25 TOP Places Must See in Albania
Albania is a unique country with two seas (the Adriatic and the Ionian), mountains and hills, lakes and rivers. The country's history is complicated, and it has only recently begun to open up to the outside world, not decades, but years ago. Hotels have only recently begun to be developed, there are few tourists here, and there is plenty to see and do. And the prices here are much lower than in neighboring countries. So it's worth visiting! Let's see 25 TOP Places Must See in Albania
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Duress is the most popular resort in Albania. Every year there are thousands of tourists. They love the warm Adriatic Sea, a wide coastline, and sandy beaches. And Duress is located close to the airport. There is an amphitheater, it is interesting to wander along its corridors + a few more ancient ruins. The old town is more interesting than in Vlora and Saranda.
But there are some disadvantages! The sea is quite dirty, algae nails to the shore. Beaches are very crowded, especially at the weekend.
Advice: If you go to the resorts of Durres, choose the Cerret area where are a lot of trees, fashionable hotels, a beautiful promenade, and the sea is cleaner.
Dhermi is the most expensive resort in Albania. There are the Ionian Sea, wide sandy beaches, a gently sloping entrance, and clear turquoise water.
This is so calmy place that you feel yourself like you are cut off from "civilization" - only beaches, hotels, and restaurants. The nearest town is located 20 km far away
Advice: near the high mountain pass Logara and the most picturesque mountain village. Don't miss them!
Gjipe Beach is one of the best beaches in Albania! There are wide beach, grottoes in the rock, incredible color of the water, the sound of the sea and silence. Only you, mountains and sea. There is a Gjipe canyon where you can discover the best places for taking photos. Also, there are various caves along the shore from Gjipe to which you can swim. ⠀ ⠀ It's easy enough to find on a map, but hard to get to. 30 to 60 minutes walking distance. But they are worth it. ⠀
Borsh is one of the prettiest resorts in Albania. It is famous for its largest beach in the Ionian Sea (length of 7 km along the Keravnian mountains) and a crystal-clear sea, some unrealistic bright blue color.
The beach is divided into sections, each of which belongs to a separate restaurant. Each of the beaches is the originality of their design. You won't find anywhere such a variety of colors, materials, and ideas in decorating a beach like here. Straw umbrellas, wooden beds with white canopies, bamboo tents with hemp rope curtains, a bar with swings instead of chairs...Everything is beautiful here - both nature and infrastructure created by human hands.
Borsh Beach, with its stunning four-mile-long shoreline, is totally worh visiting. The magnificent colors of turquoise and ultramarine are entrancing to observe from a distance as you drive down from the highlands. It is the Ionian coast of Albania's longest stretch of beach.
Sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and waterskiing are available during the day. At night, you'll always find the most unexpected, peaceful gatherings of locals and tourists, complete with music and bonfires, under the starry heavens.
Every summer, an increasing number of tourists find Borsh, yet the extra-long coastline can comfortably accommodate all of them, with room to spare.
Berat is a city - museum located on the coast of the river Osuma. It has preserved its appearance of the 18th-19th centuries, thanks to which it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is beautiful both during the day and at night!
Berat is also known as a city of thousands of windows! There are a lot of white Balkan houses with windows under tiled roofs, arched bridges, mosques, and temples, narrow cobbled streets.
A fortress was built high on a hill above the city. Some parts of the foundation belong to the 4th century. AD, but the walls, which are still preserved, were built much later - in the 12th century.
Advice: climb the observation deck in the fortress and take the best panoramic photos
Ksamil is located on the coastline of the Ionic Sea. It is the southernmost resort of Albania, 15 minutes drive from Sarandi. There are unique small cozy pebble beaches and water of all shades of blue.
Advice: to the west are picturesque rocky shores. You can't swim here, but you will enjoy the beauty and take incredible pictures
Bora Bora Beach is located in Ksamil and is known as the European Maldives. It's quite easy to get there by car, and parking is approximately 50 meters away from the beach. The beach stretches for about 100 meters. The place is very beautiful, with transparent water, white sand, green islands.
