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.

When to visit

Most visitors arrive in summer (Jul–Aug), particularly at the beaches. The Mediterranean climate varies by region, but is generally characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Geography

Albania is defined in an area of 28,748 square kilometres (11,100 square miles) and located on the Balkan Peninsula in South and Southeast Europe] Its coastline faces the Adriatic Sea to the northwest and the Ionian Sea to the southwest within the Mediterranean Sea.

Population

The current population of Albania is 2,937,101 as of Monday, March 4, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates.

Language

Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Albanians in the Balkans and the Albanian diaspora in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. It is the official language of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia as well as a minority language of Italy, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia .
It comprises an independent branch within the Indo-European languages and is not closely related to any other language in Europe.
Gheg and Tosk constitute the major dialects of the Albanian language with Gheg spoken in the north and Tosk spoken in the south of the Shkumbin. Standard Albanian is a standardised form of spoken Albanian based on the Tosk dialect.

Religions

The most-commonly practiced religion in Albania is Islam (mainly Sunni or Bektashi), the second-most-commonly practiced religion is Christianity (mainly Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant).

Coming in Albania & Going Out

Located on the Balkan Penninsula in southeastern Europe, Albania is located near to the main European markets and can be visited easily by air, land and sea.

VIA AIR

The only airport in Albania with international service is Mother Theresa International Airport, located in Rinas, just 17 km northwest of Tirana. The most convenient way to get from the airport to Tirana is by taxi. The journey from Tirana to the airport takes twenty to thirty minutes, depending on traffic, and costs about 2,500 lekë (or 20 EURO) each way. Soon will open also the Airport of Kukes (North Albania) and construct the Airport of Vlora (South Albania).
The Rinas Express bus departs every hour between 6am and 6pm, as an hourly bus service between the Airport and the National Museum in the centre of Tirana. The single fare is 250 Albanian Lekë.

VIA SEA

Visitors can access Albania by passenger ferry through its larger coastal cities. Several foreign companies have regular services to:
Port of Durrës:
Connects to Italian ports of of Bari, Ancona and Trieste in Italy and Koper in Slovenia.

Port of Saranda:
Daily trips are made to the Greek island of Corfu.

Port of Shëngjin:
Connects to the Italian port of Bari.

VIA LAND

REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO 

From Kosova, the primary route crosses the border near Qafë Morinё (Albania) and connects Prishtina and Kukës. The other entry points are Morinё (Tropoja with Gjakova)  , and Qafë Prush (Hasi with Gjakova) . Customs operates 24 hours .

REPUBLIC OF GREECE
From Greece through Kapshtica to Korça. Customs operates 24 hours.

From Greece through Kakavija leading to Gjirokastra. Customs operates 24 hours.
From Greece through Qafë Boti (Konispol) leading to Filat. Customs operates until 22.00.
From Greece through Tre Urat, connecting Përmet with Konica. Customs operates until 22.00.

REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO
From Montenegro through Hani i Hotit, leading to Shkodra and Shkodra Lake. Customs operates until 22.00.
From Montenegro through Murriqan Sukobina, connecting Shkodra with Ulqin (Montenegro). Customs operates until 22.00.
A crossing has recently opened at Vermoshi, which links the region of Kelmendi in Albania with Plava and Gusinje in Montenegro. Customs operates until 22.00.

 REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
From Macedonia through Qafë Thana leading to Pogradec, Librazhd, and Elbasan. Customs operates until 22.00.
From Macedonia through Tushemisht at the southeastern end of Lake Ohrid, leading to Pogradec. Customs operates until 22.00.

From Macedonia through Bllata, leading to Peshkopi, Bulqiza, and Burrel. Customs operates until 22.00.
From Macedonia through Gorica, leading to the northern shores of Lake Prespa. Customs operates until 19.00.

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