Members of the first Regent group who travelled to Albania in 1971 would struggle to recognise the country today.
A perfect start for any holiday to the Balkans, gone are the virtually traffic-free roads, collective farms and churches and mosques converted into sports halls; but the warm Albanian welcome, dramatic scenery, evidence of 400 years of Ottoman occupation and enthralling archaeology, are still the same.
There are many reasons to visit Albania. A holiday to Albania offers the combination of pretty countryside scenes, ancient Roman history and tangible links to the country’s more recent times, with concrete apartment blocks and pillboxes reminding visitors of its time as a Communist nation.
Visitors interested in nature will discover Albania to be a country of wild natural beauty with a rugged and underdeveloped coastline, scenic hillsides clad with olive trees and dark, brooding mountains. Speaking of mountains, the Dinaric Alps and the Pindus Mountains are perfect for hiking.
Those with a penchant for history are drawn to the museum cities of Berat and Gjirokastra, both dominated by towering castles, and can head to Kruja Castle Museum to learn all about the national hero, Skanderbeg. In Butrint, step back in time to discover the 3rd-century B.C. amphitheatre and the ancient city of Apollonia.