Category Archives: Europe

Travelling around Southern Europe  with a dog, in a motor home


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Prague – Our Winter Break 2019

Date of travel: 20th – 23rd January 2019

Prague the incredible city…

With its expansive old town offering you spires and bridges, squares and alleyways, castles and cathedral’s, everywhere you look the gothic architect is casting its spell on you. So don’t be afraid and embrace this magical city. If your thinking of a weekend break then the Czech capital will not only satisfy but will draw you back time after time.

We visited Prague in January, it was extremely cold, about -3 in the day and -6 at night. We spent a lot of our time wandering around the old town, this is where you will find the astonishing astronomical clock.

Be sure to watch as the hour strikes.

There are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to grab a drink to warm up or a beer or two.

One even has a husbands day care…

Public transport is very easy to navigate and cheap to use. You just need one ticket that can be used on the trams, underground and buses. Avoid taxis as they seriously over charge, we used Uber to get around late at night when we were just too cold. In the day we mainly used the trams as these take you all around the beautiful city. We also did a open top bus tour with head phones in all languages, this was very interesting.

Read on to see what we got up too….

Vytopna Train Restaurant

This is a quirky restaurant where your drinks are brought to your table by a train. Yes a train, there is a miniature railway line running from the bar to your table. You have to be quick as you just have 15 seconds to get your drink from the carriage before it speeds off.

Choo choo

Stroll across Charles bridge

There are many bridges across the river Vltava but Charles bridge has to be the most famous.

The stunning Charles Bridge.

Prague Castle

Incredible, this really is impressive and absolutely huge.

It really is huge and this is just one building…

Be sure to allow plenty of time to wander.

The detail is incredible.

Restaurant Peklo

Have a tasty gourmet lunch or dinner in side a cave.

Boat and Dinner Cruise

We went on a brilliant 3 hour dinner cruise up the river Vytopona we booked this with Get Your Guide. This is a fantastic way to see the sights of the city by night, the buffet dinner was delicious and the live music was very good.

Speculum Alchemiae

Museum tour of ancient secret medicines. Can you spot the secret door?…

Ghost, legends and dungeon tour

Unfortunately, we did not enjoy this as much as we hoped, if I’m honest it was not worth the money.

Zizkov Television Tower

On our last day we went to the TV tower for lunch with spectacular views over Prague. Despite being voted number 2 for the ugliest building in Europe it is very slick and modern inside and prices are not too bad.

We guess you hate it or you love it…

Medieval Tavern

To celebrate our last night we went to a Medieval night, which was absolutely brilliant. You can choose between an all you can eat meat, fish or vegetarian option as well as unlimited drinks of beer or wine. Prosecco drinkers do not panic, you can buy sparkling wine. The staff were on the ball and as soon as you were close to finishing your drink or food, they were ready to get you more.
As for the entertainment, it was awesome. With a belly dancer, fire eating and juggling, sword fighting – what more could you want?…

Feeling hot, hot, hot…

We all fell in love with the enchanting city of Prague and whether you are on a weekend break or a week holiday you will not be disappointed…

Enjoy xx

The Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse)

Date of Travel: August 2019

Rothenburg Ob Dee Tauber – One of our highlights, certainly not to be missed…

The Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse)  is a motor homers dream, a travellers dream and anyone in between.  Not only that, with the addition of easy access to night stopovers, well signposted routes and good roads, even the most novice of motorhome drivers can enjoy all it has to offer with the minimal of stress. 

Haven’t got a motor home??

Don’t panic you can hire one or take a car, as there are plenty of hotels at every stop.

This epic road trip will whisk you through 14 romantic towns and  lush green rolling hills. You will be taken from the historic, bold and energetic city of Würzburg, at its northern point and will leave you enchanted at its final destination of Füssen.  In between, there are  many stunning fairytale medieval towns.  Each stop has its own unique backdrop to a mystical world that can be quant or bold but always enchanting.

