03. July 2015 · 11 comments · Categories: Albania
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Cheers from Albania.

Cheers from Albania.

I have been to Albania several times over the past 11 years and many people ask me why I Visit Albania so often. Here are a few of the reasons why I love to visit Albania.

Albania is unique.



Albania is one of the most unique countries in the world and maybe the most unique country in Europe. It has a unique language that is not connected to any other language in the world and the Albanians are not slavs or latinos. But their own tribe who are related to the Illyrians. It goes back to the time when the writer Homer lived. Modern day Albania is a fascinating mix of Balkan, Turkey, with a pinch of Italy in it. Or I guess we can just say that is has a lot of Albania in it ๐Ÿ™‚


Albania is safe.

Albania is mellow and safe.

It is mellow and safe in Albania.

Albania is a surprisingly safe country to travel. I have been to +70 countries over the past 26 years and I will put Albania in to top 3 when it comes to personal safety. I have never felt unsafe walking home late at night in Tirana. or when camping wild in the mountains in Albania. Best thing you can do if you camp wild is actually let the locals know that you are camping there and they will most likely treat you with some Albanian hospitality in terms of food and so. This is one aspect where you really need to forget about the prejudice you might have about Albania. Of course things can happen. Just like in all other places around the globe. But if you use general common sense, then you should have no problems what so ever when you visit Albania.


Albania is friendly.


All tourist brochures from around the globe will tell you that the locals are friendly and hospitable and this is true in most places. But in Albania it’s just a little more. I have been treated very well in the +70 countries I have visited around the globe, but Albania is in for a top 3 again in this regard. I think it’s a combination of just being generally hospitable and also the aspect that Albania was totally cut off from the rest of the world for more than 4 decades. this has made the Albanians so curious towards visiting foreigners in a very friendly way. In the beginning you might even be a little worried and thinking whether people have other motives when they spend an hour walking you to the place you asked directions for or invites you for free food and drinks after knowing them for a few minutes. But this happens to me all the time when I visit Albania and I have so far never had a bad experience when accepting Albanian hospitality.


It’s your chance to visit what was the North Korea of Europe.

There are still some remains from communist times in Albania.

There are still some remains from communist times in Albania.

From the second world war and until 1991, Albania was the most closed country in the world. together with North Korea that is. Albania was behind the iron curtain. But not part of the Warsaw Pact for very long. And Albania soon retreated in to isolation. A paranoid regime spend most of the state income on building bunkers, in case of an invasion. No private cars were allowed in Albania during these years and ordinary Albanians were not allowed to leave the country. Just like foreigners were only allowed in to the country in a very limited scale and only on state controlled trips. These days, Albania is the exact opposite. It’s one of the most open countries in Europe and very easy to visit and you will feel right away that you are very welcome in Albania.



Albania is for outdoor lovers.

Hiking in Albania.

Hiking in Albania.

Because Albania is still fairly undeveloped in an industrial way, it’s a really good country to visit if you are in to outdoor stuff. Like hiking, cycling, mountaineering, kayaking, or almost any outdoor activity. The country has a lot of very nice places that are still seeing very few visitors. So if you can live with an infrastructure that is not always western standards then you are in for a place that offers you fantastic opportunities if you like the great outdoors.


Albania is relaxed about religion.


Albania is very tolerant when it comes to different religions and also to being not religious for that matter. Religion is a lot less visible in Albania than most other countries in Europe. And people are hardly ever asking me any question about my religion or lack of. One Albanian girl once told me that โ€œthe only religion we have in Albania, is being Albanianโ€. And I can see what she means as they have a very strong national pride. But it’s not based on religious beliefs. The country roughly has 70% muslims, 20% orthodox and 10% catholics. But it’s a little hard to see what is what as fairly few people are concerned about dressing religious and such and most Albanian muslims and happily drink alcohol and even eat pork meat. During the second world was, the Albanians also shielded their jewish population, when Mussolini’s fascists and Hitler’s nazis invaded Albania. Not a single jew was send to KZ camps during World War 2 in Albania. I think that story says a lot about Albanian tolerance.


So come and visit Albania everyone.

My albanian tatoo.

My Albanian tattoo.

I have been here 7 times over the past 11 years and keep coming back. So you should try the same. I have gotten to like the country so much that I even have the Albanian eagle tattooed on my backย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Come and have some albanian cheese.

Come and have some Albanian cheese.

Peshkopi in eastern Albania.

Peshkopi in eastern Albania.

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  1. Larry Sampson

    You’ve convinced me! I have you talk about Albania many times and each times I have gotten interested.

  2. Yes my Albania is beautiful, we are happy if as much people as it can, can come here. So come and visit us ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Woowww a few words but that describe albania & albanians so well…thnx for the review, its a good way tourists know albania is a safe & beautiful place to visit….great bio food,traditional cuisine… Beautiful beaches, montages, antique cities… Everything in a small country:))

  4. Jumping Norman

    Well-written Claus! It iis truly unique and safe ๐Ÿ™‚ Albanians would be happy u wrote this ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I have visited Albania twice and in general I agree with your story. Well written.

  6. Nice post Claus. I want to go.

  7. Hi Claus .. Thank you for your kind words about my country. I live in the States and I try to explain people what the country is like but I feel like you did a much better job here :). I am glad you have had a good time and hopefully more people get inspired. My home town is Pogradec and I strongly recommend people visit it. Summer time is just wonderful there. You are right on point about the religion part of it. We take pride in the fact that we coexist in peace and respect each other.

    Again Thanks.

  8. So enjoy your personality and perspective shining through. Great voice. I’d love to visit Albania and that whole region.

  9. Wonderful article!
    If anyone here is interested in learning Albanian language, subscribe to my YouTube channel:

  10. I’ve never really considered Albania as a place to travel to, but I keep reading more and more about it. I probably really should familiarize myself with it more (starting by checking out the exact location on the map. I know, I’m a horrible person). Maaike

  11. Hello Claus i’m happy you’re visiting Albania is a good place for travelling.

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