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Albania is Europe’s Best Kept Secret

By Pankaj Mangal

**Albania is Europe’s Best Kept Secret For Travellers, Which Is Why You Should Consider It For Your Next Active Holiday **

Europe has been the world’s most visited region for almost two decades, having the highest number of international arrivals visiting its countries each year between 2005 to 2022.

And whilst the likes of Italy, France, and Spain typically spring to mind as some of the best places on the continent for a getaway, there are some countries that remain hidden gems and largely untouched by travellers.

One of these destinations is Albania. Home to soaring mountain ranges, exquisite beaches, and a plethora of history and heritage, it’s a destination that many overlook as a holiday destination.

“Spread across the country are regions of exceptional natural beauty. It’s the type of location that’ll take you off the beaten path, into quiet settlements on a whim and to natural hotspots that you happen to pass whilst exploring which simply take your breath away."

With rugged and diverse landscapes, from coastal regions to mountainous areas and thriving city centres, the country seems to call for a new approach to discovering the potential that it holds.

*“One of the best ways to discover what lies in the country’s landscapes is by travelling by bike. Cycle tourism has actually become increasingly popular in recent years, which just demonstrated how many travellers are beginning to realise the potential that cycling offers when travelling, allowing for a more leisurely way to explore where you’re in full control of what you do, which is exactly what Albania calls for.” *

*“Not to mention that the country is significantly cheaper than its European counterparts. Hotels are amongst the cheapest in Europe and food is equally inexpensive. On average, travellers may spend less than €50 per person per day in the country, whereas in Italy, France, or Spain, this can be upwards of €100.” *

And as more travellers are looking to connect with nature or visit a remote destination, it’s without a doubt that Albania ticks this box for adventurers and has earned the country its title as an up-and-coming destination for travellers around the world.

One of the country’s best features is the Albanian Riviera, which is said to be the home of some of Europe’s most exquisite beaches, and the most popular tourist destinations in Albania.

Destinations like Saranda, home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Ksamil, one of the most popular coastal resorts for international and native visitors, top the list for places to visit along this 100+ stretch of coastline along the Ionian Sea.

Equally, about 70% of the country is mountainous, meaning that to get a true glimpse of Albania in its natural glory it’s important to clamber along its rugged peaks and weave through its towering clifftops to gain some of its best natural vantage points.

Not to mention the country is fast becoming a destination that is being recognised for its wine. Many don’t realise that Albania is actually one of the oldest wine-producing countries in Europe, dating back to the 8th century BC.

So it’s no surprise to hear that vineyards aren’t exactly hard to come by in Albania. Rows upon rows of vines dot much of the country’s central region, and visitors can indulge in a delicious glass or two during their visit and meander beside the vines to get up close to this underrated ecotourism location.

Finally, the country is one of the richest in Europe for its biodiversity, with nearly 30% of the flora and 42% of the fauna on the continent being found in the country. One example of its vast natural beauty is Lake Ohrid, which is actually the continent's largest lake and a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to a spectacularly unique aquatic ecosystem.

In order to embrace these unique and immersive experiences and destinations in Albania, we have crafted ‘Albania Odyssey Bike Tour’. The tour allows visitors to escape the crowds of European hotspots and dive head first into exploring the nooks and crannies within the country whilst letting their adventurous side run wild as they discover this unique destination.

The 9-day cycling tour offers the opportunity to explore the four distinct geographical terrains of Albania. This takes visitors to the glistening Lake Ohrid, through farmland and vineyards, beside golden sandy shores with the seaside wind whipping through their hair, and along high mountain passes adorned with snow-capped mountains.

So, for cycling lovers, curious travellers, and anyone looking to explore what lies off Europe’s beaten track, bike tour in Albania should be working its way up their ever-growing bucket lists.