If like us, you love old towns and that unique feeling that only they can offer.  Crossing the drawbridge and entering a forgone time, life was very hard but much more simple.  The ambience of this time with its flickering candles, wooden fires and cobbled stones is intoxicating.  Compact all that atmosphere inside the towering walls and your unique medieval setting is complete.


Wurzburg – Marienberg Fortress Moat

We have created a guide, which not only gives you the 14 stops, but the distances between them and some unique free night stops.  Some of these stops are off the beaten track, but we think they will be another highlight to this already great trip.  

1st night stop over.

We completed the drive in 5 days, but easily could have spent twice this.

There are well sign posted motor home car parks outside most of the town walls.  Here you can empty your toilet, fill up with drinking water and some even have electric hookups for a very small fee.  You can also stay overnight at some of them. 

So lets begin!!!…

1st Town – Würzburg

A large, young and energetic city full of history, bars and restaurants.  Be sure to have a glass of wine on Old Main Bridge.  

“Wineo Bridge”

Visit the magnificent Marienberg Fortress perched high up on the hill surrounded by vineyards.

(This is free of charge and dogs are allowed in).

Can you spot Alf?..

On the other side of the river, visit the impressive Würzburg Residenz.  The gardens alone were spectacular, beautifully decorated with every colour flower you can imagine.

Parfectly landscaped.

37km to:

2nd Town – Tauberbischofsheim

A beautiful charming picturesque town.

Picture Postcard.

35km to overnight stop 
34km to Weikersheim

1st Overnight Stop: 

Home for the night.

We stayed at a beautiful spot for motorhomes along the river in Tauberrettersheim. (There are no amenities, but there is a pub that offers food along the river).

97285 Tauberrettersheim

6.1km to:

3rd Town – Weikersheim

A quant town with a picturesque square.  On the edge of the square is a beautiful palace with spectacular gardens. 

Palace entrance €6.50.

28km to:

4th Town – Rothenburg Ob Dee Tauber

A medieval jewel on the romantic road, it truly is unbelievable!! 

Think of the stories, the walls could tell…

Make sure you walk around the city walls, where archers once would have stood.

The wall walk is surprisingly free of charge. There is one tower that you can climb for €2, this is well worth it as the view is spectacular!!

So high up.

We spent a day here but easily could spend a few, as we think it compares with Dubrovnik in Croatia, Kotor in Montenegro or Monemvasia in Greece for walled cities.

2nd Overnight Stay:

We stayed in a motor home carpark just outside the old city walls. Here you could fill up with drinking water and empty your toilet.

50km to:

5th Town – Dinkelsbuhl

The small walled town with its many towers, which rise from its stone wall every few hundred meters gives a great backdrop to a vibrant town. 

A fairy tale seen.

A day can easily be spend marveling at the quirky building’s and getting lost in its old cobbled streets.

Alf, a parfect lunch companion.

(Motorhome parking with amenities).

32km to:

6th Town – Nördlingen

Another impressive medieval walled old town. Built inside a meteorite crater (although you wouldn’t know it).  

Impressive cathedral.

The grand cathedral is the center piece of the town. 

15km to overnight spot
19km to Harburg

3rd Overnight Stay:

We stayed in a beautiful spot surrounded by fields, onlooking the Harburg Castle. There are no amenities.


86655 Harburg (Schwaben)

(Google Maps gets a little confused, please see map from park4night)
You do have to go up a concrete track, follow track around and then 1st left, down the hill up the hill and park on the right where there is some gravel. It really is worth it and not too far).

6.3km to:

7th Town – Harburg

A picturesque fairytale castle sits atop a hill overlooking the quaint town. 

Walk within the castle walls.

Castle entrance €3
Guided tour €4

Be sure to take a photo from the stream below.

Row, row, row your boat.

12km to:

(Unfortunately despite it being August, the weather took a turn for the worst and we had torrential rain for the rest of our trip.  We had a quick look around the next few stops but didn’t spend much time there).

8th Town – Donauwörth

A much more modern town compared to the previous stops. Surrounded by the Danube and Wörnitz rivers.

