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With its rich variety of landscape, which ranges from the coastal regions facing the Adriatics, to the borders with Macedonia in the Northeast to the Mediterranean feel of the South East, driving in Albania captivates as much as it stimulates visitors’ interest in exploring this lesser known, but mysterious and beautiful country.
The snow-capped mountains that enclose Albania conceal many hidden treasures and an insight into this fascinating culture that survived the bloodshed of the twentieth century and is now set to prosper in the coming years. From the capital, Tirana, which offers resplendent views of Mount Dajti close by, to Korce – the country’s cultural capital – to small seaside towns such as Vlore along the ‘Albanian Riviera’ which is widely regarded as ‘the Mediterranean as it once was’, visitors with every shade of interest can find something to take away from a stay here. Until recent years, Albania was one of the world’s most reclusive nations. However, after the fall of communism, the country now welcomes Western influence – and travellers alike. This includes gorgeous Ottoman mansions, fortress towns and Greek ruins from ancient times – all of which combine to create the unique set of cultural influences for which Albania is known.
Since the changes in the political system were implemented, there has been a dramatic shift in Albania’s infrastructure. However, the remains of this part of Albania’s history are still very apparent to visitors – indeed, a must is to visit some of the many bunkers dotted around the countryside – which have now been converted for an eclectic range of uses, including exhibition centres for local artists and restaurants. Indeed, in Tirana the former party leader’s residences are today home to some of the city’s hottest nightlife. Albania – a country in transition. Renting a car will most effectively allow you to explore the glorious terrain of this mysterious country.