Discovering Albania: A Week of Cultural Riches and Natural Wonders
Destination: Albania (Kosovo and North Macedonia)
Travel Companion: Graham
Duration: 8 days
Day 1: Tirana's Spirited Start
|Tirana's colorful buildings
Days 2 and 5: Exploring Neighbors - Kosovo and North Macedonia
|North Macedonia (Ohrid)
Did you know that North Macedonia used to be known as Macedonia before 2019, this change came as a result to the political tension with Greece which also has a region called Macedonia.
|Kosovo (Prishtina and Prizren)
Day 3: Lake Bovilla's Steep Serenity and Grand Park of Tirana
|Grand Park of Tirana
Day 4: Bunkers, Bleak History and a Cable Car Ride
Every bunker has a necessary characteristic: to have only entrance doors but no windows. One window, in fact, repeals all the fortification significance weakening it in front of the strongest threat a bunker can face: Sunlight. -- Anonymous.
|The biggest living space consisting of a living room, bedroom and office built in the bunker (Bunk'Art 1) for Enver Hoxha and his wife
Day 6: Cape of Rodon's Majesty and Winery Delights
|Cape of Rodon
|Wine tasting at Duka Winery & Vineyard
Day 7: Seaside Bliss - Albanian Riviera and Gjirokaster Folklore
|View from Gjirokaster Castle
Conclusion: A Harmonious Blend of Experiences
- Consider staying in different parts of Tirana for a more immersive experience.
- Rent a car to explore the South, Tirana, and the North efficiently.
- For a deeper exploration, consider extending your stay to visit the Theth National Park.
- Flights: From Dubai, it's quite easy due to the FlyDubai service to Albania.
- Transportation: We arranged taxis from the airport to the hotel with booking.com. And within the capital itself, we were taking their local taxi service. We also used specific tour companies for our day trips.
- Restaurants / Coffee shops: Tirana felt like it has quite a chill vibe, almost coffee style pubs all around but with cocktails and drinks. It also has a strong coffee culture, but small disclaimer, I think it's more of the vibe of going out for coffee and hanging out in a coffee shop than actual coffee quality itself. Here are some of the restaurants / coffee shops we tried and enjoyed: Era (lovely place with very nice fusion food), Artigiano (italian cuisine), Komiteti Kafe Museum (we only had drinks there but the place has a nice funky decor), Tymi (where we went in our first day with the walking tour, super funky place, but quite local / balkan inspired food), and Noor Coffee and Fine Food (cute coffee shop with an interesting decor).