7 Must-Do Adventures in Albania

We recently spent an entire month in Albania touring the country and helping young entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem. In that time we found a beautiful and varied country with a storied past. For 40 years, Albania was considered the North Korea of Europe with an isolation dictatorship. Today, it’s a country with so much to offer those seeking the hidden, unknown and wild side of the Earth. Here are 7 things to see and do that you cannot miss when you adventure there:

 

  • Drive the south coast. Go past the city of Vlore into the mountains on the coastal road. There the drive begins. You’ll weave around abandoned buildings, ruins of bunkers and beautifully cliffed coastlines.
  • Raft the river in Osumi Canyon. A nearly untouched water world awaits you. An hour or so drive outside of Berat brings you to one of the most beautiful rafting trips we’ve experienced (bonus: take an urban hike to the hidden castle in the city). Guides available here.
  • Bathe in the Benja hot springs near Permet. You can combine this with your rafting trip and stay a night in Permet after or before Berat to experience the hot springs nearby. They aren’t actually that hot, but the minerals are healing (and cooling) on a hot day.
  • Kayak the Albanian “fjords” in the north. Go towards Shkoder from Tirana and then go towards the mountains and the ferries at Lake Koman. There you can either take a day trip or a ferry trip into the deepest point at Fierze. You can even bring your car on some of the ferries. Here’s a one-day tour from one of the ferry companies.
  • Hike the Cape of Rodon to the castle at sunset. There’s a small castle tucked away on the peninsula as well as hidden beaches all around. Take your pick for a day of swimming and medieval fun.
  • Count the bunkers as you road trip the country. There are estimated to be around 200,000 bunkers in the country. No one knows how many exactly, but the communist dictator built them as a preventative to an invasion that never happened.
  • Take the less-traveled dirt road. There are many roads that turn from paved into dirt and rocks really fast. The shortest route isn’t always the fastest, but if you have time, go off the perfect road and find something forgotten by time. It may be a last-era monument or a (slightly) revamped Ottoman road. You never know unless you try.

 

If you need more Albanian inspiration, reach out to us at @WeDidThat on Instagram.

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