Mediterranean Europe - Albania 2014 guide by Lonelyplanet.com
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Mediterranean Europe - Albania (Chapter) 11th Edition Oct 2013 ...

Mediterranean Europe - Albania (Chapter) 11th Edition Oct 2013
This is the Abania chapter from Lonely Planet's Mediterranean Europe guidebook.

Albania offers an array of unique attractions, including ancient mountain codes of behaviour, forgotten archaeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still. It also has stunning mountain scenery, a thriving capital in Tirana and beaches to rival any elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

catch the Lake Koman Ferry through stunning mountain scenery, then continue to Valbonë and trek the ‘Accursed Mountains’
maps
explore the Unesco World Heritage–listed museum towns of dramatic Berat, the so-called ‘city of a thousand windows’
transport
catch some sun at Drymades, just one of the many beaches on the south’s dramatic Ionian Coast
restaurants & accommodation
Coverage includes: Understand Albania, Albania Today, History, People, Arts, Environment, Food & Drink, Directory A–Z and Transport, Tirana & around, Northern Albania, Shkodra, Theth, Valbonë, Central Albania, Kruja, Durrës, Apollonia, Berat, Southern Coast, Vlora, Drymades, Dhërmi, Himara, Vuno, Jal, Saranda & around, Eastern Albania, Gjirokastra



Read more: http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/europe/mediterranean-europe-travel-guide-11/mediterranean-albania-chapter-11/#ixzz35fk8MIkE

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Mediterranean Europe - Albania 2014 guide by Lonelyplanet.com Document Transcript

  • 1. Why Go? Albania has natural beauty in such abundance that you might wonder why it’s taken 20 years for the country to take off as a tourist destination since the end of a particu- larly brutal strain of communism in 1991. So backward was Albania when it emerged blinking into the bright light of freedom that it needed two decades just to catch up with the rest of Eastern Europe. Now that it arguably has done so, Albania offers a remarkable array of unique attractions, not least due to this very isolation: ancient mountain codes of behaviour, forgotten archaeological sites and villages where time seems to have stood still are all on the menu. With its stunning mountain scenery, a thriving capital in Tirana and beaches to rival any elsewhere in the Mediterranean, Albania has become the sleeper hit of the Balkans. But hurry here, as word is well and truly out. When to Go Jun Enjoy the perfect Mediter- ranean climate and deserted beaches. Aug Albania’s beaches may be packed, but this is a great time to explore the mountains. Dec See features and shorts at the Tirana Film Festival, while the intrepid can snow- shoe to Theth. F DNOSAJJMAMJ Tirana °C/°F Temp Rainfall inches/mm 0 10/250 4/100 6/150 8/200 2/50 0/32 -10/14 -20/-4 20/68 30/86 10/50 Albania Tirana...............................45 Shkodra............................52 Theth & Valbonë..............54 Kruja.................................55 Durrës..............................56 Apollonia.......................... 57 Berat................................ 57 Vlora.................................60 Drymades.........................61 Dhërmi..............................61 Himara..............................61 Vuno & Jal........................62 Saranda............................62 Gjirokastra.......................65 Understand Albania.........66 Survival Guide..................70 Best Places to Eat »» Kujtimi (p66) »» Era (p49) »» Tradita G&T (p53) »» Oda (p49) Best Places to Stay »» Tradita G&T (p53) »» Hotel Rilindja (p54) »» Hotel Mangalemi (p59) »» Hotel Kalemi (p65) ©Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd
  • 2. AlbaniaAlbaniaAlbania 43 ITINERARIES One Week Spend a day in busy Tirana, checking out the various museums as well as the Blloku bars and nightclubs. On day two, head up the Dajti Express cable car and then make the two-hour trip to the Ottoman-era town of Be- rat. Spend a few nights in Berat, before continuing down the coast for a couple of days on the beach in Himara or Drymades. Loop around for one last night in charming Gjirokastra before returning to Tirana. Two Weeks Follow the first week itinerary and then head north into Albania’s incredible ‘Accursed Mountains’. Start in Shko- dra, from where you can get transport to Koman for the stunning morning ferry ride to Fierzë. Continue the same day to the charming mountain village of Valbonë for a couple of nights, before trekking to Theth and spending your last couple of nights in the beautiful Theth National Park. Connections Albania has excellent connections in all directions: daily buses go to Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece. The southern seaport of Saranda is a short ferry trip from Greece’s Corfu, while in summer ferries also connect Himara and Vlora to Corfu. Durrës has regular ferries to Italy. Trav- ellers heading south from Croatia can pass through Mon- tenegro to Shkodra (via Ulcinj), and loop through Albania before heading into Macedonia via Pogradec or Kosovo via the Lake Koman Ferry or new super-fast Albania–Kosovo highway. There are, however, no international train routes from Albania. Essential Food & Drink »» Byrek Pastry with cheese or meat. »» Fergesë Baked peppers, egg and cheese, and occasion- ally meat. »» Midhje Wild or farmed mussels, often served fried. »» Paçë koke Sheep’s head soup, usually served for breakfast. »» Qofta Flat or cylindrical minced-meat rissoles. »» Sufllaqë Doner kebab. »» Tavë Meat baked with cheese and egg. »» Konjak Local brandy. »» Raki Popular spirit made from grapes. »» Raki mani Spirit made from mulberries. AT A GLANCE »» Currency lekë »» Language Albanian »» Money ATMs in most towns »» Visas Most visitors don’t need one – a 90- day stamp is issued at the border Fast Facts »» Area 28,748 sq km »» Capital Tirana »» Country code %355 »» Emergency Ambulance %127, fire %128, police %129 Exchange Rates Australia A$1 114.59 lekë Canada C$1 107.95 lekë Euro Zone €1 140.19 lekë Japan ¥100 116.24 lekë New Zealand NZ$1 91.85 lekë UK UK£1 165.99 lekë USA US$1 109.70 lekë Set Your Budget »» Budget hotel €10–15 per person »» Two-course meal €8 »» Museum entrance €1–3 »» Beer €1.50 »» City transport ticket 30 lekë Resources »» Albania-Hotel (www. albania-hotel.com) »» Balkanology (www. balkanology.com/albania) »» Journey to Valbona (www.journeytovalbona. com)