It has been a busy summer season for me, mostly not for the apparent reasons one can think for this time of the year: the beaches.
When most of the people took their summer holidays and hit the numerous Albanian beaches, I opted for another kind of adventure.
Went to Montenegro (not to the beach). I visited Kolasin, which is a famous ski resort in the neighboring country,but it was as attractive as it is when blanketed by the snow. Hiked Bjelasica and Biogradska Gora, with the greenery, the fresh air, the rivers and the wonderful springs.
After a short break in Albania, it was time to go to Istanbul, the Turkish metropolis that connects Europe and Asia (geographically). As always, Istanbul is a bliss; with a combination of the rich cuisine, breathtaking landmarks and great hospitality.
By the end of September, I was ready to hit the beach! Where else would you find a diverse “collection” of beaches than in southern Albania? I went south (literally). It was the perfect choice: the weather was great, and beaches were almost empty (since the season officially finishes by the end of August)
Started the holiday in Ksamil, off Saranda, and choosing Hotel Abalone, was the perfect start. The hotel has several beaches around it and I must say it is the only property in the area that allows you to step into the sea, from the moment you get out of the room. Parasols, sunbeds, the nice bar and restaurant, and of course … the sea.
A friend of mine, who was holidaying with her family in Ksamil, suggested that on the way back to Tirana, I do stop-overs in several beaches along the coast, as each of them has different characteristics; with the bays and the sea taking different shades of blue/green.
I took her advice and stopped in Lukovë, Borsh, Llaman, Livadh, Jalë and Drimadhë, before taking the Llogara’s snaky road and stopping in Radhimë, another summer destination, closer to Vlora city. It was true: each beach was different and so was the water.
I followed a simple plan; drove to a beach, went straight to the sea, swam, sunbathed and drove to the next destination. It was exhausting, in a way, but awesome, since the enjoyment surpasses the tiredness.
It was indeed the perfect way to end the summer!