Weißer Sandstrand und türkises Wasser in Ksamil, Albanien,Balkan*White sand beach and turquoise water at Ksamil, Albania,Balkan (Michael Runkel)

This is the last outpost on Europe. Still untouched by tourism Albania, has a lot to offer. No more crime and violence as Albania was known in the 90s. Nowadays you can travel with no problem all through the country. Albania is extremely varied in terms of landscape and culture. The big advantage is that you have all the sights by yourself and these are really spectacular. There is a lot of influence of the Ottomans and the Romans and therefore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Berat, The Ottoman town of BeratGirokaster and Butrint reflect that.

Unesco Weltkulturerbe Gjirokaster, Albanien,Balkan*Unesco world heritage sight Gjirokaster, Albania,Balkan (Michael Runkel)

What really surprised me is that Albania has high mountains with snow until May. The Albanian Alps are still to discover. In this region the blood feud is still an active part of culture. In the remote regions are towers where the accused took refuge and stayed there for months until an agreement between families was settled. If you venture out you find beautiful gorges with crystal clear water. Finally there a beaches I haven´t seen in Europe before. Turquoise water, white sand and palm trees. Something you would expect in the Indian ocean or the Carribbean but not in Albania.

Künstlicher Stausee Koman, Albanien,Balkan*Artifical lake Komani, Albania,Balkan (Michael Runkel)

What makes Albania really unique are the 18,000 bunkers which the former dictator Enver Hodscha constructed to protect his country. Nowadays they are still everywhere visible and slowly are destructed. They are on all borders and along the whole coastline. If you have a close look at them they were clearly more psychological than any really help! Some photos of them are in the slide show at the beginning!

Generally spoken Albania is in contrary to many prejudices a very safe beautiful country with lots of cultural and natural sights. The people are friendly, in fact we didn´t encounter one unfriendly person. Costs of travel are low and I really enjoyed this trip!

Tirana, Albanien, Balkan*Tirana, Albania, Balkan (Michael Runkel)

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