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Undiscovered Albania

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Independent just since 1912, Albania is rising as one of Europe's hottest―and least expensive―destinations. As it approaches a century of freedom from communist rule, its unspoiled beaches, snow-capped mountains, traditional cuisine, Cold War era artifacts, unique traditions, unrivaled hospitality and wild countryside are ripe for discovery by mass tourism. In 2014, the NY Times ranked Albania fourth among 52 recommended destinations. In 2011, Lonely Planet ranked it #1.
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Rruga Driloni, Tushemisht, Albania
My Bike Beyond Boundaries tour of Albania's World Heritage Sites began at the Millennium Hotel, at the base of the Gramoz Mountains in tiny Pogradec. Set directly on Lake Ohrid, the Balkans' deepest lake, the tiny town begs for fishermen to plumb...
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Rruga Evlia Celebi, Gjirokaster 6001, Albania
If the walls of Gjirokastra's brooding castle could talk, they'd tell tales of Ali Pasha's 19th century reign, when the tyrant used his hilltop fortifications as a communist prison. What remains of their secrets is now revealed in gun-filled...
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Rruga Leskovik-Erseke Km 15, SH75, Albania
It was a roller coaster ride from Korcë to Gërmenjë on our Bike Beyond Boundaries UNESCO Tour of Albania. Climbing into the heart of the snow-capped Grammoz Mountains, we rode through a landscape of barren rock and high peaks punctuated with wild...
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On day seven of our Bike Beyond Boundaries tour of Albania's World Heritage Sites, we cycled from Gjirokastra, birthplace of feared dictator Enver Hoxha as well as renowned writer Ismail Kadare, over the steep Gjerë mountains to the straits of...
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Р501, 6320, Macedonia (FYROM)
Take a cruise or a drive across Lake Ohrid to the monastery of St Naum. You will see beautiful complex with peacocks, lagoons, cafes and shops. There is even a hotel next to the monastery where guests can stay overnight. St Naum was known to cure...
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Zheleznichka 114, Ohrid 6000, Macedonia (FYROM)
Ohrid (Macedonian: Охрид) is a city on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid in the Republic of Macedonia. It has about 56,000 inhabitants, making it the seventh largest city in the country. The city is the seat of Ohrid Municipality. Ohrid is notable...
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Balkans
I spent 4 days with my two aunts and cousin in Himare, Albania. This is one of the points on what is often called "The Albanian Riviera". It is a true wonder of the world, I think. All the beaches are less than a 20 minute drive so it's very easy...
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Blue Eye, Albania
This place is in the middle of nowhere in Southern Albania. There is no bus stop. You just have to motion to the driver to pull over at the side of the road when you see a promising looking dirt trail. You take that trail off the main road, all...
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Balkans
Hikers and climbers are just beginning to discover the Albanian Alps. A (wide) dirt road leads up from the valley to Valbona but the government is planning to pave it, which will bring untold numbers of daytrippers to this pristine place. For now,...
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Rruga Evlia Celebi, Gjirokaster 6001, Albania
Driving from Greece into Albania on a road trip whim, we found ourselves in the town of Gjirokastra, having been enchanted by a large hillside fort seen from the main road. A winding drive up into town leads to the base of the dominating...
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Gjirokaster, Albania
Gjirokastër, also known as Gjirokastra, is an inland city in Southern Albania with a beautiful old town unlike anything I've ever seen in Europe. It was oppressively hot when we were there but we still made the trek up to the castle that's existed...
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Gjirokaster, Albania
Gjirokastra's Ottoman old town with its grey slate roofed houses is beautiful, especially from the top of the city's citadel. The citadel or Gjirokastra Castle as it's called, is now a museum well worth visiting to see the United States Air Force...