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Albania, the last secret of Europe

Travelers of a certain age remember that, for many decades, their passport indicated: "valid for all countries except Albania, North Korea and external Mongolia".
  For the more restless, this has awakened an uncontrollable desire to find out what these forbidden countries were hiding. Of these banned countries, Albania was the closest, but until recently it has remained far from the tourist map. Now Albanians want to show themselves to the world and teach their cultural and natural beauties. And it should be done before mass tourism finds out.

Tirana, in the center of the Balkan, seems little like any other European capital and escapes any category or definition. It houses museums that preserve splendid testimonies of the Illyrian past (whose origins date back to the Iron Age) and medieval, art galleries and a square overlooking historic buildings, from the Ethem Bey Mosque, one of the most beautiful in Albania, to the banks of the fascist era (1930s) or to the secret tunnels of the cold war. All this is Tirana, a city where life flows incessantly, both in the dense traffic of the center and in the bazaars or in the mosques during the afternoon prayers.

But more than things to see, Tirana has things to live. Crossing the Lana River, Blloku emerges, the old neighborhood where the Communist nomenklatura resided, now converted into an area of ​​leisure and unbridled gait, especially on weekends. The city seems determined to make up for lost time during the long communist winter. Here it combines the aroma of the Middle East with the desire to be European.


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Useful informations about albania

Useful info for your stay in Albania • International telephone prefix: +355
• Capital: Tirana
• Language: Albanian-Shqip
• Currency: Albanian Lekë Emergency numbersRoad police: 126
Police: 129
Emergency: 112
Ambulance: 127
Fire Brigade: 128 Visa regulations: What you need to knowThe visa policy of Albania grants 90-day visa-free entry to all Schengen Annex II nationalities, except for Dominica, East Timor, Georgia, Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.Other countries which are not part of the Schengen Annex II nationalities but can travel in Albania without Visa are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Turkey.All European Union citizens, or citizens coming from Australia, Canada, Iceland, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Vatican City, USA,  may enter using a national ID card, …

Durrës becoming more and more attractive for tourists from Northern Europe

The coastal town of Durres may not be the favourite destination of many Albanians who have grown tired of it, but it is becoming a magnet for tourists from Northern Europe who have booked some of the best hotels and resorts for the next four months. Closed to tourists for almost five decades during a communist dictatorship, Albania has a rather late tradition with tourism compared to its regional competitors, but quality investment and services over the past decade and a mix of natural and cultural heritage present since ancient times have qualified Albania as "the last secret of Europe" and a destination to visit. "This is the first group of tourists from Scandinavia and we expect more from Sweden and Norway. People from Scandinavian countries are very interested in seeing Albania and we wish them a wonderful experience," said Rolf Castro-Vasquez, director of Tirana International Airport, the only airport in the country. Charter flights will regularly connect Copenha…