stone city of Gjirokastėr
- Krujė, the balcony over the Adriatic sea
- Shkodėr, the city that is home, among others to the Rozafa Castle
- Tirana, the capital with a vibrant nightlife
- Beach city of Vlorė (the city of olives and grapes)
- Lezha, the historic diplomatic capital of Albania
- Poet's city of Pogradec
- Honeymooners' city of Sarandė
- Year round festive city of Korcė
The most visited archaeological sites are
Albania is known for its breathtaking landscape. Some increasingly popular features include:
- Albanian Riviera, the coastal area stretching from Vlore to Saranda along the Ionian Sea. The whole coastline of Albania stretches over 450 km.
- Albanian Alps, part of the Prokletije or Accursed Mountains range in extreme Northern Albania where the highest mountain peak of the range is located. Seventy percent of the country's terrain is mountainous.
- Naturally occurring phenomenon of the Blue Eye Spring near Sarande in extreme Southern Albania
- Lake Komani Ferry, a unique journey amidst spectacular mountain views in Northern Albania
- The 20 km long Osum Canyon, the largest in Albania located near Corovode in Skrapar District
- Coastal areas of Lalzit Bay north of Durrės near Rodon Cape, and General's Beach near Kavaje
- Curative beach sands of coastal Velipoja in Ada Bojana near the Montenegrin border, and Shengjin near Lezhe.
Albania is a rural and agricultural oriented country. The main emerging agritourism destinations are:
- Theth - The community is at the centre of the Theth National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
- Historic Moscopole, and alpine Dardhė, Vithkuq, and Boboshticė villages near Korcė
- Albanian stretch of Ohrid Lake in Hudenisht stretching from Qafė Thanė/Kjafasan to Pogradec
- Area of Pėrmet District in southeastern Albania, and Libohovė village near Gjirokastėr
- Fishing village of Shiroka along Shkodėr Lake
- Drilon Swans Park east of Pogradec
- Emerging agritourism villages of Gjinar near Elbasan, Rovje in Gramsh District, and Shishtavec in Kukes County
- Suburban area along Rruga e Elbasanit, and panoramic region of Mount Dajt both in the outskirts of Tirana
Albania is home to three World Heritage Sites:
- Butrint, an ancient Greek and Roman city
- Gjirokastėr, a well-preserved Ottoman medieval town
- Berat, the 'town of a thousand and one windows'
Albanian Guys & Boys
thats very funny