Author Archives: GoodAlbania Team

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Albania App by CityInformation

“Albania” app by CityInformation

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Finally Albania has entered the world wide platform for city app that CityInformation is.

With the “Albania” App you’ll always have all the information you need about Albania and over 1000 cities within reach. The local news, the weather, the best events, public transport information, the local radio and so much more; all in one App!

You can easily find cinema times and programmes for your local theatre or concert venues, and you can use the App to order tickets in just a few clicks! Catch up on the latest (sports)news or get tickets for their next match. Book a table in your favorite restaurant or order takeaway from the comfort of your home or hotel room! Also, check the best deals in town and use the convenient map function to get to your destination.
You can also check the status of flight departures and arrivals at your local airport and you can use the App to check the latest traffic alerts in town.

The best part is that you have access to a worldwide network of cities, all from within “Albania” App. Just tap the menu to switch to a different city and get access to everything you need!

So if you are looking for an App that has it all, download the free “Albania” App by CityInformation now and stay up to date with the best information on all your favorite destinations!

CityInformation: Your cities in one App!

Albania App by CityInformation


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Meet us at ITB Berlin 2017

Great chance to get to know Albania and our company better.

We are going to exhibit in ITB 2017 in Berlin 8th to 12th of March, 2017.
You can meet us at Hall 1.2, Albania National stand Booth No 213.

To arrange a meeting with our delegation or to get more info, please contact our:
Customer Support Center
Phone: +39 351 162 8334
[email protected]

or

Operations Manager
Erand Jucja

Phone: +355 6982 60 300
[email protected]


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Why traveling with locals is the best way to travel

Go Local!

Hi! My name is Geri, I am not a blogger but I needed to write something to help you understand what I just realized and to understand better how is traveling with us.

I will start this piece by a quote that I always say : “You really discover a place when you have lived in it” . I have stood by it even when our guests have expressed their approval, pleasure and positive surprise regarding information load that they got when touring with us. Usually, we have a sharing of ideas about how is better to discover a country and how to have some good, relaxing time when doing it. This, of course, at the last day of the tour. And it would result more or less, bitterly sweet, in the same idea of the initial quote here.

The last trip changed everything..

It was a private one. Driver ( one of my best friends ) , me and a couple from Bavaria, Germany.

Thanks to them that I truly managed to see our tour from our guest’s eyes. With a bit of customization , we managed to visit also Kruja and Durres along with cities included in Local Food & Unesco Heritage Tour.

We had our good share of fun, from making “Raki” in a village in Saraqinishte, listening to great questions like “ hmm, you seem surprised. How do you make Raki in Germany?” , to watching Albania – Spain at an all red&black bar in Tirana , to cooking byrek with chef Rita aka : “woman of the house” in the village of Bogove, to trekking in the wild to get to an amazing waterfall close to the same place, just to mention some highlights.

Being only in two, we managed to talk much more and the reason I say that they changed my ideas is that on the last day of the tour they told us that it was like we have been in Albania for weeks. The information, the experiences, the tales, the jokes, the cities, the landscapes, the “raki” drinking, all together told from a local prospective managed to make them see and understand our country and our people on a personal basis. It was, and I quote, a great experience and it really felt more like travelling with friends than anything else (which I guess is the best you could say about a vacation). Idem, always.

Our feedback has been great so far, but we needed this shared thought to reassure us entirely that this is the way to go and that it is true : Locals know best!

Thank you Rob and Franzi for your insights, see you soon!

Here are few pics of this trip :

 

go local albania

berat albania

cooking season goodalbania

antigone gjirokaster


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Luxury holidays on a budget in South Albania

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Dreaming about a paradise with virgin sand beaches, a warm sea, in the midst of the jungle, calm during the day and wild during the night, unspoiled by tourism but with WiFi everywhere? Yeah,I know. You are thinking about a Caribbean island with a resort in it. No need to travel that far..and to spend a fortune as well. There are similar, closer and cheaper heavens that you NEED to know of. Here is an example of what I’m talking about..

Beautiful beach in Albania

And there are so many more like this paradise beach spread all over the south coast. The only obstacle is getting a good deal for a plane ticket but with so many air-lines covering routs to the main and only airport in Tirana, you don’t need to be Tom Cruise to make it happen.