There is a lot of beach infrastructure here. You may rent a variety of items here, including loungers, umbrellas, and pedal boats. Restaurants and beach bars are located right on the beach, and there are numerous residences and hotels in the area. But too crowded, especially in summer.
This is Ksamil's most beautiful and unique beach, situated on a pebble ridge between two natural islands about a kilometer from Ksamil Beach. You can get there by catamaran, inflatable boat, and boat.
You can unwind both your body and your mind here. The seawater is beautifully clear, and the bottom is rough at depth, so don't forget a mask and enjoy the underwater environment.
Saranda is famous for its low bright houses on the slopes of the mountains, a sea of greenery, well-groomed squares, clean streets, many restaurants, shops, and playgrounds. And everything is the cleanest.
There are the Ionian Sea, mountains, rocks, pine trees, and the Greek island of Corfu on the horizon. And of course, there are beaches for every taste: sandy and pebbly, wide and tiny, with a gradual entry into the water and deep ones.
- Ferries to the Greek island of Corfu
- Several castles nearby (~30 min drive)
- Near the town of Ksamil (~15 min drive)
- Close to a beautiful place - Blue Eye (~40 min drive)
In Albania are two beautiful lakes with the same name "Blue Eye".
The Blue Eye Lake is a real, bright natural beautiful lake located between Saranda and Gjirokastra. The water temperature there is +13 all year round.
Syri-i-Kalter (alb. Syri i Kaltër) is a karst spring and a unique geological feature. The source, which emerges from the ground, creates a lake with crystal clear water that is rich blue in the center and vivid blue all around and resembles a human eye in shape. That's why it was called "Blue Eye"
In Albania are two beautiful lakes with the same name "Blue Eye". The Blue Eye Lake is located in Theth National Park. There is beautiful nature, the amazing color of water and a small waterfall.
Tirana is the capital of Albania and it is the first city you will see in Albania. Tirana is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe in terms of development with its compact historic center, city park, and colorful neighborhoods. There are a lot of places worth visiting.
More about Tirana you can read in the article: https://www.nomadsoup.com/top-7-places-to-go-in-tirana
Skadar Lake is the largest lake in Europe with more than 40 islands in its waters (It is 43 km long and 26 km wide and 6 rivers flow into it). It is surrounded by the picturesque mountains of the Dinaric Alps and divided by Albania and Montenegro.
Every year, the lake attracts a large number of birds. Pelicans, cormorants, numerous types of herons, black ibis, a variety of ducks, and even pink flamingos can all be found here. There are no crocodiles and other dangerous inhabitants The water is covered with a blanket of water lilies, and a water nut called "Devil's Horns" (a local delicacy).
Shkoder is the fourth largest city in the north of Albania. It was founded in the 4th century BC and is located nearby Tirana. Shkoder is famous for its Skadar Lake, which is almost equally owned by Montenegro. There are also mountains and the fortress Rozafa. And the fantastic lake Komana is located close to Shkoder.
Interesting fact: there isn't any traffic light here! There are a lot of roundabouts and bicycles.
There are 5 unique attractions in the city:
- Mes Bridge
- Skadar Lake
- Xhamia e Plumbit (Mosque)
- Old town
- Rozafa Fortress
Rozafa Fortress rises above Lake Skadar. The border between Montenegro and Albania is also located on the same lake.
According to legend, this fortress was constructed by three brothers. everything they managed to build during the day was magically destroyed at night. So, the ancient "sage" instructed them to sacrifice a young girl to the gods and bury her alive behind the rebellious walls. Each of the brothers had a woman, and they agreed that woman who came first the next day would be sacrificed. The two older brothers warned their wives, and the third younger brother was honest and said nothing to his wife, so she came to the brothers. Her name was Rozafa
The legend is scary but the fortress is very beautiful and it offers a magnificent view of the town of Shkoder and the two rivers Drin and Boyan and the best sunset in the city.
