The history of Albania is long and complex. This area has been populated for over 4,000 years, and has been conquered by the Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Normans, and Serbs. In 1468 Albania came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which remained the case until 1912 when independence was declared. The country's economy has seen an upturn since 2002, resulting in significant upgrades in infrastructure and facilities. The roads – which are mostly paved – are at times quite steep, but you will be distracted from the more demanding climbs by stunning views, and rewarded with adrenaline-pumping descents.