LifestyleDiscovering Albania: The 'second Croatia' offering paradise beaches at surprisingly low prices

Discovering Albania: The 'second Croatia' offering paradise beaches at surprisingly low prices

Ksamil is one of the most beautiful resorts in Albania.
Ksamil is one of the most beautiful resorts in Albania.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

2:46 PM EST, January 22, 2024

Just a few years ago, not many people considered it as a travel destination. .

Is Albania a second Croatia?

Often, Albania is dubbed the "second Croatia" owing to its crystal-clear water, fairytale-like beaches, and low prices, aspects that once made Croatia famous. Present-day Croatia, however, has become more expensive, and the introduction of the euro on January 1st certainly hasn't helped to reduce those prices. Meanwhile, Albania presents as a much more attractive option, financially speaking.

"Local fast foods, like pita, cost from 200 lek ($1.82) per person, pizzas start from 600 lek ($5.47)," says Iwona Rrapaj, a resident of Albania. "Lunches in small traditional restaurants cost between 600-1000 lek ($5.47-$9.12) per person. Seafood pasta and risotto start from 800 lek ($7.29), while fish, served with side dishes such as salad and fries, start from 600 lek ($5.47). A seafood mix starts from 1600 lek ($14.58) and, depending on the portion size, which is typically quite large."

Drinks are also inexpensive. We can expect to pay from 100 lek ($0.91) for coffee, and beer costs approximately 150-250 lek ($1.36-$2.28).

However, this might be the last call. Marzena German from advises, "Do not delay the trip. As we look into the future, we must expect vacation costs in this country to increase."

Albania - a holiday paradise

Albania boasts a 225-mile stretch of varied coastline adorned with vibrant resorts, expansive beaches, mysterious bays, and secluded spots tucked in the shade of trees.

Albania - which resort should you choose?

Beaches on the Adriatic coast are sandy, with a gentle descent into the sea, hence, they are often the choice of families with children who favor resorts such as Durres or Golem.

Contrastingly, the Ionian Sea coast is more rugged. A gem in this area is undoubtedly Saranda, whose name translates to "40 saints," referring to the 40 martyrs of Sebaste. The town is nestled on the slopes of the Mali and Gjerë mountain range.

Albania impresses with its beautiful coast.
Albania impresses with its beautiful coast.© Adobe Stock

"While on vacation in Albania, you can also consider a day trip to the Greek island of Corfu. It's easily accessible by sea from Saranda. The ferry journey only takes about 30-40 minutes," suggests Biernat.

The most renowned resort on the Ionian Sea is Ksamil. A small town just south of Saranda, it is located on the very edge of Albania — only 2.5 miles from the Greek island of Corfu. The landscape here can easily compete with the Caribbean or Bahamas, with its numerous bays, sandy beaches, and various islets. It is considered the most attractive part of the riviera.

Ksamil is a paradise of water color and beautiful beaches.
Ksamil is a paradise of water color and beautiful beaches.© Adobe Stock

"Tourists looking for a combination of rugged and sandy beaches should check out Vlora. The resort is where the waters of both seas meet, and the city itself is an essential point on the historical map of Albania,"

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