"10 fabulous places you've never heard of, in a country you rarely think about" - this is how the well-known tourist site fodors.com titled the article, which continues:
"If you are looking for impressive photos and a wonderful environment, look at the cities and villages with magical views of Albania."
Fodors.com has listed some of the most beautiful places in Albania that according to her are worth visiting by foreign tourists. According to this site, these are some of the most picturesque towns and villages in Albania.
Berat: The city of one on one windows
By staying in a rugged mountain environment, Berat has earned the title "City of one over one windows" for the large number of windows on the steep hill around the old town. In 2008, the city was ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for Ottoman-style houses and the atmosphere of fairy tales. The three old neighborhoods in Berat - Kalaja, Mangaleni and Gorica showcase traditional white-walled apartments, tiled roofs and cobbled streets, creating an iconic image of the city known for its magical appearance. Berat still has extraordinary examples of old architecture ranging from historic neighborhoods at the foot of the mountain to the castle on the hill.
The city of Kruja: The medieval capital of Skanderbeg
Kruja, a very small town not far from Tirana, is the birthplace of national hero Skanderbeg, over 500 years ago. The stands of the old bazaar are filled with antique and handicrafts, traditional handmade, which lead the way which leads to the gates of the castle. In the old part of the city, the houses stand at the foot of a mountain where the ruins of an ancient castle overlooking the valley dominate. Merlika is one of the old houses in Kruja and has preserved the wonderful Ottoman style. Here you can stay in luxury apartments, eat dinner watching the fire burning in a medieval stove or admire an unforgettable twilight on the outdoor terrace.
Gjirokastra: The stone city
Gjirokastra was declared a museum city in the 1960s and won the title "Stone City" for hundreds of stone-built buildings in the old town. The city is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to a very active Ottoman-style bazaar in the city center, there are two-storey houses with white roofs and a wonderful atmosphere. One can wander the steep streets paved with limestone for hours and visit some traditional houses.
Thethi: The journey as in fairy tales through the Albanian Alps
Thethi is a mountain village in the high pastures of the Albanian Alps in the north of the country. The village is surrounded by a romantic setting, serrated mountain ridges, waterfalls and pristine mountain springs. The journey to get here is quite adventurous. To complement this fabulous setting, accommodation and food are available only in houses built of local stone, usually run by families such as the Guesthouse Cave.
Valbona: Holidays in the Albanian Alps
The small village of Valbona is located in a magnificent landscape at the foot of the mountains, in a wide pasture surrounded by mountain peaks. It is one of the most remote settlements in the country and you can get there through the Valbona valley. Despite the secluded location, it maintains an incomparable romance and a unique and peaceful atmosphere. Valbona connects with Theth through a spectacular mountain trail.
Korça: The city of serenades
Known as the "City of Serenades", Korça is located in the southeastern part of the country, very close to the famous Lake Ohrid. The city center has undergone urban renovation and is already a beautiful place to stroll and admire the local heritage, especially the old quarter with traditional cafes and elegant restaurants. Also, the downtown neighborhoods have picturesque squares, white houses and cozy courtyards.
Dhërmi: The village between the sea and the mountains
Dhërmiu is famous for its beaches and bars on the coast. Dominated by an old magical monastery, the village has narrow winding streets, paved with cobblestones and whitewashed houses, with small vineyards. Dhërmiu is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Albanian villages, where nature and local architecture complement beach festivals and coastal vacations.
Himara: The Mediterranean spirit of small towns
Unlike the city revival, the hilly village and castle are not crowded with visitors. Built on a wooded rock above the coast, the old village has the Mediterranean spirit of small Ionian city towns, a ruined castle with magnificent sea views and attractive alleys covered with pink flowers.
Vuno: Typical coastal village
The truth is that it is a delightful village, with narrow alleys, sea views and an intriguing place for the most photogenic points of the riviera. Built on a mountain slope, it has a unique view of small hilltop houses.
Preza: The village in the castle
Preza is a small village in central Albania, very close to Tirana Airport. There is a hill castle with fortification walls, an ancient mosque and some medieval buildings. There is an elegant restaurant with a terrace with panoramic views.