Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Let’s be real, when someone calls a place a ‘hidden gem’ or compares somewhere in the UK to somewhere far more tropical and exotic, we don’t totally believe them.

There’s always that eye-roll or muttered ‘yeah, sure’ that comes with it. But some people really do consider other locations as the ‘new Ibiza‘, the ‘Hawaii of Europe‘, or in this case, the ‘Maldives of Europe‘.

And a woman was left stunned to find it’s only a few hours away from the UK.

The real Maldives.

Getty Stock Photo

Of course, the Maldives are a typically a pretty luxurious holiday destination in South Asia, a long-haul flight away.

Known for bright blue waters and secluded beaches and little huts on little islands, it looks like a proper gorgeous spot – popular with celebrities and reality TV stars.

But a lot less far away – and more affordable – is a spot being tipped as the equivalent in Europe.

One user wrote on X: “In a work call yesterday, someone said they’re going Albania, someone else said ‘apparently it’s the Maldives of Europe’. Bare people laughed.”

And yeah, that sounds pretty relatable, right? These places are always hyped up to make us feel better about what we can afford – and mostly it does work.

But the user was stunned when she looked further into it.

“Anyways, did my Googles and was angry at the UK again,” she wrote while attaching three gorgeous pictures that you’d be forgiven for thinking is the real Maldives.

Ksamil, the 'Maldives of Europe'.

Getty Stock Photo

With much, much cheaper flights, Albania really is praised as the ‘Maldives of Europe’ thanks to its village of Ksamil on the coastline.

With white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lovely weather, it could pass for paradise.

The only little catch is that flights tend to go to the Albanian capital, Tirana, which is a four-hour car ride from Ksamil – still altogether faster than flying to the real Maldives though.

Or, you could fly to Corfu, in Greece, which is visible from Albania and offers ferries over to Sarande – just 25 minutes from the final destination.

X users responded to the post to say they’ve been themselves and ‘no lies were told’, calling it ‘one of the best trips I’ve been on’.

Another echoed: “Y’all have been missing out.”

While someone else wrote: “I go often, it really is beautiful out there. The people are so hospitable and the food is fantastic. It’s one of few places in Europe you can visit which hasn’t yet been saturated by western capitalism.”

Well, get me some annual leave and book me a flight, please.