10 Reasons Why I Love Albania

Last Updated on September 19, 2022

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Albania has been my home for the last few months and I often get asked: Why Albania? 

What makes you love Albania so much out of all the destinations I have visited? What is Albanian known for that makes it so special?

After my second visit to Albania, I fell in love with this place, and knew I wanted to live here.

Reasons to love Albania, two islands with sand beaches surrounded forests next to each other kind of in the shape of a heart surrounded by clear blue water leading into deeper blue waters

And I want everyone to love Albania as much as I do, because this is truly a magical country full of amazing people, food and customs.

📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)

So why travel to Albania for your next trip? Here are 10 reasons why I love Albania!

Top 10 Reasons I Love Albania

1. The Hospitality

Hospitality is something I notice straight away when visiting a country, and Albanian hospitality is some of the best in the world!

If you are wondering what are Albanians known for, it’s definitely their hospitality – or at least, it should be!o

Albania has strong values and hospitality is something that they have been brought up to know and show everyone.

Albania would have to be in the top 3 countries I have visited in terms of hospitality.

You will be made to feel as part of their family but not only that, if you’re going to dinner or drinks with Albanians, expect an argument over the bill.

Thanks to Albanian hospitality, you will have to fight to pay your own way around here!

2. Honesty

Albanians are extremely honest and very direct!

Honesty is something I strongly value, and Albanians have a powerful sense of straightforwardness I have never experienced anywhere else.

If there is a problem, they will tell you. If you have a pimple on your face, you will be told.

Don’t take anything personally. It’s really refreshing to be told the truth, something I feel in western society has been lost a little.

Why travel to Albania, me with back to camera looking out over some trees and country side to water and the beach in the distance

3. The Beaches

If you have been following my Instagram feed for a while you know I snap beach pictures quite often (maybe too often) but that’s because the Albania beaches are all so god damn beautiful!

Ksamil is by far my favourite beach in Albania. I love the beach so much I currently live right on one!

If you want to experience the best of Albania, go to the beach! You will find some of the best beaches in Europe in Albania.

My recommendation is to hire a car or scooter and explore the coastal route from Ksamil to the North.  You will find many beaches with hardly any tourists on them.

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

travelling albania

4. Simplicity

Another reason I love Albania is the simplicity of everyday life here.

A common phrase is ‘Albania is 20 years behind everyone else in the world’ and in a sense, it definitely is but also, it just hasn’t developed into mass commercialism which I love.

I go to the bakery for my bread, the butcher for my meat and the small (I mean SMALL) scale supermarket for the rest.

Yes, it may be convenient in the western world to go to a one-stop shop but Albania is not like that and it is really like stepping back in time a little.

But if you want to experience the best of Albania, you just have to learn to go with the flow!

What are Albanians known for, old cobbled street lined with stone walls and buildings and shady trees overhead

5. Character

Oh, the character of Albania and Albanians. I have laughed more in the last few months than I have ever before in my life.

If there is one thing that Albania doesn’t lack its character. Albanians are always having a laugh and even if it doesn’t really make sense to you, just go with it.

Let your guard down and take in all that Albania has to offer!

6. The Food

I am a huge fan of Mediterranean food. I love the freshness and homemade feel of traditional Albanian food.

The fruit and vegetables taste like they should without nasty chemicals that we see in other countries.

Although there isn’t a large variety of food from other cultures in Albania (I crave a good burger from time to time), Albania’s food is simplistic and very delicious.

So if you’re wondering why go to Albania for a holiday, the food should definitely be at the top of your list!

Why travel to Albania, me with back to camera looking out over some trees and country side to water and the beach in the distance

7. Everything can be fixed with Raki

Raki is the local alcohol which is produced by fermented grapes. A lot of the Albanian families make their own.

It’s strong, really strong and should be drunk by sipping and not like a shot (guilty).

Not only is raki the official Albanian drink it also apparently heals sore throats and colds but also, they use it to sterilize wounds!

Obviously, it’s a versatile wonderful thing to have on hand!

🎫 TOP TIP: Looking for tickets to some of the best shows, activities and passes? I highly recommend booking via Viator for the best prices and deals!

8. Albanian Beliefs

I am a little superstitious myself. I always touch wood, never walk under ladders and don’t open umbrellas inside, but Albanians are very passionate about their beliefs also.

Some of which include if a liquid is spilt you must pour water over the spill otherwise you will face bad luck.

Another one is you will find stuffed animals and doll outside the houses. This is to ward off any bad spirits.

If you do not fore fill a pregnant woman’s cravings the baby will be born with a birthmark.

These are just some of the beliefs that some Albanians have. I find it extremely fascinating and it’s just another reason why I love Albania!

Why go to Albania, aerial view of Albanian city at dusk with mountains in the distance

9. Koha e pushimit (Rest time)

Just like Spain, Albania also has a siesta-like time in the day. From around 1 pm until 5 or 6 you will see most of the shops start to shut for the afternoon while the locals go for a coffee and/or a nap.

I don’t know about you, but napping is one of the most important parts of my day!

The shops usually open again at about 5 or 6 and stay open until 9 pm usually.

What's Albania famous for, Albanian flag flowing in wind next to stone wall with mountains in the distance on a sunny day

10. The Flag

Albania’s flag is super badass. With a red background and a black double-headed eagle, what more could you ask for in a flag?

Their flag represents strength and bravery.

If you’re planning a trip to Albania, make sure you read my complete Saranda guide along with my take on what it’s like living in Albania.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Albania famous for?

Albanian is known for its beautiful beaches, especially on the Albanian Riviera. Albania is also well known for having an incredibly unique culture and history due to being completely cut off from the outside world until 1991.

What are Albanians known for?

Hands down the thing Albanians are most known for is their hospitality! Followed closely by the amazing food.

These are just some of the many reasons that I love Albania and why travel to Albania. Let me know some of the reasons you love Albania in the comments!

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The Comments

  • Kasia
    November 3, 2017

    Love it! I’m not that familiar with Albania but I’ve been reading many posts lately about it and it’s really making me want to go there. Thanks for giving me more reasons to go!

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    November 8, 2017

    Sincerely, Albania would have never come to our mind as a good travel destination, Anita. However, after reading your post, I realized that we’ve been missing so much. Would you consider it to be a good budget travel destination?

  • Viktor Kaposi
    November 17, 2017

    I couldn’t agree more. I have been to Albania four times and I definitely want to return again soon. I would also add the excellent coffee, the magical mountains (north and south) and the affordable prices. Thank you for the great article!