Albania, prepare for a Lonely Planet invasion
The popular travel guide Lonely Planet just released its list of the 10 vacation spots to visit in 2011. The top choice: Albania.
The tiny Balkan country has not had the easiest go, as it adjusted to life outside the communist bloc. Riots, economic collapse and social unrest plagued the country. However, the little country (about the size of Maryland), has stablized, creating a free-market democracy, applying to join the European Union in April, 2009 and opening its doors to the wayward wanderer.
The place does sound lovely. A January Post article on Albania reports: "There's variety inside that space, including a mountain-studded interior and an unspoiled Adriatic coastline. Travelers like me who long for places that don't yet have a Starbucks are starting to take notice."
Now Lonely Planet has noticed.
"Ideally, guidebooks try to unobtrusively nudge tourists towards the authentic sights and pleasures of a destination. In reality they have the power to transform almost anything they touch, especially in places popular with backpackers," writes Jonathon Allen on the "Lonely Planet effect" in a Reuters article.
The Lonely Planet announcement reads: "The jig is almost up -- Albania won't be off the beaten track for much longer."
Which is funny. Only not really.
Correction: An earlier post mistakenly asserted that Albania joined the European Union in April. It applied to join, but has not joined as of December, 2010.
| November 4, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
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