Travel

Best places to visit in Europe : Albania

Saranda port in Albania

On the Balkan peninsula in southern Europe, Albania borders the Adriatic Sea all along its east coast and the northeast of the Ionian Sea. Its wild landscapes and unexplored cultural wealth have long contributed to the popularity of Albania in recent years together with the mild climate.

Let’s have a look together what are the things which make Albania attractive for tourists and visitors. We’ll see what are the most interesting spots to check and places to visit during your stay in this interesting, but not very well known European destination.

 

Why travel to Albania?

The country shares its borders with many countries that you could meet on a combined trip to Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece or Kosovo. The Italian coasts are located at a distance of 70 km from the Albanian coasts, at the height of Lecce or Brindisi. Its mild coastal climate, wild landscapes and unexplored cultural wealth have long contributed to the popularity of Albania in recent years. In summer, its coasts receive many visitors, but spring and autumn are also good candidates for a successful trip.
Albania has magnificent beaches and numerous mountains: approximately three-quarters of its territory is covered by them. Forests, high plateaus, lakes, and plains also delight hikers. In fact, in the “country of the eagles”, you can visit Lake Ohrid and discover the endemic fish, the Koman, reputed to be one of the oldest lakes in the world.
This untamed nature still harbors a particularly diverse flora and fauna that add charm to the landscape.

What you need to know when traveling to Albania

Albania is also known as ‘the last secret of Europe’. An unknown destination that little by little has been opened to the world and whose inhabitants are happy to receive with open arms. When you travel to Albania you will discover an authentic destination, located at a very interesting point because it has the influence of Greece, Italy, and other Balkan countries.

Bathed by the Adriatic Sea, Albania has been a place of landing and conquest of several civilizations, such as the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. You will find points of cultural interest and natural wonders throughout the country.

 

Best time to travel to Albania

The best time to travel to Albania is in the spring, as the months of May and June, or in September. These months have the best climate, soft and Mediterranean type. In August the temperatures are highest in August and tourism reaches its peak. In winter it snows for several months on the mountain, but temperatures rarely drop below zero degrees. Depending on the area and the weather, the climate can be very varied (inland a continental climate and in the mountains cold weather and abundant rainfall), so we recommend you check our website for more detailed information on when to travel to Albania.

 

What to see and what to do in Albania?

Places to visit

Albania is a hidden pearl of the Mediterranean. Its large cities today are built on modernity and the joie de vivre, and its historic towns and cities continue to preserve a traditional past reflected in beautiful architectural styles. This country has a lot to offer because it is a paradise also for lovers of past civilizations and for lovers of wild nature. These are some places you have to see in Albania:

  • Theth: a small village in the middle of the ‘enchanted mountains’ of northern Albania. If you want to breathe the purest air, relax in nature and discover the quietest side of the country, this is your place. Wherever you look, they will appear imposing surrounding the Prokletije mountains.
  • Berat: welcome to the City of a Thousand Windows! Berat has an authentic soul and will captivate you with every step you take. You have to travel its three most charming neighborhoods, Mangalem, which will transmit you to another time and which has the oldest mosque in Albania; Kajala with its cobbled streets, its churches and the castle on high; and finally Gorica, separated from the other two by the Osum River.
  • Gjirokastra: preserved as a ‘city-museum’ and surrounded by mountains, this peculiar city has a special charm. The Ottoman style covers the houses that are perched in the mountains and among cobblestone streets. Visit the Castle and as an alternative and contrasting place to the past beauty of the city, explore the internal bunker below the castle, built in secret in the 60s.
  • Tirana: after a marked and not so distant Soviet past, the geometric buildings of the city have dressed in bright colors and it is a feast for the eyes. The Skanderbeg Square is where the greatest atmosphere of the city is concentrated, and around it, you will find other places to visit such as the Eh’tem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower and the ‘Pyramid’.

What to do while in Albania?

  • There are still corners to discover in the Mediterranean. Relax on the beaches of Albania, or better known as the Albanian Riviera, between crystal clear waters and turquoise blue, in Borsh, Ksamil or Vlore, and its numerous coves hidden among vegetation.
  • Transport yourself to past civilizations in the numerous archaeological parks of the country. Do not miss Butrint, inhabited since prehistory, by the Greeks, the Romans and later the Byzantines. Neither Apollonia, the largest archaeological park in the country, nor Durres, an ancient important city that united Rome and Constantinople.
  • Go hiking and lose yourself in its intact nature. Albania is generous in landscapes and has rivers, mountains, lakes, and varied flora and fauna. Venture into the natural parks of Valbona Valley and Shebenik-Jabllanica and discover wonders such as Lake Koman or the spring SyriKalter (‘The Blue Eye’).
  • Surprise yourself with the beautiful colors of Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest in the world, which also shares territory with Macedonia.
  • Visit the historical and medieval city of Kruje and its ancient castle, and Shkodra to discover the mixture of religions and cultures that houses this lively city with more than 2000 years old.
  • Enjoy the Albanian cuisine, which although not recognized worldwide, is a rich variety because it mixes Turkish, Balkan and Mediterranean culinary influences.

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