Most beaches are easily reachable by car and you could rent it for 20-30euros per day. The best way to visit the South though is knowing someone from the place. There are hidden virgin beaches every couple of miles but Albanians are not really keen on putting road signs to tell you where and how could you manage going there.

Even for an Albanian that is not from the south, it is almost impossible to get the right information without asking first three or four people. But once you know, this is what you get as a reward :

albanian beach

Now lets get on the luxurious side of the south gem. Big, fancy hotels are mainly located in the city of Saranda but you can find isolated, high buildings spread around the coast with swimming pools, WiFi and all other facilities of a 3 star hotel. If you really want top-notch lux, then Saranda is the place you have to get the hotel in.

With more than a hundred welcoming, high-class hotels charging no more that 60euros per double room (except in the month of August)

hotels saranda

And what about the food! OMG! You could have a three-course dinner, drink cool, local wine or if you are courageous try Raki, all of this inside a castle, having the sea and the city for a view. I’ll leave you guess how much for that dinner! The amount will shock you..LOL!

To experience all of this without any worries about organizing check out our Tailored Tour for the Wonders of South Albania.

 

 


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Albanian local experience

Sustainable tourism in Albania..

 

In the past decade tourism has had a very positive trend in our ex-communist, ex-isolated country. Travelers from all over the world, hearing of this unexplored, cheap heaven with a wonderful coast, breathtaking highlands and rich cultural heritage, have flooded the main destinations and attractions mostly during the summer months.

Undeniably, it has been hugely liberating and profitable to realise that we are “on the map” for foreign visitors but for a trained eye towards environmental issues and local community development it has not been that “great” after all, using a Trumpism.

In our second year now of tour planning, we observe buses coming and going from cultural cities. How visitors discover heritage sites with their foreign tour guide, how they walk into a fancy restaurant (every place has one) and how they leave for the next stop in Albania. All of this, almost without any true connection with the locals. Don’t get me wrong, these travelers are of course a great help to the community but there are better and more interesting ways to do so.

It is a pity that these big groups, and they are the trend now in Albania, don’t experience truly local adventures, food and culture because they are just too big. There are the best hotels, the biggest restaurants and the “most touristic” spots that welcome them. Which is perfectly fine if you just want to have some pics and a broad knowledge of the country. In my traveling experience though the most memorable moments will always be the ones where you experience the authentic local life.

Tour operators insist on pointing out our natural beauties, amazing heritage and delicious food, all very true. But what they have failed to highlight so far, is the authentic cultural adventure that is exploring our country with locals and like a local!

Traditions of Albania

When we started, there was an immense temptation to follow their footsteps. Big numbers of tourists mean big money. For us of course! We figured a different way to introduce Albania.. Not our idea though, we just listened to people from North to South. Locals felt excluded from the tourists visiting their cities and the countryside was just not tasted by foreign guests of our country.

Albania has amazing cultural cities but trust me when I say that the true soul of the country is in the rural areas. I firmly believe that a combination of these two is the best tourism formula for the country as a whole.

The implementing of this scheme is not easy at all but well worthy. Travelers gain memorable life moments and also the local community is hugely supported. If you think of how many different ways are to explore a country and multiple that with the number of travelers wanting to, you can quickly see how many people are faced with a decision to support something that helps both the economic and societal sustainability of a country, or not.

But with some research and a little determination to really help local communities when traveling can and does make an impact on people’s lives.


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fans france euro 2016

Winning ♥ hearts ♥ in Euro2016

When winning goes beyond a football match..

Forget Russian and English hooligans..here come the Albanian fans!

Marseille was a different city game day. The calmness of the early afternoon anticipated noise, beer and brawls in the streets of this harbour town. After the chaotic russian den’, people where hesitant to interact with fans. You would listen to stories about the fear and nonsense of man fighting one another in a war-zone-like atmosphere, and what was left in the hearts and minds of Marseillais and Marseillaise was repugnant feelings toward football fans.

What happened that day I can only describe by “The sun always comes up afer the storm”

Albanian fans started pouring in the city and in a blink of an eye, you would see hoards of French and Albanian fans  singing, drinking and having genuine fun together. Fan anthems were all over and by the time the game started, fans had their cheeks painted with red and black stripes in one and white, blue and red at the other.  The most used word in Marseille that day was “BONNE CHANCE”!

albanian french fans

At the very end France won the match but that day Albanian fans gained much more. With our attitude, enthusiasm and positiveness we won the city and the fans in France and in Euro2016.