Albania visitors guide


Published on

Published in: Travel
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Albania visitors guide

  1. 1. AlbaniaVisitors yours to discover
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSIntroduction ........................................................ 3 National Parks ...................................................... 39Welcome to Albania .......................................... 4 Museums ............................................................ 46Geography ............................................................ 5 Albanian Traditions .......................................... 50History .................................................................... 6 Culture ................................................................. 54Population ............................................................ 10 Sports ................................................................... 57Language .............................................................. 10 Media .................................................................... 58Religion .................................................................. 11 Other useful Information .............................. 62Climate ................................................................... 12 Outdoor activities ............................................ 65Economy ............................................................... 13 Postal system and phone calls .................... 68Agriculture ............................................................ 13 Embassies ............................................................ 71Natural Resources ............................................ 13 Dictionary ........................................................... 76Political Structure ............................................. 13How to come to Albania ................................ 14Border Formalities ............................................ 20How to travel in Albania .................................. 2110 Suggested Itineraries ................................ 26Accommodations .............................................. 34Cuisine ................................................................. 35Tourist Attractions ........................................... 36Flora and Fauna ................................................ 37Lake and Rivers ................................................. 38
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONAt the front entrance of “Mother Teresa” Airport, a huge poster welcomeseveryone to the “Country of the Eagles,” otherwise known as Albania.Albania is well known for its traditional hospitality and extraordinary nature.From one province to another, the climate of this small country varies from exoticMediterranean to cold continental, with a relatively short winter and a hot, drysummer.Albania is home to centuries of history with ancient archaeological sites, medievalmodern villages, and a magnificent coastline with crystalline waters. Albania isgeographically located in Europe, in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula,and is easily reachable by air, land, and sea.The territory of Albania is known for its varying landscape and diverse relief.Rocky beaches, lagoons, rugged hills, high mountains, valleys, and rivers arethe key components in this perfect combination, just waiting to be discoveredby visitors.The southern Albanian coastline stands out for its particular beauty and isconsidered a pearl of the Mediterranean Sea. Mountains rise behind the beaches,creating an ideal environment for those seeking a perfect holiday. All of thisunexplored nature is conveniently situated within a relatively small territoryof 28,748 km2.It is believed that the prehistoric origins of the Albanians come from anIndo-European tribe, which, by the Greek historian Herodotus, was knownby the name, “the Pellazgs.” The Pellazgs are considered direct ancestorsof the Illyrians and it is supposed that they existed here for many centuries.Albania, the present name of the country, is an Illyrian denomination ofthe Illyrian tribe, the Albans. The desire to preserve the ancient beauty andthe natural and archeological treasures of Albania is turning the country intoa true paradise for all seasons and all types of tourists.This guide contains information on the geographic position, population, history,climate, national parks, museums, coastline, forests, language, religion, and othertopics of interest for tourists.
  4. 4. WELCOME TO ALBANIA Area: 28,748 km2 Capital city: Tirana Population: 3,150,886 inhabitants Language: Albanian Currency: Lekë Government: Parliamentary Democracy Flag: Black double-headed eagle on red background International telephone prefix: 00 3554
  5. 5. GEOGRAPHYGeographyAlbania’s surface area of 28,748 km2 (11,100 square milesmakes it slightly smaller than Belgium. It is situated inthe Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe, and sharesborders with Greece, the former Yugoslav Republicof Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosova. In the west,the country is made up of coastline that runs alongthe Adriatic and Ionian seas. The division of these seasis marked by the Bay of Vlora, about 170 km northof the southern border with Greece, and the Straitof Otranto, which also marks the narrowest pointin the sea where only 72 km of water separatesAlbania from Italy. Albania has four primarytopographical areas: the Albanian Alps, a centralmountainous region, a southern mountainous regionand the coastal plain. The interior of the country is mostlymountainous and approximately 36% is covered in lushforest. The plains are extensively planted with olive trees,citrus trees, and grape vines that collect into beautifulvineyards. There are numerous lakes located throughoutthe country. Measuring 370 km2, Lake Shkodra isnot only the largest lake in Albania but also the largestin the Balkans. Lake Prespa is the highest tectonic lakein all Balkans. Lake Ohrid, in the eastern portionof the country, is shared with Macedonia and at294 m (931 ft), is exceptionally deep. The Ionian coast,known as the “Albanian Riviera” from Vlora toSaranda, is both rugged and beautiful, featuringsome of the most picturesque scenery inthe country. The overall length of Albania’sborders is 1,094 km. Of this length, 657 km ismade up of land borders with other countries,316 km stretch along the seas, 73 km iscomprised of lakes, and 48 km is markedby various rivers. The highest point isMount Korab, 2,751 m above sea level.Additionally, Albania enjoys a total of twelveNational Parks areas, which togetherwith other protected areas coverapproximately 39% of thecountry (34,550 hectares).
