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Albania

Travel destinations in Albania! Do you like beautiful beaches, wonderful nature and cheap holidays? Here are our top tips for travelling to Albania!

Why travel to Albania?

Albania has a long coastline with many beautiful beaches. In some places, such as Saranda, there are many tourists. At other beaches you can sunbathe and swim almost alone.

In Albania you can also experience beautiful nature and high mountains. The people are friendly, helpful and often good at English. The country is also one of the cheapest in Europe, making it easy to treat yourself to good dinners in restaurants and other luxuries. Find lots of articles about Albania here.

Travel destinations in Albania - inspirational reading

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Peter and Helena Bergström in Albania, the travel magazine FREEDOMtravel

More destinations in Albania - bucket list

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Consultancy

City of Berat has been named as the most beautiful city in Albania by the Japanese. Berat is a UNESCU World Heritage Site and is also called the city of 1000 windows. The river Osum flows through the city and there are several amazing bridges that should be seen. The city has valuable remains from the Ottoman Empire.

Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra or Gjirokastër as it may also be called, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Albania. Gjirokastër is a town and a fortress on Mount Mali, overlooking the Drina River.

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Tirana

The capital of Albania since 1920. You can see the Palace of Culture, Skanderbeg Square, Etehem Bej Mosque, old churches or take a walk to the Shpella e Zezë cave.

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Source: Durres, Waterfront-Kosta Korcari - All Creative Commons

Durrës

The old capital of Albania, Durrës was founded in 627 BC and was the capital before 1920. Durrës is Albania's second largest city, an industrial city, but also a bathing and holiday resort. Don't miss the villa of King Zog. Check out the art gallery in the main square, the archaeological museum and the large Roman amphitheatre.

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Source: Vlorako hondartza bat, Albania- 2017/08/27-Mikel Iturria - All Creative Commons

Vlora

Vlora has a history since 600 BC and the castle since 400 BC. Vlora has been the centre of Albania, or Arbëria as it was called then. Tourist town with the crystal clear Adriatic Sea outside. Vlora is Albania's third largest city.

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Source: Kruja Albania-mariusz kluzniak - All Creative Commons

Kruja

Kruja is located in Krujë district in the 610 metre high green-clad mountains north of Tirana. The heroic city is famous for the freedom fighter Skanderbeg who was born here. There is a castle, mosque and Turkish baths and a very famous old market that is over 600 years old.

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Korca

Korca is located in eastern Albania south of Shkodra, and is called the cradle of Albanian culture. Wide boulevards and beautiful linden trees are part of the cityscape. Rich merchants came from here and inspiration comes from Venice and Nice.

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Dhërmi beach

Dhërmi beach is located along the river. and north of Livadhi beach which we have written about before. This part also belongs to Llogara with its emerald green coastline.

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Source: Ishull Lezhë Këneta-kosta korcari - All Creative Commons

Lezhë

The city of Lezhë is located south of Shkoder. on the coast. The city dates from 385 BC and has both a coastline and several attractions. The town is also known as Alessio or Lissus. The large ruined castle on the hill and the cathedral where Skanderbeg is buried, now the Selimie Mosque.

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Borsh

The old town of Borsh is located north of Saranda. Borsh beach is the longest in the Ionian Sea at 7 km on the west coast of Albania. Here you can actually find something as unusual as a ruined mosque called Hajji bendo.

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Pogradec

The old town of Pogradec on Lake Ohrid near the border with North Macedonia. There are remains from 8600 BC and from the Neolithic period. We passed Pogradec while travelling around Lake Ohrid, and we regret not stopping.

Shëngjin

The long sandy beaches and all the delights of the sea are two important factors for Shengjin. It is only 60 km northwest of Tirana Airport and tourism is growing every year.

Kukes

Kukes is located in the north-east of Albania and is surrounded by Lake Fierza and Albania's highest mountain Korab to the north. In the south you will find Albania's longest river Drini flowing by and in the east Mount Gallica. Illyrian tombs have been discovered outside the city.

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Përmet

Here you will find the cleanest city in Albania, and is known as the city of roses. The spa or more the hot spring is in connections with the Katiu Bridge as in the picture, and the river Vjosa.

You will find the Fir of Hotova National Park for great adventures and perhaps a rubber boat ride on the river. The city is famous for its food and wine!

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Elbasan

Elbasan is located between Tirana and Lake Ohrid on the Shkumbin River. Here I am at the market buying olives. The third largest city in Albania boasts sights such as Elbasan Illyrian Castle and the Basilican ruins of Bezistan. This was an important trade route in the Roman Empire in 200 BC.

Dhrale beach

The last beach on the Green Coast or the riviera that lies north of Dhërmi. This beach that was under construction when we were there in 2015, as seen in the photo, taken from the Llogara Pass at 1043 metres.

pollonia

The ruins of the ancient city in Illyria is located 12 km from Fier in the centre of Albania. Construction of Apollonia began in 600 BC and nearly 60,000 people lived here.

Amphitheatres, avenues, sculptures, town hall and lots of history from Julius Caesar. This was an important harbour town and very important for trade. In the 14th century a huge earthquake moved the coastline 1.6 kilometres away and the city died out.

Info and facts about Albania

  • Capital city: Tirana
  • Language: Albanian
  • Residents: 2.8 million (2020)
  • Currency: Lek (LK)
  • Religion: Islam and Christianity
  • National anthem: Sky in Flamurite
  • National Day: 28 November

Good to know about Albania

  • Price mode: Cheaper than Sweden
  • Time difference: None
  • Water: Choose bottled drinking water

Accommodation in Albania

  • Hotel: There are plenty of hotels around the country, and you can also find charter hotels in Saranda.
  • Camping: If you are travelling with a motorhome, you can read more about campsites and pitches in Albania, where we also collected information on roads and driving.

