Best Cities To Visit In Albania

Best Cities To Visit In Albania

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Best Cities To Visit In Albania
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Fiori Travel,Best Travel Agency in Albania

31 December 2021

Tirana

 
Visiting Albania’s capital you’ll delve into the past and present of a country that has seen intense turmoil since it was founded in the 1600s.
Tirana has disintegrating soviet-era buildings, brand new projects and proud historic monuments side-by-side, while the wonderful upland scenery that boundthe city to the east calls for exploration.

Piramida

Piramida

It might seem strange to start with a derelict building, but the Piramida is unique. It’s an unforgettable and culturally-significant building from 1987, completed not long before the fall of communism. It was intended as a museum to honour the country’s despotic dictator Enver Hoxha who ruled from 1944-85, but naturally these plans were torn up after 1990. Now it’s at the crux of a debate on how to deal with the period after the Second World War, when Albania suffered 45 years of isolation. Some want to see it restored as a monument to that period, while others want it torn down. In the meantime it remains unused, except by graffiti artists and skaters.

Dajti Ekspres

This cable-car is a fun family day out and a superb introduction to the city, taking you up by gondola to the dramatic mountain on Tirana’s eastern edge. The cable-car spans a kilometre, making it the longest in the Balkans, and rises more than 800 metres up the mountainside. The journey will take about 15 minutes and at the top there’s a tourism complex with restaurants and hotels. Of course the view over the city will be memorable, but there are also year-round activities on the table, including trekking and horseback riding in summer, and skiing in winter.
Dajti Express

Skanderbeg Square

This is where Tirana’s premier monuments are all assembled, including the Clock Tower, Et’hem Bey Mosque and the National History Museum. It is named after George Castriot, an Albanian national hero, credited with halting the advance of the Ottoman Empire into central Europe. There’s a monument to Skanderbeg in the square, which occupies the spot where a communist-era statue of Josef Stalin once stood. The architecture surrounding the square is neo-renaissance, and there’s a large lawn with flower beds to round off the stately atmosphere. Skanderbeg is the city’s main venue for popular celebrations, such as 100 years of Albanian Independence in 2012.
Skanderbeg Square

National Historic Museum

One thing’s for sure – Tirana and Albania have a very complicated past. So if you need a point of entry this is the place to get some context. The museum is organised by pavilions, each covering a different period in the region’s history, from ancient times up to the 21st century. The most valuable in terms of archaeological wealth is the Pavilion of Antiquity, where there’s a great collection of almost 600 items spanning the late-Palaeolithic to the early-Middle Ages. The most treasured exhibit is the Beauty of Durrës, which is from the 4th century BC and is the most cherished ancient mosaic in the country.
National Historic Museum, Tirana

Dajti Mountain National Park

In Europe it’s unusual to find a national park right on the doorstep of a capital city, so don’t pass up the chance to venture out further into the mountain range that forms Tirana’s eastern boundary. If you want to really get out and experience the natural scenery here, take the trail that connects Mount Dajti with Mount Tujani, which rises to 1,580 metres. This peak is the highest in the park and can be scaled on foot if you’re a regular hiker. The view from the top is what the effort is for, not least because it includes the vast water reservoir, Lake Bovilla. Surrounding this lake are sheer cliffs that also provide some excellent climbing walls.

Et’hem Bey Mosque

This place of worship was completed in the early-19th century and is one of the city’s top landmarks. At the fall of communism it was the site of one of the most remarkable events in Tirana’s recent history, when on the 10th of January 1991 10,000 people gathered to practise their religion, against the decree of the authorities who had banned Islam for almost half a century. In the end there was no police interference and the event marked a turning for religious freedom in Albania. The outer walls of this mosque are unusual  as they depict idyllic scenery such as forests and waterfalls, which aren’t normally permitted in Islamic art.
Et'hem Bey Mosque

Grand Park

Just south of the prestigious Blloku district is Tirana’s Grand Park, which is the city centre’s top spot for fresh air and a bit of exercise. It covers 230 hectares and encloses a large artificial lake. Famously the Presidential Palace can be found here, which was originally designated as a residence for King Zog I, but was completed just a few years before communism. There are also tombs to several Albanian national heroes in the park, among them politicians, writers and philosophers. Throughout the year you can find people fishing on the lakeshore, which indicates the improving water quality, while outdoor swimming is available in summer
Grand Park

 Tanners’ Bridge

This minor attraction is from the 1700s and is a fascinating fragment of Tirana’s Ottoman history, giving an impression of how the city went about its business in the years after its foundation. These days it’s a humble stone pedestrian bridge, but when it was built it was the main route for farmers to bring their livestock into the butchery and leatherworking district. These days the Lanë River that the bridge used to traverse has been redirected, so the bridge is kept as a monument. From the bridge you can also see the Tanners’ Mosque, which was constructed by the Tanners’ guild in the 1700s.

Bunk’Art

This extraordinary attraction puts Albania’s recent past into perspective. Bunk’Art is an underground bunker that was constructed for Tirana’s communist-era politicians and military top brass in case of nuclear war. What’s astounding is the scale and detail of the shelter: It’s set over five stories, and has more than 100 different rooms including a meeting hall with 200 seats. The goal of the attraction today is to help people come to terms with a troubled period in the country’s history, but will enthuse people who enjoy Cold War-era  installations and communist design.
Bunk'Art

Kruja

 

Castle

National Ethnographic Museum

Museum in Kruja
This traditional home in the castle complex below the Skanderbeg Museum houses one of the best ethnographic museums in the country. Set in an original 19th-century Ottoman house that belonged to the affluent Toptani family, the museum shows the level of luxury and self-sufficiency the household maintained by producing its own food, drink, leather and weapons. They even had their very own mini hammam(Turkish bath) and watermill. The walls are lined with original frescoes from 1764.

Restaurant Panorama

The town's best restaurant is well named. As you tuck into your meal, you can admire the stellar views over the city towards the castle. The food is a mix of modern Albanian and international favourites and it's all well presented and prepared. The steak, topped with local cheeses, is a work of culinary art.

Teqe

Saranda

  Saranda is the most beautiful city to visit in Albania, no questions asked. There are lots of historical sites as well as the beautiful beaches of the Albania Riviera and some of the most delicious seafood that you will try in Albania. In the summer months (July and August) the city is full, and the nightlife is the best in the country. Spring and autumn are the best months to visit in my opinion as the city slows down and the prices lower because it’s out of season.

Lëkurësi Castle

Overlooking the city of Saranda is Lëkurësi Castle. Unfortunately, the castle has been turned into a restaurant these days but it’s worth the trip because the view is really amazing, especially at sunset. The castle itself was built in 1537. You can easily walk from the centre to the castle if you’re up for a bit of a hike, it takes around 45 minutes to reach the top.
26 of Best Things to do in Saranda Albania

Butrint

Only a 20km from the city of Saranda is the UNESCO site of Butrint. It will take 2 or 3 hours to explore and costs 700 Lek entry. In the summer I recommend visiting early in the morning or late afternoon as the sun can be overbearing, and you will appreciate it a lot more in the cooler weather. Also, when the cruise ships come into Saranda they take a trio to Butrint and it can become very full. The bus to Butrint cost 100 Lek and is the same bus that stops off at Ksamil beforehand.