Lake Koman is one of the most beautiful places in Albania. It's just amazing!
How to get there? There are two ways how to get to Lake Koman: by bus as part of an excursion group or by renting a car. But notice that only one road leads to Lake Komani, the last 30 km of which is serpentine with a lot of damages and holes. So drive very slowly and for a long time. After the bridge, there are 2 km of perfect road and 1 km of a tunnel. You can leave your car in a large free parking lot in front of the tunnel because there are less than 10 parking spaces behind it.
Another option is a ferry ride to the city of Fierza and back. It will take about 2.5 hours through the Albanian fjords for 7€ per person. The only inconvinience is that the ferry only runs once a day. Departs from the pier on Lake Komani at 9:00 and returns back at 15:30.
Prices: An individual one-hour boat trip costs 40 € for two. There are a lot of boats, they ride tourists from 9:00-19:00. The best time to come is at 18:00 and see the lake in the sunset!
Lake Bovilla is a reservoir located in the Mount Daite National Park and is surrounded by a mountain ridge (14 kilometers far from Tirana). There is a beautiful panoramic view. The water's color is just amazing!
It is 91 meters high and 130 meters long. The greatest depth is about 45 meters. The lake is a reservior that provides most of the drinking water for Tirana.
Himara is a small town with beautiful nature. There you will find the Ionian Sea, wide sand and pebble beaches, surrounded by green mountains and picturesque cliffs.
Advice: At 8-9 km from Himara there are small pebble beaches of Porto Palermo with crystal clear water and incredible views. You should see them!
Vlore is a very popular holiday destination in Albania. It is located close to the airport. There are sandy beaches and warm seas (It is located at the junction of the Adriatic and Ionian seas.) Vlore is the last resort on the Adriatic coast. But it is really close to the road, so it's a bit noisy.
Advice: Look for hotels 8-10 km from Vlora, and you won't be dissapointed - both the beautiful sea and the big city with a lot of entertainment at your side.
Rodoni Beach is a fantastic bay nearby of Tirana. It is located in the part of Albania called Cape of Rodon (in Albanian: Kepi i Rodonit).
Cape of Rodon is a 10 km long cape on the Adriatic Sea. It offers a unique combination of unspoiled nature, breathtaking views, medieval cultural treasures, virgin sandy beaches, and numerous historic bunkers dating back to Enver Hoxha's reign. There are also nice restaurants and Rodon Castle.
Kroreza Beach is one of the most secret and beautiful beaches. It is located just north of Saranda on the Albanian Riviera, is a lonely and isolated beach where you can get only by boat.
The beach is surrounded on three sides by rocky outcroppings and offers stunning turquoise water. There are pop-up bars and restaurants during the tourist season. Nearby you can find an amazing bay and take photos on its rocks.
The General's Beach is located in Bardhor, small-town nearby Duress. To get there can only by car (but there isn't a good road). It's a really peaceful and calm place with clean transparent water. There are even some small houses on the beach that are available for rent.
It's close to the Saranda-Ksamil highway, nearby Monastery Beach.
Mirror Beach is a beautiful beach with clear water and fascinating rock formations right off the shore. Because the beach is not protected, the sea can be rough on windy days.
Ali Pasha Tepelena Fortress belonged to the cruelest ruler of Albania of all time! His life was like an action-packed thriller! It was the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas' famous novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" and Lord Byron's poem "Child Harold's Pilgrimage".
Ali Pasha Tepelensky built this fortress on the Porto Palermo peninsula in honor of his wife Vasilika. But she betrayed him and 80-year-old Ali Pasha was executed, and his head was put on display in Constantinople.
The Fortress has the shape of a triangle with towers at each corner. There are no guides here. Each chamber has a sign with a designation, and information stands with historical facts. Also, there is no lighting here, so bring your flashlights.
You can see Ali Pasha's room and walk out into the patio, which has a beautiful view of the sea, climb the fortress's bastions, and descend to the dungeon.