Don't go by its size for Albania might appear to be a tiny Balkan country in the map but it will take an eternity to fully appreciate its natural scenic beauty, sun-drenched beaches, desirable weather, illustrious history, rugged mountain range and so forth. It is everything that you crave for a perfect European destination. Albania is slowly gaining popularity amongst European travellers but as a global tourist destination, the nation is still largely unexplored.
Be sure to kick-start the tour by visiting the Butrint National Park that is believed to be an ancient archaeological site that dates as far back as 2,500 years. There's also a museum which is home to several artifacts excavated in the area. Albania is brimming with fascinating phenomenons and one such attraction is Blue Eye - a natural water spring, perched near Sarande. Tourists flock to this area for they are captivated with the blue-colored water bubbling from the pool that is more than 50 feet deep. Giving the impression of giant blue eyes with the dark center of the pool resembling a pupil and the surrounding azure water appearing like iris, this enchanting sight is no doubt a tourist magnet.
History aficionados will love visiting the Rozafa Castle, residing outside the town of Shkodra. It is perched on a rocky hill, 130 meters above sea level, fringed by the Bokana and Drin rivers. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Berat is one of the major reasons for Albania's rising popularity. This town was well-known for its old-world white-washed homes featuring tile roofs. The true attraction of this picturesque settlement is the rugged castle that was built in the 13th century. The National Ethnographic Museum, adjacent to Berat Castle, has several items to display such as tools used by weavers and silversmiths and traditional attires.
The Skanderbeg Square is housed in the capital city, Tirana. This Square accommodates several of Tirana's attractions such as the Palace of Culture, the National History Museum, the Tirana International Hotel as well as a statue of the personality after whom the square and the Et'hem Bey Mosque. Renowned to be the largest museum in Albania, the National History Museum enlightens visitors about the country's illustrious history and glorious heritage.
Perched in the southern part of Central Albania, Cobo Winery comprises of numerous vineyards and a home where visitors can relish wine tasting. Visitors are allowed to tour the winery as well as watch how wine is prepared. Sample some delicious home-made Albanian cheeses and olives cultivated in the area. Want to enjoy authentic and local village life? Then take a trip to Ksmail Village that is renowned for its sun-drenched beaches and restaurants offering delicious seafood. This town is famed for its superior-quality lemons, tangerines and olive oil.
When it comes to shopping, Albania is popular for traditional crafts, Albanian flags, copper plates and ashtrays in the shape of bunkers. While holidaying, don't leave the country without digging into some of their local specialities such as the delicious Byrek - a kind of savoury pie packed with seasonal vegetables or meat. Don't forget to try the local alcoholic drink - Raki.
The stay options in Albania are plenty with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap accommodations available for tourists to opt for the choice they prefer based on their budget and tastes.
Albania experiences typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The best time to visit the country is September for the weather is pleasant and locations are scenic.