Ali Pasha Castle

This is my personal favourite castle near Saranda. Ali Pasha castle is hidden and most tourist completely miss it when visiting the nearby site of Butrint. About 1 minute before Butrint on the same road there is a turnoff with a carpark and a viewing deck. From the viewing deck, you can see the castle, but I recommend taking the road down to see the castle from close by!The road is not in the best condition and is only made for 1 car at a time so if you’re not a confident driver then you can park at the carpark and walk down. It’s only a 2km walk from the carpark. The castle is surrounded by water in the most beautiful setting. If you get there early you will be in complete quietness along with the local fisherman. To get to the castle you will have to ask a local fisherman to take you over there.

The archaeological site of Finiq

This site is not usually recommended on usual lists because not a lot of tourists know about it, even I didn’t know about until a month ago! Finiq is an archaeological site which sits on the best vantage point overlooking the nearby region and the city of Saranda. This park dates back to the 5th century BC. You can see remains of an ancient theatre, a small prostyles temple, Hellenistic houses, Byzantine church and other important relics and monuments. This place is very unspoiled and amazingly they are still evacuating it today and finding new information. I would highly recommend a trip here. Bring your lunch and spend a few hours walking around and taking in the history because it’s truly amazing and very peaceful up there. Tickets cost 200 lek. You can get here by either driving, taking a taxi or hitchhiking.   26 of Best Things to do in Saranda Albania

The monastery of the 40 saints

The monastery of the 40 saints is my top recommendation of things to do in Saranda Albania. Many miss the opportunity to visit this historic site and beautiful vantage point. This monastery is a special place, it was built between the 4-6th century and houses 40 rooms within. It was dedicated to the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste who refused to give up their Christian faith during the early stages of the Roman empire in Armenia, so they were locked in the building to die. 26 of Best Things to do in Saranda Albania

Mirror Beach

After Monastery beach there is a beach call Mirror (or Plazhi i Pasqyrave in Albanian). This is another stunning beach and, in the afternoon, has some big waves which are always fun. Beware that the road for this beach is quite bad. In the summer the beach is packed and the road to it is only really made for 1 car. There are a lot of potholes so just be aware that you look at the road before making your way down, so you’re not stuck halfway. The struggle of the road is worth it though because the colour of the water is crazy beautiful!

Pulëbardha Beach

Situated after Mirror Beach there is Pulëbardha which is a small yet just as beautiful beach. There’s one restaurant here which serves great food. 26 of Best Things to do in Saranda Albania

Blue eye

Blue eye is a natural phenomenon only 25 minutes from Saranda. Divers have tried to discover how deep the spring is but have only gone down 50 meters deep and still to this day cannot find how far down the spring goes because the current is so strong! Usually, people spend an hour or two here. The water year-round is 10 degrees! There is a little camping spot right in front of it as well as a couple of souvenir shops. There are also a few restaurants. I highly recommend having a drink at the restaurant with the platforms over the water for a beautiful view! (UPDATE: As of Nov 2018 these businesses have been destroyed as they were illegally built).

Berat

 
Albania is home to stunning cities that everyone should include in their Balkan trail itinerary. Berat is one of those places that you need to visit at least once in your lifetime, not only for its unique architecture, but also for its religious tolerance. UNESCO even included it in its list of world heritage sites. Are you ready to discover this Albanian gem? Read our list of the best things to do and see in town.

Enjoy the Ottoman-era houses of Mangalem

Berat is divided between two large neighborhoods, Gorica and Mangalem. Mangalem is maybe the more picturesque side of the town because it is full of typical Ottoman-era buildings complete with small windows and brown roofs. One of the best experiences to have in Albania is to stroll up and down the narrow streets of Mangalem admiring the impressive Ottoman architecture.

Mangalem, Berat, Albania

 

Berat Castle

Admire gorgeous views over Berat from Kala.
Kala is Berat’s beautiful old castle, located on the top of a hill, and it is the perfect place to admire the town from above. The small town that was built inside the castle’s walls is one of the most enchanting places you’ll see in Albania. There are even a few people that still live there. The area looks magical with its ancient ruins, wildflowers and small courtyards.
 Berat Castle, Berat, Albania

Visit the Onufri Museum

Located in the Church of the Dormition of Saint Mary, in the Kala district, the Onufri Museum hosts spectacular sixteenth century paintings created by the greatest Albanian icon-painter of all time. The church itself, which dates back to 1797, was built on the foundations of an earlier chapel. This structure is worth a visit for its beauty inside and out.

Onufri Museum, Berat, Albania

Take pictures of the Holy Trinity Church

Just behind the Kala castle’s walls is the Holy Trinity Church, a fourteenth century picturesque church that is totally worth a look. Once you reach it, you can take gorgeous photos of one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Berat and Albania.

Holy Trinity Church, Berat, Albania

Holy Trinity Church, Berat

Travel to Gorica for stunning views over Mangalem

Gorica is another beautiful area of Berat adorned with cobblestoned streets, stone houses and small Orthodox churches. You should include it in your itinerary, not only for its beauty, but also because it has gorgeous views of the Mangalem district. Gorica is perfect for taking pictures of the old Ottoman facades.

Visit the Ethnographic Museum

If you want to learn something more about the ancient history of Berat, head into the Ethnographic Museum, housed in an eighteenth century Ottoman house (located on the street that leads from Mangalem to Kala). Opened in 1979, the museum displays the history of the town and contains several original artifacts from ancient times, including clothes, tools and household objects.

Ethnographic Museum, Berat, Albania

 

Explore the old mosques of Berat

Traditionally, Mangalem is the Muslim quarter of Berat, and it hosts three gorgeous mosques that are open to the public: the Sultan’s Mosque, the Lead Mosque and the Bachelors’ Mosque. The first one is among the oldest mosques in the country and is located near the Halveti Teqe, a place of worship for those who practice the Bektashi branch of the dervish order. The Lead Mosque is famous for its sphere-shaped dome made with lead, while the Bachelors’ Mosque was built for unmarried men and has stunning paintings decorating its external walls.

Shkodra

 

Shkodra, the traditional centre of the Gheg cultural region, is one of the oldest cities in Europe and arguably the most attractive urban centre in Albania. The ancient Rozafa Fortress has stunning views over Lake Shkodra, while the pastel-painted buildings in the Old Town have a distinct Italian ambience.

