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Ten places you have to visit in Albania

From the eclectic bazaars of Tirana and the white Ottoman houses of Berat to the snow-dusted peaks of Valbona Valley, here are our top ten places to visit on a trip to Albania.
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Tirana

Albania’s capital city, Tirana, is a treasure trove of colourful cultures and activities. Join our Albania Discovery tour to explore the cobblestone alleyways of Kruja Bazaar. Brightly patterned rugs, handwoven baskets and painted ceramics spill out from the market stalls, enticing you in. And when your feet need a rest, stop at a friendly streetside cafe to indulge in some traditional Albanian cuisine. Tuck into a byrek pie - filo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta - and wash it down with an ice-cold Birra Korca beer.

Lake Ohrid

The glassy aquamarine waters of Lake Ohrid sparkle in the bright sunlight and gently lap the shores of Ohrid city. One the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe, the lake is shrouded in historic charm, and you’ll find an eclectic mix of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture as you explore its banks on our Undiscovered Balkans tour. Spend an evening on the edge of this majestic and mysterious lagoon and dine with your fellow travellers in a lake-side restaurant to sample fresh fish from the local's daily catch.

Valbona National Park

Follow deserted footpaths and hike along the verdant valleys of Valbona National Park on our Undiscovered Balkans trip. Albania’s northern alps boast lush hillsides, wildflower meadows and the towering peaks of the Accursed Mountains. Wander in the shadow of limestone cliffs and meander through leafy alpine forests as you take in far-reaching views across the snow-dusted sierra. Sip a refreshing cup of mountain tea with a local shepherd’s family and top up the energy reserves with slow, spit-cooked lamb for dinner.

Albanian Riviera

Albania is a wonderful place to explore on two wheels. Join an Albania Cycling tour to pedal along the Albanian Riviera's quiet country roads with views of golden beaches and turquoise seas to the west and panoramic mountain scenery to the east. Cycle through the pretty coastal villages of Piqeras and Lukova before freewheeling down to the long crescent bay of Qeparo. Recover from a big day in the saddle with some time on the beach, and jump into the crystal clear water for a refreshing swim.

Accursed Mountains

For a walking holiday with a difference, head to Albania’s Accursed Mountains in the north of the country, on our Albania Walking tour. The empty trails of this lesser-known hiking paradise will take you through colourful wildflower meadows, emerald-green valleys and fragrant alpine forests. Watch local shepherds gathering their sheep and sample a few of their homemade cheeses with a picnic lunch before enjoying spectacular views of the Dragobia Gorge.

Butrint

Regarded as one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Balkans, Butrint is a UNESCO listed city whose ruins depict a long and colourful history dating back to the early Neolithic age. Time stands still on the picturesque and tranquil shores of the Vivari River where overgrown forests encapsulate crumbling historic buildings. Uncover a large Roman amphitheatre and ancient thermal baths on our Highlights of Albania Discovery tour and unearth ornate mosaic floors at the well-preserved Baptistery.

Llogara National Park

Head to the south of Albania to explore the unspoiled beauty of Llogara National Park on our Highlights of Albania Discovery tour. Don your walking boots for a 3-4 hour moderate hike through forested mountains stretching along the shores of the Ionian Sea. Follow dusty goat trails through a scenic landscape of alpine meadows, evergreen firs and snow-dusted peaks before an overnight stay right in the heart of this little-known oasis of calm and tranquillity.

Gjirokastra

Set upon a leafy limestone hilltop, the imposing Gjirokastra Castle towers overs a maze of cobbled alleyways in the city below. Make a stop on your Private Highlights of Albania tour to explore this magnificent fortress dating back to the 12th-century and admire far-reaching views across the jagged peaks of the nearby Gjerë Mountains. In the city of Gjirokastra itself, your personal guide will show you streets lined with period houses and reveal some of the less well-known sights in this well-preserved Ottoman town.

Koman Lake

Don't miss out on a scenic boat trip on Koman Lake in the north of Albania. Renowned for its spectacular views and panoramas have your camera ready to capture some incredible sights. Twisting and turning down the narrow waterways, mountain cliffs veiled in emerald-green forests rise above us and the aquamarine waters ripple and glisten in the sunshine. This is a perfect introduction to the breathtaking scenery that you are about to discover on the rest of your Albania Walking tour.

Berat

Set on the banks of the Osumi River, Berat is one of Albania's most popular cities to visit. White Ottoman houses sprawl up its craggy limestone cliffs towards the hilltop castle and their myriad of windows glimmer in the bright sunlight reflected up from the water below. A UNESCO-listed historical centre, follow your dedicated tour guide on a Highlights of Albania Private Tour to uncover ornate frescoes in the Church of Saint Mary or choose to visit the Red Mosque, the oldest in Albania.

 

Discover our Albania tours

Visit these highlights, as well as many other must-see spots and hidden gems, on one of our Albania small group or private tours. Choose from Discovery, Walking, Cycling or Private trips. 
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