Thursday 21 March 2019 \


Albania offers visa-free entry to attract GCC tourists

A scenic view of Berat city, which welcomes foreign tourists throughout the year.
Its natural beauty, geographical position and enjoyable Mediterranean climate make Albania an attractive European destination the whole year around.
These factors increased the number of foreign tourists visiting the country in 2017 to more than 5.2 million. 
Recently, Albanian tourism has grown, resulting in the offer of travel packages that allow its most precious traits to shine, such as “sun and sea tourism,” “history and culture tourism,” “mountain tourism,” and other growing fields.
According to Albanian Ambassador Sami Shiba, “The citizens of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar can enter Albania without a visa from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2018.” 
Albania has a considerable coastline, 450 km long, which extends along the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea, where within minutes tourists can experience the mountain climate of Llogara and the warmth of the coast of Dhermi.  Besides the beaches, the Adriatic coast is rich with lagoons and natural ecosystems. The Ionian coastline is known for its fascinating beaches with deep and very clean waters. One of the most exciting tourist areas of the country is the Albanian Riviera, where the sun stretches across the deep sea, the splendid configurations of rocky and isolated small beaches, the mountains and hillsides covered in Mediterranean vegetation. This is the warmest region of Albania, and is blessed with 300 days of sun. The city of Saranda is the most populous city on the Riviera and is a big tourist destination, especially preferred by newly married couples on their honeymoon. The city is positioned well upon the coast in that it is only 9 km from the island of Corfu.
Albania is rich in natural water sources: Rivers, lakes, and a long maritime coastline. Two of the most significant ecosystems are the lakes of Shkodra and Ohrid, recognized by the RAMSAR Convention and UNESCO. Albania is also rich in springs and streams. Four springs remarkable for their natural beauty are the Blue Eye in Saranda, Cold Water in Tepelena, Viroi in Gjirokastra, and Syri i Sheganit at Lake Shkodra.
Albania has important resources for the development of tourism in its mountainous areas. The Albanian Alps to the North, the mountains along the Ionian Sea, the Kruje, Berat and Elbasan mountains offer great opportunities for tourists during the year, including the winter, which has a mild climate. Albania offers very traditional housing in its mountainous regions, allowing for cultural immersion. Mostly you will stay in old traditional stone houses called “Kulas,” where the local hosts spoil you with home-cooked bread, honey, cheese and delicious homemade dishes, all made from their own domestic produce.
The Peaks of the Balkans Trail region, which belongs to the Alpine border region between Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, is a destination rising in popularity with tourists around the world.
Albania has a rich historical and cultural heritage recognized as part of the world’s cultural heritage that warrants special protection.
Butrint, in the south of Albania, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is considered as one of the most wondrous places on earth. Two other Albanian cities on the UNESCO World Heritage List, renowned for their specific architectural style, are Berat and Gjirokastra. The rich history will leave any interested foreign visitors pleasantly surprised. 
Albania is a safe country for tourists. The people are very open toward foreign visitors. Hospitality is an old Albanian tradition and foreigners are always treated with special respect.
Beside the hospitality that has been highly regarded by travelers for centuries, Albania is rich with traditions and folklore. During your visit through ethnographic museums and artistic folkloric activities, you will be able to enjoy this wealth inherited over the centuries that still blossoms nowadays.
For Saudi travelers who want to come to Albania there aren’t any specific requirements. During the summer period, from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2018, Saudi citizens can travel to Albania without visas. 
All that is needed is a valid passport.

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