Rozafa Fortress

f4e919b70e2e1d8ab98e7636bab8828d rozafa fortress

Marubi National Photography Museum

The Marubi Museum is a one-of-a-kind Albanian photographic museum. The core of the collection is the impressive work of the Marubi 'dynasty', Albania's first and foremost family of photographers. The collection includes the first-ever photograph taken in Albania, by Pjetër Marubi in 1858, as well as fascinating portraits, street scenes and early photojournalism, all giving a fascinating glimpse into old Albania and the rise and fall of communism.  

Ebu Bekr Mosque

Known more commonly to locals as the Great Mosque, this impressive centrepiece to the city actually dates from the 18th century, but was fully renovated and refaced in 1995 with donations from Saudi Arabia. Visitors are welcome to enter outside prayer time to see the beautiful interior and enjoy the contemplative atmosphere. Rezultate imazhesh për ebu beker mosque shkoder

Shkoder Lake

This expansive lake, the largest in the Balkans, forms a natural boundary between Albania and Montenegro. You can rent a bike in Shkoder to get there, or catch a bus to the western edge of the city and walk the remaining five kilometers on foot. Not far from the border with Montenegro is the Lake Shkoder Resort. This resort also maintains a campsite right on the shore, offering chalets and tent rentals. Albanian Peaks in the distant background frame this beautiful lake. You can hire kayaks there or go on a hiking trip around the beautiful perimeter of the lake.  

Mes Bridge

This lovely bridge, built in 1750, will bring you back in time and give you plenty of chances for great pictures. The environment is almost idyllic, framed by the hills of the Maranai Nature Park. The beautiful evergreen vegetation line the banks of a shallow river which draws swimmers in summer. The Mes Bridge, at 100 meters, is Ottoman Albania’s largest river-crossing bridge. People have been crossing the river at this spot for almost as long humans have been here. This bridge served as a trade route between Shkoder and Pristine in Kosovo Rezultate imazhesh për mes bridge shkoder

Sofra

Right in the middle of the busy petonalja (pedestrianised Rr Kolë Idromeno), with tables on the street as well as a cosy upstairs dining room, this traditional place is an excellent opportunity to try a range of north Albanian dishes, with the set meals being particularly good value.

Durrës

 
Durres is a port city located on the Adriatic coast, 30km west of Albania’s capital city Tirana. It is the capital of the surrounding Durres county and is the second most populous city in Albania.However, Durres is so much more than just a city. With the biggest and most popular beach in Albania on one side and stretches of beautiful Albanian countryside and farmland on the other, the area of Durres is the ultimate trio of city, beach and countryside.

Amphitheatre of Durrës

The weathered Roman-era Amphitheatre of Durrës was built on the hillside inside the city walls in the early 2nd century AD. In its prime it had the capacity to seat 15,000 to 18,000 spectators, but these days a few inhabited houses occupy the stage, a reminder of its recent rediscovery (in 1966) and excavation. The Byzantine chapel in the amphitheatre has several beautiful mosaics. There are knowledgable English-speaking guides on site daily until 3pm; they work on a tipping basis.
 

Durrës Archaeological Museum

This ultra-modern, well lit and labelled museum just back from the seafront has a breathtaking collection of historical artefacts. Highlights include the fine-boned sculptures and statues, delicate gold jewellery, amphoras recovered from the seafloor and still covered in barnacles and beautiful painted vases and pots that are so perfectly preserved they look as if they were painted just yesterday. Allow at least an hour for a visit. Imazh i ngjashëm

Sneak a peek at The Albanian College

The Albanian College Durres is one of those colleges which actually makes you want to go back to school! The impressive building looks more like a museum or theatre than a place of education. If the doors are open make sure to sneak a quick peek inside too to see the equally impressive interi
The Albanian College Durres

Stroll past the walls of Durres Castle and spot the Venetian Tower

As you make your way down from the Amphitheatre of Durres to the seafront, make sure to admire the old city walls which make up Durres Castle. The walls were built in the late 5th century and after several repairs throughout history still stand today, making them the city’s most prominent Roman remains.The main part of Durres Castle is a structure called the Venetian Towerwhich now homes a trendy bar with seating on the roof giving great views over the city and water.
The city walls of Durres Castle Albania

The Venetian Castle

The Venetian Castle is an extension of the Byzantine Fortress of Durrës. Built in the sixth century, it was considered as one of the most powerful fortresses along the western coast of the Adriatic. Architectonic elements of the structure and historic records show that the fortress was rebuild in the first half of the fifteenth century, when Durrës was ruled by the Republic of Venice.In the middle Ages, the design of the fortress was constantly dictated by the advances in the art of fortifications, assault tactics and weaponry of the time. Hence, by the time that artillery was widely used in fortresses, the Venetian Castle was built to do just that.The tower is built upon a circular plane 9 meters in diameter and 9.6 meters tall. Rezultate imazhesh për the venetian torre durres  

Zog's Villa of Durrës

Royal Villa of Durrës, also known as Zog's Villa of Durrës  was the summer villa of King Zog in Durrës, Albania.It was used as the summer palace by the Albanian Royal family during the reign of the Monarchy and still remains a symbol of the Monarchy in the City.It was restored to Leka Crown Prince of Albania in 2007. The restoration process was accepted and approved by the Albanian lands commission, following all the legal procedures without contest. The Palace was a gift given by the Durrës business community as a sign of prosperity to King Zog. Although in 2012, Artan Lame declared in the Media that the Palace was built by the Italian government. Rezultate imazhesh për vila e zogut durres  

Walk down the promenade to Ventus Harbor

Venture out into the Adriatic sea (well just a little bit) by walking down the seafront’s pier-like structure which leads to the uniquely located Ventus Harbour hotel and its public restaurant and bar. From the end, there is a great view looking back across the city from a very different angle than you would find elsewhere.
Ventus Harbor Durres Albania

Relax on Durres beach

After a busy day of exploring the vibrant city of Durres, it’s time to head slightly south to the gorgeous Durres beach for some much-needed relaxation time. Durres beach is the biggest and most visited beach in Albania, lining the seafront of the city itself. Heading to the beach on a sunny day, with its golden sand and shallow blue waters, is certainly one of the most popular things to do in Durres for both the locals and tourists.There are large stretches of public beach, as well as private areas owned by the beachfront hotels where you can hire sunbeds for the day even if you’re not a guest.
Durres Beach Albania

Vlora

Discover the best top things to do in Vlore, Albania including Independence Monument, Zvernec Monastery, Bora Bora Beach, Ali Pasha Castle, Kanine Castle, Muradie Mosque, National Museum of Independence, Ethnographic Museum, Vlore, Acquamarina Spa & Wellness Center, Travel Guide Albania.
Restaurants in Vlore

INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

It is a monument that shows the indipence day of Albania. It has a very interesting story.Tourists can stay there to take a photo,but nothing else.

