Backpacking in Albania

Despite being surrounded by the well-trodden Balkan countries, Albania is missed off the majority of the backpacking itineraries of this region for some reason. I can only presume that this is because people have watched too many Liam Neeson films.

Whilst it is still one of the final frontiers of Europe, the landscape is beautiful, getting around is easy, and the people are friendly and welcoming. With a rapidly expanding tourism sector and a potential EU membership on the horizon, Albania is now very much open for business.

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Shkoder, Northern Albania

As I don’t know anyone who’s been to Albania, I really didn’t know what to expect from our visit here. However, as there was a direct bus from Ulcinj in Montenegro down to Shkoder, it seemed as good a place as any to start and get a feel for the country.

Shkoder is used by a lot of people as a base before going on organised hikes up to Theth or Valbona National Park in the Albanian Alps. However, as a town itself there was plenty for us to see and do during our stay. Here is our top five:

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