  6. 6. HISTORYHistory The expanding Illyrian kingdom clashedThe area known as Albania today has with Rome in 229 B.C. A lengthy strugglebeen populated since prehistoric times. ensued and resulted in the extension ofIn antiquity, much of it was settled by Roman control over the entire Balkan areathe Illyrians, who are the ancestors of by 167 B.C. Under the Romans, Illyrianspresent-day Albanians. It was around enjoyed relative peace and prosperity.the turn of the third millennium B.C. that Large agricultural estates flourished underan Indo-European population settled slave labor. Like the Greeks, the Illyriansthere. The result of this melding of managed to preserve their own languagecultures was the creation of a population and traditions despite centuries of Romanincorporating the unique cultural and rule. Over time the people graduallylinguistic characteristics of the whole replaced their old gods with the newBalkan Peninsula. Based on this ancient Christian faith championed by Emperorpopulation, the Illyrian people developed Constantine. Trade continued to flourishthrough the second millennium and the during this time. The main route betweenfirst century B.C. After its collapse in the Rome and Constantinople, the Via Egnatia,year 30 B.C., Illyria came under the control passed through the port at Durrës.of the Roman Empire. Upon the division When the Roman Empire was dividedof the Roman Empire in 395 A.D., Illyria in 395 A.D., Illyria fell within the Easternbecame a part of the Byzantine Empire. Empire, later known as the ByzantineThe Greeks arrived in the 5th century B.C. Empire. Three early Byzantine Emperorsto establish self-governing colonies in (Anastasius I, Justin I and Justinian I) wereEpidamnos (now Durrës), Apollonia, and Illyrian in origin. Ongoing invasions byButrint, and they established an expansive Visigoths, Huns, Ostrogoths, and Slavstrading system with the Illyrians, who continued through the 5th and 6thformed tribal states in the IV century B.C. centuries.6
  7. 7. The monument of our National HeroGjergj Kastrioti SkanderbegTirana
  8. 8. HISTORYIn 1344, Albania was annexed by Serbia. were favored and were exempted fromTheir control of the area was brief, though, the Janissary system, which dictatedas the Turks defeated the Serbians in 1389. that Christian households give up oneAt this point, the Venetians controlled of their sons to convert to Islam andsome coastal towns but with the Serbian serve in the army. Consequently, manydefeat, the entire region became Albanians abandoned their Christianvulnerable to Ottoman attack. faith and converted to Islam. TheFrom 1443 to 1468, an Albanian nobleman subsequent insurrection efforts eventuallynamed Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti) brought about the proclamation of theunited warring Albanian princes and led independence of Albania in 1912. Kinga resistance effort against the Turks from Zog I ruled for nearly fourteen years untilhis castle at Kruja. Skanderbeg won all the country was invaded by Italy in 193925 battles he fought against the Turks and eventually occupied by Mussolini’sand kept them at bay for more than two forces. German forces occupied portionsdecades. He would go on to become of Albania during this time, as well. Aa national hero, but upon his death, resistance against this foreign occupationthe Ottomans overwhelmed Albanian was formed and became known as theresistance and took control of the country Antifascist National Liberation 1479. For more than 400 years Albaniawas under Ottoman rule. Muslim citizens8