Sheshi Pavaresia, Vlore, Albania

 ZVERNEC MONASTERY

Zvërnec Island is an island within the Narta Lagoon in southern Albania.The island is nearly all covered with tall pine trees and is just east of a much smaller island. It is 430m in length and has a maximum width of 300m. Zvërnec Island is connected to the mainland by a 270m long wooden bridge.The island is a tourist attraction because it contains the well preserved 13th-14th century Byzantine Zvërnec Monastery.
Near the island lies the village that bears the same name. The island has an area about 9 hectare,The surroundings are awesome, a natural reserve with a lake and the monastery is on an island on this lake (there were flamingos on the lagoon). The monastery and the bridge to the island are very picturesque, worth seeing it.

 BORA BORA BEACH,ALBANIA

It was ok. Nothing specialy nice restoran on the beach . Many choice of clasic food . Waiters friendly but they can warn me that pomes is near food which I order . I order again because i did not know that it is near main food .

ALI PASHA CASTLE

Some couple hundred meters of stone path up to the castle. Entrance to the castle in late SEP 2016 was completely free and unsupervised.
However the interior was nearly all dark (although it was a sunny daytime) and it was difficult to see your steps. Nice views from the vast upper level.
I hope the goverment would protect also this piece of history better as the visits have caused already some damage. The castle is nice and rather beautiful but nothing too special for a person who has visited earlier somewhat bigger and more impressive european Castles / fortresses. If you are close by I recommend to visit – otherwise, from longer distances, no need to bother.

KANINE CASTLE

When you go to Vlora, you must go to Kanina village, to see the amazing view of the see from there, and the Canina castle is another attraction not to lose. From the castle you can see the other side of the mountain. There is no guide to tell something about the story of the castle, but I liked the view. The restorant in Canina village “The balcony of Vlora” is closed. Its difficult to find a place to eat, you must try the restaurant at the end of the village, at the end of the street.

MURADIE MOSQUE

Few steps from the centre and monument of independence a nice mosque from second half of the 16th century. It is one of hthe few who survived the communist era, when Albania was officially declared to be an atheist state and a lot of churches of all religions were destroyed. It consists of a prayer hall and a minaret IUt is attributed to Sinan, an architect of Albanian origin who was important mosque builder in turkish Ottoman Empire. Nice place to visit. .

Muradie Mosque

 NATIONAL MUSEUM OF INDEPENDENCE

This is an interesting museum particularly because some of the rooms are exactly as they were when the ministers who claimed Independence in November1912 used the building as their headquarters.

ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM, VLORE

Try stepping back to a time when museums were not all eye candy. This museum lays out its 300 objects depicting the peoples’ lives on the floor or on a bench. Everything is helter-skelter. But you can make out a strange looking tobacco cutter, an eel fork, or a carved wooden wool bobbin. You’ll ogle at the full sheepskin winter cloak hanging on one wall. To keep the sword arm or shepherd’s crook arm free Albanian mountain men wore this heavy cloak slung over the left shoulder. Upstairs you’ll see an array of gorgeous 100-150 year old heavily embroidered folk costume pieces. These objects are displayed in the Patriot’s Club, a house used for meetings leading to Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Turks (1912). It is the real Albania.

Ethnographic Museum, Vlore

Gjirokastra

 

The Castle

The castle is open all year round (April to September 09:00 to 19:00, October to March 09:00 to 17:00 ) with an admission price of 200 Lek/1.5o €. The castle has been the nucleus of Gjirokastra, with most of its population living within its walls until the Old Bazaar Quarter (Pazar i Vjetër) developed outside its northern gate in the 15th century. The first fortifications were probably built since the 5th century BC when Epirus was a battleground between Illyrians, Macedonians and Roman forces. A bigger fortress was erected by the Despotes of Epirus under Byzantine auspices in the 12th and 13th centuries. During Ottoman times the castle was progressively enlarged and improved until Ali Pasha of Tepelena gave it its present shape by adding the clock tower and its southwest extension in 1811-1812, making it the second largest castle in the Balkans. Through a 12 km aqueduct he brought drinking water from the mountains. The castle housed a garrison in the 19th and a prison in the 20th century. Its last administrative buildings were taken down only after 1968

The Gjirokastra Museum

Gjirokastra Museum was opened in 2012 and housed in one of the most beautiful galleries of the Castle. It relates the history and culture traditions of the city and its surroundings area from the prehistoric times until nowadays, through archeological and historical objects, archive materials and oral histories. It is considered one of the most modern museums in the country with a special design and combination of the narratives and images.

National Museum of Armaments

Originally opened in 1971, the National Museum of Armaments is located in what was once the part of the prison.  The current displays cover Albanian arms from independence in 1912 to the end of World War II, and most of the museum is dedicated to the Partisan struggle against the Italian and German occupation forces from 1939 to 1944.

The prison

The entrance to the prison is in the first gallery of the National Armaments Museum. Completed in 1932, the prison was used by King Zog’s regime followed by the Italian and German occupation forces during the Second World War, and finally the communist regime until 1968.  The only part of the prison that is accessible to visitors was developed as a museum by the communist regime in the 1970s.  Ask the armament museum staff to orientate you. Bektashi Turbe (tomb)
Situated to the right about 50m inside the main gate you will see a small building tucked into the walls of the castle amidst a lovely garden. It contains the remains of two Bektashi Babas.

The American Airplane

A U.S. military training plane was forced to land near Tirana in 1957 having technical problems. The pilot was returned to the US a short time later, but the plane, which the communists maintained was a spy plane, was brought to the castle as a trophy of the Cold War.

The festival Stage

The stage was erected in the 1980s and has for some years been the home of the Albanian National Folk Festival, held every four years (last held in 2015). During the year the stage is used by the municipality on public holidays to present music and dance events.

The Bazaar of Gjirokastra

Until the mid 20th century Gjirokastra was an important market centre for agricultural products from the region, leatherworking and woodworking. The combination of administrative positions and vast feudal land holdings provided the basis for the wealth of the town. By the 1580s the town had more than 400 dwellings, and in the 17th century Memi Pasha, the Ottoman governor, laid out a new commercial quarter with a mosque, on the present site, with all roads coming together at the ‘neck’ of the bazaar. This first planned town centre was almost completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1750s.  Another fire in 1912 resulted in a further reconstruction, for which steel beams were first used to support the shop fronts.Nowadays the area is the heart of the touristic interest with many shops, souvenirs, artisan activities and bars and restaurants.

