IF you fancy a trip to the Maldives without the long flight and expensive cost, thankfully you can opt for an alternative much closer to the UK.

Just three hours from the UK you can find a sandy beach with it's own overwater villas for less than a tenner.

Travellers have now discovered Pema E Thatë, a private beach found on the Albanian Riviera with amazing blue waters.

Despite Albania not being a popular holiday destination with Brits, the Riviera has won fans in recent months due to it's beautiful beaches and short flights.

Flights are quicker than the Canaries as it takes just three hours to get to Ksamil from the UK with Wizz Air.

Direct flights with Wizz Air are cheap, starting from just £55 although British Airways also operates to the region.

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Not only that but it's cheap when you are there – a glass of wine will set you back £1.70 and pints cost just £1.10.

On the Pema E Thatë beach are huts you can rent for the day for as little as 1,000 LEK (£7.68).

Each hut has two pillows, two mats and the net hammock overlooking the water, just like the overwater villas in the Maldives.

There is even a restaurant, bar, promenade and sandy beach with sunloungers.

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I flew to Magaluf for the day and it cost me less than a Full English breakfast

From the beach you can even see the Greek island of Corfu.

There are direct ferries to Corfu from Sarande if you fancied visiting the island too.

Traveller Brittany tried the Albanian bungalows out for herself in 2021, and said the huts were exactly like "Bora Bora or the Maldives".

Sharing her experience on YouTube, she said that while she paid $10 for the day, you could split this between a group so she ended up paying just $2.50 with her other three friends.

If you fancy a trip to the Albanian Riviera, there are a number of other beaches to try.

The most northern part of the Riviera is Vlorë, where most people will visit before heading down the coast although it does have it's own beaches.

Further south of the coastline is Dhërmi – it's one of the largest and most famous beaches, so you won't struggle to find a spot.

And in the southern part of the Riviera is Ksamil.

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Bookings to Albania are up 96 per cent compared to 2019, according to Skyscanner, and this is expected to continue to rise.

And Tirana, the capital of Albania, topped the list of cheapest cities in 2021.

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