Road Tripping Through Albania

When planning our European trip, Albania wasn’t somewhere we had ever thought of going – not until our close friends had mentioned how much the loved it. There really is never much talk about the country though, & my only perception was that it was a dangerous, underdeveloped and out of reach. That is why this incredible place has surprised me the most – and I’m so excited to share with you all our experience.

Our first stop was in a small town just across the border called Shkoder, where we glamped out in a large hippie tipi on the shores of the lake ⛺️ (Lake Shkodra Resort). It was a little more expensive to rent the tipi at €20 a night, rather then choosing a pitch for €12 a night; but it was worth every penny! Our stay was overly relaxing, spending our day laying in the abundance of hammocks, reading books & eating the cheapest, tastiest & freshest seafood at the campsite restaurant. One of my all time favourite campsites that we stayed in across Europe!

 From there we spent almost a whole day driving directly down to Vlore where the riviera coastal route begins. The roads in Albania aren’t as bad as you hear, but they are a little dodgy & usually add an extra hour or so onto your journey. Although the drive can be long and tedious, there is lot of bizarre things to see on the side of the road that will keep you entertained the whole way. For instance you may have to stop while a dozen little pigs cross the road – and even in the most bizarre cases small turtles 🐢😂.

Approaching Dhermi was a draw dropping site. Surrounding the beaches are tall rugged mountains with windy roads leading you from the top to the bottom without ever leaving you shy of a magnificent view. If you’re exploring Albania in a camper van like us, you should know that the first beach you reach in Dhermi called Drymades Beach doesn’t allow for camper vans, only tent sites. We were told we could free camp along the beach down the very end, but decided to find a spot with power so we could camp comfortably for few days.

Livadhi beach is the next beach along from Dhermi, where we were welcomed with open arms to the many camper van sites along the beach front. For the next 4 nights we camped and chilled out at a small campsite called Camp Kranea, offering a laid back friendly vibe at a small price of €15 a night. The owner is super friendly & always up for a chat over a cold beer at the bar. The beach its located on is extremely beautiful. A secluded piece of paradise for a very low cost. Be aware that most the beaches are quiet littered, which is a major disappointment! But apart from that the water is an amazing turquoise colour with literally no floating rubbish. We spent hours on end just swimming & jumping off this little wooden jetty that sat a small swim out at sea.


Little secret tip to finding an off the beaten track beach. Take a walk up over the mountain on the right of Livadhi beach and you will come across a magnificent little cove that hugs crystal clear turquoise water. Don’t forget to pack a bottle of water and some snacks because theres literally nothing else around.

My absolute FAV beach in Albania is definitely Gjipe beach! The long & steep walk down the side of the mountain is so so worth every step when you reach the water that is Gjipe beach. Some of the clearest & bluest water we swam in throughout Europe. The surrounding mountains and large beach canyon tie the whole setting in together as the perfect location. Please put this undiscovered slice of paradise on your must see travel list before its untouched beauty is taken over by crowds.

Our last stop along the riviera was the small beach village, Ksamil. So many reasons to love this amazing place! So cheap for accommodation, at €10 a night we camped right on the beach and only a 10 minute walk to the main beach and restaurants. For the price of nothing, you can eat oh so well with some of the freshest and tastiest food we tried throughout Europe. Beach Bar Restaurant Korali is up there with one of my favourite restaurants EVER. For €20 we both got starters, seafood mains and a beer each. Not to mention the super quick and friendly service I can not recommend this place enough. Make sure you order the bruschetta 🍅. Mouth watering omg! Although Ksamil is much more touristy and crowded than the other beaches we stayed at, we still absolutely loved it. I mean whats not to love about repeatedly running and diving off a jetty into crystal clear blue water 💦.

We visited Albania in September, which in my opinion is the perfect time to visit. Summer was over, yes, but that meant less people and cheaper prices. I left this country feeling so happy with the memories and experiences we had gained. The people are so friendly with constant smiles on their faces, making you feel welcome wherever you go. Thank you Albania, I can’t wait to meet again!



