18 Best Places To Visit In Albania

Among the best places to visit in Europe, Albania has long been the forgotten country. One day people are going to wake up and realise that this beautiful part of the world has a lot to offer. While near neighbours Greece and Croatia hosts just about all of the tourists. Any solo travellers bold enough to take a trip to this relatively unknown land will be pleasantly surprised by what they find there.

If you want to visit a place in Europe but also want it all to fit into your budget, you might consider Albania. Albania is a European country that ensures the natural beauty it shall host for you, and is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. Albania is a stunningly nice Mediterranean country with ancient ruins, blue lakes, high mountains and gorgeous beaches.

From beaches to architecture, it has something for people of all age groups. Albania is one of the most beautiful and yet one of the least discovered places in Europe. It is a perfect destination for family vacations, a trip with friends, or even a honeymoon in Europe. It is a cheap country by European standards. Food, accommodation and transportation are quite cheaper than Western European countries.

It is a unique Muslim majority country and has its own language group making it different to other European countries. In Albania, the ruins are often empty and free to view since tourism is just picking up. The climate is wonderful and you will find plenty of beaches along the coastline.

But it is the opportunity to enjoy the culture and history of this fascinating country that is the big draw. Especially since you won't have hundreds of other tourists stepping on your toes. Similarly, Lake Koman, Korab Mountains, Korce, Valbona Valley, Berat and Blue eye are the most popular destinations.

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There are many beautiful places in Albania. In this article, we shall be discussing the best destinations in Albania to head for a vacation.

1. Berat

Known for Ottoman-style houses, Berat is a small town in Albania, which is also known as "the city of a thousand windows". The Berat Castle, National Ethnographic Museum, Gorica Bridge are some of the most visited places in the town. What makes the city stand out uniquely from other 'Balkan cities' are its Ottoman-style mosques and Byzantine churches that serve as a primary tourist attraction.

This town is a heaven for those that are history enthusiasts and seek to learn more about the past. The area is better known for rafting on the impressive Osumi River. Some day walks on Mount Tomorri, Shpiragu and along the river canyon can be found though.

2. Himarë

Himare is a beach town gifted with clean and sparkling beaches, situated along the Albanian Riviera. For people who find themself the happiest when they are around water, this town that stands north of Saranda is like heaven. The beaches are surrounded by hills, on which you could climb up easily and enjoy the beauty of this beautiful beach town.

Porto Palermo Castle and Gjipe Beach are the primary tourist attractions of the place. From taking a long walk on the beach to enjoying water sports, you can do everything you want and make lifetime memories.

3. Krujë

Kruje, near to Tirana is also beautiful. The Adriatic Balcony, also known as 'Kruje', is one of the most visited places in Albania. People visit this place to relive the memories of Gjergj Skanderbeg, to whom this place was a home. It is located in North Central Albania on a steep mountain. Skanderbeg is cherished in the memories of the people as a hero who saved Albania against the Ottoman Empire and fought for them.

Kruja castle lets you relish the ancient architecture of the place and also the view of the town from its top. The Kruja Castle, Skanderbeg Museum, and Lake Bovilla are some of the prominent tourist hotspots of this town. If you are interested to learn more about the rich history of this place, you can read about it online.

Make sure to make use of residential proxies so you have access to any website you want.

4. Shkodër

A diamond-shaped city located between the Rozafa Citadel, the magnificent Albanian Alps, the deep-blue Shkodra Lake, a 30-kilometer sandy beach and the Buna River delta. Shkodra is one of the oldest cities in Albania, the main city of the tribe of the Illyrians, located in the northwestern part of the country.

Located in the vicinity of Lake Skadar, Shkodra is one of the largest towns in Albania and finds itself situated close to the Montenegro-Albania border. The most important places are the Rozafa castle, located in the western part of the city, between Drini and Buna rivers, the Hammam or Turkish bath and the Lead Mosque.

The Mes Bridge and Lake Shkodra are two natural places to visit. The big lake (the largest in the Balkans) west of Shkodra, shared with Montenegro, is worth a trip. Along the western coast there are some beaches and coves for bathing in fresh water, and the rustic villages of Shiroke and especially Zogaj seem still stuck in time.

