Top Things to Do in Albania – A Hidden Gem of Europe
Albania remains one of the lesser known gems of Europe. It is a small yet beautiful country in Southeastern Europe that is yet to be touched by mass tourism. But in recent years, tourists have started visiting the country from all over the world. Despite it’s small size Albania, has a variety of breathtaking landscapes. From crystal clear lakes to beaches to mountains to castles, Albania can easily beat any country when it comes to vacationing and that too at affordable prices. If you are short on budget but still want to travel to a nice place then there is no better option than Albania. Here are the few of the many things to do in this beautiful Balkan country:
Visit Tirana – Albania’s Capital
Tirana may not win the title for the most beautiful capital in Europe but the city has several beautiful spots that are worth visiting if you are here. The most interesting site to visit is BUNK’ART Museum. The underground bunker is now converted into a museum and depicts the history of Albania. Nightlife is also very vibrant in the city that will certainly leave you surprised. One of the many attractions of Tirana is gondola ride that takes you through the Mount Dajti. The cable car is indeed an exciting experience to enjoy with your family.
Recommended tour: Tirana Walking Tour for 3 hours
Komani Lake Cruise
Komani Lake is another hidden gem of northern Albania offering breathtaking views of the Alps and deep turquoise lake. If you are not into trekking to the Albanian Alps, you can consider the Komani Lake Cruise trip. The cruise is no less than an adventurous ride that will remind you of a Norwegian fjord. The ride along with peaceful and silent shores is the most exciting way to immerse yourself in nature.
Recommended tours: Kayaking in Komani Lake
Monuments in Gjirokastra Village
Gjjirokastra is a small mountain village that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is rich in culture and features places that you’ve never seen before. From stone houses to cobbled streets to silver-coloured roofs, Gjirokastra should be on your must-do list when you are in Albania. One of the most popular historic places to visit here is Gjirokastra Castle that is not only picturesque itself but also offers you stunning views of the town and the mountain range behind. There are many other landmarks to see in this village including the Zekate House, Skenduli House, and Gjirokastra Ethnographic Museum.
Recommended tour: Gjirokastra Full day Tour
Swim in the Crystal Clear Beaches of KsamilIsland
The Islands of Ksamil will take you to a tropical paradise where you can swim in the crystal clear turquoise waters, relax under the sun on the sandy beaches and enjoy your best beach vacation. Ksamil consists of four spectacular islands; each offering several activities to the tourists. You can enjoy diving, canoeing or even book a boat trip. Don’t forget to eat the scrumptious seafood dishes offered by several restaurants in Ksamil along with cocktails. The island is pretty crowded in high season!
Recommended tour: Buthrotum, Blue Eye Springs, Ksamil and Lekursi Castle for 1 day
Berat – The Town of a Thousand Windows
Berat, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, portrays well-preserved Ottoman architecture. It is one of the places that will captivate your heart and make you feel like you’ve stepped into Albania’s past. Here you’ll witness the people living in an authentic village life with cats and chickens running around. You might encounter some girls selling you fresh figs from their garden or a man who offers you a traditional Albanian drink named ‘raki’. You may also get an invite to have lunch or dinner by a local family. Besides the amazing culture, Berat features stunning historical landmarks including Berat Castle, Gorica Bridge, and National Ethnographic Museum.
Recommended tour: Berat Historic City Walking tour.
Butrint – Ancient City of Albania
There is no shortage of ancient places in Albania. Every corner of the country tells you an interesting story and make you explore more. Butrint is another interesting city of Albania that allows you to immerse yourself in ancient times. The city is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site with landmarks that are more than 2500 years old. These monuments are dating back to several civilisations such as Ottoman, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Venetian and Roman. Though the city has been modernised a bit, a large area is still preserved as it is and not reconstructed known as ‘Butrint National Park’. The park is home to ruins, freshwater lakes, salt marshes, open plains, islands and more.
Recommended tour: Butrint, Ksamil, Blue Eye, Lekuresi Castle. All-in-one day trip
Gjipe – The Most Picturesque Beach in Albania
Sitting in the caves surrounded by blue seas and cliffs, Gjipe is undoubtedly one of the best beaches to see in Albania. Once you visit the beach, you’ll be awe-struck by the stunning views it has to offer. But the main challenge is to reach the beach that can be pretty tiring. There are many ways through which you can reach Gjipe; by boat, hitchhiking, bus, car and on foot. Reaching the beach by car is the easiest option as there is a parking area 2.5 km from the main road for a two-wheel drive. But if you have a four-wheel drive, you can drive all the way to down to the beach. You’ll be surprised by the activities you can enjoy here at Gjipe beach. From exploring the caves to hiking up the canyon to swim in the clear waters, there is no such thing as ‘boring moment’ at Gjipe. Visit the beach and experience the vibe yourself!
Getting Around Albania
There are way too many options for moving around Albania but travelling to and from cities within the country is not possible as there are no domestic flights. However, you can avail other options such as riding a bicycle, get into the local bus, hire a car and travel freely or travel through the trains.
For flights to Albania – Click here
For tours in Albania go to Viator.com
For buses, coaches and trains in Albania go to GoEuro.com
For car hire – Click here
For bike hire – Click here