  9. 9. HISTORYIn November of 1944, the occupying the Democratic Party regained politicalforces were eventually expelled and power and continues to lead Albaniathe Communist Party assumed power. today. Looking to the future, Albania’sShortly thereafter, a totalitarian regime leaders hope to integrate the country intowas established under the communist the European Union (EU). Albania is nowleader Enver Hoxha. For nearly fifty years, a member of the North Atlantic Treatythe regime enforced a policy of strict Organization (NATO) and also part of manyisolationism. This left the country in an other international organizations.extraordinarily impoverished state whenit finally emerged from this isolation uponHoxha’s death in 1991. The DemocraticParty assumed control at this point and ledthe country from 1991 until 1997.1997 saw a period of great financial andpolitical upheaval as the collapse of vastpyramid schemes threw society into a briefstate of chaos. The Socialist Party guidedthe country through this pivotal time andremained in power until 2005. Followingthe most recent elections in July 2005, 9
  10. 10. POPULATION & LANGUAGEPopulation LanguageThe population of Albania numbers Albanian is the official language.3,150,886, with a density of 113 people per It comprises a separate, original branchsquare kilometer. Population is growing in the family of the Indo-Europeanby 0.73% per year. A slight majority of the languages, and can be linguistically tracedpopulation, about 51%, lives in rural areas. to its Illyrian origins. In its lexicon one canThe average life expectancy is 75 years for see influences from Italian, old and newfemales and 69 for males. The vast majority Greek, Latin, and Slavic languages. Despiteof inhabitants are Albanian, with ethnic these influences, Albanian has retainedminorities, comprised primarily of Greeks its original, distinct nature and structure.and Macedonians, representing only about The alphabet is comprised of 36 letters,2% of the population. Tirana is the capital each pronounced the same way, regardlessand largest city with 800,000 inhabitants. of usage. This enables visitors to quicklyOther important cities with significant and easily learn a few essential phrases topopulations include Durrës, Elbasan, facilitate communication. Many Albanians,Shkodër, and Vlora. particularly in larger cities, speak English.10
  11. 11. RELIGIONReligionIn Albania, there is a peaceful coexistenceof those practicing a variety of religiousfaiths. Muslims, Orthodox, and thosefollowing the teachings of the CatholicChurch comprise the majority of peopleadherent to religion. In 1967, religiousworship was prohibited and the countrybecame the world’s only official atheiststate. Since the end of the Communism,Albanians have been guaranteed thefreedom of religion and have exercisedthat freedom in various ways.
  12. 12. CLIMATEClimateAlbania has a Mediterranean climate witheach season offering distinct, yet pleasantweather. Some features of the climate varyby region:The coastal areas have a CentralMediterranean climate with mild, wetwinters and hot, dry summers.The alpine areas have a CentralContinental climate with cold, snowywinters and temperate summers.The lowlands have mild winters, averagingabout 7°C, and summer temperaturesaverage 24°C. Lowland rainfall ranges from1,000 mm to more than 1,500 mm annually,with greater rainfall in the north. Nearly95% of rainfall occurs in the winter andrainfall in the upland mountain ranges isheavier. Despite the rain, Albanians enjoya great deal of sunshine; the country issecond only to Spain in average annualsunny days. The overall climate is pleasantand favors outdoor activity.12
  13. 13. ECONOMY & AGRICULTURE NATURAL RESOURCES & POLITICAL STRUCTUREEconomy Natural ResourcesSince the fall of Communism, the Albania is rich in natural resources,development of the Albanian economy has including chromium, copper, coal, ferry,been fueled primarily by the service and nickel, oil and natural industries, though tourismhas recently played an increasing role Political Structurein the economy and is growing rapidly. The Albanian Republic is based on aMany people are curious to explore a democratic pluralist parliamentary whose borders were closed to The People’s Assembly, comprised of atravel for many