With its jumble of rugged mountains fringed by pristine curls of beach, Albania’s south is the most appealing part of the country. The interior route boasts the rewarding towns of Berati and Gjirokastra, each home to whole swathes of Ottoman buildings. Heading on down the Ionian Coast instead, you’ll find one of Europe’s only unspoilt sections of Mediterranean shore, a near-permanently sunny spot where the twin blues of sea and sky are ripped asunder by a ribbon of grey mountains – on a clear day you’ll be able to see Italy from the 1027m-high Llogaraja Pass. Both routes converge at the beach town of Saranda, while further south are the fantastic ruins of Butrinti.
Top image: Saranda, Albania © Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock