This week, the travel guide Lonely Planet named Tirana in their top ten “essential destinations in Europe” list, calling it a transformed “vigorous metropolis” and highlighting the city’s green and sustainable ethos.
Further showcasing Albania’s potential as a top tourist destination, Italian paper Travel News, named Drimadhes one of the five most beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean as well as “the most beautiful beach on the Albanian Riviera“. With direct flights to Tirana from over 30 cities in Europe, it is predicted that 2018 will witness the largest numbers yet of foreign tourists visiting Albania.
This year’s list aims at resolving the problem of overflow of tourists, or mass tourism, which devastates locals in communities like Reykjavik, Iceland, or Florence, Italy to name a few. Some cities are even considering visitor caps per day to curb the problem. S The Mayors of overwhelmed by crowds cities have already taken measures. The municipality of Venice banned the new hotels and fast food restaurants opening in a bid to cap the number of tourists streaming through the streets.
Venice ‘visitor-only‘ routes to popular landmarks have been introduced last year ahead of the bank holiday weekend to keep tourists away from the locals – who have long complained about excessive crowds.
Topping Lonely Planet’s 2018 list for underrated European destinations is the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, which is often overlooked in favor of more well-known regions like Tuscany, Campania and The Veneto.