My impression of Albania, and also of Kosovo, was of beautifully varied landscapes and friendly people. I am happy that I made the choice to explore both countries, and even more happy that I chose to travel with an organization which not only knows the right places to go, but also the people within those places who can provide the best hotel services, the best food, and access to the most interesting galleries, museums, churches and mosques.
It was clear to me that both guides (for the Southern Cities and the North Albania extension) were known and respected in all the places we visited. As a result, many doors were opened to us which had not been accessible to the general public for a long period, due to refurbishment, etc. The small group arrangement also permitted flexibility in the itinerary to take advantage of such access, or to add extra options so that we could enjoy each location to the full. Every city, town or village was a new experience, each quite different to the rest in terms of historical heritage and even food. The only common factor was the friendliness of the people I met, and their wish to talk to me and to share whatever they could with me. This was particularly evident in the Albanian Alps where the few people are scattered over greater areas, but all are welcoming to those travelling through. It has truly been a wonderful experience and I would have been happy to extend my stay if that had been possible