From the end of the WWII, the country
experienced 45 years of communist
dictatorship and complete isolation from the
rest of the World
still spread all
over the country…
…a unique unexplored country with fascinating culture, friendly, warmth, and
…being a secret in the heart of Europe is an asset and unique attraction…
Italia – 72 km (Strait of Otranto)
• Small Country - 28,748 km²
(11,100 square miles)
• 362 km coastline along
Adriatic and Ionian Sea
• Mountains comprise
nearly 70% of the territory
• variety of weather
patterns and climatic
– Coastal lowlands - typically
– Highlands - Mediterranean
…The average temperatures between May – October are 23 – 31 °C….
…Albania climate is characterized by bright sunny days (second after Spain in Europe).
There are nearly 250 sunny days in the Northeast and 325 in Southwest…
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel
…Albania as the number
one in the top 10 countries
to visit in 2011…
Why travel to Albania?
…a great variety of seaside
relaxation, from sandy to
pebbly and rocky beaches…
More than 200 km of sandy and
pine beaches along Adriatic Sea
(the only sandy beaches in east
Nearly 85% of this coastline is not
a Frugal Paradise..
…no one is seen standing on this beach. Everything is mine…
INTEGRATED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT
AND CLEAN UP PROGRAM
Government of Albania –
June 2005 – December 2012
– develop a sustainable
tourism in the South
Albania coast by
– remediate and
hazards from former
chemical plant in
Porto Romano near
– improve community
– enhance architectural
Mountains represent nearly 2/3 of the whole
Albanian territory, grouped in:
• Albanian Alps
• Central Mountainous Range
• South Mountainous Range
Thethi Valley – Albanian Alps (small village church)
Hiking in Northern Alps
Nothing may be sold or become private property in the upland or lowland pastures or in
the common property of the Village and Banner, because these are free for the use of
Kanun of Lek Dukagjini
Balkan’s Peace Park – will bring travellers to discover amazing mountainous
landscapes with isolated charm-full valleys, ancient traditions and pagan legends
many guest houses operate
throughout Alps, offering
visitors food, shelter, and
warm Albanian hospitality
Inland water surface is
nearly 1350 km²
…the main Rivers
• Drini 285 km
•Semani 281 km
•Vjosa 272 km
•Erzeni 109 km
Lake Ohrid Total area 363 km², of which 111 km within
• average depth 145 m
• max. depth 295 m
… the Ohrid lake, that came into being between
four to ten million years ago, is Europe's oldest
lake, and is amongst the oldest in the world,
similar to Lake Baikal and Tanganyka .
The largest lake of the
whole Balkan Peninsula.
with a coast line of 57
km belonging to
Republic of Albania, and
2 / 3 to Montenegro.
One of the largest in the
Mediterranean Sea (nearly 3900
Ha). The lagoon is famous for
the rare Dalmatian Pelican –
nearly 5% of the world's
population of this type of
pelican is found in this lagoon
Eight lagoon ecosystems,
covering nearly 10,900 Ha,
fisheries, fish farming and
Area 4180 Ha, of which
1290 converted to a
…nearly 13,4% of the Albanian territory is comprised of
natural parks and protected areas such as forests,
lakes, lagoons, pastures, etc.
…map of protected areas in Albania
“Bredhi i Hotoves” National Park
10 – archeological protected
9 – archeological parks
Over 1600 cultural monuments
Over 300 fortresses and castles
More than 200 churches and
Over 130 cultural prime
3 UNESCO protected areas
Rich Historic Heritage
The sight of high Phaeacia soon we lost
And skimm'd along Epirus' rocky coast.
Then to Chaonia's port our course we bend,
And, landed, to Buthrotus' heights ascend.
Here wondrous things were loudly blaz'd fame:
How Helenus reviv'd the Trojan name,
And that Priam's captive son
Succeeded Pyrrhus in his bed and throne.
National Park of Butrint – areal view
Since 1992, Butrint is registered as an UNESCO world's estate in 1992,
and as a World Heritage site in 1999
Proceeding on, another Troy I see,
Or, in less compass, Troy's epitome.
A riv'let by the name of Xanthus ran,
And I embrace the Scaean gate again.
