I may not be the best storyteller, and my words may not be adorned with eloquence, but I share my experiences genuinely and from the heart when recounting my adventures in this charming country. Albania, with its hidden gems like Lin, Korca, Pogradec, Drilon, and Tirana, provided me with unforgettable moments.

“Travel is not just a journey through places; it’s a passage to self-discovery, where every new destination unveils a piece of who you are.” – Roberta

Beginning in Lin, the oldest inhabited settlement in Europe, nestled on a peninsula along Lake Ohrid, I found it to be a winter haven, despite its usual summer allure. The picturesque lake, tranquil surroundings, and the warmth of the locals, though not fluent in English, made it a memorable experience.

While staying in a delightful bed and breakfast in Lin, a visit to Korce followed. Perched on a plateau surrounded by the Morova Mountains, Korce offered breathtaking views. Sipping on Korce beer in a lakeside bar, I savoured the beauty of the mountains.

Drilon National Park presented a mesmerizing blend of a serene lake adorned with swans, ducks, vibrant flowers, and trees—a true haven of tranquillity.

Pogradec, a picturesque city on Lake Ohrid’s shores, welcomed me with its rich heritage and warm hospitality. Despite the language barrier, the locals’ friendly gestures and simple communication made it easy to connect. And don’t miss out on trying the delightful Korce beer—it’s a must!

Our journey continued to Tirana, a lively city teeming with life. The holiday spirit at the Christmas market in the main square added to the festive atmosphere. Staying at the iconic Tirana International Hotel in the heart of the city was fantastic, though a tip for light sleepers: bring earplugs for the vibrant square sounds.

Exploring Bunk Art 2 in Tirana provided a fascinating glimpse into Albanian military life and communist history, making it an enriching experience.

Driving from Tirana to Skopje, a 5-hour scenic journey, allowed us to soak in the beauty of the surroundings. A memorable stop to let a herd of cows cross the road added a touch of local charm.

Though our stay in Skopje was brief, the town’s enchanting ambience left a lasting impression. Walking through its streets, exploring the local market, and savouring tea in a glass and the delectable Burek (pie with white cheese) made the visit truly special. Oh Oh, and you definitely cannot come back home without tasting Raiki and drinking to health.

In my belief, travel is an invitation to embrace not just new places but also new perspectives—with an open mind and, most importantly, an open heart. Let the beauty of the surroundings, the warmth of the people, and the flavours of the food captivate your heart. Some may view it as a romanticized approach to travel, and yes, it is. Yet, after years in the travel industry and exploring diverse destinations, I can genuinely attest that it is the most rewarding way to embark on a journey.