Albania is located in Southern Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula, bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia.
Albania has natural beauty in such abundance that you might wonder why it took 20 years for the country to take off as a tourist destination since the end of a particularly brutal strain of communism in 1991. So backward was Albania that it needed two decades just to catch up with the rest of Eastern Europe.
Today Albania offers a remarkable array of unique attractions, not least due to this very isolation: forgotten archaeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still.
With its stunning mountain scenery, a thriving capital in Tirana and beaches to rival any elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Albania has become the sleeper hit of the Balkans.
Lively, colourful Tirana is the beating heart of Albania. Buildings are painted in bright colours, and the centre is now unrecognisable having undergone a transformation since the country was liberated. Its Ottoman, Italian and communist past is still discernible, although in a scattered way.
There are must-go towns, such as Berat, which weaves its own very special magic: a collection of white Ottoman houses climb up the hill to its castle, earning it the title of “town of a thousand windows”.