Butrint: the Virgil’s “Skea Gate”
and the "Lion Gate“ (5 c. BC). At
the architrave is represented a lion
devouring a bull, allusion of Aeneas
sacrifice of the bull before sailing
toward Italy to establish Rome
Apolonia, the 4 c. BC
Carved stone basement
and the brick wall,
among the first cases in
the world of the massive
use of baked bricks.
Amantia: The most
beautiful example of the
“lesbian masonry”: The
flattened rock served as a
defending wall and
basement for the chiseled
blocks jointed by
curved faces (5th BC)
The stadium of Amantia (3 BC). During the excavations, numerous statuettes of
athletes were found. Among the winners of Olympic competitions appears the
names of athletes from Amantia.
Selca, the monumental tombs carved into the rock (4-3 BC), unique in the
all ancient architecture because of their forms and elements. Archaeological
excavations discovered here numerous valuable golden artifacts.
Durrës, “The Beauty of Dyrrachium”: A mosaic
of river gravel with apulian motifs (4th c. BC).
One of the most beatiful mosaics of the pre-
Butrint, the head of Apollo, a roman copy of a
probably disappeared model of Polykletes.
The site of Apollonia was
founded at the 6th c. BC.
By Strabo it is mentioned
as "an exceedingly well-
governed city" and
Aristotle considered as an
important example of an
The Roman emperor
Augustus studied in
Apollonia in 44 BC and it
was there that he received
news of Caesar's mord .
For Cicero Apollonia was
magna urbs et gravis, a
great and severe city.
Durrës, founded as Epidamnos in 627 BC, one of the oldest cities in Europe.
For Aristotle Epidamnos was a “politically advanced society”,
Cicero had to leave the city because it was “very noisy”.
One of most important monuments of Durrës is his Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd
century AD. The Amphitheatre, having a capacity of 20,000 people, is one of the
largest in the world, probably the fourth according to recent excavations,.
The Baptistery of Butrint, constructed in the early 6th AD, is the second largest
baptistery in all the Eastern Roman Empire. The intricate brightly colored
mosaic has representations of land (animals), air (birds), and water (fish),
symbolizing aspects of Christian salvation.
Synagoge of Saranda (Onchesmos). According to a legend 2000 years ago, a ship full of
Jewish slaves from Palestine landed at Illyria. A mosaic with seven-branched
candelabrum (menorah) and a ram’s horn (shofar), symbols of Jewish holidays, demonstrate
clearly that the ruins of the large mosaic paved building in Saranda belongs to a synagogue
of the 5th- or 6th c. AD, one of the greatest in Mediterranean.
…the magnificent and famous Castle of Gjirokastra is an ancient building of stone, erected
along a high ridge of rock. It stretches from east to west, a length of 600 steps wide and a width
of 100 steps. The long crowned cortains give it the appearance of a galley ship…
Evliya Çelebi, Seyahatname, november 1670.
The UNESCO World Heritage Town of
“It was a strange city,
and seemed to have been cast up in
the valley one winter’s night like some
prehistoric creature that
was now clawing its way up the
mountainside. Everything in the city was
old and made of stone, from the streets to
the roofs of the old houses covered with
grey slates like gigantic scales. That was
only natural, for it was a stone city and
its touch was rough and cold
Ismail Kadare, Chronicle in Stone
…in a large house of Gjirokastra, you can not
easily meet the people. They are fresh houses,
excessive rooms, great and mysterious
spaces, in the sense that there is always something to
be repaired, something that
is unfinished. Somewhere you don’t have to enter.
Ismail Kadare, Chronicle in Stone
Gjirokastra, Zekati House.
…bazaar has 200 elegant shops . In addition, there are 80 modern two-floor stores. Bazaar is an
attractive one, with strong gates on both the entry exit wings, like a bezistan...
Evliya Çelebi, Seyahatname, november 1670.
“The City of a Thousand Windows”, the Mangalem quarter
Mary and Child. Icon by Onufri
(Onufri museum in Berat)
Onufri (first half of the 16th century) is
one of the most prominent post-
He was the first to introduce the pink
color into icon painting.
Onufri was the founder of his own
school of painting
The citadele of the castle of Berat and the Holy Trinity Church (13th century)
The Kruja castle withstood three massive sieges from the Turks (1450, 1466, 1467), with
garrisons usually no larger than 2,000-3,000 men. Mehmed II himself, “The Conqueror” of
Constantinople, could not break the castle's small defenses during the life of Scanderbeg .