Travelling to Albania

  • Flight: You can fly to the capital Tirana. There are also usually charter flights to Saranda.
  • Car/caravan: Of course, you can also take your car or motorhome to Albania. Keep in mind that the country is outside the EU and you will need a green card from your insurance company, among other things.

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25 Comments

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  1. Ulrika says:

    Hello!
    I want to start by saying that I love your blog! So much useful info and inspiring pictures!
    Now to my question - we are a family of 2 adults and 2 children (11 & 14 years old) who are looking to explore some of Albania this summer. We plan to fly down after midsummer and stay two weeks. We would like to have a fixed point and then do day trips and maybe some overnight stays in other places. I am looking for houses to rent, which we usually do when we are travelling. The question is Saranda or Ksamil? We want sun and swimming but at the same time are a little afraid that it is TOO touristy and crowded .....
    Can you give us any advice?
    Many thanks in advance!
    Greetings Ulrika

  2. Annika Kiiskilä says:

    Also thinking about Albania ... saranda and the hotel delfini ... is it lively around the hotel disco, pub

  3. Ebba says:

    Hi!!! What a great blog you have and finally found someone who might be able to give me some info about Albania / Saranda. We go at the end of July and need tips on hotels / apartments and where to stay if you want sun & bath and the opportunity for excursions / activities:) if you have the strength and desire, would you send me an email? Hugs!

  4. Sven Erik Pettersson says:

    looking at the possibility of going to Albania in August. As I understand public transport is difficult, what are the possibilities to hire a taxi, and at a reasonable price? And can you do it from Sweden?
    Imagine the northern part, both coastal and mountainous areas.
    Thank you for an informative site.
    sven erik

    • Helena says:

      Glad to hear that you appreciate our site Sven-Erik! Unfortunately, I can't really answer how it works with taxis. We travelled in our own motorhome so we never tried a taxi. Prices are low compared to Sweden, so my guess is that taxis are relatively cheap. I wouldn't think you need to book in advance either. You may be able to find more information if you search for Albania on Sweden Abroad or at http://www.albaniantourist.com/

  5. sandra says:

    Hi! Very good and content rich blog. Me and a group of 6 people (age 30) are planning to go to Albania in July. However, we are a bit unsure where the best place to go is. We are looking for sun and swimming but also want to make some excursions. We are an active bunch who like where things happen and like nature. Do you have any tips for us where which area you think would be suitable for us.

  6. Catharina says:

    We got tips from my mother-in-law (husbilenhelge.blogspot.se) about your blog. We want to go to Albania this summer. Out for the clear water and sights. Want tips!

  7. Muteber says:

    Hello!
    Can I get advice on how to get from Tirana airport to Tirana city centre?
    Regards:Muteber

  8. Marie-Louise says:

    Hello!
    Since the euro is expensive for us Swedes, won't it be expensive to first change to euro and then change to lek? But maybe it is cheaper anyway than holidaying in Spain, Greece etc.?
    If I use e.g. Master Card/Visa - what is the exchange rate there?
    Regards
    Marie-Louise

  9. Helena says:

    Hi Marie-Louise! You do not need to change into euros first. You can change directly to lek or withdraw lek directly from an ATM in Albania. Of course, the value of the Swedish krona is always important when travelling, but regardless, Albania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe.

  10. Bo Degerfeldt says:

    Hi! What about campsites? Are there any near the beaches.

  11. FrkM says:

    What a great guide!

    I understand that the euro is used in parallel with Albania's currency. Did you get that impression? I'm wondering if the difference in value is so great that it's worth changing to the local currency for food and drink when everything else is paid for.

    A very excited Albania traveller setting off this week 🙂 .

    • Helena says:

      We found that euros can be used sometimes, but not always. In some shops they only took local currency. Now it's a few years since we were there, but at least we needed to play.

      • FrkM says:

        Hi, thanks for the answer. I only saw it when we got back home 🙂 It was fine to use euros. As usually they gave back in lek which meant you had two currencies. ALL used the same exchange rate so I guess it is well controlled. Did not experience that you lost so much on it. Now at the beginning of July they shared 120. So 120 lek is 1 euro in other words. The only thing you had to make sure was not to sit with play when the flight went home. But it went well - I just got an extra glass of wine 🙂 .

  12. Cecilia says:

    hello
    Thanks for the great and useful tips!
    5 years ago we were in Croatia and there they had like small signs on their houses if they rented out rooms so you could just knock on a house that had a sign and see if the room was available (we travelled in low season). I wonder if you have seen if Albania has something similar or do you have to book in advance on eg air-bnb? We like to take the day as it comes ...
    Regards

    • Helena says:

      We travelled by motorhome in Albania so we didn't really think about it (or we forgot, it's been a few years), but I'd be surprised if there aren't rooms to rent. Like I said, we haven't really travelled that way, but our guess is that it's fine!

  13. Annica says:

    Hello and thank you for all the "good stuff" to read in the blog.
    My son and I are planning to go hiking this summer. Do you know of a good hiking trail with the possibility of a food stop and overnight stay on the way?
    We can also consider travelling by bus/train on certain routes.
    I understand that you have travelled by motorhome but maybe you have some good tips for us.
    //Annica

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