Lesser-visited European country boasting Maldives-like beaches for much cheaper

Lesser-visited European country boasting Maldives-like beaches for much cheaper
Lesser-visited European country boasting Maldives-like beaches for much cheaper

Hidden behind the Iron Curtain for years, Albania welcomed tourists at the dawn of the 21st century, transforming drab communist blocks into vibrant urban landscapes brimming with trendy cafes.

The Balkan country’s shores, previously overshadowed by more renowned destinations, are now celebrated as some of Europe’s finest.

The coastal town of Ksamil, on the Albanian Riviera, has drawn comparisons to the Maldives from TikTok users and travel bloggers alike.

Ksamil’s white sandy beaches, tranquil waters, and beachside straw huts certainly echo the allure of the famed tropical paradise, yet come with a much more wallet-friendly price tag.

The burgeoning tourism sector in Ksamil offers an array of lodging options, including rooms starting at just £19 per night.

TikTok user The Travel Mum raved about the destination, comparing the lesser-visited European nation to the much more popular – and expensive – Maldives.

She said: “When people see pictures of this place they instantly think of the Maldives! But lucky for us, it’s a lot closer to home.” Another enthusiast recommended: “Add it to your bucket list for 2024.”

Popular activities along the coast include snorkelling and swimming – but for those looking for a more relaxed stay, there are plenty of reclined chairs dotted around for sunseekers to use.

The average cost of a beer in Albania is just £1.78, while summers tend to be nice and warm, with average temperatures at 25C.

In Ksamil you’ll also have the whole Albanian Riviera on your doorstep, a beautiful area still relatively untouched by international tourism which boasts UNESCO world heritage sites, quirky cities and friendly locals.

Highlights include the Salt Lagoon in Lake Butrint, the enigmatic Cave of Kreshmoi and the ancient Byzantine city of Gjirokaster.

A historic city nestled between the mountains, the capital Tirana is worth a visit for those who enjoy a good city break, with its vibrant mix of old and new giving a fine introduction to Albania before you head off into the rest of the country.

Travel blogger The Balkanista, who has visited the country on several occasions, noted Albania is not among the most visited European nations, which means fewer tourists jetting off to populate its beaches over the summer.

She said: “Albania is not at the top of the list of holiday destinations

“When I came here for the first time I too felt guilty for having neglected other destinations. But now I can tell you with certainty that you absolutely must consider this country for your next summer holidays.”

The blogger added: “Dear Italy, Croatia and Greece, I’m sorry to tell you but the Albanian Riviera surpasses any of your other coasts.”

In addition to the above-mentioned Ksamil, she suggested the coastal towns of Saranda, Himara and Dhermi are great hotspots to have a great holiday on sandy white beaches and swim in crystal blue waters/.

Source: express.co.uk

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