With spring budding in the trees and exam season just around the corner, you may already be considering your future travel plans. If you’re torn between doing some work that can have a real impact on your future and just going out and trying something new, VAW has you covered all around. One of our newest sites in Albania is great for those interested in medicine (and for others whom are just curious), as it provides our volunteers with a full week of hands-on clinical work run by a truly spectacular staff of doctors and site coordinators. What you may not know, however, is that Albania is also a place where everyone can have an amazing time through its diverse array of geographical landscapes, multicultural history and stunning architecture.
With 280 miles of coastline sitting across from Italy on the Adriatic and countless miles of mountains, Albania’s geography is a playground that everyone can enjoy. Our site is located in Central Albania in a small town in Berat which sits in the heart of the mountains and on the bank of the Osum River. During your trip, you won’t have to travel far to find great hiking and views of the mountains while also being able to visit the riverbank and do some white water rafting. If it’s the ocean you are looking for, you are also just a short ride from many of Albania’s incredible Mediterranean beaches.
Now if you are more of a museum goer and prefer to explore history, art and architecture, Berat is a perfect place to see aspects of history with roots in cultures all over the world. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named Berat one of its cherished World Heritage Sites for its multidimensional history of Islamic, Ottoman and Christian backgrounds with architecture that weaves Venetian, Romanian, Moor and Arabic styles together. Some landmark destinations include the National Ethnographic Museum in Berat, The Gjirokaster Castle, and the original Berat Castle (Kajala e Beratit in Albanian). While these destinations will be sure to wow you, the beauty of Berat hardly has to be sought after, as you can take in the ambience of the city by simply walking its cobblestone streets and grassy knolls.
So as you begin to think about your next service trip abroad, just remember there is so much to gain out of every country you visit. While Albania may be a new destination on your list (or perhaps you’ve never even heard of it before), you’ll have a hard time leaving this beautiful country the moment you step in it.
To see more, check out our VAW Albania Trip Video!