years. Given the continued 140-seat chamber, is selected by populardevelopment of both summer and winter election every four years. Every five yearsresorts, people all over the world have the People’s Assembly elects the country’sbegun to think of Albania as a tourist president, who serves as of head of state.destination. The nation is governed by the Council of Ministers, which is led by the PrimeAgriculture Minister. Local government is conducted byAgriculture comprises over half of Albania’s directly elected mayors and proportionallyGDP. It is comprised of both small and large elected councils.scale operations, and has experiencedrecent growth due to diversification ofproduction. 13
  14. 14. HOW TO COME TO ALBANIABy Air ALBANIAN AIRLINESThe only airport in Albania with “Mine Peza”, Str. Nr. 2,international service is “Mother Theresa” or “Dëshmorët e 4 Shkurtit”, Str.International Airport, located in Rinas, Phone: 00355 4/2235162/2269026just 17 km northwest of Tirana. The most Fax: 00355 4/2235138/2228461convenient way to get from the airport to E-mail: Tirana is by taxi. Website: journey from Tirana to the airport takes Offers flights to Rome, Milan, Turin,twenty to thirty minutes, depending on Bologna, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Pristina,traffic, and costs about 2,500 lekë (or 20 Zurich, Athens, and London.EUR) each way.The “Rinas Express” departs every hour AEGEAN AIRLINES between 7am and 7pm, a 24-hour as Phone: 00355 4/2245100/2253342bus service between the airport and the Ticketing by Albtours Travel AgencyNational Museum in the center of Tirana. Flights to Athens.The bus depart hourly and the single fare is200 Albanian Lekë (mobile phone: 00 355 ALITALIA 69 20 98908). Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit” Rogner Hotel”Europapark”“Mother Teresa” Airport Phone/Fax: 00355 4/2230023.The airport has a duty free shop. E-mail: reservations@alitalia.itCustoms operates 24 hours a day. Website: www.alitalia.itPhone: 00355 4/2381800/1600 Offers flights to Rome and Milan.Fax: 00355 4/2379065Lost & Found: AUSTRIAN AIRLINESPhone: 00355 4/2381681/82 Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit”Mobile phone: 00355 69 20 66626 Rogner Hotel “Europapark”E-mail: Phone: 00355 4/2235029/2235028Website: Fax: 00355 4/2235026 Website: Travel Agencies operating Offers flights to Albania-Tirana: BELLE AIR ADRIA AIRWAYS Blv. “Zog I”Blv. “Bajram Curri” Phone: 00355 4/2240194Commercial Center ETC, Fax: 00355 4/ 2240213Phone: 00355 4/2272666/2274 666 Website: www. belleair.alWebsite: Offers flights to Pristina, Genova, Pisa,Offers flights to Ljubljana (Slovenia) Milan, Bologna, Rome, Verona, Forli, Bergamo, Florence, Trieste, and Liege. It is a low cost carrier.14
  15. 15. HOW TO COME TO ALBANIABRITISH AIRWAYS TURKISH AIRLINES Phone: 00355 68 3229007/68 2011777 “Skanderbeg” Pl.Offers flights to London Gatwick. “Hotel Tirana International” Phone: 00355 4/2234902/2228960HEMUS AIR Fax: 00355 4/2228961“Durrësi”, Str. E-mail: 00355 4/2230410 Offers flights to Istanbul.Fax: 00355 4/2228752 E-mail : LUFTHANSA Website: Blv. “Zhan D’Ark”Offers flights to Sofia. Pallatet e Shallvareve Phone: 00355 4/2258010MALEV Fax: 00355 4/2258010“Abdi Toptani”, Str. Website: www.lufthansa.comTorre Drin center, second floor Offers flights to Munich.Phone: 00355 4/2227900Fax: 00355 4/2234578E-mail: tirana@malev.huWebsite: www.malev.comOffers flights to Budapest. OLIMPIC AIRWAYS Blv. “Zogu I”VEVE center, 2nd floorPhone: 00355 4/2228960/61Fax: 00355 4/2228959E-mail: tiato@olympicairlines.alOffers flights to Athens. 15
