Late last week Travel and Leisure came out with their '15 Up-and-Coming Destinations Around the World' list. There were some pretty basic places in the rankings, like Mexico (who hasn't been to Mexico?), South Korea, and Japan. It also listed some fantastic countries I have only read about, like Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Gabon. This list was looking a bit promising.
Let me also point out that no one, no celebrity travelers or international foodies have covered Albania, they always skip over it. Rick Steves? Nope. Tony Bourdain? Sad. Andrew Zimmern? Pass. Yet, Albania has such an identity of it's own. Having only recently been freed from the communist regime in 1990, the country offers many untouched and untraveled areas. Of course I am biased, but for the backpacker or adventurous person, there is no safer country to explore.
Finally the world is catching up to what the rest of us intelligent folk know. Albania is a number one up-and-coming destination! At least it is on this new list, baby steps.
I am fortunate to be heading back to the Balkans this July for a month long exploration of Albanian, Montenegro and Croatia. I really can't wait!
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Above is an image of my last visit to Albania, Butrint an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those who are geographically challenged, here is a map of albania.