Its raining, its pouring, we are still touring…

47km to:

9th Town – Augsburg

A very large city.  We decided not to stop as it was not easy to find parking and it was absolutely pouring down.

41km to:

10th Town – Landsberg am Lech

A charming town, surrounded by the River Lech, that gives a natural defence to the old town.

A grand tradition bavarian square

28km to:

11th Town – Schongau

The city walls are still largely intact, it has a modern feel. 

21km to:

12th Stop – Wieskirche

It was still absolutely pouring, so I just run to get a photo of the huge church.

9km to:

4th Overnight Stay:

What a view!!

We stayed in another beautiful spot surrounded by fields in the outdoor swimming pool carpark.

20 Badweg
87642 Halblech

15km to:

13th Town – Neuschwansteim & Hohenschwangau Castles

The beautiful Neuschwansteim Castle is very impressive and absolutely stunning!!

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

It was used for the model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and it’s easy to see why.

Hohenschwangau Castle opposite, is bolder and less attractive but no means unimpressive.

Motor home parking €9.50
Car parking €7

Or, if you are lucky, you can get a free spot at the side of the road.

Entrance €12 each castle or €23 for both.

Make sure you get there very early as we got there at 10am and the next available tour wasn’t until 3pm and the queue was at least an hour long.

4km to:

14th Town – Füssen

Plenty of cobble streets to wander to your hearts content, surrounded by the stunning alps.


Most people use this as a hub to see the castles as it’s so close. There are hotels, bars and restaurants galore and some campsites for motor homes.


So you have now just completed the Romantic Road!!

Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!..



Dover – England to Ancona – Italy 2019

Date of travel 15th Aug – 1st Sep 2019

So today Ian and I set off for our 2nd European adventure in Doris our motor home, along with Alf our fur baby.  We haven’t really got a plan, other than we need to be in Corfu by 4th September to go sailing with our parents.

Alf, waiting to get on the ferry at Dover.

We booked our ferry this morning (told you, I’m not very organised) from Dover to Calais through It cost £140 for 2 x adults, Alf and Doris.


Bye bye England, see you in a few months.

Whilst on the ferry we had a look on the laptop to come up with a route.  We decided that we should go to Trento, Italy to visits our friends and to get there we would go through Germany.  Ian then came across The Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse), that leads you on a fairytale journey from the north to south of Germany, so that’s would we decided to do.

The Romantic Road took us through beautiful quint picturesque villages and grand fairy tail walled medieval towns. We really enjoyed it and it’s a great way to see some of Southern Germany.

Our Romantic Road travel guide will be coming soon – so please watch this space…

After 5 days following the beautiful Romantic Road, starting in Würzburg and finishing in Füssen, it was time to continue south into Austria and then into Italy. This of course was absolutely spectacular as we drove through the alps.

Who wouldnt want to see these views?…

High up in the Austrian sky, I suddenly spotted a walking bridge and told Ian, but unfortunately we had to much traffic behind us to pull over and you can’t just turn around in Doris. Since then, I’ve learned that it’s the highest walking suspension bridge in the world, it’s called Highline179 and best of all it only costs €8 to walk it. That’s definitely on my to do list!!…

We spent one night at the magnificent Lago di Resia in Val Venosta valley.

The famous sunken bell tower.

Where Ian was very excited to find out that it’s a mekka for kitesurfers, but so disappointed as there was no wind. So I’m sure we will be back…

No wind 🙁

Highlights of this part of our drive, coming soon…

After one week of being on the road, we met up with our friend in Trento, Italy. He got us straight out of town and took us to some incredible places that only locals would know about.

We had our own VERY MINI festival, dancing and playing music to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and of course the breathtaking view.

Just WOW!!!

We felt like we were in South East Asia rather than Northern Italy climbing up a waterfall in Centa San Nicolò. 

Alf, lost in the fall of it all.

We said our goodbyes and met up with another friend for breakfast at the beautiful Lago do Caldonazzo before continuing our journey down the Adriatic coast of Italy.

Where, we finally found the sunshine and sea…


Our highlights for the East Coast of Italy, will be coming soon – so please watch this space.

