I visited Albania as part of a road trip through the Balkans with two friends. Durrës was the perfect stop for a quick beach vacay during the trip. If we had more time we would’ve driven further south along the coast because the beaches are supposed to be better than where we went. I found Albanians to be very nice. For travelers of color, be prepared to stand out. There are not many people of color in the region so people will stare. Many even asked if they could take pictures with us. While floating in the ocean, a young man from Kosovo approached us and told us that he came over to talk to us because he didn’t want to just stare. We all bonded over our love of Game of Thrones. I will admit, I did not love Albania, which I hesistate to say as I did not get a chance to see the best the country has to offer, but I would not add this to the top of any European bucket list. For me, the Balkans has much better offerings including Croatia and Bosnia. #catchmeinalbania
where to stay
If you stay in Durrës, the only five star luxury hotel in Durrës is the Premium Beach Hotel. It is a typical big resort with several pools and beach access with beach chairs, food and drink service. The views from the balconies of the rooms is a perfect view of the Adriatic Sea. One big drawback of the hotel is that the gym does not open until 9am.