Albania is a compact chunk of the Adriatic Coast. This former communist state still retains some traditional Mediterranean charm as well as Soviet-style efficiency.
Tirana, the capital, boasts Italian and Turkish architecture, including the Ethem-Bey Mosque. The second largest city, Durres, started life as a port, founded by the Greeks in 627BC; stroll the ancient streets to see a rich scattering of Roman and Byzantine ruins. There are other impressive Roman ruins at Butrint. The ‘City of a Thousand Windows’, Berat, has been occupied by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, all of whom have left their mark; the name stems from the number of windows in the red-roofed houses.
Outside of the cities, idyllic beaches meet rolling fields and rocky mountains. Citrus orchards, olive groves and vineyards perfume the countryside. Travel to Saranda on the southern coast to enjoy the unspoilt coastline opposite Corfu.