We are now 2 weeks and 3 days into our European adventure and it’s time to head east over to Greece.

We booked our ferry directly with Grimaldi Lines from Brindisi in Italy to Corfu Island in Greece, it took 6.5 hours.
It costs £167.60 for 2 x adults, Alf and Doris.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures and it will encourage you to get out there and explore…








Our Favourite Beaches of Albania…

Drymades – Alf enjoying the view.

Albania has many beaches.  Some pebbles, some sand, some are tiny coves whilst others stretch as far as the eye can see.

Albania is also west facing so you have beautiful sunsets every night. Parfect!!!

Sunset from Kune-Vain-Tale Reserve.

Albania really has it all when it comes to beaches…

Here are our favourite beaches,  in order from North to South to make it easy for you to find them.

Kune-Vain-Tale Reserve

Sand, as far as the eye can see.

A long wide sandy beach set amongst a nature reserve.

Shengjin Beach

Be sure to climb the Thrown Sand.

Climb the amazing Thrown Sand and then relax on the long sandy beach.


A Parfect way to end the day.

A huge long sandy beach, reaching all the from the city to Narta lagoon backing onto Vjose-Narte nature reserve.


A window made by nature.

Beautiful long beach divided by a rocky window, separating sand from pebbles.


Bye bye sunshine, see you tomorrow.

A triple coved seaside town, with rocky peninsulas dividing the beaches.


Surrounded by nature.

7kms long, this makes it the longest beach in Albania. Surrounded by olive groves and soaring mountains.


Where the river meets the sea.

Considered the capital of the Riviera, there are a lot of resorts but still beauty to be found


One of the beaches in Ksamil

Paradise – an Ionian Gem

We hope you get to see them all, we are sure you will have a fantastic time if you do…

To find out more about Albaina, please read our other posts:

Albania – 13 Must Do’s!! Because, we couldn’t stop at 10…

Northern Albanian

Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Central Albania

Southern Albania – The Riviera




Albania – 13 Must Do’s!! Because, we couldn’t stop at 10…

How can you not love, this?…

We fell in love with Albania and its simple to see why, it is such a beautiful country, with wonderful people. There’s breathtaking beauty around every bend, the mountain drives will give you everything. River side and high cliff hugging roads that take you through local villages and display the endless vistas beyond. 

One word – Beautiful…

We travelled from North to South in our Motorhome (Doris) with our dog (Alf) for 19 days from 1st – 19th October 2018.  Considering the time of the year the weather was absolutely  brilliant making it a Parfect autumn holiday destination.

Here are 13 things that we think, you MUST do whilst in Albania…

These are in order from North to South to make it easier to plan your travels.

Yet, another spectular view.

1.) Shkodër Lake

It would be easy to think, that you were looking out at sea…

Be sure to visit the largest lake in southern Europe, that stretches all way to Montenegro.

2.) Lake Koman

All aboard…

Hop on the local ferry and travel with the locals as they go about their daily lives. Whilst gazing at the mountains as they dramatically enter the water.  This unique trip is one not to be missed!!

Alf, taking in the views of Koman Lake.

3.) Valbona National Park

Ian & Alf, stretching their legs.

Once you have finished your Lake Koman trip head for the spectacular Valbona Nation Park. Here is a Mecca for trekkers high up in the Albanian lush green mountains.

4.) Thrown Sand at Rana e Hedhun at Shengjin Beach

Alf, waiting for me to make the steep climb…

This really is something special and if you have the energy, climb up for spectacular views. The slide down is great fun too.

5.) Vlore

Vlore at sunset.

Visit the beautiful seaside town of Vlore, with its long stretch of sandy beach and newly developed promenade.

6.) Barat

Barat, the city of windows.

Barat, a beautiful city on the river Osum with a castle high on the hilltops, be sure to spend a whole day and night here.

7.)  Gjirokastër

Gjirokastër Castle.

Take in some history with a visit to the splendid Ottoman UNESCO old town and Gjirokastër castle. The castle is still used to this day for concerts.

