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Die Grama-Bucht in Albanien, Bild: Arton / shutterstock

Albania – the insider tip for a trip to the Balkans

The Balkan state of Albania is located on the Balkan Peninsula in the southeast of Europe. Neighboring countries include Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia. Almost 2.9 million people live in Albania. The majority of the population is Muslim. Albania is known for its hospitality, which is seen as a kind of matter of honor. Although the country has beautiful beaches and landscapes as well as numerous cultural treasures to offer, there is still no mass tourism there, which is why it is considered an insider tip for European travel. The months of July and August are the best time to travel for tourists – with temperatures around 30 degrees and pleasant water temperatures. While the Adriatic coast of Albania has a typical Mediterranean climate, the eastern mountains have a more continental climate. But spring and autumn are also ideal for hiking in the mountain regions.

Tirana – the capital of Albania

Tirana, Albania
View of Tirana and the largest mosque in Albania, Image: RussieseO / shutterstock

The largest city in Albania is the capital Tirana. The lively city offers a wide range of cultural activities. It is known for its magnificent buildings such as old mosques, museums and monuments. In addition, there are numerous shopping opportunities in Tirana – for example, markets where handicrafts, clothing or food are sold. In addition, cafés and bazaars invite you to linger for those who are looking for a little break from the hustle and bustle of the city and want to get to know local delicacies such as traditional cheese. Since Albania is one of the poorer European countries and tourism is not yet strong there, the price level in Tirana is relatively low.

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The Albanian Alps

The highest mountains in the country, with up to 2,600 meters of altitude, can be found in the north of Albania. The Albanian Alps have so far been the least developed by tourism, which is why the green nature there is still very untouched. Mountain lakes and numerous vantage points characterize the image of the mountains in Albania. Hiking and trekking lovers in particular will get their money’s worth here. One of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe is the hike from Valbona to Theth. The hiking route is about 15 kilometers long, takes about eight hours and is especially suitable for experienced hikers.

Other highlights in Albania

In addition to the capital Tirana and the Albanian Alps, there are other highlights that the country has to offer. These include Berat – one of the oldest cities in Albania, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The city inspires tourists with its historic houses, churches and mosques. The city of Gjirokastra is also a very old city in Albania. It has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. Built on a steep slope of a mountain range, Gjirokastra is an ancient stone town that is considered the cultural center of Albania.

Beach lovers will get their money’s worth in Ksamil, one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in Albania. The small town is located in the south of Albania and is known for its white sandy beach and the turquoise water of the sea.

This is just a small selection of the highlights in Albania. However, the fact is that the country is an absolute insider tip for tourists and an up-and-coming holiday paradise in Europe.

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Tours

In order to be able to discover as much of the beauty of Albania as possible, it is a good idea to book an Albania round trip through a tour operator. This allows for a worry-free trip without a lot of planning and organization. Experienced tour guides can provide a lot of information about the history of the country and lead tourists to the most beautiful highlights of the country. Group trips also offer a varied exchange of experiences with like-minded people. However, it should be taken into account that a round trip is far more expensive than a private trip.