Albania is currently one of the cheapest European destinations to travel. Check out the best beaches, sites and hotels in the country.
For decades, Albania was one of the most closed countries in the world. The regime that took over the country after the Second World Warunder the iron hand of the dictator Enver Hoxha, left deep marks, and the social and economic opening is relatively recent.
Tourism is, obviously, one of the central bets, in a country that is located on the Balkan Peninsula, next to Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece. It belongs to the group of countries located in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas – part of the Mediterranean Sea – which makes Albania a country with a very attractive climate in the high season.
With an extensive coastline of 476 kilometers, full of truly paradisiacal beaches, it is currently one of the most economical European destinations to travel, with overnight stays that can be around 50 euros/night for 2 people, in 4-star hotels.
In the months of June and September, it is possible to enjoy the country even more, taking advantage of the lower tourist density. But the best thing is to get to know the best that Albania has to offer.
Albania: discovering a true paradise
Albanian Riviera: the most beautiful beaches
Albania’s beaches are still, many of them, a paradise to be discovered. We highlight the Albanian Riviera for its unique beauty, crystal clear water, fine sand and surrounding landscape. It starts in the city of Vlorë and ends in Saranda – there are about 130 kilometers, always along the coast.
Have you already grabbed your pen and paper to start planning your holidays? Point out the best beaches to visit in Albania, from north to south:
- dhermi (Vlorë)
- Palase (Himarë)
- gjeep (Himarë)
- jale (Himarë)
- Livadhi (Himarë)
- borsh (Lukovë)
- lori (Ksamil)
- Dhoma and Sorkadheve (Ksamil), the most instagrammable beach in Albania.
Tips: A week would be ideal to enjoy the Albanian Riviera.
to access the Gjipe Beach in Himareyou will have to do it by boat, 4×4 jeep or on foot (long route), due to its difficult access by car.
the inner paradise
Albania’s landscape is full of mountains and forests, with breathtaking images. If you like to travel between valleys and mountains, and observe different species of animals up close, safaris are available in places in the country that are not to be missed. If you want to explore the country on your own, you can always rent a car and go on an adventure.
When visiting the interior of Albania in high season, more specifically in the south, a mandatory stop is the The Blue Eye (Olho Azul), located near Muzinë. It is a phenomenon caused by nature, a spring of water 50 meters deep – and yes, you can see the bottom! However, diving is not allowed because it was recently classified as a Natural Monument.
It became known for the beauty of its water with different shades of blue, and for its contrast with the green color of the surrounding trees. If it’s a really hot day, you can cool off in a lake a few meters before reaching The Blue Eye, but be prepared for the water temperature in the area: below 10°C!
Tip: It is advisable to use your own car to reach your destination, but beware: The road is narrow and has some steep ascents and descents. You should also take precautions and wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as you will have to park your car approximately 500 meters from the site.
land of lakes
If there’s a little space on your vacation, be sure to visit the beautiful lakes of Ohrid, listen and Buttini – the three largest lakes on the Balkan Peninsula, formed by the movement of tectonic plates.
Still inland, in the city of Tepelenë, we suggest that you reserve one or two days of your stay to spend the night in River Escape Villa – Private Beach, Scenic view & BBQ. We are talking about a villa with capacity for seven people, with a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and a private natural swimming pool, with crystalline and warm waters.
In tyrantthe capital, you can learn more about the country’s history at National History Museum and not Bunk’Art 1 and two. Other sights are the Skanderbeg square – the main square of the city, the Clock tower and the Et’hem Bey Mosque. At the end of the day, take a break from Grand Park and enjoy the scenery.
Berat and gjirokaster, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, are the two most historic cities in the country. What best characterizes gjirokaster are the beautiful houses of Ottoman architecture. A real postcard.
Already who visits Berat, the city of a thousand windows, you should take the journey on foot (about 1000 meters) from downtown to the castle. The scenery makes it worth it!
Tip: One day is enough to visit each city. So make the most of your stay for a more comprehensive knowledge of Albania.
WHERE TO STAY
There is no shortage of options for staying overnight in this country. From luxury hotels overlooking the sea to apartments overlooking the imposing mountains of Albania. We have selected the best accommodations for every budget.
Along the coast:
- luxury villas: PRIVÉ Luxury Villa, Pacific 2 Bedroom Villa Palase.
- 5 star hotels: Mille Amici Hotel, Palace Hotel & Spa, Regina Blu, Priam
Hotel Luxury Resort.
- 4 star hotels: Hotel President, Hotel Roalb, Sole Luna Hotel, Hotel Relax
- 3 star hotels: Hotel Veliera, Rambuje Resort, Hotel Pelikan, Hotel
- Villas and apartments: River Escape Villa, Alpeta Agroturism & Winery, Bujtina Cakuli.
- 5 star hotels: Hotel Colombo, Hotel SH & SH, Hotel Hymeti’s Palace, Grand Hotel Pogradec.
- 4 star hotels: Natyral Razma Resort, Hotel Turizem Shkelzeni, DIM’s Hotel, Villa Permet.
- 3 star hotels: Hotel Internacional Gym & Spa Fushe-Arrez, Guesthouse Drinos Valbone, Chestnut Hill, Hotel Kristal.
- Villas and apartments: PIN Apartments, City Center Cute and Comfy Apartment – Ajia Apartmens, Luxurious Double Bedroom Suite, By Best Apartments.
- 5 star hotels: Mak Albania Hotel, Maritim Hotel Plaza Tirana, Rogner Hotel Tirana.
- 4 star hotels: Hotel Colosseo Tirana, Hotel Theatro – City Center, Diplomat Hotel & Spa, Hotel Restaurant Bujtina and Gjelit.
- 3 star hotels: Light Hotel, Hotel Europa, Hotel Lotus, Prime Hotel.
How to go
There are no direct flights between Portugal and Albania, namely to the capital Tirana. So, if you leave Porto, there are flights with the German company Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), or with Swissair (via Zurich). Already if you leave Lisbon, has flights from TAP (via Madrid), Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), Transavia (via Paris, Orly) and EasyJet (via Londes, Gatwick). The average price of a round trip to Albania is approximately 500 euros.