Since Albania has announced that foreign citizens from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Qatar, Oman, Russia and Thailand, can enter Albania without a visa, for short term stay, with the passport document, from 01 April 2021 until 31 December 2021, Albania Holidays now are indeed a great chance for you to have easy access to a beautiful European land. Also, it is a golden chance to obtain a Schengen later if you wanted to.
With stunning mountain scenery, crumbling castles, boisterous capital and dreamy beaches, Albania is one of the most interesting countries in Europe, and one of the friendliest – perhaps in part because it’s so small, with a population of just 2.8 million.
Albania is also a top destination for foodies, with affordable fine dining and delicious local dishes to try.
In this blog article, we bring you a guide to the top places you should visit during your trip for the best Albania holidays!
Tirana is the capital city and it’s the political, cultural and entertainment center of Albania. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Albania since the city has a buzz where you will not find anywhere else in the country.
Tirana’s people, like the vast majority of Albanian locals, are exceptionally friendly and the city is supremely affordable, with surprisingly excellent food and drinks both very cheap.
The city is home to few must-see tourist locations, but the 18th-century Et’hem Bey mosque is well worth a visit. Skanderbeg Square is one of Tirana’s most important places and this is where the National Historical Museum can be found too.
Along with the capital city of Tirana, Riviera is the most popular place in the country among visitors in their Albania holidays. The reason is that it has long sandy and pebble beaches lapped by turquoise water and lovely coastal hamlets with small Orthodox churches, cobblestoned streets and flowers everywhere.
The seaside town of Himara is one of the Riviera’s best places to visit, while Porto Palermo Beach, Llamani Beach and Filikuri Beach are some of the area’s finest sandy stretches, while the liveliest spot there is Drymades Beach.
Riviera is named Top Value Destination of 2012, for its rolling hills and clear sands, rustic accommodation, and delicious food.
Gjirokastër is one of the most stunning destinations in Albania and the Balkans. It is a small Ottoman town that turned out to be Albania’s Most Beautiful UNESCO Town. Gjirokastër is located in the south of the country and, for its unique Ottoman architecture, has been included in the heritage sites by UNESCO. Gjirokastër is home to one of the most beautiful castles in the country, which offers spectacular views over the city.
Gjirokaster is very different from the other regular towns in Albania for its unique stone houses, cobbled streets and small like a fortress. The town is located near the bazaar and dates back its history to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Widely regarded as one of the prettiest cities in Albania, Berat is known as ‘the Town of a Thousand Windows,’ and it has this title because of the numerous beautiful houses with big windows pile on top of each other making one of a kind view.
Located on a hillside, there are a number of Ottoman-era mosques and Byzantine churches scattered about town. One of the best views of Berat is from across the banks of the Osumi River which runs through it. It’s especially beautiful from the promenade (where locals hang out) or from across the river.
It’s also worth climbing all the way to the castle as the views of Berat and the surroundings are really spectacular and this area itself is pretty charming too!
Shkodra is the cultural center of Albania and it’s one of the oldest cities in Europe. Locals often consider Shkodra the cultural capital of the country because of its several events, photography museum, theatre, historic castle, and lifestyle.
Shkodra is the largest town in the north of Albania and usually is used as a base to visit the surrounding mountains. It has a pleasant temperature with an amazing infrastructure as some buildings in the Old Town went through rebuilding and revamping leaving the facades still fresh, yet elegant and colorful.
Some of the highly recommended attractions to visit are Ebu Beker Mosque and Orthodox Cathedral. Also, The Historical Museum showcases just some of the region’s rich history and heritage.
The coastal resort of Vlore is situated in the southwest of Albania. The area of Cold Water in Vlore is popular with younger tourists due to its choice of hip bars and restaurants. Vlore is the third most populous city of Albania, and it’s an ancient city founded in the 6th century B.C.
The town enjoys a beautiful position in front of Sazani Island and Karaburuni peninsular. Thus, it’s very close to scenic mountains and rocky beaches which makes it the second-largest port in the country.
For too long, Vlore is best known for its olive production; it is believed to house some 280,000 olive trees.
Mount Dajti and Cable Car
While it can be slightly chaotic in the traffic-filled center of town, the scenic Mount Dajti is just a short cable car ride away. With fantastic views of the city below and breathtaking nature all around, it’s a lovely place to spend an afternoon and a pretty nice experience to have in your Albania holidays travel.
If you want to get to the Mountain of Dajti, you can take the cable car which takes only 13 minutes. You can see everything from up there, the streets, the run-down village houses and a brief summary of life in Albania and its history.
BunkArt is a majestic coveted bunker built in the outskirts of the town in the 70s by the former dictator Enver Hoxha.
Underneath Tirane, there is a five-story bunker of spidery hallways and over 100 rooms. Known as BunkArt, 24 rooms of the sprawling shelter have been converted into a history museum and contemporary art gallery, the result of the combined efforts of the Albanian government and a nonprofit art collective called Qendra Ura or “Center Bridge.”
It is the perfect place to visit if you want to learn more about the Communist history of Albania.