Vlore is a harbour city that holds special meaning for Albanians, as this is where the country declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th century. So you can take a whistle-stop tour of monuments and museums celebrating the statesman Ismail Qemali’s first government, and in doing so get to know a little more about what it means to be Albanian. If you’d like ideas for days trips the wider region is both untamed and beautiful. Relaxing tourist beaches with clear waters are just a handful of kilometres away, and if you follow the coastal road south there’s a string of charming little resorts punctuated by the vast mountainscapes of the Llogora National Park.
The largest of the twelve Dodecanese islands on the Aegean’s eastern edge, Rhodes is also its most popular. The well-preserved medieval city of Rhodes sits at the north of the island of the same name. High rise hotels line the northern and eastern coastlines. Small villages and resorts dot the island’s other shores. Whether your interests are beaches, bars or ancient sites, Rhodes offers an abundance of all three. Authentic Greece can be found in the hilly interior of the 50-mile-long island.
3. Islands of Ksamil
The Islands of Ksamil, consist of four rocky islands located in the direct proximity to the Ionian Sea in Southern Albania. The village of Ksamil, after whom the islands are named, is located to the east of the islands. Furthermore, the islands are situated within the boundaries of the Butrint National Park.