Going on holiday in Albania might not seem like the most obvious idea to many, but don't dismiss the destination just yet. Sarandë in particular is well known for its perfect Mediterranean warmth and sandy beaches while the coastal city of Vlore boasts a plethora of ancient castles as well as a truly bustling nightlife. If sitting by a beach isn't necessarily your thing pay a visit to Berat - thought to be one of the oldest towns in Albania, with stunning Ottoman architecture - or climb Mount Dajt in the capital city of Tirana.
Although flights to Albania are a little bit more expensive than other European countries they are in no way extortionate. Direct Albania flights take off both from London Gatwick and London Stansted with the majority from British Airways and Belleair. "Mother Teresa" International Airport is located just 15 minutes away from the capital city. For around 250 lek each way for a journey into the city, make your way to the bus terminal. The bus runs once an hour and leaves on the hour from the airport between around 7am and 8pm. If you arrive outside the bus timetable a taxi should cost around 2000 lek to the city centre. Make sure you agree a price before you get in the taxi so you don't get overcharged.
Albania is the perfect country to use as a base with bus routes to many European cities such as Istanbul, Athens and Sofia for reasonable prices. Just be sure you can stomach plenty of hours on a bus! There are no domestic flights within the country so be prepared to drive or use the local bus service during your Albanian holiday if you wish to travel.
The prices of Albania hotels can be very reasonable as long as you shop around. Don't always book the first hotel that you come across as it may not always be the cheapest.
Seeing the sights during your Albania holiday does not have to cost the earth. After all, the scenery itself, with its sweeping rural landscapes, classical buildings and shimmering shorelines are all there to be enjoyed without paying a penny.
Haggling is not frowned upon in Albania so you can chose what you believe is a fair price for your item when you're out souvenir hunting. Saying that, you should also make sure you don't bargain too much - after all you don't want to offend the local residents!
Updated 22nd May 2013
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