Nature lovers or for those who are looking for a pleasant walk through some of the forests can go directly to the beach in the Buna Delta reserve, between Velipoja and the Buna river, which here forms the border of Montenegro. The Buna is a 44 km short river that originates in Lake Shkodra and meanders its way to the Adriatic Sea.

Near the sea, the river divides into some branches, forming a low-lying swampy area in the delta area, with some fishing villages and a large island on the Montenegro side (Ada Bojana). On the Albanian side, some ancient arms of the river have turned into swampy lakes full of wildlife, surrounded by pine forests and deciduous trees.

The delta is populated by a rich variety of animals, including turtles, wild boar, foxes, jackals, spoonbills, pygmy cormorants, tanagers and hawks Levante. Arriving early in the morning gives you the greatest opportunity to observe wildlife and the opportunity to explore the entire area. If you're a nurse preparing for the NCLEX RN exam, you could visit a few hospitals in town to have a glance at the healthcare facilities of the place. The town is known to be the life of Albania.

It hosts several fun fests like carnivals, lake day, children’s day festival, and the famous Shkodra Jazz fest that receives tourists from all across the globe. This place is a heaven for those who love history. Some primary tourist hotspots of the place are Beker Mosque, Orthodox Cathedral, Rozafa castle, Lead Mosque, and Marubi National Museum.

5. Vlorë

Vlore is a city situated on the sea coasts. It holds its importance not just from tourists and beaches but the fact that Albania received its independence at this very place in 1912. It was civilized in the 6th century and now is under military rule. However, during the summers it does welcome tourists from all across the globe to relish the beauty of its castles and the islands that surround it.

The Albanian Riviera, Muradie Mosque, and Kanine Castle are some of the most visited tourist spots in Vlore.

6. Karaburun Peninsula

It is incredible to follow the coastal road from Saranda, after going through some steep curves, to be at the top of a gorge that culminates at 1000 meters and that is surrounded by mountains, some of which reach 2000 meters. This place seems totally sublime. The road is incredibly winding and to avoid traffic accidents, it is wise to exercise caution during your road trip in Albania. It is one of the best way to travel Europe.

Ceraunian Mountains and Karaburun Peninsula forms the 2 m high backdrop to the beaches of the Riviera. At their heart is the Llogara National Park with sweeping views. Located in the south of Albania, along the coast, the Llogara National Park can make you discover incredible mountains that rise more than 2000 meters, at the edge of the water. The natural park contains mountain, sea and lush forests.

The views of the park are simply sumptuous, and there are many Albanian food restaurants along the road, housed within traditional wooden constructions. Anyone who comes to spend a bit of time in Albania can stop at one of the traditional villas of Llogara National Park and explore the surrounding forests, which still house many species of wild boar, deer and wolves. The traverse of the ridge line makes for a challenging trek.

Lovers of coastal hikes can visit the mysterious South of Albania which has hiking and mountain biking routes at the sun-kissed Albanian Riviera, in the Ceraunian Coastal Mountain Range and back country valleys. Coastal walks along hidden and inaccessible beaches and coves, semi-deserted stone villages and shaded olive groves above the azure sea are combined with 300 days of sunshine and Mediterranean cuisine.

7. Përmet

Permet is also known as the city of roses. Here in this beautiful canyon valley, surrounded by majestic mountains, you will find the Kati Bridge (a beautiful bridge that is over 500 years old) and the Benja Thermal Baths. These natural spring water baths are known for their curative properties and restorative benefits, great for those with stomach, kidney or skin ailments. Either way, great for your health and well-being.

Permet and Zagoria Valley is depicted on the cover page of almost every Albania travel guide not without reason. Its the natural beauty of Monte Nemërçkë, the Sopot Waterfall, Benja Thermal Baths, Lengarica Canyon as well as warm hospitality of the hidden Zagoria Valley that make this place so special.

8. Theth

There are several routes to be mentioned but the best is in North Albania like the passage from Theth Village to Valbona, in the heart of the Accursed Mountains (Bjeshkët e Nemuna). The route is 14 km and long you have to walk 6–7 hours in an altitude that vary from 1000 m to 1800 m. Easy accessibility, good documentation and stunning landscapes make Thethi and Valbona National Parks Albania's most popular hiking area.

Note that they're also the most frequented and thus commercialized mountain villages you could visit. The highlands North-East of Valbona and along the border with Kosovo are still rarely visited but offer interesting insights into the transhumanic lifestyle of the shepherds who reside on remote summer pastures.