Ethnographic Museum:

The ethnographic museum is situated in the Palorto Quarter, which is the best preserved district in the old town of  Gjirokastra. The Ethnographic Museum stands on the site of the home of Enver Hoxha, communist dictator of Albania from 1944 to 1985.  The museum building was constructed in 1966 after the original house was destroyed by fire.  The reconstruction was designed as a model traditional Gjirokastra house with many classic features known to have been copied from particular houses around the city.  From 1966 to 1991 the building served as the Anti-Fascist Museum. In 1991 the exhibits from the previous Ethnographic Museum were moved into this space. The house has four floors, all of which are open to the public. The rooms are arranged as they would have actually been used and are decorated with numerous household items, folk costumes and cultural artefacts typical of a wealthy Gjirokastra family of merchants or Ottoman administrators living in the 19th Century. The Ethnographic museum is open all year April to September 08:00 to 12:00 and 16:00 to 19:00 daily. October to March 08:00 to 16:00

The Babameto House – Centre for Culture and Heritage

The Babameto House is an elegant 2 stores house situated in the very heart of the Bazaar. In fact it is composed of two buildings, dated 1885 and 1887, housing separate branches of one family. The outside symmetry is not repeated inside, hinting at western ideas, with less emphasis on collective living. After 10 years of dereliction the building is restored in 2013. Open for the public, it is used as a good example of revitalization and modern use of a typical Gjirokastra house. Babameto serves as a Centre for Culture and Heritage, housing culture and tourist events, as well as an accommodation facility and a hostel. The property is under the administration the the Gjirokastra Foundation Entrance: free (A donation box is available for contributions).

The Zekate House

The best surviving example of an ottoman tower house in Gjirokastra’ (prof. dr Emin Riza) The fortified tower houses – known as kullë (kullë is Turkish for tower) belonged to wealthy individuals such as administrative officials or merchants. They all follow a basic layout: a secure stone lower storey topped by a wooden gallery where the principal rooms for an extended family are located.  Embrasures are set in the walls to help defend against attacking enemies. The Zekate House is a particularly grand example of the typical kullë (tower-house).  Constructed in 1811-1812 it has twin towers and a great double arched façade. The views of the town and the river valley below are spectacular. There are three floors; the ground floor contains storage rooms, a high ceilinged kitchen and the cistern.  There is a central staircase which winds upwards through the building. The first floor has two rooms that were used as living quarters for branches of the family, while the third floor has a grand reception room and two other smaller rooms. The principal room is very typical of the grandest of these dwellings with frescoed walls, a carved ceiling and an ornate fireplace.  This level would have been shared by the whole family.  At the centre of floor at the top of the staircase there is a wooden balcony overlooking the town.  This has a raised section on which the head of the family would sit, meet his guests and watch what went on in the city below.The Zekate house is open for visitors. A family member will come out and unlock the door.

Skënduli House

Skender Skenduli, another wealthy land owner, built the Skendulate House (22) in 1823 during Gjirokastra’s greatest period. The house had two courtyards and is unique in having both an internal and external staircase. It used to have 46 chimneys, indicating the wealth of the Skënduli family. The main guest room (oda), in particular, is distinguished by its decorated ceiling and wooden poles, just as the many other wooden decorations throughout this house give it an unrepeatable value. The great number of loopholes and the sophisticated locks of the main doors bear witness of its defensive function.It is open for visitors; there are not yet exact times of opening hours. A family member will appear always to guide you inside.

Kadare House

Kadare House is the newest attractions in the historic city.  It belongs to the family of Ismail Kadare who was born here in 1936. Ismail Kadare is the most well known Albanian writer internationally.  Destroyed by fire in 1997, the house is now being fully reconstructed and offers several of exhibitions mostly related with the figure of the writer.Opening hours from April to October from 09.00-19.00

The Fico House is of special interest because, built in 1908, it allows us to trace the evolution of the Gjirokastra house up to the beginning of the 20th century, when this type of house was no longer built. The architectural treatment of the interior and exterior presents new developments: the interior becoming simpler, the exterior being enriched with new elements. The front has two arched gates, and this house is the only one in Gjirokastra that has elaborate wooden ornaments of the pediment and window frames.Not set any opening hours schedule and no entrance fee applied, however, donations and contributions are appreciated.

Apollonia

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Apollonia was an ancient Greek city located on the right bank of the Aous river (modern-day Vjosë). Its ruins are situated in Fier County, next to the village of Pojani (Polina), in modern-day Albania. Apollonia was founded in 588 BCE by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth,[2] on a site where native Illyrian tribes[3] lived and was perhaps the most important of the several classical towns known as Apollonia. Apollonia flourished in the Roman period and was home to a renowned school of philosophy, but began to decline in the 3rd century AD when its harbor started silting up as a result of an earthquake. It was abandoned by the end of Late Antiquity.

The name of the city is mentioned among the modern bishoprics of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania (Apollonia and Fier). Apollonia is also a titular see of the Latin Church.

THE MOST INCREDIBLE HIKES IN ALBANIA

Valbona and Theth

The most famous, and perhaps most beautiful, hiking trail in Albania is the one from Valbona to Theth, through the Accursed Mountains. It is a not-to-be missed chance to admire one of the most spectacular landscapes of the Balkan Peninsula and to experience the beauty of the Albanian Alps. The hike, called Peaks of the Balkans, because it also crosses over into the neighboring countries of Kosovo and Montenegro, follows an old mule track, is almost 20 km long, and can be completed in one day because it takes a total of eight hours with several stops to enjoy the views and take pictures. Both Valbona and Theth have been declared national parks of Albania and are two of the most beautiful areas of the country.

Valbona Valley National Park, Albania

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Grunas Canyon

Grunas Canyon is one of the most incredible natural places you’ll see in Albania. It can be found on the south side of the Thethi National Park and can be visited only with expert guides that will lead you to admire this gorgeous two-km-long and 60-meter-deep canyon. The path that leads to the canyon is simply gorgeous and offers incredible views over the Thethi River, which with its crystal clear water is the most beautiful river in the country. Luckily, the river has enough water for canoe sailing year-round, so if you are a fan of this kind of activity, don’t miss the chance to try it.

Grunas Canyon, Albania

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The Blue Eye of Theth

Theth is perhaps the most famous place in Albania to hike, and once here you’ll easily understand why: it is the most beautiful place in the Albanian Alps surrounded by gorgeous natural landscapes. Not all places are reachable by car, so it is a really good area to explore on foot. If you want to visit the gorgeous Blue Eye of Kaperre (Albania has two blue eyes, the other is near Saranda, in the south), you need to walk a lot: from Theth you need to pass through Grunas Canyon and Kaperre, then you’ll arrive at one of the most incredible places you’ll see in your life. The Blue Eye is a natural pool formed by the erosion of the cliff by the river that created several waterfalls and swimming holes.

Blue Eye of Theth, Albania

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Llura Nature Park

Lura Park of nature covers an area of 1,280 hectares to the east of “Lura’s Crown” in northeastern Albania. The Llura Nature Park – Parku Kombëtar i Lurës in Albanian is situated on the eastern slopes of Lura Mountain. Lura Mountain climbs up to a height of 1600 to 1700 meters, and features magnificent beech forests and high conifers. This remote area has great possibilities for developing eco-tourism. The town of Peshkopi is about 25 km east of the National Park while villages of Fushë-Lurë and Sina e Epërme are even closer to the National Park.

Llura Nature Park

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Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park

Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park is in the Librazhd and Bulqizë regions of Albania. It is one of Albania’s newest national parks, having been created in 2008. The park occupies the northeastern section of the district of Librazhd and runs along the border with Macedonia.he park offers some of the most rugged scenery in the eastern section of country that were carved into their present shapes by the glaciers of the last ice age.

