Andy & Karen Gill had no intention to tour Albania by Land Rover when they visited the Manchester Destinations travel show. But a silly felt hat drew them into the Drive Albania stand and before they knew it they’d booked a 12-night 4×4 odyssey through Albania and Kosovo – with direct flights to and from Manchester with easyJet (into Tivat and home from Corfu), to boot.  

“We only went to the Manchester Caravan Show in January to buy some lights for our caravan awning. Finishing our shopping early we decided to visit the Destinations holiday show sharing the venue.

“Rounding a corner we came face to face with a tall Englishman wearing a funny felt hat with what looked like a worm sticking out of the top. ‘Have you ever considered to tour Albania?’ he asked. No, we replied, where exactly is Albania?

“The man was Ed Reeves, owner of Drive Albania, who offers offroad tours in Albania, a country that has enormous tourist potential but is only just getting onto the map.

“Our appetites were whetted and after numerous emails, a bit of research, and with a new, more convenient easyJet service from Manchester to Tivat in Montenegro we committed to what could have been a big gamble.

“From the moment our driver Ardi picked us up at the airport to the final moment when we all bid farewell in Saranda, two weeks later, we had a fantastic time. We are seasoned travellers and would still rate this as one of our best holidays.

“The relaxed nature of the setup belies the serious research that has obviously been carried out into the offroad routes, the accommodation choices and the families we shared meals with.

“Ardi, Nesti and Henri were much more than just our drivers. All highly educated offroad fanatics with a superb command of English and a great understanding of the British sense of humour, nothing was too much trouble, even sharing their evenings with us by taking us to their favourite restaurants along the way.

“We would definitely recommend this holiday to anybody who has a sense of adventure and wants to do something a little different.”

Karen & Andy Gill, West Yorkshire