  16. 16. HOW TO COME TO ALBANIABy Sea Ticket offices for travel via boatVisitors can access Albania by passengerferry through its larger coastal cities. AGJENCIA TAULANTIA - DurrësSeveral foreign companies have regular Phone: 00355/052 222233/227333services to: Fax: 00355/052222911Port of Durrës AGOUDIMOS LINES - Durrës Connects to the Italian ports of Bari, “Skanderbeg”, Str. No. 111Ancona and Trieste in Italy and Koper in Phone: 00355/052 224255 Slovenia.Phone: 00355/052222028 DUNI - Durrës Customs operate 24 hours a day. Quarter No. 4 “Skanderbeg“ Str.Port of Saranda Phone: 00355/052225338/224900Daily trips are made to the Greek island Fax: 00355/052224012of Corfu.Phone: 00355/073222734 KAD - Durrës Customs operate until 22.00 pm. Phone: 00355/052225154 Fax: 00355/052220341Port of Vlora Connects to Brindisi and Otranto in Italy. QUALITY LINE - Durrës Phone: 00355/033224521 Quarter No. 4,Fax: 00 355/033229417 “Prokop Meksi” Str. No. 156Customs operate until 22.00pm. Phone: 00355/052224571 Fax: 00355/052224571Port of Shëngjin Customs operates until 22.00.16
  17. 17. HOW TO COME TO ALBANIA 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, leadingBy Road to Peshkopi, Bulqiza, and Burrel. CustomsKOSOVA operates until 22.00.- From Kosova, the primary route crosses - From Macedonia through Gorica, leadingthe border near Qafe Morinё (Albania) to the northern shores of Lake Prespa.and connects Prishtina and Kukës. The Customs operates until 19.00.other entry points are Morinё (Tropojawith Gjakova) and Qafe Prush (Hasi with There are regular bus servicesGjakova) between the following cities:GREECE- From Greece through Kapshtica to Korça. Tirana - Tetova (Macedonia),Customs operates 24 hours. through Qafë Thana.- From Greece through Kakavija leading Tirana - Prishtina and other townsto Gjirokastra. Customs operates 24 hours. in Kosovo through Morina.- From Greece through Qafë Boti (Konispol) Korça - Thessalonica (Greece) throughleading to Filat. Customs operates until Kapshtica.22.00. Tirana - Athens through Kakavija.- From Greece through Tre Urat, connecting Tirana - Sofia (Bulgaria) and IstanbulPërmet with Konica. Customs operates until (Turkey) from Qafë Thana.22.00.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 until22.00.- A crossing has recently opened atVermoshi, which links the region ofKelmendi in Albania with Plava and Gucia(Gusinje) in Montenegro. Customs operatesuntil 22.00. 17
  18. 18. HOW TO COME TO ALBANIATransport Travel Agencies SKENDERBEUoperating in Albania: “Mine Peza” Str., Nr. 139 - Tirana Phone: 00355 4/2234629INTERLINES Fax: 00355 4/2234629INTERLINES Buses to Thessalonica.Blv. “Zogu I” Nr. 39 - TiranaPhone: 00355 4/2251866 OSUMI TRAVELBuses to Greece. Blv. “Zogu I” Phone: 0355 4/2255491/2272644POLLOGU Fax: 0355 4/2255491/2272643Blv. “Zog I” Pallati 103, Nr. 2 - Tirana Buses to Athens & Thessalonica.Phone: 00355 692094906Buses to Macedonia. ALBA-TRANS ”Abdi Toptani” Str. Nr. 4 - TiranaKLID BALLKAN INTERBUS ”Torre Drin” Center“Murat Toptani” Str. No. 26 - Tirana Phone: 0355 4/2259204/2228968Phone: 00355 4/2222228 Fax: 0355 4/2270434Fax: 00355 4/2222228 Buses to Athens.Buses to Athens & Skopje. SONDORVJOSA TRAVEL Blv. “Zogu I” - Tirana“Wilson Square,” - Tirana Phone: 00355 2225063Phone: 00355 4/2253929 Fax: 00355 2225063Fax: 00355 4/2253929 Mobile phone: 00355 692394929Mobile phone: 00355 68 2070360 Buses to Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro.JOY TRAVEL“Selman Stërmasi” Stadium TIRANA METROPOLPhone: 00355 4/2273030 Blv. “Zogu I” - TiranaFax: 00355 4/2272992 Phone: 00355 2253639Buses to Athens Mob: 00355 692847201 Buses to Kosova.18
  19. 19. Active holidays in North Albania
  20. 20. BORDER FORMALITIESPassport & Visa VisasAll visitors from the following countries are The citizens of the following countriesallowed to enter Albania without a visa. may obtain a visa at any entry point byEntry requirements of only a passport and payment: Macedonia (10 EUR/5 EUR at thethe payment of 10 EUR allows visitors to embassy), Montenegro (free of charge),remain in the country for up to 30 days. and Israel (30 EUR). The citizens of other countries (not listed above) are required toAustralia Latvia obtain visas at the Embassy of the RepublicAustria Liechtenstein of Albania in their country