Albania tourism today? At only 11,100 square miles (28,748 square kilometres) and with a total population of just under three million people, Albania might be small, but it’s certainly not lacking in things to do and see. From the stunning beaches of the Albanian Riviera to gorgeous archaeological sites, Albania will not disappoint you. Here’s a list of the top 20 must-visit attractions in the country. The Albanian Riviera is, with the capital city Tirana, the most popular place in the country. The reason is that it is just amazing: long sandy and pebble beaches lapped by turquoise water, and lovely coastal hamlets with small Orthodox churches, cobblestoned streets and flowers everywhere. The best places to visit are Dhërmi, Drymades beach, Vuno, Qeparo and the seaside town of Himara.
A Unesco city, Gjirokastra is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Albania. Unique Ottoman period architecture – with houses designed like small castles – can be found all over Gjirokastra, which has a military museum and art gallery in its amazing castle that dominates the skyline. A folklore festival also takes place in Gjirokastra’s castle every five years – the last one was in 2015. Visiting the old Ottoman bazaar in Gjirokastra should be on the agenda for anyone visiting this part of the country. Gjirokastra is famous as the birthplace of world-renowned author Ismail Kadare and Albania’s former dictator Enver Hoxha – today their old homes are museums.
Located in the south of the country, Gjirokaster is a delight to visit. Its beautiful old town is perched on the side of a hill overlooking a valley and its winding cobbled streets are full of quaint buildings and historic sites. With over 500 homes and buildings protected and preserved as ‘cultural monuments’, Gjirokaster is full of wonderful architecture. It is often known as the ‘City of Stone’ due to the distinctive local rooves that can be seen everywhere you go. Perched above the scenic Old Bazaar is Gjirokaster Castle, reputed to be the second largest in the whole of the Balkans. A fascinating place to visit, the castle has an underground Cold War-era bunker and an Armaments Museum for visitors to enjoy, alongside its impressive fortifications and ruins. Find extra information on weekend in Albania.
One of the most popular destinations in the Albanian Riviera, Ksamil lies just south of Saranda. It’s home to one of the best beaches in Saranda, which are filled with beach chairs and lined with bustling bars and restaurants. It’s a super-busy spot in summer, yet there are still pockets where you can find some more peace and quiet. Known as the “Ionian Pearl,” Ksamil is also famous for its crystal-clear water and a handful of islands, a couple of which you can even swim to. If you’re looking for a great Saranda beach, you’ll find a seashore paradise right here. Getting from Saranda to Ksamil is a piece of cake. You could either rent a car in Saranda yourself—giving you the freedom to do some more exploring in the region—or hop on a direct bus between the two towns.
The Llogara Pass is one of Albania’s most famous places, with the road providing one of the most spectacular drives in the whole world. Located in the middle of the Llogara National Park, the road travels to over 1,000 metres above sea level and the scenery will take your breath away. At the top of the pass there is a good range of restaurants, which are ideal places to enjoy some of the most stunning sights in Albania. Llogara National Park itself is home to animals such as the golden eagle, European wildcat and fallow deer. A drive from Tirana to Saranda taking in the Llogara Pass should take a few hours, but allow plenty of extra time to stop and take lots of photographs. Discover more information on here.