Albania is a small country with a surface of 28,748 square kilometers (approximately 11,000 miles), almost the size of Belgium. It is located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, in the southeastern part of Europe. It borders with Montenegro and Kosovo in the North and Northeast, Macedonia in the East and Greece in the South. In the West, Albania has a coastal line connecting the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. The Adriatic Sea divides Albania from Italy through the Strait of Otranto (72 km / 45 miles).
Most of Albania’s surface is mountainous – the average height above sea level is 708 meters (2,336 ft) and its highest point is Korab Mountain at the border with Macedonia, with a height of 2,753 meters (9,085 ft). The majority of the population lives in the south-central part and along the coastline. The country has many rivers that have its source in the high mountains and pass through the steep slopes before they reach their bed and pour into the sea. Most of the main rivers are widely used, mainly to produce electricity.
In the heart of the Mediterranean, on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, Albania is turning into one of the most interesting entry points in the world. Still without being completely affected by globalism, tourists note an inspirational mix of civilizations and cultures – transforming this European country into a truly special place.
Albania boasts blue seas, beautiful beaches, high snowy mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. Like the fascinating nature, Albanians themselves are known for their hospitality, and tourists feel generously very welcome.
Albania’s history and culture are quite attractive. Butrint, one of the miracles of the archaeological world – a UNESCO heritage property – located in the south of Albania, it offers a panorama of Mediterranean civilization from the Bronze Age through the Greek, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods – all, over the top of a cliff overlooking Corfu. It should not be missed!
The home of Mother Teresa and of the great 15th century hero, Skanderbeg, today’s Albania offers not only holidays on the beach with mountains, but also a vibrant civic life, a relaxed coffee and beer drinking culture; and you will see how quickly you will be involved in a number of directions.
Climate and Temperature
Albania has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Many visitors discover that the weather in the lowlands is never cold. Especially the Ionian Coast is very mild, with an average winter temperature of 8-10 ° C (46-50F).
In Tirana and other low-lying cities, temperatures sometimes fall below zero, but this usually occurs at night and freezing or snow falls are usually no longer than a day.
Albania enjoys pleasant sunny weather during the summer, with an average of 300 days of sunshine every year. Most of the rain fall in Albania is in late autumn and early spring, outside mountainous areas. It does not rain often in the summer.
During summer, visitors usually feel very hot but the sea is never too far to cool off, Albania being a compact country. July is usually the warmest month of the year. For example, in Tirana, temperatures typically reach 40 °C (104F). Many hotels and restaurants have air conditioning. The best places during the summer are along the coast, where the sea maintains a tolerable average temperature of 25-30 °C (73-86F) or high in the mountains.
If you have the luxury of choice, the best time of year to visit the country is Spring and Autumn. In the autumn, orchards get bright and cold colors, similar to the grape fruit, while in spring, the blooms of apple and cherry blossoms fill the streets with their colors.
Long spring nights are a good time to enjoy the bars and cafés along the boulevard, which are quite impressive throughout the country. While September and October continue to be warm, it is worth swimming on the southern coast.
How to get to Albania
The only airport in Albania with an international service is Mother Teresa International Airport, located in Rinas, 17 km northwest of Tirana. The best way to get to Tirana from the airport is by taxi. Taxi services are available in all cities of Albania and in urban areas. The trip from Tirana to the airport lasts 20-30 minutes, depending on the traffic and costs about 2,500 Lek or (20 EURO).
You can also get to Tirana by bus. Rinas Express runs every hour between 07:00 and 19:00. This is a bus service bringing passengers from the airport to the center of Tirana, near the National Museum. Buses depart every hour and a trip costs 200 Lek (2 EURO) (Phone: 069 20 98908)
BY THE SEA
Albania can also be visited through sea routes, thanks to the large coastal cities.
Some foreign companies have regular service at:
Port of Durres – connecting the Italian ports of Bari, Ancona and Koper in Slovenia.
Phone: (00355) / 052222028, customs works 24 hours a day.
Port of Saranda – offers daily trips to the Greek island of Corfu, Phone: (00355) / 073222734, customs work till 22:00.
The port of Vlora – ferry lines to Brindisi and Ontranto in Italy.
Phone: (00355) / 033224521, Fax: (00355) / 033229417, Customs works until 22:00.
The port of Shengjin – Customs operates till 22:00.
ON THE ROAD
The main road passes near the border with Morina in Albania and connects Pristina with Kukes.
From Kapshtica to Korça. Customs operates 24 hours.
From Kakavija to Gjirokastra. Customs operates 24 hours.
From Qaf Boti Konispol related to Filat. Customs operates from 8:00 to 22:00.
Three Bridges, connecting Përmet with Konica. Customs operates from 8:00 to 22:00.
From Hani i Hotit and Murriqani-Sukobina. The main road leads to the northern city of Shkodra and Lake Shkodra. Customs operates 24 hours, while the secondary road connects Shkodra to Ulcinj in Montenegro. Customs operates 24 hours. Recently, Vermosh border crossing point has been opened, linking Kelmendi area to Albania with Plava and Gusinje in Montenegro. Customs operates from 8:00 to 22:00.
From Qaf Thana being run by Pogradec, Librazhd and Elbasan.
From Tushemisht, to the southeast of Lake Ohrid, heading towards Porgrenec.
From Bllata, to Peshkopia or Bulqiza and Burrel.
From Gorica to the northern shores of Lake Prespa.
To the southeast of Lake Ohrid, heading towards Pogradec. Customs operates 24 hours.
Going to Bishop, Bulqizë and Burrel. Customs operates 24 hours.
The road leads to the shores of Lake Prespa. Customs operates 24 hours.
There are regular urban services for the following cities:
Tirana – Tetovo, Macedonia, through Qafe Thana
Tirana – Pristina and other cities in Kosovo through Morina
Korçë – Thessaloniki, Greece, through Kapshtica
Tirana – Athens through Kakavija
Tirana – Sofia, Bulgaria, and Istanbul through Qafë Thana.
For specific travel advise within Albania and from Albania to other countries, please contact us
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