of residence.Belgium Lithuania These missions can also provide them withBulgaria Luxemburg necessary information about travelingCanada Malaysia to Albania. The Albanian Ministry ofCroatia Malta Foreign Affairs website offers informationCyprus Netherlands (in English and Albanian) about visaCzech Republic New Zealand requirements and the application process.Denmark NorwayEstonia PolandFinland Portugal France RomaniaGermany San MarinoGreat Britain SingaporeGreece SlovakiaHungary SloveniaIceland SpainIreland SwedenItaly SwitzerlandJapan Turkey CustomsKorea USA All personal items, new or old, may be taken into Albania without incurring custom duties. A reasonable amount of tobacco, beverages and perfumes for personal use are allowed. Prohibited items include firearms, ammunition, narcotics, drugs, and goods jeopardizing the observance of public order and social security. Special export permits are required for precious metals, artifacts, antiques, books, and works of art – specifically those that are considered to be part of the national culture and heritage. For more information, please see
  21. 21. HOW TO TRAVEL IN ALBANIA Taxi agencies Some taxi companies use dispatchers that can send a taxi to your location: Radio Taxi “Korrekt” Phone: 00355/4 2244444 Radio Taxi Phone: 00355/4 2377777 In other cities the taxis can be found parked near railways stations and near the larger hotels.By roadThere are about 18,000 km of road in Car repairAlbania of which 7,450 km are considered Car repair services are available throughoutto be “main roads.” Roads are maintained the country, even in rural areasby the state and standard internationalrules and road signage are usually Gas Stationspresent. Several new highways are under Gas stations are plentiful and available inconstruction and many older routes have both rural and urban areas. Those locatedrecently been improved. on major roads often offer automobile repair services and restaurants.Traffic circulationTraffic travels on the right side of the road,as in most other European countries.Unless posted signs indicate otherwise,there is a 50km/h speed limit in urbancenters and 90km/h limit in rural areas.Taxi ServiceTaxis are readily available in most Albaniacities, are recognizable by their yellowcolor, and most of them have a taximeter. Fares are generally predeterminedbased on the distance traveled, but cansometimes be negotiated in advance. Taxisare plentiful in Tirana and can easily behailed on the street or retained at one ofmany taxi stands throughout the city. 21
  22. 22. HOW TO TRAVEL IN ALBANIASelected gas and service stations Car Rental Companiesin Tirana There are many car rental companies available in Albania. Most are competitivelyAlpuka priced and are listed below. The“Barrikadat” Str. Nr.131/1 requirements for renting a car includePhone: 00355 4/2243972 having:Anas Fiat - a valid passportLaprakë - the driving licensePhone: 00355 4/2227888 - payment (most agencies accept Audi service major credit cards or cash)Tirana - Durrës Highway Avis Phone: 00355 4/8202972 Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit”Mobil phone: 00355 692057773 Rogner Hotel EuropaparkBMW Group Phone: 00355 4/2235011Tirana - Durrës Highway Mobile phone: 00355 682055807Phone: 00355 4/2356526 Fax: 00355 4/2271960 00355 4/2356488 E-mail: reservations@avisalbania.comOpel Noshi Website: www.avisalbania.comTirana - Durrës Highway Europcar Phone: 00355 4/8200098 “Durrësi” Str. Nr. 61 00355 4/8200093 Phone: 0355 4/2227888Kadiu Mobile phone: 00355 682093922Tirana - Durrës Highway Fax: 00355 4/2246511Phone: 00355 4/8300074 E-mail: europcar@abissnet.comUltramotors Mitsubishi Website:“Kavaja” Str. Nr.116 Hertz Phone: 00355 4/2259024 “Skanderbeg” Pl. 00355 4/2233650 Hotel Tirana InternationalVehicle break - down service Phone&Fax: 00355 4/2255028Phone: 00355 4/2363423 Mobile phone: 00355 682058775Mobile phone: 00355 682065065 E-mail: Website: Sixt “Kavaja” Str. Nr. 116, next to Classic Volkswagen Phone: 00355 4/2259020 Fax: 00355 4/2233650 Mobile phone: 00355 692068500 E-mail: sixtalbania@europe.com22
