Even though it is one of the last European countries to tout its natural beauty and good food and wine, it will be on the “circuit” soon enough. The coastline beaches on the Adriatic and Ionian seas rival those in Italy and as of now, are still a bit of a bargain. While the energy sector is still controlled by the State, most industries are now in private hands, even though there is relatively little foreign investment. Tirana, the capital city, has even hosted Pope Francis.
While there are some problems with infrastructure like polluted water and interrupted electricity they are making progress. I saw lots of 3 wheeled trucks but they also had solar panels and back-up water supplies on their roofs and sometimes oil rigs in their backyards!
Due to unforeseen circumstances my trip to this country was cut in half. Unfortunately more time was needed to even begin to do it justice. Usually the first day in a new place I like to walk and explore on my own. Then I will do an all day trip or two out of the city checking out the most famous sites in the vicinity. It helps when UNESCO has enumerated them.
I was left with only the option of Berat but took the back roads way there through villages and caught a quick view of the port in Durres on return. Just like Croatia, the land close to the sea has seen a massive increase in price and is filling up fast with condos.
The castle and it’s town of a thousand windows or the white city are full of historic architecture and scenic beauty.