One week in Albania
After our whirlwind trip through Italy, we decided that we needed a beach break where we could settle in one place for a little while. We arrived in Tirana, the capital of Albania, and decided to stay a night. We were really surprised at the hospitality of the people and the food was delicious.
Traditional Albanian food:
Hot feta dip
Albania gets a bad rap from a lot of the other Balkan countries. A few people we met asked us why we would even bother going there. But we are so glad we did.
One night in the capital was enough and we headed straight to the coast. The town of Saranda was a lovely surprise. A bit touristy but still very pretty, cheap accommodation and lovely seafood.
We rented beach umbrellas and lazed on the beach for two days before we made the journey to the more secluded, less touristy and highly recommended Himare.
We were not disappointed. The bus ride itself was spectacular. The coastline is pristine all along the coast. The road was a bit hairy at times and the bus took about 5 hours to go 100km but we got there in the end.
Himare is a stretch of two beautiful beaches with the clearest water, tahitian style beach umbrellas and a handful of restaurants and hotels.
There was virtually no one there. Apparently it was still ‘off season’ but the weather was perfect every day and the sun was ‘Australian summer’ hot at midday.
Each day we would wake up in our gorgeous hotel room and pop down for a cooked brekky knowing that we would have the whole beach to ourselves. Have I mentioned that Albania is inexpensive? Our hotel room was pretty impressive for 25euro a night. And it must be the only place in Europe where the beach umbrellas are free!
At night we would pick one of the few restaurants to get a cheap bite to eat at. By far our favourite was the Greek restaurant situated between the two beaches. It was painted all white and had a giant deck that was perched over the ocean with beautiful night views of the surrounding bay.
The owner told us that the menu consists of whatever his mother had prepared that morning.
We were stuffed to the brim of fresh, delicious greek style food (and a few beers) before we made our way home.
The sunsets were breathtaking, the food was absolutely delicious and we were really sorry we had only three days to enjoy it all.
But our beach holiday was to continue with our friends in Greece so we had to drag ourselves away and make the trip across the Albanian border.