  23. 23. HOW TO TRAVEL IN ALBANIAInterurban transport Tirana-Saranda Many buses are available for transport 5 hours 30 minutes - 1,000 lekë (southward)throughout the major cities of Albania. Tirana-Lezha Travel by bus is economical and provides 1 hour 30 minutes - 150 lekë (northward)a unique view of the countryside. Tirana-Golem From Tirana the main routes are: 1 hour 10 minutes - 150 lekë (southward)- Southbound: TrainsTirana-Berati The rail network is comprised ofTirana-Vlora approximately 470 km of single trackTirana-Gjirokastra and all of the trains in Albania are dieselTirana-Saranda powered. Rail travel is affordable, butSouthbound buses depart from generally considerably slower than other“Kavaja” Str. at the Beer Factory. methods of transportation.- Northbound: There are three railway lines in Albania:Buses to Kukësi and Peshkopia depart - The northbound train originates in Tiranafrom the Lapraka. and makes the following stops:Buses to Shkodra depart near the railway Vora, Mamurrasi, Laçi, Miloti, Lezha andstation on “Karl Gega” Str. Shkodra.Mini-buses to Bajram Curri depart from - The eastbound train departs from Tirana,“Murat Toptani” Str. (near the Democratic initially heads south, and then makes theParty headquarters) following stops:- Southeast: Golem, Kavaja, Rrogozhina, Peqini, Elbasan,Tirana-Pogradec Librazhd, Përrenjasi, Guri i Kuq, and theTirana-Korça Pogradec region.Southeast buses depart - The southbound train originates in Tiranafrom “Qemal Stafa” stadium. and makes the following stops:- West Durrës, Golem, Kavaja, Rrogozhina, Lushnja,Buses to Durrës and the Golem beach area Fier and Vlora.depart from the Railway Station. Railway Station of TiranaJourney time and fare cost: Blv. “Zogu I”The approximate journey time and fare Phone: 00355 4/2251094cost from Tirana to other cities are asfollows:Tirana-Durrës1 hour - 100 lekë (westward)Tirana-Shkodra 2 hours 30 minutes - 300 lekë (northward)Tirana-Vlora 3 hours - 300 lekë (southward)Tirana-Kruja 45 minutes - 150 lekë (northward) 23
  24. 24. Thethi waterfall
  25. 25. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESAlbania offers a wide variety of destinations Tour 2and attractions for all types of tourists. Vlora - Narta - RradhimaCommunist era memorabilia, museums, Orikum - Amantia - Apolloniaancient ruins and outdoor adventuresall vie for visitors’ time and attention. Vlora is one of the largest, most denselyWith this in mind, some itineraries populated cities in Albania and it isare suggested below. For assistance located only 120 km from “Mother Theresa”in planning your vacation, contact any International Airport. The port activityof the travel agencies offering package in this thriving trade center is rivaled onlytours in Albania. by that in Durrës. Continuing southward, visitors will enjoy spectacular views of theTour 1 Gulf of Vlora. The small city of Orikum liesSaranda - Butrint - Gjirokastra south of the Gulf of Vlora, near a marina that can accommodate up to 650 yachts.Saranda is southern Albania’s primary port Orikum was an important harbor in theand offers spectacular views of the Greek ancient world, and features a variety ofisland of Corfu across a narrow stretch ruins to explore. The major city of Fierof the Ionian Sea. Daily trips by passenger is about 30 km north of Vlora, and theship allow visitors to explore this beautiful archaeological site of Apollonia lies justisland. Just south of nearby Butrint Lake west of Fier. The ancient city of Apolloniais the ancient city of Butrint, the most was named for the Greek God Apollo.significant archeological site in Albania It was founded in the beginning of theand a UNESCO World Heritage Site. seventh century B.C. by Corinthian settlers and features extensive ruins to observe and discover.26