Shebenik-Jabllanice National Park

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South Albania

A hike in the south of Albania is one of the most gorgeous adventures to try in life. Why? It offers spectacular views over one of the most beautiful coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, lapped by turquoise waters, from one side, and surrounded by great mountain panoramas, on the other side. The hike includes Tomorr, Mount Çika, and the Ceraunian Mountains in the west, two mountains that are close to Llogara National Park, the most famous mountain pass in Albania.

Llogara Pass, Albania

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THE MOST STUNNING BEACHES IN ALBANIA

THE MOST STUNNING BEACHES IN ALBANIA

Albania’s southern coastline, with its lovely traditional hamlets, cobblestoned streets and small Orthodox churches, has plenty of beautiful beaches lapped by pristine waters, rivalling nearby Greece for half the price. And if you get your fill of coastal bays, you can head for the natural springs near Saranda or the lake shores near the Macedonian border – Albania has plenty of surprises. To name all of the beautiful beaches would be impossible, but here’s a list of the eleven most stunning beaches in Albania.

Drymades

Drymades just may be the most beautiful beach of Albania: a small bay near the village of Dhërmi with a large rock that divides the pebbly beach from the sandy one, it’s the perfect place to spend some time relaxing. The beach is not crowded, not even during the summer, so keep it in mind.

Drymades Beach, 9700, Dhërmi, Albania

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Dhërmi

Near Drymades, you’ll find Dhërmi, one of the most famous places in Albania, a strip of white rock lapped by turquoise waters. The beach is one of the longest and, in the summer, most crowded in the Riviera, but there are a few spots to be found away from the crowds even in the peak of the season.

Dhërmi Beach, Albania

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Himara

The village of Himara is one of the most frequented of the Albanian Riviera, but it still hasn’t lost its charm. There are several beautiful beaches near the town, such as Livadhi, a white stone bay surrounded by olive trees, or Potami, located in a dramatic setting between the sea and a river.

Livadhi Beach, Albania

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Borsh

The largest beach of Albania is Borsh, an untouched seven-kilometer-long stretch of sand located along the Albanian Riviera. It is surrounded by olive groves and high mountain peaks, and despite its beauty, is one of the least visited beaches in the country.

Borsh Beach, Rruga Plazhi, Borsh, Albania

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Vlora

The town of Vlora, the third largest city in Albania, is home to stunning untouched beaches. With Teuta Boat Tours, it is possible to reach the unspoiled bays of Karaburun and Sazan from the port of Vlora, but if you prefer to drive, head toward the south and go to Radhime or Orikum.

Vlora, Albania

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Saranda

The coastal town of Saranda is considered the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera. It is one of the most frequented spots of the country, for many reasons: the town is near the border with Greece, in front of the island of Corfu, and has plenty of gorgeous beaches, such as Pulebardha, a pebbly beach surrounded only by nature and fabulous water.

Pulebardha, Butrint National Park, Saranda, Albania

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Ksamil

South of Saranda, there is Ksamil, one of the best beach destinations in Albania. Ksamil is also called “the Ionian pearl” because of its beauty. It is located in a dramatic setting, a bay with three small islands reachable by swim or a boat ride, and surrounded by turquoise waters. We suggest that you avoid Ksamil in August, because it is very crowded.

Ksamil Beach, 9760, Albania

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Gijpe

Hidden by the mountains, Gjipe is the perfect beach for those who are looking for quiet and relaxation. Why? Because the bay is far from the road and to reach it requires a 30-minute trek through nature that offers spectacular views of the coast.

Gijpe Beach, Albania

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Narta, Zvernec

Just 15 minutes by car from Vlora, there is Narta, a beautiful sandy lagoon with blue waters, perfect for families. A plus here is the small island of Zvernec with an 18th-century Orthodox monastery hidden in the middle of a forest, accessible only by a wooden bridge.

Narta Beach, Albania

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Syri I Kalter

Technically Syri i Kalter is not a beach, but a natural spring. However, it doesn’t matter: this gorgeous spot is the perfect place to swim alone in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the country. It is located along the road between Saranda and Gijrokaster and totally worth a stop.

Syri i Kalter, Saranda, Albania 

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Pogradec

Albania doesn’t have only stunning coastal beaches, but is also home to one of the oldest and most beautiful lakes of Europe, Lake Ohrid. Near Pogradec, the main town located on the Albanian side of the lake, there are several gorgeous beaches crowded in the summer months, but perfect in spring or at the end of summer.

Pogradec, Albania

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DELICIOUS FOOD TO TRY IN ALBANIA

One of the best reasons why everyone should include Albania in his or her bucket list’s places to see is the food. Albanian gastronomy is excellent, fresh and tasty. You can eat gorgeous dishes in the fanciest restaurants as well as amazing street foods. Here’s a list of  delicious food to try in the Land of the Eagles.

Byrek

The most famous food in Albania is byrek, a tasty salty pie made with filo pastry. One of the most famous is byrek with spinach, but the bars, trucks, pastry shops also sell byrek, often with gjize cheese or meat. All versions are just delicious!Try byrek, made with feta cheese cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, and meat all layered in a tasty filo pastry. Kungullur is filo pastry and pumpkin, butter, salt, or sugar. You will find it everywhere in the country, in different sizes and types.And finally Kakllaasarem – a traditional food from Kosovo, it’s a layered pita without anything inside and covered with garlic and yogurt, served warm. It’s a typical lunch for the Albanians.
Cost: 50 ALL ( €0.4)
Byrek with Spinach

Fërgesë

Fërgesë is one of the tastier and best Albanian foods made with peppers, tomatoes and cottage cheese. You’ll find it mostly in Tirana and surrounding areas, because it is a typical dish of the central region of Albania. The fresh products are cooked together and form a cream; it’s perfectly accompanied by homemade bread.

Cost: 300 ALL ( €2.40)

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Tavë Kosi

Another not-to-miss food to try in Albania is Tavë Kosi, one of the most beloved dishes by locals. It is typical of Elbasan, a city near Tirana, but you will find it everywhere in the country, from the mountain hamlets to the coastal towns. Tavë Kosi is a tasty quiche-like dish made with lamb, eggs and yogurt.

Cost: 500 ALL (€4.00)

Tavë Kosi

Speça me gjize

Speça me gjize is one of the most colorful and tasty foods of the country, made with yellow, orange, green and red peppers stuffed with rice, cottage cheese and spices before being baked in the oven. It is a healthy choice and a great vegetarian dish too (Albanian gastronomy has plenty of veggie options, as you can see).

Cost: 250 ALL (€2.00)

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Tarator

During the summers a cold soup called tarator is served.  It’s made with vinegar, cucumber, garlic, walnut, fennel, and spices. During the winters the Albanians have plenty of hearty stews to choose from.

