In recent years, the south-eastern corner of Europe has become an increasingly popular place to spend your holiday. With stunning beaches stretching along the Adriatic Sea and breath-taking mountain scenery, this region has a lot to offer. In 2019, we are pleased to introduce you to Albania, occupying the stretch of coast between Montenegro and Greece. In recent years, this country has been appearing on many of the lists of top new destinations to visit and is well worth discovering.
Albania has a rich history, and due to its geographical location, you can find traces of Italian, as well as Ottoman influence. The unique Albanian language has helped preserve and shape the culture and identity of the Albanian people. Albania’s tourism industry and infrastructure are developing rapidly, which makes this an exciting time to visit the country.
Relax on the long, sandy beach
During our time in Albania, we will be based in a three-star hotel at the southern end of Durres in an area with other hotels, restaurants and cafés. Our hotel is right on the seafront, with the long sandy beach stretching out in either direction. It also has a swimming pool.
Originally founded by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corfu, today Durres is a modern city, but with signs of its ancient past. There is a frequent bus service to the city centre, where you can see the ruins of the amphitheatre and other indications of its long history interwoven with the city landscape. It is easy to see why people have chosen to live in this city for thousands of years, as Durres is renowned for its sandy beaches and Mediterranean climate.
Each evening we will get together to hear from God’s word and worship together.
City of a thousand windows
Our optional package of three excursions will take us to a range of interesting places around the country. A journey south will take us to the UNESCO protected city of Berat. Completely surrounded by mountains, this city is nearly 2500 years old and is located in the picturesque “garden region” of Albania. Because of its typically Ottoman architecture, and the way the houses are perched on the mountainside, Berat is often referred to as the ‘City of a Thousand Windows’. The different periods of Albanian history also meet here, as you look out from the ancient castle. On the mountainside the name of the former dictator ‘Enver’ was once etched, but now it has been changed to the English word “never”.
A colourful surprise
Tirana, the capital, is a surprise to many as a city bursting with colour. The grey concrete blocks of the 20th century are now covered with all kinds of colours, patterns and pictures. All over the city, new parks and creative building projects are cropping up. Visit the popular Bunk Art museums, take a cable car to the nearby Dajti mountain, or spend an afternoon in one of the trendy cafés in the Blloku district, which previously was reserved for the Albanian elite.
Our third excursion will take us to the Montenegrin border, where we will experience the beauty of northern Albania as we visit the city of Shkoder and Lake Shkodra.
We are excited to be heading to Albania for the first time in 2019 and we hope you will be able to join us.