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Destination: Albania

  • Travelling there: Fly into Tirana’s Mother Teresa International Airport (TIA) from airports in Europe or into Corfu, Greece and catch the hydrofoil ferry to Saranda. There are overland coach services into the country but no rail services.
  • Capital city: Tirana.
  • Population: 2.891 million.
  • Religion: The majority is Muslim with a large minority of Christians.
  • Language: Albanian.
  • Currency: Lek (ALL).
  • Climate: The coast and lowlands experience typical Mediterranean weather with mild winters and very warm summers, whilst the higher inland areas have a continental Mediterranean climate due to the elevations. The weather varies hugely from north to south as well.
  • Transport: The most common public transport are the public buses or private minivans (furgons) that do not stick to schedules but only depart when they are full. The public inter-city trains are not plentiful or well-maintained but the rides can be very picturesque.
  • Best time to travel: Late spring to early summer (April to June) and early autumn (September to October) will have the best temperatures for walking, cycling or sightseeing. Albania does not have the teeming crowds in the summer peak season that its neighbouring Mediterranean countries do as tourism is relatively new to it.
  • What to wear: Dress as one would anywhere else in Europe but make sure to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes along with sunscreen and lightweight clothing if going in summer. South Albania does have mosquitos so insect repellant will come in handy. A jacket for the cooler evenings is a good idea too.
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