Albania is my favorite country of the Balkans. The people are as nice as they can be and the natural beauty is unparalleled. Granted, a large town there is considered between five and ten buildings and you can drive for half an hour before happening upon one of these cities. While Albania is the least prosperous of the Balkans, I find it to be the happiest and most hopeful Balkan as well. Our wonderful guide, Miri, took us all around this beautiful country and told us about its history as we went. My favorite part of Albania was the hike we took to a remote waterfall in the Valbona region. Also, we had some excellent burek!
The beautiful views made the hike even more enjoyable. Some of the hotel rooms were a bit odd, with squeegees in the showers to keep the water from seeping out of the bathroom and into the rest of the room. I was surprised by the development of Albania, as before we arrived, I pictured the Balkans to be a large collection of rundown huts with very malnourished inhabitants. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised by a modern group of countries that, if anything, seemed relatively affluent.