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Best Places to Visit in Albania

I spent 2 months traveling around Albania, so allow me to share with you the best places to Visit in Albania!


From the vibrant streets of Tirana and the historical wonders of Berat and Gjirokastër, to the sun-kissed Albanian Riviera, in this guide, you will find Albania's most wonderful destinations.


Short on time? Here is a list of must see in Albania!


  • Tirana

  • Berat

  • The Blue Eye

  • Gjirokastër

  • Albanian Riviera

  • Ksamil

  • Butrint National Park

  • Hike Theth to Valbona

  • Osumi Canyons


I will also cover a few places that are lovely to visit but I would add them more as a stop on a way to explore the above places.


  • Shkodër

  • Krujë

  • Pogradec & Lake Ohrid

  • Benja Hot Springs

Tirana

My personal favorite - the capital Tirana! I just loved the vibe, all the amazing food places, and the opportunity to immerse myself into the rich culture of Albania. I have a whole separate blog article about all the must-see in Tirana!



Berat

Berat is a beautiful historical city in Albania.  Known as the "City of a Thousand Windows," this UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its beautifully preserved Ottoman architecture. Must see in Berat include: Berat Castle, Gorica Bridge (Quarter Of Gorica), Holy Trinity Church, and Boulevard Republika. In Berat, you can find a free walking tour!


One of the interesting things to do in Berat is wine tasting and there are several companies doing them: Cobo Winery, Nurellari Winery, Alpha Winery, and more!

The Blue Eye

blue-eye-albania

There are actually 2 Blue Eyes in Albania! One in the South and one up in the North! I visited the South one and it was a wonderful experience. You can easily access it from Saranda (30-minute drive).


It is basically a freshwater pool, which resembles the human eye. The water comes from the cave creating this natural wonder. The water is crystal clear but freezing!


The second Blue Eye can be found via the Vaskat Nderlysaj hiking trail, near the remote village of Kaprre.


Both Blue Eyes are surrounded by lush greenery making it a wonderful day trip with a bit of hiking and refreshing in the freshwater spring!


the-blue-eye-albania

Gjirokastër

Another UNESCO site, known as the "Stone City," Gjirokastër is home to a stunning old town and an impressive hilltop castle.


Key attractions include the Gjirokastër Castle, offering panoramic views and a historical museum, the enchanting Old Bazaar for traditional crafts, and the ethnographic museum housed in Enver Hoxha's birthplace. Gjirokastër's old stone houses, unique slate roofs, and narrow, cobblestone streets take you back in time, making the city like a real-life museum of Albanian history and culture.

Albanian Riviera

Of course, you can't miss out on the amazing beaches along the Albanian Riviera!


Some of the best beach towns to stop at are Vlore and Dhermi. You will see Durres also mentioned as a popular destination but if you can pick any beach or beach town on the Riviera I would recommend going to others as Durres is a very popular and convenient one from Tirana so can get a bit crowded and more expensive.


Some of the best beaches to not miss out on are: Gijipe Beach, Jali Beach and Borsh Beach. But I go into more detail about this in my 'Best Beaches in Albania' guide!


One unique thing to add while exploring Alanina Riviera is the Llogara Pass. You have to take the scenic drive through the Llogare Pass which is a mountain pass with breathtaking views.

Ksamil

Ksamil is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. So Ksamil will be a great choice if you are looking for an affordable beach holiday! People compare it with the Maldives. I wouldn't say it is Maldives but the water was crystal clear and you get a few white sand beaches so it is definitely a great location within Europe. Perfect holiday spot due to many lovely beachside restaurants and opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and other water activities.

Butrint National Park

This National Park I didn't visit myself but every traveler I met on the way told me how much they enjoyed the visit and how it is one of the best ones in the country so I had to add it to the list! You can find more about it here: Butrint National Park!

Hike Theth to Valbona

For all my travelers who like a good hike during a trip, I recommend the hike from Theth to Valbona. The actual trail is around 7 hours but because of its location, you will need to allocate at least 2-3 days, as you will need some time just to get to the starting point! The hike is absolutely wonderful and the views are incredible. Best way how to see the beautiful mountain area of the North of Albania! A really great guide I found in preparation for this trip you can find here.

Osumi Canyons

For all those liking a bit of action I recommend Osumi Canyons. Great place for rafting, kayaking, and canyoning, but you need to check the time of the year when the river is in the right condition for these activities. The best time is spring!


It is also simply a beautiful place. The canyons feature impressive rock formations, waterfalls, and greenery. You can find several trails for hikers of various skill levels to explore the canyons' surroundings.


Alright, let's dive into a few places that are a great addition to the above!


Shkodër

One of the oldest cities in Albania, Shkodër is known for the Rozafa Castle and Shkodra Lake. I believe this city is a great stop for your hike from Theth to Valbona as it is the best location from where to start your journey.


Krujë

Krujë is mostly known for its impressive castle. But it also features a historic market and Skanderbeg Museum. I would add this as a stop from Tirana to one of the above destinations as it is quite a short drive away (around 40 minutes) and you do not need the whole day for it!


Pogradec & Lake Ohrid

This is a great stop if you are planning to explore Macedonia as it is on your way! Pogradec is a serene getaway known for its relaxing atmosphere and beautiful nature.


Benja Hot Springs

This a unique spot but quite far away from all the popular destinations so I would highlight it as a must-do but would like to add it as a stop after your fun activities at the Osumi Canyons. Imagine, crazy rafting and then relaxing in the hot springs. I think quite a nice combo!


If you are planning a trip around Albania make sure to check out my Albania Travel Guide where I share more about the things you should know before traveling to Albania!



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