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Albania

ALBANIA AND THE BALKANS TOURS

This small country which was onced ruled by the Ottoman Empire over 100 years ago can be found on Southeastern Europe's Balkan Peninsula and is bordered by three countries - Montenegro, Greece and Macedonia.

Our Balkans tours takes you to its capital city of Tirana, which is one of Europe's sunniest cities, boasting an an average 2,544 hours of sunshine annually. Albania may be small, but it hosts an incredible amount of flora - in fact, it boasts more than 3,250 species of plants, which accounts for 30 percent of all flora in Europe.

Our walking tours in Albania educates you about the country's iron communist regime that survived until 1990, five years after the death of its great dictator, Enver Hoxha.

TOP Albania TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

Small Group Albania TOURS

TAILOR-MADE Albania TOURS

Map

Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

TOUR REVIEWS

I had an amazing time on the trip. Everything was incredibly well organized and planned out to a tee. Our tour guide, Big Mo, was amazing and super knowledgeable. I couldn't have imagined a better trip to Egypt!
Excellent

I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
Everything was great. Our guide was very knowledgeable and liked that we were interested in what he was telling us. We were lucky to be in a group with like minded people who also wanted to stay in places longer of which our guide accommodated. Only negative thing was the sitting train. Best to just take the flying option. Train was not bad but has no services, no alcohol, and breakfast was all carbs and an egg. Egypt really seems to like their breads and pastries....

I purchased my rid tour as part of a group coupon. Is obituary hesitant but my tour was great. The staff at Encounters were professional and helpful. I had a lot of questions but no one made me feel like a pest. Good experience.
I always wanted to go to Morocco and I finally got to go last September. I'm glad I chose this tour group. They were professional and attentive. Good times!

Trip booked through Groupon at a Great offer price - Encounters was nothing but professional from the start. I even purchased insurance - extra days and got the best flights from my local airport- Great experience

When a single women in her 50's, traveling from the US to Egypt, stumbles across a website offering a tour, and then they make her feel totaling comfortable about every step of the process, you know you've hit a homerun!

ratings

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit Albania?

Albania is a safe country and very welcoming to tourists. There have been few reported acts of violence and crimes.

What is the official currency of Albania?

The currency used in Albania is the Albanian lek, which is subdivided into 100 qindarka.

When is the best time of the year to visit Albania?

The best time to visit Albania is between April to June and September to October, as the weather is pleasant for a holiday by the beach or in the mountains.

Should you tip in Albania?

Like in most European countries, you should round up the bill when eating at a restaurant. If the service is good, you can give more of a tip, and tipping hotel maids is appreciated.

Is the tap water safe to drink in Albania?

The tap water is drinkable, but it contains a high amount of chlorine and drinking too much of it can cause stomach cramps. We recommend drinking filtered water.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

POSTS FROM OUR BLOG

Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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Factfile


Time: GMT+2
Dial Code: +355
Area: 28,748 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in Albania is the Adriatic Sea 0m (0 ft.) | The highest point in Albania is Mount Korab 2,764m (9,068 ft.)
Population: 2,934,363 (2018)
Capital: Tirana
Governemnt: Parliamentary system, Parliamentary republic
Language: Albanian

Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in southern eastern Europe. Tirana is the country's capital, the most populous city, and the main commercial and economic centre. Albania is also a unitary parliamentary constitution republic.

Situated in the southwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast.

The country is mainly mountainous including the Korab Mountains, the Albanian Alps in the north, the Ceraunian Mountains in the south and the Skanderbeg Mountains in the centre. The Adriatic Sea is along the country to the northwest and the Ionian Sea to the southwest.

With an upper-middle income economy, Albania is a democratic and developing country. After the end of communism in 1960, the country underwent a process of transition from a centralised economy to a market-based economy. The country provides universal health care along with free primary and secondary education to its citizens.

Albanian is small, and its landscape is characterised by high or mountainous terrain. The mountains run the length of the country, north to south. The hydrographic network of Albania includes an assortment of the largest and most ancient bodies of freshwater in southern Europe.

Most of the country experiences a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The country is home to 58 species of mammals, 353 species of birds and 3,000 species of plants.

Highlights

  • Tirana – the capital of Albania, famous for its vibrant, Ottoman-era architecture and Skanderbeg Square.
  • Kalaja – a castle that houses the ancient neighbourhood of Kala within its walls.
  • Gjirokastra Castle – a fortress in Gjirokastra that looks out over the town and the river valley.
  • Bunk'Art – a Cold War bunker that was converted into a history and contemporary art museum.
  • Cold War Tunnel – a massive bunker underneath the Gjirokastra Castle, that can be explored with guided tours.
  • Onufri Museum – a national museum in Berat dedicated to Byzantine art and iconography.
  • Rozafa Fortress – a castle near Shkodër, resting on a hill surrounded by the Buna and Drin rivers.
  • Ardenica Monastery – an Eastern Orthodox Monastery located on the national road that connects to Lushnjë to Fier.

Tips

  • Wear layers on your holiday, as the weather can change from hot to cold.
  • Bring good walking shoes for exploring the mountains and cultural sights.
  • Do not attempt to enter a mosque during prayer time.
  • As in Greece, a shake of the head means 'yes', and a nod means 'no'.
  • Try and learn a few basic phrases of Albanian to interact with the locals.
  • If a local offers to pay for your meal, accept it not to be rude.
  • It's a good idea to carry cash because some places don't accept cards.
  • It is acceptable to haggle at markets and shops, and for long distance taxi rides.