The journey through to the small port town of Fierzë takes three hours, during which the shy locals smoke and watch with evident pride as backpackers wander the narrow prow of the boat taking photographs. On arrival more minibuses – the workhorse of Albania – are there to convey us to Valbona, which is reached via a succession of twisting, unsurfaced roads that run alongside rushing mountain rivers.
Travel to Albanian Riviera with this guide and you’ll be all set, because Albanian beaches are amazing. I promise. Totally empty white beaches with crystal clear turquoise water, fresh seafood, baklava and local wine, and prices so low they make Thailand look expensive – isn’t southern Europe just wonderful?