first_imgUnspoiled, untouched and relatively unheard of as a tourist destination, Albania is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Why Albania? Albania is still uncharted territory for most UK tourists; only 38,000 of us made the journey in 2006. Compare that to more than 16,000,000 Brits who visited Spain and you can see how low profile this Balkan country is.Albania almost has the same ring to it as places like Timbuktu or Outer Mongolia – giving the impression of being distant, slightly dangerous, inaccessible and exotic. But in recent years Albania has opened up to foreign visitors and although the Albanian authorities do little to promote it as a holiday destination to international tourists – it doesn’t mean it’s not worth a trip.Beaches and LakesSun seekers will enjoy Albania’s 450 miles worth of Adriatic and Ionian coastline dotted with protected, sandy bays and empty beaches. Further inland, Albania’s Alps and Tomorri Massif mountains will excite climbers, hikers and bikers; Mount Korabi is the highest peak in the country at 2753 m tall.Kayakers, fishermen and boaters will enjoy the range of fast flowing rivers as well as Lake Shkodra, which straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro and is the largest lake in the Balkans.Culture and FoodThere is also much to see and do if you’re of a historic and cultural persuasion, with ancient castles, Ottoman fortresses and the museum cities of Berati and Gjirokastra to explore.And let’s not forget the foodies; Albania’s delayed development means that farming methods are less intensive than in western Europe resulting in an abundance of organic fruit and veg. Albania’s Mediterranean garden yields ample fresh seafood, the mountain pastures provide tender lamb, and there is also Albania’s excellent wine to sample.Danger and difficultyNo visa is required for British citizens for stays of up to 30 days. Apart from the northern border with Kosovo which the FCO currently advises against visiting to due to the risk of unexploded mines and ammunition, travel in Albania shouldn’t present any great hazards to visitors.Albanian culture places great importance on hospitality, thus guests and especially foreign visitors are shown the highest respect, being offered the finest food and drink a family has to offer.One confusing aspect to remember; Albanians shake the heads from side to side to indicate “yes”, and nod up and down to mean “no”.Getting there and aroundFlight time to the capital Tirana from London is around 3 hours direct. When travelling inside the country remember that road infrastructure is not as developed as elsewhere in Europe, so even short distances can take a long time by car or bus – plan accordingly.For more information on visiting Albania AlbanianTourism.comBritish FCO Adivce on AlbaniaFind cheap flights to AlbaniaRead more from the Hidden Countries series ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSeven Secret Budget Beaches: sun, sea, sand and savingsGet your sun, sea and sand fix for less this summer.Secret summer destinations revealed by SkyscannerSecret summer destinations revealed by SkyscannerHidden beaches you could still escape to this summerStill looking for a perfect summer holiday destination? Check out these amazing hidden beaches!last_img read more