One of the hidden gems of Europe that has yet to be fully uncovered by modern tourism, Albania is nestled along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas between Montenegro and Greece. There are over 360 kilometers of coastline along Albania, with some of the most pristine beaches left on planet Earth. Directly opposite the sprawling expanse of glistening white sands and crystal-clear waters are the rising expanses of the Balkan Mountains. Over a third of this country is untouched wilderness, exceptionally rich in both flora and fauna, and provides travelers with some of the most rugged terrain they are likely to encounter in their travels. With a coastline facing two seas and backed by the skyline of the Balkans, Albania sits in a unique position geographically, which leads to a climate that is fairly diverse for a country so small. The coastline has a typical Mediterranean climate year-round, while the highlands are exceptionally dry.
While the country is still relatively underdeveloped in comparison with its European brothers and sisters, it is on the mend. Travelers should not be scared off by the lack of development, because the area is simply teeming with unexplored areas that Westerners have never before had the opportunity to see. From the ski resorts of Voskopoja to the ruins at Butrint and Apollina, to the Himara region of coastline, there is something unique for each and every traveler out there, regardless if you are a back-packing professional or a hotel hopper. From the luxury resorts along the beaches to the rugged trails of the Balkan Mountains, everyone can find what they are looking for in Albania.
Albania’s history dates back to pre-historic times, and there are plenty of Roman and Byzantine remains left scattered across the countryside. The Ottoman era helped shape Albania into what it is today, and in April of 2009 the country has officially requested membership in the European Union.