  1. Ellie Seabrook

    January 17, 2017 at 4:40 am

    What an awesome spot Hayley!
    I love the way you write and describe these beautiful places!
    Looking forward to your next piece of writing and viewing your next adventure.

    1. haylsaway

      January 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Thanks Ellie! So kind <3 Albania is honestly amazing, so it was easy to write about and photograph. Thanks for following along and commenting xxxx

  2. April | April Everyday

    January 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I’ve seen quite a lot of Albania popping up lately and I’m dying to visit! Your photos are stunning and I just can’t get over the colour of the sea there! I love that you had a campervan there – we’re actually in the middle of converting our own so we can do roadtrips like this too and it makes me so excited!
    xo April | April Everyday

    1. haylsaway

      January 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hey April, you have you visit its incredible! Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 that so exciting for you guys, you will love it xxx

  3. Summer

    January 19, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Stunning!! How’s the water temperature in September?

  4. journeysbyjanna

    January 26, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Absolutely beautiful. This is a place I would love to visit! And you describe it so well

  5. Albina Shehetila

    January 26, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Hello Haysla, I am from Vlora, Albania and I am so happy you have enjoyed your staying in Albania! Your photos are great,and thank you for sharing your amazing moments and the beautiful places you visited in Albania.I wish you to enjoy your other trips as well.

    1. haylsaway

      January 27, 2017 at 4:27 am

      Thank you! We loved your country x

  6. Forestwoodfolkart

    January 27, 2017 at 1:17 am

    I never thought Phuket and Albania would have something on common but that water and beaches look so inviting. Shame about the litter although I don’t see any in your photos.

    1. haylsaway

      January 27, 2017 at 4:24 am

      Yeah it’s hard to see in photos but it’s quite bad! But the water is incredible !

  7. Kirstie

    January 27, 2017 at 5:24 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to Albania for a while, but your photos have tipped me into full scheming mode!

  8. illustrationmary

    January 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    magnifique…ça donne vraiment envie d’y aller et superbes photos!

  9. sugarlacedgirls

    January 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    My grandpa’s caretaker is Albanian and always boasts about the country .. I can see why! Definitely adding to my bucket list.

    1. haylsaway

      January 28, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Wow amazing! It’s so nice

  10. adventurerintrainingblog

    January 30, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Albania looks really tempting after reading that, we sailed past it a few years ago and deliberately avoided stopping because we too had heard that it was a dangerous place…….. maybe worth re planning now!

  11. Les Petits Pas de Juls

    January 31, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Funny how we never think about those little countries hidden in the midst of the other big ones in Europe… Albania sure is brimming over with beautiful spots, apparently! Thanks for showing them to us!

  12. Dreamer Achiever

    February 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Oh wow! Those beaches look amazing. I definitely should visit Albania, I’d love to spend a week or two enjoying those views! 🙂

  13. samfiftysomething

    February 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Wow. Loved reading this! Albania wasn’t a place I would’ve chosen to go but you’ve changed my mind 😊👏

  14. Adam

    August 28, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    What is actual currency in albania? Do they accept euro?

    1. haylsaway

      August 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

      I can’t remember sorry!

  15. Natalia

    September 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Do you guys have any presets for sale? Your pictures are amazing

    1. haylsaway

      September 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Yes we do! They are about 6 months old now though. The link is under the purchase section on my blog. I will be releasing a new pack shortly so watch out xx

  16. Laura

    February 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    How did you get to Albania and where were you coming from? x

    1. haylsaway

      February 22, 2018 at 9:38 am

      We drove down from Croatia through Montenegro in our van 🙂

  17. clarettta

    February 15, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Hey! I just reaaaaally loved your post about Albania and I am actually looking for going next September, could you tell me where did you rent the van? Thanks!

    1. haylsaway

      February 22, 2018 at 9:39 am

      We purchased the van before our travels in the UK 🙂

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