Përshëndetjej and welcome to Albania
Have you ever traveled to a place and no one could understand why? When I said that I wanted to go to Albania, everyone asked why? Isn’t it dangerous there? Indeed, Albania is not a typical travel destination, but that is exactly what makes it so attractive to me. Here you can still find untouched beaches and traditional villages far away from mass tourism. The dreamlike Albanian Riviera is one of the last undeveloped coasts of the Mediterranean. Fantastic beaches, turquoise blue sea and delicious Mediterranean cuisine await you here. In the north, however, there are gigantic mountains, also known as the Albanian Alps. Here you come across idyllic mountain villages, fantastic waterfalls, and gigantic gorges while hiking. The small village of Theth in particular specializes in adventure tourism. South of the high mountains is the turquoise Koman Lake, which meanders through a breathtaking landscape. The picturesque surroundings and the tributaries can be explored by kayak or boat. But Albania also has a lot to offer culturally. For example, Berat, the city of a thousand windows, or the fortress at Gjirokastra. Visit traditional bazaars or one of the nearly 200,000 bunkers that stand in the country. I was particularly impressed by the hospitality of the locals. No matter where I went, I was always welcomed warmly. My conclusion: Albania is definitely worth a trip and I can highly recommend exploring this beautiful country.
Albania at a glance
All Info for your Trip to Albania
My trip through Albania unfortunately lasted only a few days because I had to cancel my vacation. Nevertheless, I was able to get to know incredible landscapes, wonderful places, and lovely people during these days. I started in the capital Tirana and then I drove towards Shkodra. My next destinations were the sights of the Albanian Alps. There, I enjoyed the beauty of the mountains, great rivers, and rapid waterfalls while hiking. In the mountain village of Theth, I was able to learn more about the culture and history of Albania. I would have loved to spend more time in the country, because these days went by way too fast.
My Albania Highlights
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Albania is not necessarily one of the typical travel destinations and most people even consider the country to be dangerous. Completely …
Travel Preparations for Albania
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The destination is set. You are going to Albania. Anticipation is spreading. Who doesn’t love to plan the upcoming trip?! I will help you and give you all the important information and tips for your travel preparation. Have fun planning your trip!
Best Time to Travel
What is the best time to travel to Albania, I cannot give you a general answer. Because it depends on how your trip should look like. What do you want to do? In which regions do you want to travel? In general, you can say that the main season lasts from June to September. Albania has a Mediterranean climate. You can expect hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. In the interior of the country, however, the climate is more continental.
For active vacations and hiking I recommend to travel in April and May or in September and October. But also, the summer is suitable for hiking, if you don’t mind the heat. In the mountains it is a bit cooler anyway.
If you prefer a beach vacation, you should rather come between June and September. However, you have to expect crowded beaches and heat in high summer. That’s why I would avoid July and August.
I traveled through Albania in October. I was lucky because it was very dry, and I could enjoy temperatures around 20 degrees in the mountains. Ultimately, it depends on where you want to go and what you want to experience. Albania is worth a trip at any time of the year.
Getting to Albania & Transportation
Entry by plane
There is only one airport in Albania that is relevant for international flights. From Europe, many airlines fly to the Albanian capital Tirana. There are direct flights, for example, from Berlin, London, Brussels, Rome, or Warsow. For the flight search I always use Skyscanner* and so far I was always very satisfied with the bookings.
Entering by train
There are no cross-border railroad lines to Albania and train services in the country have also been suspended.
Entering by bus
The cheaper alternative is to use long-distance buses, which travel to Albania from several major European cities. For example, there are connections from Munich, Vienna, Podgorica, Skopje or Athens to Tirana.
Bus travel in Albania
The country does not have a good bus network. You will not find timetables or information most of the time. When does the bus come? Does it come at all? And which bus do I have to get on? These questions are best answered at your accommodation. Or you can ask on the street. Albanians are very hospitable and helpful. Bus tickets are very cheap in Albania.
Entering by car
You are most flexible with your own car. You can enter via Montenegro by land or by ferry via Italy. Remember your green insurance card. It should be said that the road conditions in Albania are very bad. You have to expect deep potholes, poorly signposted roads and unsecured road works.
Hotels & Accommodation
Although Albania is still unknown to Central Europeans as a tourist destination, tourism has long arrived in the country. Therefore, you will find many hotels, especially in the popular vacation regions. If you prefer it more authentic and simpler, I recommend one of the many Albanian private accommodations. These mostly family-run guesthouses can be found all over the country. Many of them stay away from the well-known online portals, so you will have to call in advance. In the off-season, however, you can also spontaneously search for accommodation on site. However, the easiest way is to book via Booking.com (see below). Due to the variety of hotels, you are sure to find accommodations in Albania that meet your needs.
Travel Budget & Costs
First things first: In Albania you pay with Albanian Lek, so you have to take care of a currency exchange. Personally, I used my travel credit card to pay and withdraw money in the country free of charge. In general, the cost of living in Albanie is about 45% lower than in Germany.
Rental car: 25 € to 35 € per day for a week
Gasoline: 1.50 € per liter (as of December 2021)
Parking: 1 € to 5 € per day at popular attractions
Bus: single trip in a city for 0.50 €
Hotels: 20 € to 50 € for 2 persons (depending on region, travel time and type of accommodation)
Food and Drinks
Supermarket: About 35% cheaper than Germany
Restaurant: 5 € to 8 €
Beer: 1,20 € to 1,50 € for a half liter
Food & Vegetarian
Albania Travel Guide
Last but not least, I would like to recommend a few travel guides. I personally like the hiking guide series. The books are small and handy, offer useful information about hiking, and detailed descriptions of the hikes. I was able to discover great hikes that I would not have found without these books. Not only in Albania. The travel guides give you additional tips and inspiration for your trip to Albania. The books are especially useful for individual travelers.
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