Meet Aldo, our Albania adventure guide
Albania travel guide Aldo - Undiscovered Balkans

Albania tour guide AldoIf you travel with us to Albania, chances are you will be in the capable hands of Aldo for the duration of your adventure, from hiking and kayaking to drinking raki!

Aldo’s passion for his country is infectious and like us, he’s most at home in the mountains. In a previous life, he was an army officer who spent a lot of time there.

Get to know Aldo below.

Where in Albania did you grow up?

I was born in Sevaster, a mountain village in the Vlorë county of the Labëria region. I was lucky growing up there because my summers were split between the beach and the mountains. People in the region are called ‘Labs’.

What inspired you to become a tour guide and what’s your favourite thing about it?

I gained a lot of experience and knowledge of the mountains as an officer in the Albanian army before I became a tour guide. This gave me the confidence to lead tour groups there.

Meeting with tourists gives me pleasure because I’m showing them the true face of Albania, its traditions and history which I’m passionate about preserving.

What’s your favourite outdoor activity?

That’s a tough one. I love hiking, climbing and cycling but I would say hiking most of all. Albania has so many hiking trails but I would say my favourites are in North Albania in a region we call the Albanian Alps – aka the Accursed Mountains. After long hours of hiking, you are rewarded with very special views.

If you’re not hiking, kayaking or cycling, what would you be doing?

Well, if I’m not doing any of those things, that usually means it’s off season, so I’ll be enjoying a raki or two and lots of delicious Albanian food.

I also like to go sightseeing myself and explore our UNESCO cities such as Berat or Gjirokastër. We have amazing castles in Albania too.


Lots of people think of the beaches when Albania is mentioned, but what else is there?

Albania has become popular recently for its beaches along the Albanian Riviera. but actually, 70% of Albania is made up of mountains and rivers where you can go hiking, kayaking, rafting – and even paragliding.

Albania is also home to Europe’s last wild river – the Vjosa River – it’s amazing! There are so many activities you can do there.

Aldo in the Albanian Alps

What traditional Albanian food & drink should visitors try?

You should definitely try raki. To be honest, it would be harder not to try raki as it’s everywhere. If you enter a house and there is no raki at the table, you are disrespecting your guests.

Nowadays, raki is considered to be very strong so Albanians are going back to wines, which were big during the communist era when all of the vineyards were state owned. Now, 30 years later, they are privately owned and doing really well. I would say our wines are similar to Italian, even French wines.

As for food, you can find all sorts of things to eat in Albania but the most traditional dishes include burek and in north Albania there’s a pie called ‘fli’. In the mountains, there’s meat everywhere, lots of places do roasted meat. One of my favourite traditional dishes is Tavë Kosi (baked lamb with rice).

More recently, the coastal regions have become well known for seafood.

Feeling inspired? Discover our Albania holidays, including our new multi-active adventure in North Albania for summer 2024.

Tell us about the wildlife in Albania?

Well, in the mountains we have bears, boars, foxes, wolves, white pigs, birds, and so on. It’s easier to spot these animals when it’s off season as it’s quieter (the animals are very shy). I’ve met wolves and white pigs before when hiking during off season.

We also have flamingos in the lagoons which are less timid, so they’re easier to spot and observe up close.

Albania has so many beautiful wild landscapes. What can tourists and locals do to protect them?

We are a bit concerned about that as Albania doesn’t have a big tourism culture at the moment and we don’t know what mass tourism will bring to the national parks. But many of us in the guiding network intend to make tourism sustainable.

People in Albania have become a little bit more aware in recent years and see that not all development – such as building in national parks – is a good thing.

Through our work as tour guides, we want to introduce sustainable tourism to our clients and help support small villages where there are poor people. It’s about raising awareness among locals too. Everytime I visit these areas, I talk to the locals about plastic waste, recycling, etc.

We have to thank tourists to an extent because since groups have come to hike in the mountains, we have learnt a lot about our mountains and the importance of keeping them clean.


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