8.) The Blue Eye

Beautiful colours.

A stunning natural spring.

9.) Ksamil 

Couldn’t resist a selfie.

Ksamil, wow, what can I say ? A little piece of absolute paradise!!…

10.) Kayak

We made it…

Spend the day kayaking around the beautiful islands of Ksamil and a day to kayak to the incredible Butrint national park.

11.) Butrint

Once, the 1st line of defense.

 Butrint a prehistoric UNESCO world heritage archaeology site, the biggest not only in Albania but all the Balkans.

Amphitheatre in Butrint.

12.) Explore on 4 wheels, or 2…

Doris flying high, in Albania

It is the only way to get off the beaten track and see the real Albania.

(If you haven’t got wheels, Albania is still a fantastic holiday destination).

View from our home, oh the joys of Moho life…

13.) Get to know the locals


Hospitality at its very best.

We found that Albanian’s were incredible welcoming and extremely kind and always had time for us.  We were even invite into their home.  To read more about the locals we met, please read: Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Plus, you get your very own local tour guide and a friend for life.

Ndue whng us a tour around Lezhë.


It was really, really hard to name just a few things to do in Albania as it really is an amazing country full off natural beauty and history.

If, I was you, I’d get there quick before it gets too discovered…

Please read my posts about our road trip starting in the north, heading south, the links are below:

Northern Albanian

Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Central Albania

Southern Albania – The Riviera


Sailing the Greek Islands

Sailing the Ionian and Saronic Islands

We recently sailed the  North Ionian islands ( Sep 2019) and  after sailing the Saronic islands (June 2018), we thought a post about the two would be appropriate.

A stunning sunrise to get you out of bed for a days sailing.

Firstly, sailing anywhere in Greece is sure to be an amazing experience.  With more than 1400  islands and one of the longest coastlines in the world and beaches and sunshine that stretch out for longer than the kids summer breaks.

The Ionian Islands

When people think of sailing anywhere around Greece most are drawn to the Ionian islands.

Misti, our home for 7 nights.

The north Ionian islands are easily accessible from Corfu and southern Ionian accessible from Lefkada.

These iconic group of islands are a sailing holiday dream with short distance’s between turquoise bays and pretty harbours. You never have to travel far before those google pictures you have been dreaming of become a reality.

Marathias – one of the stunning stops for dinner.

The one thing that really struck us on these islands is how green they are. It is almost a natural phenomenon having travelled down the Adriatic coast many times. Where the landscape, especially as you move south becomes very dry and arid like. But head across the bay from Albania to Corfu and it’s surreal how the lush green islands appear. This really enhances the beautiful colours of the waters and the white sandy coves that appear around every corner.

Never too far from a sandy beach.

We set sail out of Corfu and headed south to the islands of Paxos and further south to Anti Paxos. The further south you go the less populated the islands. Both islands are extremely beautiful and offer a contrast of sandy coves on one side and large caves and rugged landscapes on the other. Giaos especially is a gem of the Ionian coast a beautiful harbour town concealed in a small inlet. Giving a very unique feel.

The blue cave.

We also touched on the mainland for one night at the stunning long sandy BBQ beach.

Our crew enjoying the sunset at BBQ Beach.

Like the Saronic islands having the wonderful Poros, you start and finish on the stunning island of Corfu which can sometimes be overlooked as a party island with Kavos being its main attraction. Don’t be fooled, Corfu is a diverse island offering everything a holiday goer would want.  So don’t forget to extend you sailing trip into a land trip as well.

Sailing conditions for us were very good, getting the sails up most days with stronger winds being found between the islands.

We are sailing, We are sailing…

Saronic Islands

Located in the Aegean sea an hour by ferry from Athens is this cluster of islands. More traditional to the Greek landscape these islands are much more baron and scorched from the hot arid climate.

Rowing to dinner.

Reaching the start point for your sailing holiday is a highlight in its self as our flotilla started on the beautiful island of Poros.  With its old town it’s such a charming island and a lovely place to prepare and finishing your sailing adventure.

Returning to the stunning Poros

With rocky islands jutting out of the turquoise waters, you go in search of secluded sandy bays that are few and far between and very rewarding.  There are also some brilliant snorkeling spots, that the flotilla staff tell you about in your morning briefing.

Yeyy, we found a beach..

For us the evenings were almost as rewarding as the days sailing (or motoring). Once you locate the harbour for the evening , they usually are a spectacular quant gift. Some give you a fairytale feeling with sometimes as little as 10 yachts and only one taverna. It is a great place to rest and talk about the day that’s been or the one to come.

Argos, Argolis – home for the night.

The (North) Saronic islands take you into the Saronic Golf, this is a large bay that you sail in and around. Methane juts out from Poro’s bay and feels like a large island but has a small slither connecting it to the mainland. On the west side of Methane offers some of the best mariners.

The fairytale harbour of Vathi.

Agistri feels like the central island with so many small islands jutting up around it, it has some amazing coves and snorkelling bays. On the other side of the bay on mainland is historic Edidavros.


We were part of a flotilla on both occasions, OCC for the Ionian islands and Greek Sails for the Sardonic, both companies were fantastic!

Our flotilla of 7 yacht’s at BBQ Bay for the night.

A flotilla gives you best of both worlds, you are free to do as you please but help is always on hand if you need it.  Destinations and a variety of different anchoring procedures are all explained in the briefings. This enables you to have a stress free week as you will know where you will be mooring for the night. Your only worry is, who will buy the first beers.

Alf, paying attention to our daily briefing.


Too compare the two, is extremely difficult as we absolutely loved both!!

The Saronic, although doesn’t have the greenery or so many coves as the Ionian, it doesn’t have the crowds and feels more adventurous than the Ionian. Offering more traditional quant mariners and even one of the largest amphitheater’s.

Epáno Epídhavros, Argolis,

But, it is impossible to deny that the Ionian’s, with is abundance of beaches and coves, has more to offer.  They are a wow factor for your average holiday goer.

Pretty Gaios, a gem on the Ionian.

Both of these stunning, idyllic locations make for an absolutely brilliant sailing holiday.  And are easily accessible (especially the Ionian) compared with some of the other sailing destinations around Greece.

Who, wouldnt want to wake up to this?

If it is a toss up between the two you wouldn’t be disappointed with either but when you have sailed both, the Ionian comes out ahead, for us..

Northern Albanian


Date of Travel: 1st – 5th October 2018

We crossed the border from Montenegro into Albania, this was surprisingly easy and took no time at all and was free of charge. We crossed using the most southern border at Muriqan into Sukobin which is close to the city Shkodër.

We didn’t spend much time in Shkodër, we just used the ATM to get some Albanian currency called Leke and brought an Albanian sim card as it isn’t in the EU. There are plenty of stalls/shops selling sim cards along the road. We then headed to the promenade for a lovely late lunch around the vast lake Shkodër. This is the largest lake in southern Europe and feels as if your looking out to sea.

Lake Shkodër

We then left Shkodër to drive to Koman so we could go on a ferry trip on Lake Koman. This drive took us around 3 hours as it is an extremely windy, steep and rough road with potholes galore. Remember we are driving Doris our motor home so could only drive 15 miles an hour, maximum!

Be brave…

Please do NOT let the road put you off, the views are absolutely spectacular and well worth it!!!

See, told you the views are beautiful…

I lost count of the amount of times we said wow and beautiful, it truly is breath taking, just drive slow and you will be fine. We spent the night parked not far from the bridge down by the river, we found the spot in the App “park 4 night”. We booked our ferry at 9.30pm for the following day (told you we are unorganised) to go from Koman to Fierze at 9am this cost us €78 for 2 people & Doris, we didn’t have to pay for Alf, our dog.

We booked it using:

All aboard

Alf, enjoying the views.

Koman Lake = Wow, WOw and WOW!!!

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great.  It was pretty cold and cloudy but this did not spoil the beautiful views on the ferry crossing. Sheer mountains, drop dramatically straight into the lake.

