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Albania

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  • 29-01-2012 7:55pm
    #1
    Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Hey,

    I've just posted some photos to my travel blog from a trip to Albania. I thought someone might be interested. It's a great little country just across the sea from Italy. It's relatively unknown at the moment. Croatia and now Montenegro have seen crazy development in the past decade and now many parts of Croatia feel like Costa Del Sol. If you want to get away from it all Albania's a great place to go.

    The food is fantastic, it's extremely cheap and the weather is good. The only thing is people generally don't speak English, but on the coast many speak Italian and some German. It has many UNESCO towns if that's your thing, and it has white sandy beaches (which I didn't really get to so my photos are mostly of town).

    If anyone wants to go I'd say go now before the eye-sore apartment blocks are built. :)

    The link to my photos is here.

    If you've any questions, just ask. I don't know much about getting there as I got the bus from Kosovo. I know you can fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia and then get buses. When heading to the Balkans I generally fly into Belgrade as it's cheap and then bus it to where ever I go. For this summer Belgrade return is about €250 compared with €1200 for Kosovo!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,062 ✭✭✭number10a


    How do you get to Belgrade usually? And is that the return price? Always wanted to get to the Balkans myself! The pics of Albania look amazing. Would never have thought the country would be like that. I would have expected post Communist dourness.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory


    To get to Belgrade you'd usually fly through somewhere. I think it was Frankfurt I flew through. I just went to ebookers and chose the cheapest option. And yes, that's the return price. Just found a €300 return Dublin - Tirana (Albania) there for August so may be no need for the buses.

    It's absolutely not ex-communisty. Maybe a bit in the capital but one you get outside the big cities it's all beautiful UNESCO protected towns. The place is really very beautiful. I don't think my photos even do it justice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,749 ✭✭✭crushproof


    Great blog and photos.
    Been wanting to go to Albania for years, even since I started going to Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Everytime I go I say next time I'll make to Albania but never do. And from the sounds of it it's getting more and more popular every year! :(
    An Italian friend has wanted to open a hostel there for years but it seems the Albanian mobsters are having none of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,850 ✭✭✭FouxDaFaFa


    I've been reading more and more glowing reviews of Albania lately; it seems to be gaining a lot of momentum as a destination. Depending on prices, I would love to go there this summer.

    I know you said you might not be able to help much with questions but can I ask if there is any kind of public bus system or would you be completely screwed without a driver?

    Gorgeous photos, by the way.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 66 ✭✭maggiep2010


    Great photos!
    I spent a couple of weeks in Albania last summer, and would also highly recommend it. It is by no means a 'relaxing, lie on the beach every day' holiday destination, but is vibrant, interesting, exciting, beautiful and lots more besides.
    The costal cities appeared to be developing at quiet a pace, and there doesn't seem to be much thought or plannig put into developments, so best get there before it gets too far gone.
    We travelled by public bus all the way, and while it may not have been the fastest means of transport, it was reliable and left us with plenty of stories to tell.
    We flew into Dubrovnik and spent a few days making our way down the coast to Albania, and flew home from Corfu, a short boat ride from the town of Sarande.


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory


    FouxDaFaFa wrote: »
    I've been reading more and more glowing reviews of Albania lately; it seems to be gaining a lot of momentum as a destination. Depending on prices, I would love to go there this summer.

    I know you said you might not be able to help much with questions but can I ask if there is any kind of public bus system or would you be completely screwed without a driver?

    Gorgeous photos, by the way.

    You could definitely do it without a car. We were overtaken by the public bus a few times so they're not too slow. I was working in a neighbouring country at the time and only had a long weekend hence why we drove so much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Ali12


    Im planning a trip to Albania in late August. The cheapest way to get there seems to be to fly into Bari and then get the ferry over to Durres. I've been looking ferries up online at directferries.com to get an idea of prices. Do I need to book the ferry in advance or is it just as easy to buy a ticket once there? Is it cheaper to book it online in advance?


  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭MonsterMob


    dory wrote: »
    Hey,

    I've just posted some photos to my travel blog from a trip to Albania. I thought someone might be interested. It's a great little country just across the sea from Italy. It's relatively unknown at the moment. Croatia and now Montenegro have seen crazy development in the past decade and now many parts of Croatia feel like Costa Del Sol. If you want to get away from it all Albania's a great place to go.

