What’s up, guys? After six weeks away from Albania, I flew back to the capital city of Tirana to begin yet another exciting Balkan adventure! Join me as I travel back to Albania, eat some delicious Albanian food, and get my first in-person look at our operation at Turtle Farm Albania!
My travel adventure began at my second home, Miami International Airport. This trip would be my second trip during the COVID-19 era, and only my second trip in seven months. Albania is one of the few countries that are open to American travelers.
Albania changed my life when I visited in August of 2020. I traveled virtually the whole country over 14 days and I fell head over heels for it. I loved it so much that I began a tortoise sanctuary called Turtle Farm Albania there with my good friend and guide Erjan from Travel Media EU! I would be teaming up with him again to check out our farm and go on a few adventures in northern Albania before spending nine days in another country!
My first 8-hour flight would take me from Miami to London, followed by a 3-hour flight from there to Tirana. I couldn’t wait to link back up with Erjan and spend a whole day at Turtle Farm Albania!
The airport was a complete ghost town because of COVID. I flew to London, and 7 hours later, I went to the British Airways Business Class lounge. There were a lot more people there than the last time I passed through. I had a 5-hour connection and then flew to Tirana!
Back in Tirana, I linked back up with Erjan. He picked me up at the airport and we grabbed our rental car from Rental Car Albania on our way to get some souvlaki. The airport is located 17 miles from Tirana and it takes about 30 minutes to drive into town. We headed to the city center and passed by a stadium on our way to Opa to have some Albanian food before heading to Turtle Farm Albania.
People were out and about and didn’t have on masks, unlike most of the rest of the world. At Opa, we met up with Erjan’s friend Genc and ordered souvlaki, which is basically Albania’s version of a gyro. They’re basically grilled pork or chicken wrapped in a grilled pita with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, French Fries, and different sauces. In the kitchen, I got to watch the cooks prepare the souvlaki.
They also have fries with chicken, which is topped with vegetables and sauces. They also have fried cheese sticks! The cheese sticks are heavenly and similar to tequeños, which are Venezuelan cheese sticks that are popular in my hometown of Miami. They’re crispy and doughy!
The fries with chicken contained ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and more. It was so saucy and tasty! We toasted with some wine and beer and then I jumped on the pork souvlaki. It was tasty with a spicy and cheesy yogurt. I loved how crunchy, spicy, and satisfying it was.
Next, we headed to a bar called Duff, which originated in The Simpsons! I ordered a Hoegaarden from Belgium, which was thick and characteristically Belgian! Then, we had some shots before Erjan and I drove 25 minutes to Turtle Farm Albania.
It’s located in Daias village on Erjan’s family’s farm. After a quick drink of potent rakija, we continued on to the farm, where Erjan showed me the new pumpkins he’d gotten for the farm. It was hard to see everything in the dark, but everything looked amazing. There was lots of outdoor seating scattered around.
Under a board, several of our tortoises were sleeping, half-buried in the wood chips. They hibernate during the colder months. We met with Erjan’s father, who was making some raki. The distillation process takes about 12 days. They also make wine with their grapes. It takes half an hour to make 5 liters! The raki was really nice and smooth!
Then, we headed to Nano Resort & BioFood, an agrotourism resort in Daias, where I’d be staying. I met with Miti there and went up to my room. I had two king-sized beds, a simple and clean bathroom, a vanity area, and a balcony with a beautiful view!
What an awesome day of travel, Albanian food, and my first look at Turtle Farm Albania! Huge thanks to my boy Erjan for being my partner in crime on this latest adventure and for helping me get Turtle Farm Albania off the ground!
I hope you liked coming with me to Tirana as I have more delicious Albanian food and visit Turtle Farm Albania for the first time. If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!