Experience Unforgettable Moments in Albania

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlbania is famous for its clear turquoise seas, unforgettable beaches, alpine grasslands, vast forests and the Albanian Alps. The Albanian Alps offers magnificent views. Prokletije, known as the Albanian Alps, is a mountain range in the Balkans that extends from eastern Montenegro to northern Albania to Kosovo. The peak Jezercë is the tallest peak of the mountain range and the entire Dinaric Alps.
The Prokletije Mountains, the southernmost part of the Dinaric Alps, stretch more than forty miles from Skadar Lake along the Montenegrin–Albanian border in the southwest to Kosovo in the northeast Deep river canyons. Flat valleys wind around the ridges of the mountains. The largest and most popular canyon is Rugova Canyon, situated in Kosovo, with very steep vertical mountain slopes on both sides.

Jala Beach

Jala Beach

Albania is bordered by Macedonia to the east, Kosovo to the north-east, Montenegro to the north-west, the Ionian Sea to the south-west and the Adriatic Sea to the west. The coastline, stretching from Vlore to the Montenegrin border, offers beautiful white sandy beaches and is a great place to visit. Ensure to visit the coastal towns of Vlore, Shengjin and Durres. You can also enjoy the healing sands of Velipoje.
The Albanian Riviera lies to the south of Vlore and consists mainly of spectacular turquoise waters and rocky shores. The Llogara Pass offers panoramic views of the Albanian Riviera and majestic mountain-views. The pass is in close proximity to the Llogara National Park. The park is located amid rich fauna and is the perfect area for hiking.
Himara is the only city that you will find on the coastline, but there are many picturesque villages such as Nivice, Piqeras, Sasaj, Borsh, Bunec, Potam, Dhermi and Palasa. The Vlore region includes the Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park along the waters of adjacent Karaburun Peninsula and Sazan Island.
Albania is divided into three regions: Coastal Albania, North-eastern Albania and South-eastern Albania. The coastal region is about ten and thirty kilometers wide along the Albanian coast, the north-eastern region is the area north of the Shkumbin River, bordering Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia and the south-eastern region is the area south of the Shkumbin River, bordering Greece and Macedonia. The City of Tirana is the capital of Albania.
Explore the Capital of Albania – Tirana
Open Parliament of Albania, Tirana

Open Parliament of Albania, Tirana

Tirana is surrounded by trees and mountains and boasts several parks. Mount Dajti National Park offers fantastic views of Tirana. The top of the mountain can be reached through an express cable car and you are also allowed to take a bicycle on the car. Ensure to visit the Pellumba Cave and waterfall in the area near Shengiergi village. Brar Canyon and Bridge is also situated inside the national park and offers spectacular views of the city.
Tirana Zoo is located in close proximity to the Botanical Garden and worth a visit. If you are brave enough, you can rent a car and try the peculiar experience of driving in the city’s streets. Some of the roads in Tirana have been upgraded, but keep in mind that the city suffers from great traffic congestion during mornings and midday.
The Petrelë Castle is just a short distance south of Tirana and attracts great numbers of visitors each year.
Petrelë Castle

Petrelë Castle

Petrelë Castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, hills, Erzen valley and olive groves. The castle has a rich history and was first built more than 2,000 years ago. The present triangular shaped building and tower dates back to the fifteenth century, which was part of the defence and signalling system of the Kruja Castle. Petrelë Castle used to be under the command of Mamica Kastrioti during the Skanderbeg’s fight against the Ottomans. The castle offers a traditional restaurant where you can enjoy great meals and magnificent views.
West of the Rinas Airport, on the beautiful hills of Preze village, you can visit the Preze Castle and the artisan studio of Drita Gordi. You can buy handmade local souvenirs at the studio and see exhibits of all the traditional sewing equipment.
Tirana is home to several museums and historical sites such as the Tirana Mosaic where you can view various artefacts pointing to the presence of a village in the area thousands of years ago. The Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral in Bulevardi Zhan features fascinating window murals. A fragment of the Berlin Wall and an original bunker with concrete pillars from Spac prison camp can be seen at the corner of Main Boulevard and Ismail Qemali Street. Postblok, or Checkpoint, was built during the cold war.
Other places worth visiting include National Archaeological Museum of Albania (Sheshi Nene Tereza), Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral (Rr. Deshmoret e 4 Shkurtit) and National Library of Albania (Rr. Luigi Gurakugi). The Sali Shijaku’s Traditional House on Rr. Vildan Luarasi was owned by Sali Shijaku and features traditional house enmities, art displays and a restaurant.
Kompleksi Tajvani

Kompleksi Tajvani

The Murat Toptani Street recently opened nearby the Tirana Castle walls. You will find traditional houses, a local park and cafes here. Ensure to visit the Sky Tower Rotating Bar on Rr. Ibrahim Rugova and the Taiwan Complex in the heart of downtown Tirana. Taiwan Complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a huge water fountain. The center is home to a casino, restaurants, bars, bowling hall and shops. You can choose between a big variety of foods such as pasta, soups, steaks and pizza.
Tirana has many bazaars where one can find almost anything including food, clothes and musical instruments. The most popular bazaar is the Tregu i Madh and although not the most flattering shopping destination, you can find many household items, clothing and other goods here.
Tirana is home to many inexpensive, but excellent restaurants where you can obtain traditional food. The Oda on Rr. Luigi Gurakuqi serves great traditional cuisine, as well as the Sarajet on Rr. Abdi Toptani where you can enjoy fresh homemade bread. Albanian Fried Chicken, near the Sky Tower, specializes in burgers and fried chicken. Marion Restaurant is located on the Tirana University campus and is a popular and excellent self service restaurant. You can also try the King House, Dëshmorët e 4 Shkurtit, for delicious Italian and Albanian food.
Experience the Towns of Albania
You can hike to the top of the beautiful Moravia Mountain and view the city of Korce in south-east Albania. Ensure to visit the Korce Brewery and the city’s main park, Parku Rinia. At Vlore you can explore the lovely beaches and get on the passenger ferry to visit Italy. Kruje is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is home to an old style bazaar and cobblestone streets. Gjirokastër, located in the south, is well-known for its unique Ottoman period architecture. Fier is a lovely seaside city and in close proximity to the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Apollonia. Sarandë is located in the southern part of Albania and is popular for its spectacular beaches.
Berat

Berat

Berat is considered to be one of the oldest towns in Albania and is well-known for its well preserved castle. The Kala Castle dates back to the fourth century and offers amazing views of the beautiful surroundings. Getting to the castle requires a steep walk up a cobbled path. The castle is home to many churches, bars and shops. Onufri Iconography Museum is located within the Kala at the site of the Dormition Cathedral. You can also visit the Berat Ethnographic Museum on the way down.
When you are in Berat you can buy traditional souvenirs such as textile products and stone carving. You can also try the delicious figs and olives of the area. The Ajka Restaurant serves delicious food and you can enjoy a great view while you eat.
Entering Albania
There is no longer a visa charge for any foreigners entering Albania. Visitors to Albania must obtain a visa from one of the Albanian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or are qualified for a visa-free entry.

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2 Responses to “Experience Unforgettable Moments in Albania”

  1. Askan Says:

    Nice description of Albania and Tirana. For the new bazaar in Tirana including pictures there is my post: http://askan.biz/2014/06/10/new-bazaar-tirana-albania/

  2. Tib Says:

    The Jala beach picture is in fact a picture of the Navagio beach on the Greek Zakinthos island in the Ionian sea…

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