Holiday albania/Bulgaria

Discussion in 'travel and world' started by kazza007, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. kazza007

    kazza007 Bunned

    Hi looking at holidaying in one of these countries this summer with partner. Want sun & relaxation & things to do/see, not looking for 18-30 crowds nor saga. Which would be best for 1.5wk-2wks & which part please? I've heard there's quite a few not great parts of Bulgaria?
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  2. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    I can tell you about albania, less so about Bulgaria
     
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  3. kazza007

    kazza007 Bunned

    Please do tell:cool:
     
  4. yield

    yield zero

    Lake Ohrid on the border between Macedonia and Albania is beautiful.
     
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  5. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    Albania then. First of all, forget about Albanian gangsters and the stuff youve read about- thevye mostly moved to Italy these days and giving the italian mob a run for their money

    the south is greece like, can be a bit dusty, the north is greener and slightly cooler. The mountains are wonderful but you may need a car to get right into them - they still have wolves n eagles and shit everywhere. The beaches are not exactly barbados, but if youve been to croatia, then you know what they are like.expect some crap lying around the place.the best beaches are usually at the bottom of cliffs and you may need a 4WD to get down to them on a rough track, though some are walkable.

    Tirana is good for day or two- the only really functioning train runs Durres to Tirana.Puke is decent, girokaster is a UNESCO hill town that is worth a wander.Big Roman ruins south of Sarande and loads more dotted about randomly, as well as about half a million of Hoxhas odd dome shaped bunkers.The flat bits are fairly unexeciting, but as you move into the moutains, then its really stunning- like proper wonderful

    Food is truly wonderful- very cheap unless you want a McD- lots of freshly barbequed meat and better greek salads than most of Greece IME- the veg all seem to be home grown rather than dutch grown water filled nothingness.Did I say cheap ? mini bar beer in the 4* hotel we stayed in for a few days last summer was 60p.An eat out pizza ( neapolitan style - was as good as most I have had in italy) was £2.50.

    if you do have a car, then expect randon driving and even more random main roads that suddenly stop and turn unpaved for 10km. expect car journeys to take twice what you expect and drive really defensively. The Southern highway towards Sarande is very scenic but scarey if you have never driven it before-no fences or walls and 300m vertical drops on the other side

    I wouldnt reccomend it as a honeymoon destination, but the people are great- people thrust fruit from their trees into your hands as you trundle about, no hassle from anyone, welcomed everywhere.

    We started in Corfu and went to Sarande for main bit of the trip and were genuinely sad to get back the shithole of tourist Corfu for thr flight home.

    if you have specifc queries, just ask
     
  6. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Just booked our summer trip to Albania so any tips most welcome. Is it worth driving? any recommendations for an 11 day trip are most welcome.
     
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  7. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    Advise not changing too much money.....you can't spend it and change it afterwards. 80p a pint etc. The accursed mountains are fantastic with some newly refurbished accommodation. The gorge ferry ride is wonderful too from the hills to nr Shkoder.
     
  8. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    Yep Just get money out at cash machines.
    I'd take some euros as a plan B (because Albania) but like 300€ max. If you don't use them you can always keep em for next holiday.

    Lots of Kosovans on the coast in summer and Albanians who live abroad, mostly in Italy. Can be busy in areas.

    Shkoder- wild woody North
    Gyrokaster- amazing castle and views.
    Butrint - nother wicked town
    Tirane - weird and wonderful. Hot!
    Sarande - kinda crap with amazing surrounding area/beaches n link to Corfu. Find the blue eyed lagoon (sri i kalta?)
    Himare coastal area - awesome and popular for a reason. Camping at the Shkola social project in summer near Vuno.

    Awesome country. I look forward to going back as I saw very little of the north. You can get to southern Montenegro from there easily btw if you want sthing different for a day or two. Oh and learn a few words of Albanian to make life easier. Falaminderit!
     
  9. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Thanks. Actually flying into tivat then taxi or bus to the border. Then on to Tirana as a base for a few days then back north for the mountains.
     
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  10. kazza007

    kazza007 Bunned

    Went to Sorrento (oops) in the end (!). Was lovely...Capri, Vesuvius, Pompeii...didn't make it to Herculaneum

    We came back and broke up though

    Must still visit Albania
     
    flypanam likes this.
  11. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Is it still possible to pick up an unlicensed cab outside Tivat airport?
     