The steep mountain edges are mainly unspoilt with a few houses here and there built steep up on the mountain edge. The only possible transport must have been by a small boat followed by a climb. I would love to know how on earth they got the materials up there to build them or how they do their shopping and go about their everyday lives. At parts of the lake the mountains were not quite so steep and there are small communities farming the land. It really was brilliant to see how people live, I could imagine Ben Fogle filming ‘New Lives in the wild’ here.

The trip was well worth the money as the scenery is truly spectacular…

We arrived in Fierze and drove to Valbona (Valbone according to satnav), the road was in great condition unlike the last. Unfortunately, when we arrived in Valbona the weather had got even worse and was now pouring with rain and the forecast wasn’t good for the following day. We decided that we were not going to stay the night as didn’t have the correct trekking clothes and the temperature was going to get down to 6 at night (we are warm weather people). So we went for a quick 45 minute walk through the woods to give Alf a run and had a beer followed by a coffee (same price) in one of the hotels.

Alf and Ian enjoying a walk in the woods.

It was such a shame as once again the views were incredible and had the weather been better, we could have easily spent a day or two here.

We then began driving back down the mountains towards the coast on the SH22 road. This drive is absolutely stunning and is one of the best that we have driven in Europe.  And a bonus, it is pretty much tarmac the whole way and there is very little traffic except for a few goats.

It was now dark so we decided to pull over and sleep in the 1st town we came across called Fushearez.

The following day the spectacular views continued as we made our way down the winding mountains heading for warmer weather.

Miles and miles of sand.

It didn’t take us long to find a huge sandy beach as far as the eye could see in Kune-Vain-Tale Reserve.  Where we spend the rest of the day and night parked directly on the beach for free.

Just Parfect…

What a view to end the day.


To continue reading about our road trip, please click on Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Thank you for reading xxx

Southern Albania – The Riviera

Date of travel: 9th – 19th October 2018

We continued our journey  south west, if you haven’t read about Central Albania, please click here: Central Albania

Please note – to travel the Albanian Riviera, you really need wheels as there is much distance between each beach.  Please do NOT let this put you off. The spectacular mountain drive, as it corkscrews between them is a gift in itself. 

Alf, watching the passing goats

We arrived in the coastal city Vlora mid morning.  We headed north of the city, straight for the beautiful long golden sandy beach to find a place to call home for a day or two.

Not a bad place to call home…

The beach is huge and undeveloped apart from a few wooden beach bars scattered along it .  As we were there in October the bars were not open but this meant we had the whole beach to ourselves except for locals doing their daily exercises and a few beach dogs that Alf had fun playing with.

The next day we walked south along the beach, where we found a newly developed port. Just past here there is a newly built promenade with lots of bars, restaurants and hotels.  I imagine in season this would be buzzing with life. We spent 2 nights here but we could have easily spent longer.

We then continued our journey south along the twisting and turning mountain roads, stopping at the picturesque pebble Drymades beach for a night.  A lot of reviews that we read, say that this is the most beautiful beach in Albania, who are we to argue…

Drymades – Alf enjoying the view.

We even got to share the beach with a cow who had a paddle to cool down.

A Cow, having a paddle

We climbed up through the split rock to find yet another beautiful beach, this one was sandy so you have the best of both.

Can’t argue with that…

Next stop was Hirmare, we liked it here and thought it would be a great location for a week holiday, we spent 2 nights. This seaside town is split into three sections. The 1st is a modern pedestrian promenade full of bars and restaurants.  The 2nd, a small pebble beach with a campsite and a few apartments. We were lucky and the owner of the campsite let us stay for free as it was out of season.  And the 3rd, a long pebble beach with more apartments and residents.

Continuing south, Porto Palermo Castle is well worth a stop, it cost 200 Leke each to get in.   We just wandered around but you can get a guide. There is also a small beach here if you wish to have a swim.

Porto Palermo Castle

Borsh beach is a very long unspoilt pebble beach. It would be rude not to stop and have a swim, so we did….

