A FORMER cold war military base could become a popular European holiday hotspot.
With sandy beaches, clear waters and plenty of sun, the island has all the potential to be a perfect summer resort.
Sazan Island, located off the coast of Albania, has a pristine shoreline, along with plenty of leftover military relics.
Bunkers and tunnels are scattered all over the island, leftover from its days as an army base.
It was first used by Italy’s fascist regime during the 1930s.
Albania’s post-World War II communist regime considered it the country’s “aeroplane carrier, the port of defence, the key to controlling the Otranto Strait,” according to officers from that era.
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The island’s trenches and tunnels were built by the communist government to stave off a Western invasion.
And although communism fell in 1992, the ruined buildings still contain old beds, kitchen utensils, school benches and chairs.
In 2017 Albania’s Defence ministry opened up the subtropical island to tourists.
The decision came about after many tour operators insisted that visiting the island would be a popular attraction.
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And it's easy to see why – the island is home to crystal clear waters and white sand.
It is situated at the entrance to the Bay of Vlorë, in the eastern Strait of Otranto, which separated Italy from Albania.
It's the largest island in Albania, but remains uninhabited for the time being.
What makes the island more appealing for holidaymakers is its unique climate.
Due to its location, average temperatures range from 16C in January to 29C in June, meaning it's warm most of the year, while not being too hot during the summer.
Sazan Island is just one of several reasons why more people are starting to consider Albania as a holiday destination.
Some places in the country are even being compared to the Maldives, by people on social media, who have been surprised by its natural beauty.
One of the most popular areas is a small village in the south called Ksamil.
Videos of the coastal resort – which boasts turquoise waters with what one tour guide group describes as a "Bora Bora feel" – have racked up more than 60 million views on TikTok.
Travel content creator Caitlyn, who is known as the.wanderlust.times, posted a video about her recent trip.
She said: "You find the European Maldives and it's one of the cheapest places you've travelled to."
Flights cost as little as £28, with WizzAir, EasyJet and British Airways all offering direct routes to Tirana, the country's capital.
From Tirana, it's a four-hour drive to Ksamil on the southern coast.
Meanwhile, these are the best beaches to visit when going to Albania.
And this is how safe it is to visit the country for a holiday this year.
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