A large network of local trails around Lepushe, Vermosh, Nikc and Vukel, the visitor information in Tamara and newly build through road connecting with Montenegro plus lower visitor numbers make this an increasingly attractive choice.

9. Tropojë

Nikaj-Mërtur is in the center of a triangle formed by three highlights, Theth, Valbona and the Koman Lake but largely forgotten. It is best known for the village Curraj I Epërm that without road access remains one of the most remote spots in the Alps.

Mount Korab at 2764 meters is the highest mountain of Albania and Macedonia. It is the only popular spot in the region and you may meet other hikers on the trail. Great for ski touring as well! Charming stone villages like Çerjan, Zagrad or Rabdisht are interconnected with short hiking routes. You can see amazing cherry and apple blossom in May and June and nearby warm springs.

10. Butrint National Park

Make sure to visit the Butrint National Park to explore the Roman and Greek ruins in the south of Albania, opposite the Greek island of Corfu. This is a beautiful archaeological site. You get to feel like an explorer as you wander around the centuries-old site without having to put up with crowds of people.

11. Durrës

Via Egnatia was the first road ever built in the Balkans. The Romans constructed it to connect Rome with Constantinople (Istanbul). From the port of Durres it runs east to the border with Macedonia at Lake Ohrid. The area is dominated by hills and is a good place to visit for history buffs.

12. Divjakë

Divjakë-Karavasta National Park is in the largest coastal lagoon in Albania (far from the only) with extensive wetlands and pine forest. It is a bird watching paradise from November to early April with migratory birds and a large colony of Dalmatian pelicans.

13. Gjirokastër

Kurvelesh is good for trekking and mountain biking. The hidden valleys and highlands behind the coastal range form the harsh country of the Labeat pastoral folk who roam with the herds through the mountains.

14. Korçë

While the city is often dubbed the Paris of Albania and has a distinct character, it’s the surronding villages of Voskopoja, Dardha and Vithkuq that hide medieval church treasures of the forgotten Vlach community in rolling hillsides.

15. Lake Prespa

The lesser known lakes in the border triangle with Macedonia and Greece boasts quaint rural lake-side villages and the highest variety of bird species - a bird watchers paradise! High Scardus Trail is the long distance trail connecting the border triangle of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia from nearby Skopje to Ohrid and Prespa Lakes. Visit here for the unspoiled character of the little visited region and its hospitable inhabitants.

One of the few UNESCO sites of both natural and cultural value, Mali i Thatë/Galičica National Park (Macedonia) offers a choice of day hikes.

16. Elbasan

Shebenik-Jablanica is a remote highlands national park with rich wild-life and the opportunity to spot the big mammals like wolf, bear or lynx - well you won’t see the latter but perhaps their tracks.

17. Kukës

Shishtavec is an Albanian attempt of a ski resort. No lifts but the snowcat with a passenger sledge makes for a unique experience, just as the local Gorani inhabitant with their distinct culture.

18. Sarandë


As for new destinations so expands Albania, especially the Albanian Riviera with its exciting cuisine and low prices. Concept hotels with a focus on healthy lifestyles continue to evolve with everything from morning yoga, exercise classes, swimming lessons, and children's clubs. Judged as the most interesting travel destination by Lonely Planet, Saranda is said to be what Greece was 20-30 years ago.

Saranda is the most popular vacation resort in Albania. Expect 28 degrees, nature experiences and unbeatable prices. If you are traveling to Saranda in Albania, you should visit the Syri i Kalter (Blue Eye), a deep water source with bubbling water. So far, divers have only managed to reach down to 50 meters, so we do not yet know how deep is the source.

Conclusion:

Albania is a beautiful country in Europe that has a lot to be discovered. Some of the most visited and must-visit places in Albania are the Ottoman style mosques and Byzantine churches of Berat; the Albanian Riviera, Muradie Mosque, and the Kanine Castle in Vlore; the Beker Mosque, Orthodox Cathedral, Rozafa castle, Lead Mosque, and Marubi National Museum in Shkodra; the Kruja Castle, National Museum Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu and Lake Bovilla in Kruje and the Porto Palermo Castle and Gjipe Beach in Himare.

Kalyan Panja