Albania's unspoilt mountain scenery, cultural sites and beaches mean it is becoming increasingly popular with a growing number of UK travellers. This affectionate guide to Albania covers the length and breadth of the country, discovering remote villages and out-of-the-way towns such as Peshkopia and Erseka. Visitors will find detailed information on wildlife, national parks, hiking routes, and beaches. For those interested in the culture and history, there is more on the main archaeological sites at Butrint and Byllis and Byzantine art, together with biographical vignettes of individuals who have figured in the country's history. 2012 marks the centenary of Albania's independence from the Ottoman Empire and there are likely to be many celebratory events across the country.
Gillian Gloyer first tried to visit Albania in the early 1980's, when it was one of the most closed countries in the world. Needless to say, this attempt was a resounding failure, although she did manage to see some of its fantastic beaches from the deck of a Greek ferry. Nearly twenty years would pass before she finally made it to Albania and felt the sand of those beaches between her toes.
Gillian lived in Albania for four years, directing a programme of training for young political party activists. She travelled all over the country and discovered that there was a lot more to Albania than beaches. She wrote Bradt's 'Albania' after she finished working there, to encourage more people to visit this fascinating country. She is a hill-walker and a former archaeologist, both interests which give her plenty of scope in mountainous, ancient Albania. She is also quite keen on nice food and wine, which Albania is also rather good at. When Gillian is not in Albania or writing about it, she continues to work on democracy-related projects, such as training election officers or observers, or running voter education programmes.