Albania and Bulgaria Top Destinations for 2011Published on Jan 15, 2011 by Mihaela Lica Butler
CNN picked only 9 top destinations for travelers in 2011, and two Eastern European countries are on that list: Albania and Bulgaria. The list was made based on expert recommendations from Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Pauline Frommer, creator of Pauline Frommer’s guidebooks; and Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour. Other top 2011 travel destinations were New York, New Zealand, the Peruvian Amazon, Spain (Barcelona), Norway, Japan and Guatemala. Albania was ranked 6, and Bulgaria finished the list last.
Albania was also the top pick on Lonely Planet’s top ten countries for 2011, while Bulgaria ranked fifth. The two are the only Eastern European countries that got the media attention as potential travel destinations at the end of 2010, beginning of 2011. While Bulgaria has a strong tourism tradition, for Albania, the mention could be the beginning of a much needed trend.
In Focus: Albania
Albania gives travelers a taste of the Mediterranean without the crowds and the prices, writes CNN’s A. Pawlows, citing Robert Reid. Indeed, the country’s scenic beauty could make for an unforgettable romantic holiday. Its brave peaks are a challenge for hikers and backpackers, and the Albanian sea resorts rival in beauty with some of the best, and most popular in the world.
This is was the country Mother Theresa called home, and by the beauty of her heart you know the beauty of the people inhabiting these historic lands. Albania is a fascinating country, with friendly people, and a rich history.
Lonely Planet recommends that you visit Gjirokastra, a city whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We tell you to adventure to Butrint as well, one of the world’s archaeological wonders – and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On the Adriatic Coast, don’t miss Vlora, a sea resort with a rich history, known in antique times as Aulona. Beautiful beaches, a lively harbor, and the proximity to the Sazan Island and Karaburun Peninsula, make Vlora a destination not to be missed.................................