Wild mountain landscape in Albania
Dreamlike beaches in Albania
Ancient ruins in Albania
Destinations in Albania
Attractions in Albania
Discover the region
Diverse influences shape the Albanian population
The south of Albania and its population have long been influenced by the oriental culture of the Ottoman Empire. Even today, over 50% of the population profess Islam. Historically, many archaic tribes were found in the north, with the exception of the city of Shkodra, which had close trade links with Italian Venice and whose culture was therefore Roman-Christian in character.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: The City of a Thousand Windows
In the city of Berat, you can immerse yourself in the country's long history and experience the influences of the Middle Ages and the Ottoman period at first hand. The city, which is over 2000 years old, is known as the "city of 1,000 windows" because of its well-preserved buildings and is nestled in picturesque mountain slopes. From the upper town you can enjoy a great view of the Osum river valley. The fortress of Berat Castle rises prominently above the city.
Berat verkörpert mit dem Stadtteil Kala innerhalb der imposanten Festungsmauern auf dem Burgberg das Mittelalter und mit den neueren Stadtvierteln ...
Gjirokastra - The city of stones and a thousand steps
The city of Gjirokaster in the south of the country is an important cultural centre in Albania. Traditional Albanian houses, connected by narrow streets with numerous staircases, characterise the cityscape. The roofs of the houses are covered with stones in the style of Balkan architecture. In 2005, Gjirokastra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The south of Albania and the people living there were influenced for a long time by the oriental culture of the Ottoman Empire. Even today, over 50 % of the population profess Islam. In the north there were historically many archaic tribes, with the exception of the city of Shkodra, which had close trade links with Venice in Italy and whose culture was therefore Roman-Christian.
Although tourism is still in its infancy in Albania, the country offers good conditions for growth. The natural landscape stretches between high mountains and the sea, between Mediterranean and continental climate and is therefore extremely varied.
Albania beginners feel comfortable on the beaches in the west of the country. These can certainly compete with their Italian and Croatian counterparts and are far less crowded. If you want to experience a real adventure, the eastern part of Albania is the right place for you. There, vast, unspoilt landscapes and mountainous plateaus await new adventurers.
Relaxing on the picturesque beaches of the Albanian Riviera
Albania newcomers feel at home on the beaches in the west of the country. These can easily compete with their Italian and Croatian counterparts and are far less crowded. One of the most beautiful stretches of coastline can be found in the seaside resort of Ksamil in the very south of the country. White sandy beaches, crystal blue sea - a beach straight out of a picture book. There are three small islands off the coast, which you can reach by swimming or canoeing. From here you can see the Greek island of Corfu in the distance.
The special location in a gorge and the striking rocks and caves make the beach area of Gjipi very special. The bay can only be reached on foot and therefore you can enjoy the peace and quiet with a view of the Mediterranean Sea, especially outside the high season. The stone town of Gjirokaster is just 50 km away and is perfect for a day trip.
Long-distance hiking trails through Albania
Albania is part of three major long-distance hiking trails that run through the Western Balkans. The Via Dinarica starts in Croatia and ends in Albania - with over 1,200 km in between. The route follows the course of the highest peaks of the Dinaric Alps. The last two of the 45 stages cross Albanian territory.
The long-distance trail „Peaks of the Balkans“ is perhaps the best-known of the three trails, but still leads in large parts through lonely nature and primitive mountain regions. In a large loop, the trail runs through Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo.
On the newest of the three trails, the High Scardus Trail, you cross the countries of Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. Lonely mountain ranges in the heart of the Western Balkan Mountains characterise the route. The trail, which was opened in 2018, consists of 20 stages and lets you immerse yourself in the wilderness of the Western Balkans and experience the hospitality of the people.
Feeling adventurous? Head for the wild nature of Albania!
If you want to experience adventure, Albania is the place to be. Here, vast, untouched stretches of land and mountainous plateaus await new adventurers. Around Lake Scutari, a third of which lies in Albania, there are varied hiking and mountain bike trails. Or you can go directly to the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and take a kayak or rowing boat to the Montenegrin side of the lake.
Significantly smaller, but also spectacular, is the „Blue Eye“, a karst spring with extremely low water temperature and a shimmering deep blue colour. How deep the magical and mysterious spring reaches into the depths is still unknown. In the immediate vicinity is the Thethi River and two waterfalls, which you can see on a 20 km hike.
Diese schöne Talwanderung führt durch eine bezaubernde Flusslandschaft zu zwei Wasserfällen mit ganz unterschiedlichem Charakter, die beide sehr ...
Stroll through the dazzling capital Tirana and enjoy the view from the local mountain
About 550,000 people live in Albania's capital Tirana. The city lies between the Mediterranean coast and the country's mountains. The cityscape has changed and modernised a lot in recent years. Nevertheless, you can still see some buildings in the centre of the city that are unmistakably from the communist past. Skanderbeg Square, with a monumental statue of the national hero, is the centre of the city. A ride on the Dajti Express up Tirana's local mountain of the same name is worthwhile for the sensational view of the metropolis from 1611 metres above sea level alone.
Photo: truba71, CC BY, Adobe Stock