Where can I travel in Albania?
By: Amar Shah
Located in South East of Europe, Albania is the epitome of a cool, relaxing and awe inspiring holiday destination. Albania has breathtaking sights coupled with a great Mediterranean atmosphere with the Adriatic Ocean to the west while the Ionian Sea is to its southwest. Albania is also bordered by Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro.
Air transport is the most convenient means of getting into Albania and the Mother Teresa International Airport, 15 minutes away from the capital Tirana is the main entry point for visitors to Albania. Taxis lie in wait for you at the airport exit. It is also possible to get into Albania from her neighbouring countries by road or water. Moving around the country is well aided by trains, buses and cars available for hire. However, Albania lacks internal flights.
70% of Albania is mountainous and usually inaccessible although you will be able to savour the picturesque view of the mountains from a far. Some of the mountains are however accessible like the Gramoz mountains for an up-close adventure of the great mountain atmosphere and their diverse and indigenous flora. The Dajti Mountains will elevate you to the most amazing aerial view of the capital Tirana. Albania is also home to a couple of large lakes that leave in their wake thriving plant and aqua life. The Lake Ohrid and Lake Komani are two of Albania’s famous lakes. The famous National Park of Lura will treat you to a great landscape characteristic of mountains, lush meadows and glacial lakes as well as diverse wildlife. Bird lovers can on the other hand head to Albania’s coastal wetlands of Karavastaja for amazing eagles, spoonbills, herons and many more birds.
Besides the natural attractions, Albania has a lot of ancient monuments most of them in the cities. These include ancient castles with the most famous ones including the Petrela Castle near Tirana and the Skanderbeg Castle named after the national hero in Kruje and now a museum displaying his belongings. These castles together with archeological sights such as the long abandoned city of Apollonia and medieval churches will treat you to authentic historical experiences in Albania. The Albanian coast is another marvelous destination. Sandy beaches will welcome you as well as a good number of beautiful islands for you to explore. As you move around Albania marveling at her natural and historical beauty, you will have tonnes of interesting activities to indulge in from hiking and cycling through the mountains, swimming and sunbathing in her beautiful beaches, white-water rafting in the country’s rivers to boat and ferry rides in the lakes and seas.
The night life in Albania is much bubbly in the capital with live music often available. The coastal town hotels also have amazing music and dancing for their visitors. You can also sample Albania’s markets for traditional crafts. Albanian cuisine has large Ottoman and Italian influences and good restaurants are in plenty in Tirana and other big cities and towns, dwindling as you move to smaller towns. Sea food is one of Albania’s national dishes together with vegetables, sheep head soup (Pace koke) and sheep’s innards (Kukurec). Raki, a clear spirit made from grapes and coffee are national beverages here.
Your accommodation needs will be met by hotels with Tirana having the greatest number of international standard hotels while other cities have at least one of these. Guest houses are also available for quality accommodation. Largely unaltered by urbanization, Albania is the ultimate destination for your unique, rare and unforgettable experience.
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