…Lezha Castle: located on top of a 186 meter high hill, the castle originates from Illyrian
times. In 1440 it was reconstructed by the Venetians, and in 1522, rebuilt by the Ottomans .
The castle bears traces of Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture.
The Rozafa Castle rises on a rocky hill to the west of Shkodra city. The name is linked to the
common Balkan legend “of the kept promise”. According to the legend, Rozafa, the wife of the
youngest of three brothers, accepted to be buried alive in the walls of the castle.
The fortress was commissioned by Ali Pasha Tepelena, to be donated to his wife Vasiliqi. The
fortress is also mentioned by Alexander Dymas in his book “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
Ali Pasha Fortress at Porto Palermo
Bashtova Castle is situated circa 3-4 km to the north of the Shkumbini River delta. The castle was
built in the 15th century and was used by the Venetians. The Bashtova region was known as the
Shkumbini river harbor and as a center of grains export.
As one of the touristic attractions, the Petrela fortress is located along Tirane-
Elbasan national road, 18 km from Tirana. The fortress is perched on a rocky hill,
above the village with the same name. It has a triangular shape with two
Shkodër, Ura e Mesit (Middle
108 meters long, 12.5 meters
height, with 13 stone arches.
The bridge was built in the
second half of the 18-
th century by the Albanian
Pasha of Shkodra, Mehmet
Long, high, elegant, it has the
beauty of a stretched bow.
When you walk over, it looks
like walking on a fragile egg
shell, waiting to be broken at
…unique spiritual heritage…
…destined to be a hub of civilizations , (the Illyrians, the Greeks
and the Romans ), a meeting point of cultures (Albanian,
Byzantine, Slavic, Turco-Persian), a place of coexistence of rival
faiths and religions, nurtured in this historical cradle the harmony
and respect for each other.
Lazar’s resurrection (17 century icon
of the Onufri museum).
The icon is a clear example of the
peaceful coexistence of religions: In the
foreground St. Mary and the
resurrected Lazarus, while the
background shows mosques and
The mixture of minarets of mosques and
grand Orthodox churches and chapels are
a testament to the religious coexistence
Recently Berat was added to UNESCO’s
World Heritage list as an example of the
co-existence of religions and cultures.
Ethem Bey mosque (1789-1823), right in the centre
of Tirana. Interior of the mosque is decorated by
paintings of trees, waterfalls, flowers and bridges in
a very fine and strange composition of islamic art.
…on an Albanian spring day, dozens of Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox
Christians toil together up a steep, winding slope to St Anthony’s Church , Lac….
…different faiths all hoping for a miracle…
…Albanian proverbial hospitality…
…the house belongs to God and the Guest…
“Canon of Lek”
…according to medieval law, hospitality was a sacred
obligation, the host being required to avenge harm to one’s
…little is known worldwide about the fact that only Albania in
Europe protected its own Jews during the Holocaust while also
offering shelter to other Jews who had escaped from Serbia,
Austria, and Greece…
…nearly 2,000 Jews fled to Albania during World War II.
Population (1 January, 2010)
The youngest population in
• 43% of the population under
– Albania, Kosovo and Diaspora –
nearly 7.5 million;
Foreign spoken languages
• English (widely spoken)
transportation and access
to touristic areas
From 2005 and on…..
• 789 km of new roads,
• 157 km of highway
• 1948 km of roads - maintained or reconstructed
Year Tourism Revenue (in million euros)
Source: Bank of Albania
Year Tourist Arrivals (in thousands)
Source: Albanian State Police Department of Border and Migration
Recent performance of
…traditional, comfort restaurants and guesthouses…
..a culinary experience, rich of
high nutritional values and
delicious tastes. A visitor may
enjoy plenty of traditional
dishes as well as delights from
all over the world, including
Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern,
and other international tastes…
“Rally Albania” - the
second largest racing
activity in the Balkans,
with the participation of
about 15 – 20 European
Albania is full of interesting places, where
everyone can easily pass many hours
enjoying the entertainment that can be
The are also a wide range of bars, coffee
shops and clubs all over Albania. Tirana,
the capital city , have some of the most
popular clubs in the country.
Albania is the last secret of Europe. This small country between the
Adriatic and the Ionian sea has it all; crystal clear beaches, great
rivers, lakes, mountains, old heritage and modern towns.
The best destination in an expensive Europe. Albania is the new
spot in Europe.
Come and enjoy the country of Eagles!!
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