Cost: 140 ALL (€1.10)

Tarator

Qofte

Qofte, or grilled meatballs, is one of the most popular meat dishes of Albania. Generally qofte are seasoned with spices and mint and served with raw onion and salad. A variant of qofte is kernaçka, a different kind of meatball typical of Korça, one of the most important towns of Albania.

Albanian Qofte
Cost: 20 ALL (€0.2)
Albanian Qofte

Grilled meat

Across Albania, one of the most famous meals is the grilled meat, mostly known as zgara. You’ll find it everywhere, even in the restaurants located in front of the sea, but mostly in the typical grill houses. Order a big plate of mixed grilled meat with a salad and a local beer and enjoy

Cost: 650 ALL (€5.00)
Mix of Grilled Meat

Perime ne Zgare

Grilled vegetables are popular in Albania as well as in the rest of the Balkan countries. Eggplants, zucchini, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and so on, used as appetizer or accompaniment of main dishes. If you love to eat vegetarian, don’t worry, even in the grill houses you’ll find perime ne zgare.

Cost: 300-400 ALL (€2.40 – €3.20)

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Fish

Located right on the Sea, Albania is famous for its seafood. In the restaurants located along the coast and in the main towns through the Riviera, such as Vlora and Saranda, you can eat fresh, excellent fish for less than . Eating fresh seafood while in Albania admiring the fabulous sea panoramas from the terraces of restaurants is a must.

Cost: 1500 ALL (€13.o0)

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Sweets and desserts

Albanians definitely have a sweet tooth and you’ll find that most enjoy a dessert with their meals.  There are lots of fruit and cream dishes, as well as cookies and baklava. When you’re looking for something to top off your meal, look for wheat (ashure) or rice (sultash) puddings, fried dough in a rich syrup (tollumba), or crystallized fruit (oshaf).  Boza, a fermented malt drink, often accompanies dessert.

Shëndetli

This honey nut cake is a typical Albanian dessert, and is also a very popular one. It’s made with all of the usual cake suspects – baking soda, flour, sugar, eggs – but what sets it apart is the addition of honey and walnuts.

Also, when the cake is ready, a hot syrup made with vanilla, sugar, water and cloves is poured over the cake and left to soak overnight. This dessert is delicious, and isn’t too sweet either.

Cost: 150 ALL (€1.20)

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Baklava

Baklava is the star of Turkey as well as of Balkan Peninsula: you will find it everywhere while visiting Albania and in various sizes and kinds. The typical Albanian variety of this famous cake is made with nuts, but in the bakeries and pastries there is the pistachio version, which is even tastier.

Cost: 270 ALL (€2.00)

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Ashure

When you’re looking for something to top off your meal, look for wheat (ashure) This pudding traditionally contains apricots, raisins, currants, figs, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, chickpeas and navy beans to name just a few ingredients.

Cost: 150 ALL (€1.10)

Ashure

Drinks

Raki

Albania isn’t known for their wines, which is a bit of a shame.  They’ve got an excellent bouquet and taste.  The upside is that, because the international market hasn’t caught on yet, they are also low cost.  Look for reds like Shesh and Zi, made in Durres and Tirana, Mavrod from Leskovik, and Calmet from Shkoder and Peshop.  For whites, look for Riesling from Durres, and Shesh I Bardhe from Tirana. Local beer brands include Kaon, Norga, Stela and Tirana. Skandenberg, a high quality cognac, is also made in Albania.

Cost:1500 ALL (€13.00)

Raki

 

10 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ALBANIA

Still very much off the beaten path, year-on-year Albania is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to its stunning scenery, interesting historic sites, and welcoming people.

Isolated and shut off from the world for so long, Albania emerged from communist rule in 1991. Nowadays, visitors are invariably surprised at all that it has to offer; beautiful beaches lying alongside breathtaking mountain ranges and glittering lakes.

Thanks to its long and interesting history, Albania’s cities and scenic countryside are full of amazing old castles, Roman ruins, and Ottoman-era mosques and buildings, which make the country fascinating to explore.

With picturesque towns such as Gjirokaster and Berat for visitors to enjoy, there is always something new to see and do. The now colorful capital, Tirana, is full of monuments and museums offering a look at the country’s communist past.

A fascinating country, now is the time to visit Albania, as word is quickly spreading about what this hidden gem has to offer.

 

10. Dhermishowmap

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With its welcoming turquoise waters and beautiful beaches that stretch into the distance, the gorgeous scenery of Dhermi is where many young Albanians head to in the summer. It is also home to some pulsating nightlife.

Located on a mountain slope overlooking the sea, the town boasts some stunning sunsets. Grabbing a drink at one of its numerous bars and restaurants while watching the sun go down is a lovely way to spend an evening.

While there is a fun and festive atmosphere about the place, with lively beachside bars blaring out music, there is more than enough beach to go around; you can always find a peaceful spot to simply kick back and enjoy the scenery of the Albanian Riviera.

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Durresdreamstime/© Lev Levin

Once the capital of Albania, Durres is located not far from Tirana on the country’s coastline. It is a very popular destination, which means that it can get a bit crowded during the summer.

With one of the largest ports in the Adriatic, the city is a bit stuffy and over-developed, although there is a nice stretch of beach for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. Along the seafront, there are lots of restaurants selling delicious fresh seafood.

Fought over for millennia by the Bulgarians, Greeks, Venetians, and Ottomans, among others, its wealth of historic sites entices just as many people as its beaches. The spectacular Roman amphitheater and fantastic archaeological museum are the undoubted highlights.

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Sarande

With its stunning location on the Ionian Sea, Sarande is blessed with year-round warm weather, sparkling waters, and a relaxed way of life.

While the seafront is a bit over-developed with its line of identity-less apartment blocks, there are lots of nice parts of Sarande to walk around, and loads of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops on offer.

In addition to the ancient ruins found in town, Sarande’s surroundings are full of historic sites and natural beauty, making it a great place to use as a base to explore the region.

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Shkodra

Lying just a stone’s throw away from huge Lake Skadar that straddles the Montenegro-Albania border, Shkodra is a very pretty city to visit. The Buna River runs through town and the Albanian Alps can be seen off in the distance.

The undoubted highlight is Rozafa Castle. Over the course of its history, it has been ruled by the Illyrians, Venetians, and Ottomans, to name a few. The magnificent ramparts and ruins of the castle are fun to explore, and the views over Shkodra are breathtaking.

Although the center of the city has recently undergone extensive renovations, there are still plenty of lovely old buildings and historic sites to be found, such as the Ebu Beker Mosque and Orthodox Cathedral. The Historical Museum showcases just some of the region’s rich history and heritage.

With so much beautiful countryside surrounding Shkodra for visitors to explore, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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Berat

Widely regarded as one of the prettiest cities in the whole of the Balkans, Berat is known as ‘the Town of a Thousand Windows,’ as so many windows peer out at you from the front of its hillside buildings which are so tightly clustered together.

