A NEW holiday hotspot is growing in popularity with Brits, who are impressed at its amazing beaches and cheap cost of living.
Places like Spain and Greece have been among Brits' favourite destinations for years, but Albania has long been overlooked, until now.
Searches for summer flights to capital Tirana are up around 77 per cent, compared to last year, and as a destination it’s become increasingly in demand throughout the last few months.
There are several advantages to spending the summer in Albania.
Anyone looking for a more budget-friendly holiday, could be pleasantly surprised at how far their cash will stretch, when compared to the usual summer favourites in the Mediterranean.
On average, the cost of living in Tirana is around 61 per cent lower than in London.
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And in restaurants and cafés, by comparison, you can get a pint of beer for around £1.50.
Evan Day, from travel search engine Kayak, said: "There has been a gradually growing interest in Albania in the last few months, but now it is really picking up as we head into the summer season.
"The country offers a rich history and impressive nature with mountains, dense forest, beautiful waterfalls and the Albania Riviera offers long beaches with crystal clear sea, so there is something for every holiday-goer.
"And while neighbouring countries attract many tourists, Albania is still relatively untouched, which has many advantages."
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Another attraction that may play a role in attracting Brits is the country's food culture, which offers a mix of Mediterranean and Balkan flavours.
In fact, Kayak describe the food as a "mix of Greek and Italian food", which are big favourites among British holidaymakers.
Visitors can tuck into fresh seafood or meat served with vegetables or specialties such as tave kosi (lamb or beef in yoghurt sauce), byrek (a traditional filo pastry filled with meat or cheese) and gofte (a fried or boiled meatball).
The Albanian Riviera is one of the main draws for visitors, with it stretch of shoreline along the coast from Vlore to Ksamil home to some of the best beaches in Europe.
It’s where all the locals head to for their summer holidays with the clear blue waters the perfect way to cool down on days with average temperatures of 27C-31C in July and August.
Albania is a great destination for those who like to book last minute, as Kayak recommends booking at least a week before to get a below-average price for flights.
The average cost of a return economy flight from the UK to Tirana in the summer is around £286.
There is only one international airport in Albania and no domestic flights, so visitors will need to factor in travel by coach, rail, taxi or car hire.
One recent visitor even described the country as the "Maldives of Europe" due to its beaches on a recent visit to Ksamil.
Parent and Tiktoker The Travel Mum (@thetravelmum) was also amazed by how cheaply she was able to holiday in the country.
She said: "We've booked a central two bedroom apartment for just £190 for six nights.
"It's a great base for enjoying the many beautiful beaches, but also exploring some great places close by.
"We've just spent £5 at the supermarket to feed five people."
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Meanwhile these are the top 25 holiday destinations Brits want to visit this summer.
And this unknown holiday spot is just three hours from the UK.
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