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Week trip: beaches in the Albanian Riviera

With its rich architectural and archaeological heritage and craggy mountain landscape, Albania has clear appeal for “cultured” travelers. Chris Leadbeater says in Daily telegramand as a “great value” alternative to its more famous neighbours, Greece and Croatia.

But it looks like Albania is now making its mark on the tourist map: Skyscanner reports a 48% increase in bookings for flights from the UK this year compared to 2019 – and well worth it. After two years of “tourist stagnation”, anyone craving fresh horizons should consider visiting.

Many seaside developments on Albania’s 300 miles of coastline were launched in the 1990s and while comfortable enough, they were not high-end. But there are some good “shopping resorts and luxury properties”. Just 25 miles west of the capital Tirana, the country’s second city, Durrës, has a “wide and soft” beach – but you’re better off heading to the smaller seaside resorts further to south, such as the city of Vlorë (where the clifftop hotel Hotel Liro might be recommended), the picturesque town of Saranda, or the lovely village of Ksamil, from which you can see Corfu, only five miles from the water.

And not to be missed the coastal Llogara Pass – a winding road that takes you across the Ceraunian Mountains south of Vlorë, offering “epic” views of the Ionian Sea and the sands of Palase Beach, beyond. below.

All of these resorts are within easy access to the cultural treasures of central and southern Albania, including the hills of Gjirokastra and Berat, with their mosques and Ottoman residences. 18th century as well as the ruined Roman city of Butrint. It’s also worth lingering in Tirana itself, not least because of its vast National History Museum, and the restaurants and bars of the bustling Blloku district.

Professional tour operators including Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.co.uk) and Steppes Travel (steppestravel.com).

https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/956069/trip-of-the-week-the-beaches-of-the-albanian-riviera Week trip: beaches in the Albanian Riviera

Fry Electronics Team

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