Exploring the Balkans: Montenegro and Albania Travel

Montenegro and Albania travel is an absolute must.
They have been described as the hidden gems of the Balkans and both destinations provide an eye-opening experience for travellers. Montenegro may be regarded as more ‘easy on the eye’ than its southern neighbour but you can enjoy some excellent vacation experiences in Albania.
Travelling to both of these countries shouldn’t be too much of a problem and if you’re looking to safely explore both there’s always the option of taking to the sea via a cruise holiday.
Montenegro highlights

Located south of Croatia, Montenegro offers a laid back atmosphere, some beautiful beaches and picturesque but modern towns. The Budva Riveria is one of the most popular tourist regions thanks to its charming old town and sandy beaches.

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However, it’s the famous resort and islet of Sveti Stefan that seems to be a magnet for travellers and this is indeed one of the most captivating parts of the country. You can easily reach this Montenegro beauty spot from the nearby walled city of Kotor (four euros by bus) this area is also a regular port of call for cruise ships sailing the Adriatic Sea.

Mysterious Albania
It’s only been two decades since Albania began to welcome visitors to its shores and this is part of the excitement when visiting this previously hidden country. The good news for travellers is that prices in Albania do seem to be stuck in a time warp and it’s a ridiculously inexpensive country to spend some time in.

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This destination may be somewhat underrated but coastal cities such as Durres are incredibly busy during the summer months and beaches will be packed. If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing then take a cheap taxi ride from Durres to Lalzit Bay where you can enjoy miles of unspoilt beach and a solitary seafood restaurant.

Exploring the cities
Tirana is Albania’s capital city and it’s a fascinating and lively mix of buzzing bars, beautiful boulevards and of course communist history remnants. Many travellers hit Tirana and decide to use the city as a base from which to explore the country by car; this is mainly due to public transportation difficulties. Montenegro’s capital is Podgorica, which is pleasantly modern with some good nightlife options and historic attractions including the 18th-century Osmanagić Mosque and the Ribnica Fortress, which dates back to 1474. There is a good selection of shopping, bars and restaurant options in both capitals and your money will stretch further in both of these cities.

Getting around
Exploring these countries won’t take too much of a toll on your wallet given the inexpensive costs and taxis are a good option for nearby sightseeing. However, other forms of public transport in both countries are slightly erratic and irregular to say the least.
Although Montenegro is a little more organized in terms of buses Albania is still a long way from having anything resembling a reliable transport system for tourists. This may be one of reasons why a cruise holiday to this part of the world are the most popular way to visit and explore safely and without transportation hassles. If you’re slightly concerned about the transportation in both of these countries you should considered the cruise vacation option. This is an excellent way to get the most out of a trip to the Balkans, and the bonus is that a multi-stop cruise can also include the delights of beautiful Croatia.

 

Until Next Time… Charlotte x

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This post has been contributed by Thomson Cruises

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