Travel Tips to European Countries: Albania

Albania is a mountainous country and the one of the smallest countries of Europe. The residents supposedly descended from ancient Illyrians. The best time to visit Albania is in spring (April-June) or autumn (September – November). In this period only warm temperatures (but not too hot) and less chance of rainfall prevails to suit most of the travelers. Having said that though, if you like the heat or don’t mind a bit of rain, Albania is great for year-round travel! The blend of beaches and mountains add beauty to the destination. Albania is a the beautiful place to add in your bucket list of Europe Tour package. For all your flight booking and hotel booking at wholesale price (B2B Price) click here

Thanks to Britannica

How to reach

Tirana is the nearest Airport, but normally it is considered by budget travelers as non economical route. One of the most popular ways of reaching Albania is by ferry. Most of them depart from Italy and arrive at either Durrës, Vlorë or Sarandë, although some come from Greece too. Ferries for Durrës leave from Ancona, Bari and Trieste. If you go to Brindisi, you can catch a ferry to Vlorë and Sarandë. One of the best and the easiest means is to go by air. Albanian Airlines is the national airline which works in collaboration with Tyrolean Airways, and provides service to almost all the big European cities. The airport, Mother Teresa, is 16 miles or 26 km away from the capital. For your Airport transfers click here.

A tourist bus is available every 3 hrs to get to the city center and takes about 30 minutes to get there. Taxis are available round the clock. While waiting for any transport service, tourists can check out the duty free shops, bank, eateries and car hire at the airport. A departure tax of $10 USD is imposed on all foreign nationals. Buses start from Istanbul, Athens and Sofia. Internal passengers have lots of options with bus services provided. If traveling by road in a private car, there is road network to the Kosovo region, but they are too dangerous to use because of the political tensions within the region. Crossings at Hani I Hotit, Bllata, Oafa e Thaes, Tushemisht, Gorica, Kapshtica, and kakavija can be taken. If tired one can take halts at hotels or other designated areas. There is a network of 18,000 km, out of which only 7450 km are main roads, for local travelers. . Click here for price comparison and booking. https://bit.ly/3fZsWp8

For those who plan to have self drive, about 2138km stretch of these roads is in poor condition and has pot holes, and utmost safety precautions should be taken when driving on such roads. Speed limit should be strictly followed on highways as well as within towns. Driving at night should be better avoided because of the absence of street lights on the road except for urban areas. For all your insurance needs click here.

Albania is a safe country to travel in. Like any country though, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Avoid flaunting any expensive equipment/technology, don’t walk home alone at night, and be cautious when you’re driving/crossing roads.

Always carry out travel insurance before you go anywhere! It’ll protect you in case of theft, illness or injury. Check out my travel insurance here.

Traffic should drive on the right-hand. There is a shortage of gas stations in the countryside, so filling the gas tank completely when passing through urban area is recommended and since there is lack of national recovery system; travelers should be prepared for an emergency or breakdown before hand. One should carry necessary documents like International Driving Permit and national driving license. For self drive and with driver hire cars are available in and around Europe. Click here to hire a cab.

Accomodation

Albania the Balkans’ best-kept secret, and here’s why. It’s home to some of the best beaches in Europe, and whether you like them sandy or secluded, or lively or laid-back, you’ll find one to suit you. The country’s Mediterranean climate varies in the highlands and lowlands, so it’s best to avoid the colder mountainous regions in winter. To experience the best of Albania’s beaches, head to the seaside towns of Ksamil or Saranda. From there, you can easily reach the historic site of Butrint and its Roman ruins. The cosy hillside towns of Berat and Gjirokastër showcase the stunning architecture from the Ottoman period, as well as traces of Illyrians, Greeks, Romans and Byzantines also evident. If you want a 5-Star ambience, try The Sheraton Tirana Hotel and Towers, which is situated in the middle of a shopping and entertainment center. There are about 151 rooms and 56 suites. So, along with the comfort, one can shop at once convenience here. Another hotel which provides all modern facilities is Hotel Mondial. It is located 1000 m away from the city and is also a good example of traditional architecture. The capital, Tirana, is a hive of activity with its traditional restaurants, late-night bars and colourful buildings.

Tirana

For the best views over the city, head to Mount Dajti National Park. Just 25 kilometres east of Tirana, its cable cars take just 15 minutes to reach the top. Once there, you’re free to explore the surrounding beech and pine forests, picnic spots and restaurants serving typical roast lamb. For a stay along the Albanian Riviera, you can choose from hotels and apartments in Ksamil, Himara, Dhermi or Saranda. Tirana also offers a good choice of accommodation, including hostels. For all our hotel booking click here. Though a lot has changed, the Albanian Riviera is still known for its beauty and as one of the top beach destination spots. … Albania, and particularly the southern part of the country, has secluded pebble beaches, islands, and a few hidden and pristine sandy beaches.

Culture

The culture of Albania is majorly influenced by that of the mainland Greeks especially in the urban locality; nodding one’s head means ‘no’ where as shaking the head means ‘yes’. To greet someone, handshaking is preferred, though Shoku (Comrade) was used before, which has been long forgotten now. People dress informally here. Swim suits are meant for the beaches, otherwise women are expected not to dress in a revealing outfit. When addressing someone prefix Zoti(Mr) or Zonja(Mrs) before the name and always remember to carry some gifts when visiting someone, although flowers aren’t much acceptable. The guests are served with coffee, raki or sweets. Smokers don’t have to worry much, but they should avoid it where they see a sign of Ndalohet Duhani or Ndalohet pirja e duhanit.

Albania Culture

Traveling within the country:

Buses and Taxis which provided service for some main hotels. For comparison of price and to book your bus or train you can use the compare rate site. Click here for price comparison and booking.

Rail services are also available to reach various nearby attractions and to book your Train click here. For cheaper train offers by Train Line, a versatile booking platform for train and bus tickets around Europe. On the website, you can find all the necessary information on itineraries, prices, and travel times for more than 200 rail and bus providers in 45 countries, click here

Visit Dajti Mountain and experience Dajti Ekspres Cable car for an unforgettable 15 minute ride passing through Dajt Oark to reach Tirana. The route is about 4.2 km long and the ride costs €6.5.Alpha Yachting provides crewed yacht which is a luxury in itself. Tirana Bank is the best place for withdrawing money as it allows access to Visa cards.

Communication

One Telecommunications, is a telecommunications company that operates in Albania, previously as Albanian Mobile Communications (AMC), and as Telekom Albania. The provide 4G service presently. To have seamless communication it is better to have universal SIM card and app for travelers that is operational in 229 countries and allows for roaming-free travel. Click here for your roaming free SIM Card.

Eating Out

Restaurants are not always sufficiently heated, so always wear warm clothes if out in the night during winters. Foreigners are charged more than the locals. Both the entry fees as well as any merchandise will be on a higher scale, so it’s better not to reveal the fact that you are a foreigner when out on the streets.

Site Seeing

If you enjoy canoeing, this is the right place to be. There are places right outside Tirana which is an amazing site for not just canoeing, but also rock climbing, hiking, and camping.

Duty Free Items

Following are the items that can be carried without customs duty being levied on them:

  1. 1liter of spirits or 2liter of wine
  2. 250ml of eau de toilette
  3. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
  4. 50ml of perfume.

Prohibited Items

Things that are prohibited to carry are firearms, narcotics and ammunitions. Special export permission should be taken for precious metals, books, antiques, work of art, or material of national or historic value.

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