Albania, on Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, is a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps. The country has many castles and archaeological sites. Capital Tirana centers on sprawling Skanderbeg Square, site of the National History Museum, with exhibits spanning antiquity to post-communism, and frescoed Et’hem Bey Mosque.
South of Tirana are the well-preserved Ottoman towns of Gjirokastër and Berat, known for their imposing castles, mosques and Byzantine churches. Butrint, near the Greek border, features Greek and Roman ruins as well as Bronze Age artifacts. Along the southern coast, the Albanian Riviera is known for its traditional Mediterranean villages, beach resorts and vibrant nightlife. The country’s many hiking destinations range from Mount Korab, also popular for skiing, to Llogara National Park, with trails through coastal pine forest.