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Our top picks for 2020 reveal off-the-beaten-path destinations, popular summer fests, picturesque villages, a tour in antiquity, an authentic agritourism experience and more. Discover them below.
The Korab-Koritnik Natural Park, located northeast of the country, encompasses the vast Koritnik-Gjallica-Korab mountain range. Its diverse mosaic of valleys and waterways creates some of the stunning vistas in the entire country. Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, border this ideal attraction for mountain lovers and outdoor adventures. Perfect to visit year-round but especially majestic in the winter!
Albania’s Ionian coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and pristine bays in Europe. In the last two years, Kala Festival has brought some of the best electronic music to one of the coast’s most popular beaches: Dhërmi. This year’s edition, the 3rd, promises to be the hottest event of the year so mark your calendars!
Lin is one of the most painted landscapes of Albania and rightfully so! You may have noticed this hyper-picturesque village on the way to Pogradec. Situated in the valley below the road, by the shore of Ohrid Lake, the village is instantly noticeable because of its characteristic red-tiled roofs. Enjoy the delicious fish you can only find here, the famous koran, and the inspiring atmosphere.
2020 is the year to immerse yourself in the authentic Albanian experience and Reç is a nice place to start. As the country increases in popularity among tourists, family-owned farms and guesthouses are preparing their spaces to introduce the visitors to a naturally invigorating and gastronomically delicious experience. We recommend “Rruga e Mullirit” Guesthouse in Reç, near Shkodra for a pleasant full immersion!
Albania is an ideal destination for history buffs. There are several UNESCO Word Heritage Sites you can explore on the tour depending on your favorite historical period. Go to Butrint National Park for one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Europe. Gjirokastra and Berat are perfect for those interested in Byzantine architecture and culture. In Berat, you can stop at the Onufri Museum of Iconography, as it exhibits the best iconographic art in the country by the master Onufri and his school of iconographers with the most comprehensive, quadruple-language audio guide.
The charming, rustic village, located at the foot of Gramoz Mountain near the city of Korça, is a true cobble-stoned heaven! Though small, it also incredibly contains a whopping 23 churches, which you can explore while you enjoy a perfect weekend getaway. In addition to its nature, tranquility, charming houses, and local hospitality, you will fall in love with Rehova’s traditional local culinary delights, such as the leek-and-cheese flaky pie, or pispili (corn bread with spinach).
Entrance to this massive and gorgeous natural area of the country was forbidden during Communism. It is why the park’s 34,000 hectares preserve some of the most untouched nature as well as richest flora and fauna in Albania. Located near the city of Librazhd, this place is bound to become one of the most popular destinations of the next decade.
The village of Dukat has many claims to fame and not as many visitors as it truly deserves. It was one of the places that the British poet and artist Edward Lear eternalized in his famous sketchbooks of Albania’s landscape. Dukat has developed but its landscape has largely remained unchanged. It is conveniently located on the way to the Riviera so we encourage you to make it a point to stop there in 2020, no less for its delicious food!
The entire region of Tepelena has a particularly mesmerizing beauty but, in 2020, we say you focus specifically on the village of Nivica. Its traces of ancient civilizations, like its 2400-year-old castle, and spectacular landscape, especially the famous canyons, are only some of the reasons to visit. We suggest Dallëndyshe and Petrit Merjo’s Guesthouse for a welcoming atmosphere and delicious food (find it in this list).
Last but definitely not least, the Gorge of Këlcyra should most definitely be in your list of destinations in 2020. Otherwise known as the “Paradise of 1001 Water Sources,” this area is as otherworldly as it gets in this day and age. If you find yourself near Gjirokastra, do not fail to discover this oasis.