  12. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    yes - you will be hassled at arrival still - usual caveats apply with unlicenced taxis - I would try and bus it personally - its about 3 hours towards Skhod on a good day
     
  13. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    I think the bus from Kotor leaves at 8am. We arrive at 10am. will do some more digging.
     
    not-bono-ever likes this.
  14. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    ah, it must be a round tripper then - back from Tirana to Kotor in the evening. Kotor bus station is only about 10 minutes from the airport by car and is a typical Yug era structure- the lack of trains in this section meant the coastal bus service was halfway efficient.

    are you going all the way to Tirana or stopping in Skhodra ? the through buses will be less frequent. a bus to Podgorica will be easier to do and again, its only a kick in the arse in a cab to the border from the bus station, thence onto Skhodra.

    (Interesting area - lots of money in that non coastal border area where local made millions and millions smuggling fuel from Albania to the various parties in the conflict- look out for the mc mansions south of Podgorica and the bling cars)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  15. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    not-bono-ever likes this.
  16. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    its a good read and of its time ( c.98/9) - the Alb economy was crash and burn, mass emigration by any means possible and utterly looted at all levels following the pyramid scheme confluence . things have got a great deal better since then.
     
    Riklet likes this.
  17. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Last time we we're in Kotor we got a cab from Podgorica for e50 it took 90 mins or something, but i do remember the bus service being pretty good when we went to Niksic. I see that buses run from Skhodra to Tirana up until 4pm so may just get a cab there and then get a bus. Skimp on the flight pay for the cab. Balls.

    DJWrongspeed I've been caught up reading Ismail Kadare's fiction. So I'll put it on the list.

    not-bono-ever thanks for the tips
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  18. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    good man, keep us updated- always keen to hear of balkans jaunts. it seems that half the world is now heading to Croatia again this summer
     
  19. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Will do. Leaving at end of July though.
     
  20. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Reading that Carver book at the moment, some lovely detail but the guy seems like a demented Eton cunt.
     
  21. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    First impressions of Tirana, love it. Doesn’t sound like any city in Europe I’ve been too. Less traffic, more chat, and music more Turkish influenced. The Djati mountain is all kinds of fantastic. Lovely drive up there. Love hotel and resturant too.
     
  22. mx wcfc

    mx wcfc Well-Known Member

    Did a day trip to Albania when we were in Corfu. Interesting place. Bought an Enver Hoxha mug at the only shop I could find selling anything vaguely communist era related and the shop keeper berated me about it.

    Highlight was listening to on the tour bus.
     
    passenger likes this.
  23. passenger

    passenger up and down...

    Brilliant mx wcfc where did you find this :cool:
     
  24. mx wcfc

    mx wcfc Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit of an Attila fan, so knew the song. First saw him at the Old White Horse on Brixton Road around 1982. I go to Glastonwick ("his" festival) every year. There's a Holiday in Albania Revisited too. You tube it.
     
    passenger likes this.
  25. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    You going to durres ? It’s jazzed itself up a bit since I first went there last century - some of the seafront is well Ibiza. Much isn’t though
     
    Riklet likes this.
  26. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    No not Durres. On to Berati tomorrow. Sad to be leaving Tirana. Overwhelmed by the people and also by how charming the city is. Might not have the beauty of Paris but it has much more. Utterly loved Tirana.
     
  27. Riklet

    Riklet procrastinación

    Berat is lush!

    Try and visit Gyrokaster its awesome.

    Sarande is a dump but great food and amazing area for exploring, Butrint and wicked beaches and the blue eyed lagoon hole (sri i kalta)
     
  28. not-bono-ever

    not-bono-ever Not what they want but what is good for them

    the museum in Gyrocaster is full of WW2 german STG44's IIRC- like piles of them - not often seen but I think these were used as the base for the AK47- obviously intellectual property laws were not really an issue back then
     
  29. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Back from Albania, and have to say it was great. The scenery and food were stunning, but it was the people we met on our travels that made it. From the old ladies who took us in for coffee in Theth, to the home cooked meals (and homemade wine and mulberry raki) in Berat to Tirana. Everywhere we went we were made to feel welcome, fruit was thrust into our hands, raki given unasked for, and loads of invitations to visit homes. Great castles, great markets, excellent museums and galleries. Even the buses made sense after a while.

    Only one sort of bad experience in Tirana when a teen (18+ maybe) with a strong English accent tried to steal my phone as we sat outside a bar and offered to sort me out as I reacted badly to it. Nowt came of it.

    We're going back next year.

    Actually the real stinker of the trip was when we stayed with our Serb mate in Kotor, Budvar is moving north, lots of pissed people and plenty of pissed off locals.
     
    miss direct and angusmcfangus like this.

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