Welcome to Sazan Island: Albania Reopens Secret Military Base That's Built to Survive Nuclear Attacks for Travelers
Adventurers who are seeking for a one-of-a-kind trip this summer will find Albania an interesting choice. The country has recently announced the reopening of Sazan Island, a deserted military base that's filled with bunkers and tunnels used during the Cold War.
According to a report from Travel + Leisure, Sazan Island, located on the southwestern coast of Albania, will open for tourists from May to October.
Back in 2015, Albania opened the secluded military base to create a veil of intrigue for thrill-seekers. Last year, the island contributed 11 percent of the country's GDP with 4.7 million travelers visiting the military base camp.
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Albania's Defence Minister Mimi Kohdeli, together with Economy Minister Milva Ekonomi, came up with the recent decision after local tour operators saw Sazan Island's potential. Kohdeli said that the island's reopening is “an important event for the Albanian economy," who has been facing some hard times.
Sazan Island was first used in the 1930s by the Italian fascist regime. During World War II, the country's communist regime used the isolated island as a port of defense and to control Otranto Strait, news.com.au noted.
The mysterious island has never been lived on by any civilians. In fact, until now, Sazan Island is still "operational" with two soldiers patrolling the area. If there's a nuclear attack, Sazan Island is an ideal refuge as it's designed to withstand such man-made disasters with rooms filled with supplies and beds.
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The island is also a treasure trove of ruined, historical buildings that still contain remnants of the past, including the villa of executed communist defence minister Beqir Balluku.
The government is planning to turn the island's anti-nuclear tunnels into wine cellars. However, those who are planning to spend a night or two in Sazan Island would be disappointed as it's still not hospitable due to lack of power and drinking water.
There's currently no announcement on how tourists will be transported from mainland Albania to Sazan Island.