    The food is fantastic, it's extremely cheap and the weather is good. The only thing is people generally don't speak English, but on the coast many speak Italian and some German. It has many UNESCO towns if that's your thing, and it has white sandy beaches (which I didn't really get to so my photos are mostly of town).

    If anyone wants to go I'd say go now before the eye-sore apartment blocks are built. :)

    The link to my photos is here.

    If you've any questions, just ask. I don't know much about getting there as I got the bus from Kosovo. I know you can fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia and then get buses. When heading to the Balkans I generally fly into Belgrade as it's cheap and then bus it to where ever I go. For this summer Belgrade return is about €250 compared with €1200 for Kosovo!

    Link seems to be down, any chance you could put it up so that I could read about it? Thinking about heading over next year.

    Cheers

    MM


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,483 Mod ✭✭✭✭dory


    Sorry, my blog crashed. I have a temporary site here but don't think all the images tranferred over ok.


  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭MonsterMob


    dory wrote: »
    Sorry, my blog crashed. I have a temporary site here but don't think all the images tranferred over ok.

    Thanks Dory

    MM


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,004 ✭✭✭coolemon


    Is a visa required?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,763 ✭✭✭Aglomerado


    coolemon wrote: »
    Is a visa required?

    No, they just stamp your passport. I was there a year ago, hopped on a Hydrofoil from Corfu town to Saranda. Saranda's being built up (some extremely dodgy construction on the outskirts)- I believe it might be a stopping off point for cruise ships in the future. Near Saranda are the Roman Ruins (UNESCO site) of Butrint, which are spectactularly beautiful, as are the lakes and mountains nearby. (Right beside Butrint is the rope-pulley car ferry that was featured on Top Gear!)

    The little bit of Albania that I've seen (so far) is really lovely, and I found the people there to be extremely friendly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,004 ✭✭✭coolemon


    Aglomerado wrote: »
    No, they just stamp your passport. I was there a year ago, hopped on a Hydrofoil from Corfu town to Saranda. Saranda's being built up (some extremely dodgy construction on the outskirts)- I believe it might be a stopping off point for cruise ships in the future. Near Saranda are the Roman Ruins (UNESCO site) of Butrint, which are spectactularly beautiful, as are the lakes and mountains nearby. (Right beside Butrint is the rope-pulley car ferry that was featured on Top Gear!)

    The little bit of Albania that I've seen (so far) is really lovely, and I found the people there to be extremely friendly.

    Thanks. Hoping to cycle through Albania from the North and then down to Greece.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,763 ✭✭✭Aglomerado


    coolemon wrote: »
    Thanks. Hoping to cycle through Albania from the North and then down to Greece.

    Sounds like a lovely trip. :) Enjoy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 612 ✭✭✭JoseJones


    Looks really good! I'll be going to Bulgaria in late July/August and then I'm planning on travelling the rest of the Balkans. Does anybody have any other must see places they would recommend? Or any general advice for those countries?

    I'm going to try to take in Guca trumpet festival in Serbia too. Buses seem to be the best way to get around, are they pretty widespread and did people find them easy enough to use? How was the language barrier? I do speak some German so if people don't speak English I guess they may have at least a little German.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12 neeoc


    Hey,

    I've been there and loved it. Photos are super!

    I have some Albanian currency worth €65 that I'm trying to sell as I'm so broke now! Any ideas where I could sell this?

    Thanks,
    Denise


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,806 ✭✭✭i71jskz5xu42pb


    neeoc wrote: »
    Hey,

    I've been there and loved it. Photos are super!

    I have some Albanian currency worth €65 that I'm trying to sell as I'm so broke now! Any ideas where I could sell this?

    Thanks,
    Denise

    Old thread but I recently cleared out a load of foreign money. Bank of Ireland on College Green took most of it and any currencies they didn't deal in were accepted in No1 Currency Exchange around the corner on Westmoreland Street. There's a cutoff in terms of the denominations they take i.e. no small notes.


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