If you are here and reading this blog it means that you are thinking of visiting our country, well we will try to give you an idea about things to do in Albania, for you to enjoy your journey in our little country.
Because the country offers a variety of things to do such as hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, visiting ancient ruins, medieval castles and city exploring, this can easily take you from 10 to 14 days. Although Albania is a relatively small country, its geography, infrastructure & landscape make it difficult to move fast from one place to another.
Cities you must visit in Albania from north to south are Shkoder, Tirana, Berat, Gjirokaster, Korca & Saranda.
Tirana as a capital is very much alive and a growing city, apart from the possibility to visit many museums such as the National Museum, Bunk Art & House of Leaves, Tirana gives you the possibility to enjoy the Albanian culinary, nightlife, city style life in the capital, it is a unique city and difficult to understand sometimes – you may like it or dislike it. But if you are staying in Albania for a short time and the weather forecast is very hot, skip Tirana! A perfect daily trip from Tirana is to visit the fortress of Kruja, the medieval capital of Albania.
Berat & Gjirokaster
Berat & Gjirokaster also known as “the city of the thousand windows & the city of stone” are must visits and have some things in common. Both towns are UNESCO, have a castle, and have beautiful panoramic views very unique from the rest of the country, a sort of blend of Balkan & Anatolian architectural style.
ShkodraShkodra “the city of bikes” is a city that you can easily spend 2 to 3 nights in, in addition to being one of the oldest cities with a magnificent castle and stunning views from up there, you can melt very well with the everyday life of the city and feel yourself at home in a short time. Shkodra also is perfect as a starting point or ending point of hiking trips in the Albanian Alps or for daily tours in Shkoder lake, Komani lake, Kiri & Shala river or Velipoja beach. Korca
Korca is also one of our favorite towns to visit, despite being more inland than the rest of the destinations we’ve described, Korca has so much to offer to travelers as a city. As an important center since the XVIII century for Albanian culture the city has its own charm, with a different architectural vibe, and their own beer festival in August. In addition, daily tours to Prespa lake, Ohrid lake, Voskopoje, Kamenice and many other small attractions make Korca another important stop.
Saranda is an ideal place to go if you are thinking of visiting archeological sites such as Butrinti or Finiqi but also enjoying the Albanian beaches & having fun at night time during summer.
Vlora is relatively a modern town that offers a chance to spend holidays at the beach but also visit some archeological sites nearby.
Kruja is a medieval fortress that you can visit in a daily tour and is perfect to explore from Tirana or Durres.
So far we have only covered only the top cities in Albania, well of course there is more!
So far we have only covered only the top cities in Albania, but of course there are many other small towns worth visiting. Some of our absolute favorites are Corovoda (a 2 hr. Ride from Berat) & Permet (2hr-ish ride from Gjirokaster). These are more off the beaten path and are a little less well known.
Things to do in Albania outdoor
Let’s talk about top archeological sites & castles that you must visit.
Other sites that are less known for travelers are the ancient illyrian ruins of Bylis, Foeniqi, Kamenica, Amantia, Antigonea, Oricum & Basania. Monasteries of Voskopoja, Zvernec, Kunavia, Saint Naum (just across the border now in North Macedonia), other castles such as Lezha castle, Kelcyra castle, Ali pashe Tepelena castle.
Regarding outdoor activities Albania offers plenty of options despites the small size of the country. Hiking is one of the top things to do and the most famous trails are in the albanian alps by hiking from Valbona to Theth, Lepushe & Vermosh, crossing to Montenegro & Kosovo. The south of Albania as well offers plenty of other hiking options such as the Zagori mountains or the Llogara path hike.
If you like swimming & beaches, you are in the perfect place. If you like crowded sandy beaches then Velipoja, Shen Gjin, Durres & Vlora are perfect for you. Ksamil belongs to this list but I would like to highlight it as worth trying. If you like to hide from the rest of humanity and stay in remote beaches there are plenty in Albania, you just have to explore and ask locals since often those places are not easy to access by car.
So far we only spoke about sea options, but do not underestimate the lakes & rivers, Shkodra lake, Ohrid lake, Prespa lake are great lakes to swim, then rivers such as Drini, Kiri, Cemi, Valbona & Shala in the north are clean and always have cold running water. Vjosa, Drinos & Osumi are other clean rivers in the south.
This was just an introduction of what you can do in Albania and we just dig a little here and there but we will make more posts about specific topics that we walked you through.
Just remember we are not professional bloggers that travel around the world and try to rush through a country, we are locals that are trying to give you an idea of what you can do and how you can get the best experience from this journey.
If you love hiking than we have the perfect adventure for you, personalize your journey in the Albanian Alps.