Albania

Albania

Things to do - general

Members of the first Regent Holidays group who went on holiday to Albania in 1971 would struggle to recognise the country today. Gone are the virtually traffic-free roads, collective farms and churches and mosques converted into sports halls, but the warm Albanian welcome, dramatic wild scenery, evidence of 400 years of Ottoman occupation and enthralling archaeology are still the same.

Fiercely independent as a result of centuries of occupation, Albania embraced Communism after the Second World War and then firmly rejected it in 1992 with its first free elections. With so much history, an Albania holiday is guaranteed to offer you an insight into another time.

Albania holidays offer the perfect opportunity to discover a country of wild, natural beauty with dark, brooding mountains, a dramatic undeveloped coastline and hills clad with olive trees. Explore the museum cities of Berat and Gjirokastra, both dominated by towering castles, and learn about Albanian national hero, Skanderbeg, in Kruja Castle Museum.

Marvel at Albania’s archaeological sites – the extraordinary 3rd-century BC amphitheatre at Butrint and the ancient city of Apollonia where much remains to be discovered. Drive the roller-coaster road along the Albanian Riviera, pass remote mountain villages and gaze down on the pristine, unspoilt beaches of Durres. Join the evening promenade in Albania’s capital Tirana, now more Mediterranean in style, and meander through the neighbourhood where the Communist party leaders used to live.

Country Albania
Visa requirements

Passport holders from Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chili, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Holy Sea, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela are able to enter for up to 90 days.

Visitors with a Schengen visa, UK or US multi-entry visa can enter without a visa.

Passport holders from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE can only enter Albania from 25 May to 30 September without a visa.

Everyone else will need to obtain a visa in advance.

Languages spokenAlbanian
Currency usedALL - Albanian Lek
Area (km2)28.748 km²

Sports & nature

Albania covers a total area 28,748 km2 and is distinguished for its spectacular and diverse terrain. One-third of the country consists of lowlands located primarily in the west and extending along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts. The remainder of the country is hilly or mountainous and offers tremendous views and vistas. The highest point in Albania, at 2,751 m, is Mount Korabi in Dibra district. As one might expect, this beautiful and varied terrain offers visitors many opportunities to enjoy Albania’s natural beauty. The beauty and unique climate offered by the highlands is often just a short drive away from all that the coast and its Mediterranean-like climate have to offer. Albania also enjoys long periods of pleasant weather. Summer is the most sunny and beautiful of the seasons, but the remainder of the year is beautiful, as well.

Sports and nature image

Nightlife info

Bars and clubs are definitely places which should be checked out during a visit to Tirana, offering visitors insight in to the local modern culture of the area in a way which can not be matched by heading only to the local tourist spots of the area. Some of the top nightlife choices in the area where travelers and locals can mingle include:

Rock Cafe, well this is the nicest place for the authentic music lovers, you'll find great music performed live every Friday and Saturday, the owner is a nice guy to and the atmosphere is real friendly. Mumja, this the newest night club in Tirana, it's more of a Lounge in fact, but real cool and you can find the most attractive and hippest crowd around, music is usually, chill out house, lounge, latin Cuba, well this is a latin music place, nice cuban style decorations inside, used to be the hype of Tirana, after the manager left and opened Mumja :), still lots of people go, sometimes during busy weekends you might be left out, if you don't have the club card. Just pretend it's usual that you're going in and don't look confused at the bodygards.

Living room, well this is the showy place, beware to go dressed up, and with planty of cash if you want to party all night, during summer there's a nice terrace where you can sip, talk listen sit whatever. The crowd is somewhat older 25-40 and the music is so different every time, depends on how the DJ's mood :)

Cannon, this is a small but really recommenf this sort of a Irish pub, with wooden chairs and tables, the crowd inside is usually real nice, and you can even request any of your favourite songs, as long as it's blues, rock, rock&roll. It's has a very warm atmosphere and it's a great place to ga dancing even during week days.

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Culture and history info

Albania (Albanian: Shqipëria) is a small country in the Balkans. It shares borders with Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, andMontenegro.

Albania is rugged, craggy and mountainous inland. However, on its shores lie very fertile, verdant Adriatic coast, perfect for sustaining Albania’s largely agricultural economy. The coastal climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The mountainous interior, especially in the north, has severe winters and mild summers. Over one third of Albania's land is covered by forests and swamps and only about one fifth of all the land is cultivated. These geographic obstacles, rivers and mountains, historically isolated Albania from its neighboring states.

Tradition

Traditional Albanian culture honors the role and person of the guest. In return for this place of honor, respect is expected from the guest. Albanians enjoy the long walks in the city streets, drinking coffee, and among the younger generations, participating in nightlife activities such as cafe lounging and dancing.

Religion

While the relative majority of the people in Albania are of Muslim heritage (55-65%), according to the polls, around 35% of the Albanians are agnostics; 22% are atheists; 19% are Muslim; 15% are Orthodox; 8% are Catholics and 1% are of other religions. Mixed marriages are very common and in some places, even the rule.

Albanians have never had a national religion with which to identify as a people. For the last century and a half, national (ethnic) identity has predominated over religious identity, and this is unlikely to change in the coming years in a small and struggling nation surrounded by hostile neighbors. Organized religion still plays only a marginal role in public life. Religious fervor is extremely rare, and religious extremism is virtually unknown.

Throughout history, Albania has been sieged and occupied by other countries; in addition it has endured many civil wars within its turf. Thus, its people tend to be resilient and strong. Albania's per capita income is among the lowest in Europe, but economic conditions in the country are gradually improving.

Food Customs

Albanians are exceptionally generous and hospitable. A person invited to dinner will be given enormous amounts of food, even if the host may go without the next day. Albanian families often will spend a month's salary on a visitors' meal. Weddings and other ceremonial occasions will feature feasts of copious amounts of meat and Albanian raki, an alcoholic beverage.

Culture and history image
Sheraton Tirana Hotel

Sheraton Tirana Hotel

Sheshi Italia, 1001 Tiran, Albania
The five-star Sheraton Tirana Hotel is in a shopping and entertainment complex in the heart of Tiran More info

Unfortunately there are no self-catering offers at this location at the moment.

Explore Albania&Balkans Tour

Explore Albania&Balkans Tour

Albania
Albania & the Balkans Group Tour This exclusive MASTER-DMC tour combines the historic cities an More info
Mermaid

Mermaid

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Royal Iberian

Royal Iberian

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Unfortunately there are no car rental offers at this location at the moment.