Albania Tourism is still a best kept secret in Europe. I cannot forget how Albania was isolated from the world under a dictatorship sponsored by the former Soviet Union. But his is history, and now Albania is becoming a typical European Country.
Albania the countryside of this Beautiful Balkan Country
A picturesque Balkan Country
This Balkan country is bordered by the Adriatic Sea on the west, by Greece and by the former Yugoslavian Republics on the north and east. It is known for its Albanian Riviera with spectacular beaches and beach resorts, traditional Mediterranean villages and a rich history of castles and archaeological sites.
So far Albania is unspoiled, but as time goes by the flocks of tourists are coming to see all the attractions. Here are a few of them.
Butrint National Park an important attraction in Albania
Butrint National Park
For us this is the # 1 Attraction in Albania. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it features archaeological sites with ruins dating 2,500 years. According to Greek Mythology’s poet Virgil, Butrint was created by the Trojans. In reality after many diggings nothing has been found to confirm such theory.
The visitor will see the amphitheater built in the 3rd century BC, by the Greeks and later remodeled by the Romans and public baths with geometric mosaics patterns.
Ksamil Village is part of Burint National Park where the beaches are awe inspiring and feature many restaurants with fresh seafood.
Gjipe Beach is one of many beaches on the Albanian Riviera
Sometimes compared to the Italian Riviera, is this steep coastline of Albania. But it is less crowded because it is still being discovered by the mass of tourists.
The beaches are ideal for swimming and sunbathing with new hotels being built constantly. Up on the mountains behind the beaches you’ll find many villages with beautiful houses, perfect for a day tour.
Located in the middle of Albania, next to the city of Fier are the ruins of one of the most important cities in the area, Apollonia, named after the God Apollon.
In the ruins the visitor discovers the glory of those years in libraries, temples, theaters and the Triumphal Arc.
This is a big city and the most important harbor in the country and an important city from the cultural point of view. All year round they have cultural events using specifically the amphitheater which is one of the top attractions of this city, providing space for about 20,000 people.
Skanderbeg Square in Tirana the Capital of Albania
This is the Capital of Albania and the center of all economic, political and cultural affairs. Located about 30 km from the coast it is home to the Parliament and government offices.
The city was named the capital of the country back in 1920 and today is a thriving city with modern architecture, cafes at the side of roads. In general it has a pleasant charm to those that visit for the first time.
The main square in the capital is Skanderbeg Square, home of Tirana’s most important buildings such as the Palace of Culture, the National Library, and the Museum of National History, which is the largest in Albania, the statue of Skanderbeg and the Et’hem Bey Mosque, with the clock tower of Tirana.
Located in the south of the country this city, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO is unique for its architecture. The style is called the Balkan Architecture featuring a few small castle like houses made of stone.
The city also called “The City of Stones” has many cultural attractions, museums and religious sites.
The most important site in the town is the Kruja Castle, sacred to the Albanian people. Located northeast of the capital on the Skanderbeg Mountains, featuring the Skanderbeg museum, which remembers the wars in this area. Other places of interest are the tomb of Sari Saltiks and the National Park Qafe Shtama.
Shkodra near the border with Montenegro
The fifth largest city of Albania is located on the north bordering the Republic of Montenegro. It is an important trading and cultural center
Outside of town is Rozafa Castle, named after a woman who apparently was walled into the ramparts as an offering to the gods.
The city also offers the famous Migjeni theatre. The market of the city is also worth a visit.
Shkodra Lake, which was named after the town of Shkodra 35 km away, is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula and hosts the largest bird reserves in Europe with 270 bird species. This a paradise for birdwatchers.
National Ethnographic Museum
This picturesque museum is close to Berat Castle, located in an 18th century Ottoman house, with exhibits of tools of weavers and silversmiths as well as traditional clothing.
The first floor displays different rooms decorated in traditional styles such as a kitchen, guest rooms and bedrooms.
This is a natural water spring located near Sarande where visitors see the crystal clear blue waters bubbling from a 17 meters deep pool. It gives the impression of an eye. The dark center of the pool resembles a pupil and the blue waters surrounding it, the iris.
Berat in Albania is called the City of the Thousand Windows
Located in the middle of the country near the Osum River on a hill lies this city that started with a castle named Kalaja.
Called the city of the “City of the Thousand Windows”, because the houses of the village have large window facades that characterize the appearance and skyline of the city. They maintain the look of the city with its white houses.
The white houses are listed buildings to keep the original appearance of the city. In 1961 Berat was elected “city of museums” and therefore is a great destination for those loving history and culture. It is surrounded by small village for small day tours.
The city has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. But the highlight of any visit is Berat Castle, built on a hill in the 13th century.
For more information visit Albania Tourism Website
Facts about Albania
The flag of Albania
Is a red flag with a silhouetted black double-headed eagle in the center. The red stands for bravery, strength and valor, while the double-headed eagle represents the sovereign state of Albania.
Map of Albania showing its neighbors
images for albania tourism
albania viewe n/a
albania riviera by pudelek
apollonia by arianit
durres by dombrowski
girokastra by marc morell
kruha by marc morell
shkodra by marc morell
national ethno n/a
blue eye by marc morell
berat by kevincure
all courtesy of wikimedia commons