Located on a hillside, there are a number of Ottoman-era mosques and Byzantine churches scattered about town. One of the best views of Berat is from across the banks of the Osumi River which runs through it.

While simply wandering around Berat is a lovely way to spend the time, the town also has a great 13th-century hilltop castle, which is worth visiting for the outstanding views. There are also two interesting museums with some fascinating local costumes and artifacts on display and some splendid 16th-century icons.

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Himare

With its beautiful setting on the Albanian Riviera, Himare’s sparkling turquoise waters and spectacular hilly coastline make it a great place to head if you’re after some sun, sea, and sand.

While its beaches and peaceful seaside promenade are what most people come for, the historic old town is lovely to wander around; its atmospheric tavernas are full of Mediterranean charm and delicious local seafood.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the old town is a delightful castle, which offers wonderful views over the sea. The nearby mountains also have some lovely trails and viewpoints for visitors to enjoy, while the surrounding countryside is home to spectacular churches and monasteries, such as the Monastery of the Cross and Athaliotissa.

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Gjirokaster

Located in the south of the country, Gjirokaster is a delight to visit. Its beautiful old town is perched on the side of a hill overlooking a valley and its winding cobbled streets are full of quaint buildings and historic sites.

With over 500 homes and buildings protected and preserved as ‘cultural monuments’, Gjirokaster is full of wonderful architecture. It is often known as the ‘City of Stone’ due to the distinctive local rooves that can be seen everywhere you go.

Perched above the scenic Old Bazaar is Gjirokaster Castle, reputed to be the second largest in the whole of the Balkans. A fascinating place to visit, the castle has an underground Cold War-era bunker and an Armaments Museum for visitors to enjoy, alongside its impressive fortifications and ruins.

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Kruje

Lying just to the north of Tirana, Kruje – or Kruja, as it is known in English – is famous for being the home city of Albania’s national hero Gjergj Skanderbeg. In the 15th century, Gjergj managed to hold out against the Ottomans for 25 years from his base in Kruje.

Known as the ‘Adriatic Balcony’ by locals, the craggy mountain that looks over the city is home to the majestic Kruje Castle, which was once Skanderbeg’s base. Nowadays, there is an interesting museum about the hero as well as a fantastic 15th-century church located within its walls. The panoramic views from the castle are simply spectacular.

The Old Bazaar in the center of town is just as fascinating to walk around. Nestled away amongst its atmospheric streets you’ll find some delightful little cafes and restaurants, alongside the plethora of shops selling anything from souvenirs and artisan goods to antiques and leather products.

A picturesque and peaceful place, Kruje is well worth visiting for its historic sites and beautiful natural setting. The surrounding area is equally enchanting to explore, with its lakes, canyons, and mountains.

2. Butrint National Parkshowmap
Butrint National Park

Home to a number of diverse ecosystems and stunning archaeological sites, Butrint National Park is a popular tourist destination, in large part due to its proximity to the Greek island of Corfu. Many people come to see its majestic blend of history and nature.

Covering a peninsula that is bordered by the huge Lake Butrint on one side and the Vivari Channel on the other, the natural beauty is magnificent; over 1,200 different types of animals and plants reside amongst its scenic wetlands, hills, and islands.

The main attraction, however, is the amazing archaeological site which covers over 2,500 years of history; this includes ancient city walls, remnants of a Roman theater, a Byzantine Basilica and two castles. Wandering around the ruins with the beautiful scenery all around you is a delightful experience. This is undoubtedly one of the hidden gems of what Albania has to offer.

1. Tiranashowmap
#1 of Best Places To Visit In Albania

Once full of grey, unwelcoming communist buildings, Tirana has transformed considerably since the early 90s. Albania’s capital is now a fun, friendly and festive place to visit.

Full of life, the now brightly colored pedestrian streets showcase some delightful Ottoman-era buildings and Italian architecture that highlights the country’s rich past. There are a number of great museums and art galleries worth checking out. Of particular interest is BUNK’ART, which was once a huge government bunker but now hosts art installations.

While it can be slightly chaotic in the traffic-filled center of town, the scenic Mount Dajti is just a short cable car ride away. With fantastic views of the city below and resplendent nature all around, it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

With endless bars, cafes, and restaurants to be found around the trendy Blloku area, Tirana has a lively nightlife scene. Visitors to this under-visited capital invariably come away impressed at all that the city has to offer.

20 FUN FACTS ABOUT TRAVELLING

Facts About Travelling: Travel is one of the most popular forms of leisure around the world. When most of us decide to take a vacation from work it almost always involves planning to travel somewhere. There are so many
interesting things on this planet to see and learn about and this list is only going to cover twenty of them.

  1. The pilot and his assistant must eat different food in order not to upset their stomachs at the same time.
  2.  Don’t afraid to fly! Statistically, a plain is the safest mode of transport in the world.
  3.  People are changing the world while they are traveling. A lot of custom writers and artists get inspiration during a trip.
  4.  Monaco is the second among the smallest countries in the world after the Vatican. It occupies the area of 2 square kilometers. Monaco is even smaller than Central Park in New York City.
  5. In New Guinea, there are more than 850 languages. It’s the paradise for linguists.
  6. Fans of high speed should go to German. There are no speed limits on their autobahns and other freeway-style highways.
  7. In 1987, American Airlines saved $40,000  by removing one olive from each salad served in first class
  8. Travelling by train is usually the cheaper alternative, but I’m fairly sure you will reconsider when you want to travel to Vladivostok from Moscow. The longest rail journey in the world is between these 2 cities, taking seven days of travel through the frozen taiga forests, totaling  9,302 kilometers (5,780 miles).
  9. Since we are talking about trains, let’s mention the fastest train ride, as well. Linking downtown Shanghai with Pudong International Airport, the Maglev train covers the intervening 30 kilometers (19 miles) in just 8 minutes, and with a top speed of 501 km/h (311 mph). That must be quite the ride.
  10. The number one country for paid time off is Italy. Italians receive an average of 42 paid vacation days from their employers each year.
  11. Most workers in the US receive less than 2 weeks’ worth of vacation time per year
  12. Did you know there’s research revealing which languages are the happiest, i.e. contain the largest number of positive words? According to this measure, the happiest language is Spanish, with Portuguese, English, Indonesian and French rounding out the top five.
  13. Usually, a plain reserves a white stripe in the sky so you can predict the weather. According to the thickness of the line, you can determine large or small air humidity is. Very thick stripe means that a storm is coming.
  14. Money spent on the journey makes people happier than money spent on tangible goods.
  15. Las Vegas has the largest number of hotel rooms in the whole world.
  16. Many people think that they will travel when becoming retirees. But they can’t because of poor health and loss of enthusiasm.
  17. France is the most popular country among tourists.
  18. Travelling is not always expensive. You can find cheap rooms in most cities to stay there for a night.
  19. The most intelligent country is Canada. More than 55% of the population has higher education.
  20. The largest underground cemetery in the world is located in Paris. There are around 6 million dead persons buried there.