Best Vacation Home Deals in Albania
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Discover Albania's secrets with picturesque vacation rentals
The abundant natural beauty of Albania has only just been discovered by the travelers of the world, so it remains a superb deal for the cost of traveling here. Emerging from its communist regime, it retains the charm and mystique of mountain culture, lost archaeology, villages and breath-taking mountain scenery.
What to eat
Foodies can really tuck in in Albania where the cuisine is a powerful combination of the old and new. In Tirana's trendy Blloku district, you can get some of the most sophisticated offerings. Head past the surprising grain mills to discover Mullixhiu, and a range of other superb restaurants that elegantly combine traditional with modern tastes. Ten kilometres away, you'll find the fantastic Uka Farm, a prime example of the farm-to-table trend.
Wine is the drink of choice in Albania where the climate is ideal for wine production. Kallmet reflects the ancient Illyrian winemaking tradition. Such is its quality that it is referenced in the epic works of ancient Roman lyricist Virgil. Kallmet is mainly found in the northern region of Lezhë, and the best branch is available at Uka Farm.
When to go
June to August is the high season in Albania, a country that combines snow-capped peaks with melting hot beaches. The climate of the Mediterranean is best enjoyed in the summer months, unless you are especially heat-sensitive, in which case an out of season trip offers all the charm of this slightly sequestered vacation destination, without the crowds.
In December, film fanatics descend on Albania's Tirana for the Tirana International Film Festival, and the outward bound snowshoe their way to Theth. Tucked away in the mountains, this small village is utterly idyllic. In the winter, it is a magical place. Discover the waterfall of Gjecaj, the ancient caves of the Shakujuve Valley and the gigantic Caves of Circles in Ulaj, the stuff of local legends.
What you'll discover
The Accursed Mountains are the top destination in Albania. Although their name might sound ominous, they are in fact dizzyingly beautiful, and the Albanians have put the blood feuds, from which they derive said title, firmly behind them. Backpackers now throng to these tip-top peaks, which remain relatively under the radar for many European travelers. Tradition runs almost as deep as the foothills of the mountains at Albania's answer to the Riviera, the Drymades. Technically, this is the name of the premier beach in the area, concealed among olive groves.
Another of Albania's highlights is the Ottoman quarter in Berat where the white houses throng the hills all the way up to its castle. This has earned Berat the nickname "town of a thousand windows", and a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Nestled under the freezing peak of Mt Tomorri, the local atmosphere is far warmer.
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