The top pick on Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 countries for 2011 may be a surprise for many people, but Albania gives travelers a taste of the Mediterranean without the crowds and the prices, Reid said.
The real rising destination is Gjirokastra, a city whose historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, he added.
“It’s this cobbled town with Ottoman-era mansions,” Reid said. “It’s a very atmospheric place that has a lot of history.”
With picturesque beaches, good food and a number of heritage sites, Albania won’t be off the beaten track for much longer, Lonely Planet says in its review.