No sandy bum, here…

We popped into Ujvara Varander where we enjoyed a coffee sat amongst a natural spring as it cascade around the seating area.
(Reviews for food on trip adviser are not great, we only had a coffee so I can’t comment).

A quirky café.

We then headed to Sarande, the main holiday destination in Albania. There are plenty of resorts and bars stretched along the promenade and 100s of shops.  For 1st night we stayed in Camping Ecuador which is south of the city, we had the ocean straight in front of us and a river to our left.

View from our home, oh the joys of Moho life…

From here we drove inland to Gjirokastër (it sometimes is spelled Gjirokastra) for the day, where we spent the day roaming the spectator Ottoman UNESCO old town.

A once secret tunnel, running under the castle.

The Castle is absolutely incredible and very well preserved. It is definitely worth pulling yourself away from the beaches of the Riviera to spend a day or two here.

Inside the castle.

We then parked for free closer to Sarande city with breathtaking views, I was very lucky and spotted dolphins whilst we were having a beer.  We then enjoyed the evening having dinner and drinks along the promenade.

The following day we went to see the famous blue eye.

Beautiful colours.

We should have incorporated this as a stop on the way to Gjirokastër as you do not need long here.

We continued our journey south to the stunning picturesque Ksamil, it really is paradise and in our top 12!! We spent a few days here, kayaking around the close by islands and eating at the local restaurants.

Alf, refusing to pose for the famous shot…

(Please bear in mind we were there in October so pretty much had the small beaches to ourselves, this may be very different in peak season).

No better way to lose a few hours.

Whilst here, we decided to be a bit more advantageous and kayaked along the coast to Butrint national park, leaving our kayak with some fisherman to look after.  It sure was worth the energy as the archaeological site is very impressive!  It’s one of the most important in the country and is still being discovered to this day.

A recent discovered amphitheatre.

We kayaked back to Ksamil via lake Butrint which is absolutely huge.  At one point we had to get out and carry our kayak with the help of a fisherman around a fishing gate.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t see to many tourists and their dog doing this.

The following day after 2 weeks and 4 days, we said our farewell’s to Albania, a country that we loved and headed back to Greece…

Thank you very much for reading about our Albanian road trip. I really hope you enjoyed it and it helps you to plan your trip to Albania. I wouldn’t leave it too long…

Please click here to read our Albania – 12 Must Do’s…

Northwest Albania – Albanian Hospitality

Date of Travel: 5th October 2018

Following on from our Northern Albanian road trip – please click here if you haven’t read Northern Albanian – Road Trip

Whilst chilling on the long sandy beach of Kune-Vain-Tale Reserve, a young guy (Ndue) and his Mum (Bardhe) came over to speak to us.  Ndue spoke fluent English and translated for Bardhe as she spoke none.  They invited us over to their house for the evening as they wanted us to experience Albanian hospitality.

Sandy beach as far as the eye can see…

We were very grateful, as we had a fantastic time, hearing all about how Albania has changed over the last 20 years.  Whilst feasting on home made wine, goats cheese, bread, jam, vegetables and in fact everything we eat and drank were all grown in their garden.

Yummy vegetables growing in their garden.

They even made their own Raki, which was incredibly strong at almost 60%.

Ian, Ndue and Bardhe with the super strong Raki.

Bardhe thought it was funny that we could not drink much.

See, I told you it was strong…

The following day Ndue became our local tour guide and took us out site seeing.  We went to a town called Lezhë, had a coffee along the river and then went up the hill to see Lezhë Castle  and its view of the Lezhë.

Atop, Lezhë Castle

We then headed north along the coast to see the Thrown Sand at Rana e Hedhun at Shengjin Beach.

A beautiful, long sandy beach, where a mountain meets the beach and has deep sand half way up it.  Ndue tells us that in summer a slide with water is put here and people slide really fast down it, crazy aye…


It’s a lot steeper than it looks….

See, I told you it was steep…

The climb was well worth it…

We said our goodbyes to Ndue and headed south…

To read the next part of adventure please click here Central Albania

Thank you very much for reading xxx