AT#575 – Travel to Albania

Travel to Albania - What to do and see in this little known but beautiful country (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Albania as the Amateur Traveler talks to Dina Rabiner about her visit to the country where she originally went as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Dina says, “My first introduction to Albania was when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. I was part of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers to be in the country and that was in 1992, right when Albania was emerging from a period of not communism but Stalinism.” Dina was just back this year, with her family.

“Albania is a beautiful country. It’s a very small country and a lot of people equate it to the size of Maryland, but it’s just chalk full of natural beauty, of history (both its more recent communist history but also the history from Turkish occupation, from the Byzantine era). There are artifacts from all of those times.”

“You can travel the whole country within a week or a week and a half as we did and see a real range of natural beauty, of history. And the people are just incredibly welcoming as well.” Dina backs up her claims about a welcoming people with a family who just about gave them the clothes off their own back when they needed help.

Dina starts us in the capital of Tirana where she directs us to the main mosque, the market, and the House of Leaves museum which tells the darker history of the communist era.

She takes us to Krujë and then up to Valbona in the Accursed Mountains for a day hike. She continues through Durrës and Gjirokastër to the historic town of Apollonia, its ruins and its Iso-polyphonic folk singing.

We also talk about the UNESCO sites at Butrint and Berat as well as where to find a nice beach on the Adriatic or Ionian coast. This is after all a country that shares a coastline with Croatia and Montenegro.

Although Albania may not be on your list of places to go, but perhaps it should be.

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Show Notes



Enver Hoxha


House of Leaves (Shtepia e Gjetheve)

Bunk Art

National Historical Museum (Albania)

Pazari i Ri

Et’hem Bey Mosque

Mother Teresa



Prokletije (Accursed Mountains)

Valbona – Catherine Bohne is an American who went on vacation to Albania 9 years ago and never came back. She also prints small hiking maps.



Ismail Kadare

Apollonia (Illyria)

Museum of Apollonia

Albanian iso-polyphony

Albanian Folk Iso-polyphony video

Mrizi i Zanave – Agritourism



Albarent Rental cars

Albania Trip Planning


Jack wrote:

Hi Chris — Really enjoyed that episode, having been to the Yukon three times. But your host neglected to mention the infamous ritual of the Sourtoe Cocktail in Dawson City! More than 100,000 folks of all ages and from all over the world have done the drink with an actual mummified human toe in it, since 1973. Google it! ( I saw it but declined.) Anyway, thanks for all your podcasts, and keep them coming…I have listened to every one!

Best regards, Jack

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Travel to Albania - What to do and see in this little known but beautiful country (Podcast)

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