SARANDA, Albania — Nestled in the remote eastern corner of the Adriatic, where it joins the Ionian Sea, is a 125-mile stretch of beachfront real estate unlike most others in the world. This little-known edge of Europe is called the Albanian Riviera. It differs sharply from its counterparts, the French and Italian Rivieras, by its cost — a week there could give you barely a few hours in its snazzier, snootier namesakes.
Certainly there are other vacation beach fronts along the brilliant blue waters of the Adriatic: the increasingly popular Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, for example. But few visitors uncover the beauty and simplicity of Albania, which at one time was Europe’s most thuggish communist gulag but is now America’s most slavishly devoted ally on the continent.