Since April, the Ukrainians will be able to fly to Albania without visas. The country is located in the South-West of the Balkan Peninsula, bordering the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Before Albania opened borders to the Ukrainians only for the summer period. 30 years ago the country was closed off from the world. Now the border Shqiperia – so called their land the Albanians are open to the whole of Europe. However, for Ukrainians, the Balkan country is still obscure and shrouded in myths. However, the popular Albanian resorts is growing every year. According to Gosstatistiki, in 2006, Albania was visited by 12 Ukrainian tourists, and in 2016 – 3,5 thousand Website “Today” I learned where and how much you can relax in the Balkan country.
Similar to Italy and Ukraine
Denis Demidov, traveler and project Manager Kwidoo, 2015 traveled to the Balkans. Ukrainian tourists fail to notice Albania, he said. The guy compares the country with the Crimea and Italy. And the streets of some towns indistinguishable from the Ukrainian. However, Albania is fascinating canyons, waterfalls and lakes of the North Albanian Alps.
“Albanian climate and coastline reminiscent of Crimea. In contrast to neighboring Montenegro, is sand beaches. In the North, incredible glacial lakes, canyons, waterfalls and the Albanian Alps. Very interesting city of Shkodra. In its streets it is impossible not to fall in love. This city is little Italy. At the same time, Tirana and some other cities in post-Soviet Ukraine. The prices are much lower than in Montenegro. Yet the biggest hurdle for the trip to Albania – the price of tickets from $ 200. But, in my opinion, this country is worth visiting,” – says Denis Demidov.
The problem for tourists is that the Albanians don’t speak English, adds Explorer. Local more proficient in Italian and German. English is spoken by hotel staff, but not all. But still the myths surrounding Albania is one of the main reasons why few Ukrainians go to the country, said Director of travel company “Feeriya” Igor Zakharenko.
Capital of Albania is similar to the post-Soviet city in Ukraine. Photo: Denis Demidov, kwidoo.ru
“Albania – a new direction for the Ukrainians, and it goes a lot of myths. In Ukraine believe that it is an underdeveloped country, but the Albanians for a long time ahead of us in terms of life. It is considered that Albania is a Muslim state. It’s not true. The country has no official religion, 60% of local residents consider themselves Muslims, 30% Christians. But faith follow, according to various estimates, 25-40% of the population. There are also myths about the mafia. Albania – in the group of the safest countries in the world in the international safety ratings”, – says the expert.
Also read: 10 cities of Europe, in which Ukrainians can fly for less than 1000 UAH
How to get to Albania
To get to Albania, the Ukrainians have to have a valid passport, return ticket, insurance and hotel reservation. But direct flights from Ukraine to Tirana, no. To get to Albania, you can transfers, a Turkish low cost airline Pegasus from Zaporozhye. The price for the flight Zaporozhe – Istanbul – Tirana in June starts from $ 76. In Istanbul the plane to Tirana will have to wait four hours. This time can be spent outside the airport as the visa in Turkey Ukrainians do not need. Also in the Albanian capital flies the airline WizzAir. In June, the flight Kyiv – Budapest – Tirana will cost $ 74. But the Hungarian capital flight to Albania is sent in 23 hours. Without a visa all the time have to wait in the airport transit area.
Transport. The country has only one airport. The airfield is located 11 km from Tirana near the village of Rinas. To the capital from the airport ride a taxi for $ 18 or a bus for two dollars. A ticket for the public transport in Tirana is 0.26 USD or 7 USD. To go to Shkoder will cost three dollars. The city is 94 km from the capital, and the journey takes two hours. Go closer to the resort Duress on the Adriatic sea. From Tirana to the resort town bus rides for half an hour, the ticket costs $ 1.2. To Saranda more difficult to get to. The resort is located in the southern part of the country bordering the Ionian sea. Road 280 km from Tirana takes five to six hours by bus and the ticket costs 11.5 per dollar.
Albanian beaches resorts Camila and Saranda are not inferior to the Maldives. Photo: battour.ru
Housing. Hotels in Tirana for six nights take from $ 127 for two. Some include a Shuttle from the airport. The hostel costs $ 8-10 per person per night eight-bedded room double – from 21 USD. In Bresse hotels and hostels put up prices above the capital, but also include airport transfers. Six nights in hotels will cost from $ 176 for two. The price includes Breakfast. Night eight-bedded room in the hostel Duresse will cost 6-10 dollars per. Double room at the hostel – from $ 26. In Saranda, a room in a three star hotel for six nights costs from $ 157 for two. Hostel 7-15 dollars per person six-bedded room. Double room – $ 28-37.
Food. The Albanian cuisine is a mixture of Turkish, Greek and Slavic culinary traditions. Popular dishes – “chomlek” (stew with onions), “Farges” stew beef, “tave-cosy” and “tave-elbasani” – lamb with yoghurt. Holiday food is baked sheep’s head. Also in the restaurants of Albania serves seafood of the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The average check in an inexpensive restaurant is six per person in a mid-range restaurant – $ 26.
Tours in Albania
Organise your stay in Albania it is possible through travel agencies. Tour operators send tourists from Kiev direct Charter flight to Tirana. Prices for tours start from 8 th to 24 th. The cost of the trip includes roundtrip flight, transfers, insurance, hotel room and sometimes Breakfast.
“Prices for tours to Albania starts from 300 euros. But it deals on first flights. Then the price will be 400 euros for 11 days and 10 nights. We suggest the hotels to take only Breakfast or not take it at all. The country’s many inexpensive restaurants with delicious cuisine, it is better not to spend money on standard kitchen in hotels,” – said Igor Zakharenko.
Less hyped Albania, Croatia and Montenegro, but more expensive Bulgarian resort, say tour operators. However, Albanian beaches are not inferior to the Maldives or Seychelles. It is worth considering that Bulgaria is a EU member. To visit the country of the Ukrainians yet require a visa.
“In comparison with Greece, Albania cheaper. But cheaper Bulgaria. Tour 10 nights in Saranda for two will cost 24 thousand UAH. Without this power, the cost is only the flight and hotel, transfer and insurance,” – says the consultant of the network of travel agencies “Come with us,” Alain krashenko.
Experts recommend to travel to Albania with the first tours in June or July in Ksamil and Saranda. It is cheaper, and the travel Agency in this time of lower prices. The Ionian and the Adriatic sea in the first month of autumn is still warm and there is no influx of tourists in the summer. Seascapes and beaches expert on tours to Igor Zakharenko compares with popular island resorts.
“Of ksamil is the same as the Maldives and Seychelles. For beaches such quality fly 10 hours, and Albania is much closer and no worse. In addition, the country full of attractions. Here and UNESCO heritage sites, and ancient temples and fortresses,” adds Zakharenko.