  26. 26. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESTour 3 Tour 4Llogara - Palasa - Dhërmiu - Vunoi Shkodra - Shirokë - Velipojë - Franc JosefHimara - Qeparoi - Borshi - Lukova Lezha - Shëngjin - Kune VainThe Llogara National Park lies Shkodra is one of the oldest cities inapproximately 40 km south of the city Albania, founded in the fourth centuryof Vlora. It is situated on Mount Llogara B.C. as an important center of Illyrianand has a surface of 810 hectares. Altitudes society. Shkodra’s primary tourist attractionwithin the park range from 470 m is the Rozafa Castle, which overlooks theto 2,018 m above sea level. Here you will city from a hill in the west. The area isfind a beautiful, dynamic setting where also marked by the convergence of threethe sea meets the mountains. Dhërmiu rivers: the Drini, Buna, and Kiri. A fewis notable for its crystal-clear waters and kilometers south of Shkodra is the citysmall, intimate pebble beaches. One of Lezha, another extraordinary old city.can access this extraordinary stretch of The Memorial of the Grave of Skanderbegthe Ionian coast via beaches at Jaliksari, is striking and not to be missed. He wasShkambo, and Gjipea. In particular, Gjipea buried in the Cathedral of Shën Kolli infeatures dramatic scenery and is situated Lezha in the foot of a 70 m high cliff. Nearbyis the legendary and scenic Cavern ofthe Pirates. Eight km south of Dhërmiuis the village of Vunoi, which is knownfor maintaining cultural traditions. 27
  27. 27. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESTour 5Valbona River Valley - Canyon of ShoshanDragobia - Selimaj - RragamiThe Valbona River Valley lies in the easternportion of the Albanian Alps. The areafeatures a national park of 8,000 hectaresand nearby lofty peaks offer some of themost striking natural beauty in Albania.Valbona is located 25 km northeast ofthe city of Bajram Curri and is the mostpopulated city in the Valbona River Valley.28
  28. 28. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESTour 6Razma- Boga - Thethi - VermoshThis tour gives visitors the chance toventure into the heart of the Albanian Alps:Gropa e Thethit. The road from Razmaleads to the village of Dedaj and then ontoBoga, a beautiful village surrounded bythe Alps and described by Edith Durhamin her book, The Burden of the Balkans.After leaving Boga, you will reach the maintourist destination, Thethi, which is locatedabout 70 km from Shkodra. 29
  29. 29. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESTour 7Pogradec - Lin - DrilonThe road to Pogradec passes near theshore of Lake Ohrid, the deepest lake inthe Balkans at 285 meters. UNESCO hasdeclared this lake a protected site due tothe unique animal species that call it home.After Pogradec is the city of Korça, one ofthe largest urban centers in Albania.Tour 8The Valley of Vjosa - PërmetiPërmeti is known for its beautiful flowers,unique songs, and tranquility. It has beenknown as an administrative center sincethe 15th century.30
  30. 30. 10 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESTour 9 Tour 10Berat - Mali i Tomorrit Tirana - Kruja - Durrësi - Elbasani- The Cave of Pirrogosh- The Canyons of Osumi Tirana, the capital of Albania, is a bustling European metropolis brimming with culture and boundless energy. With its museums, clubs, cafes and taverns, Tirana is worth exploring by day or night. The historic city of Kruja lies on a picturesque mountain slope 32 km north of Tirana. Situated 600m above sea level, the city is one of the country’s most scenic destinations. Abundant shopping and cultural experiences are available here, as well. Durrësi, the busiest seaport in the country, is located just 34 km west of Tirana. Inhabited for more than 2,500 years, it is probably the most ancient city in Albania. Settlers from Corinth and Corcyra settled here as earlyLocated just 120 km south of Tirana, Berat as 627 B.C. Many relics remain fromhas been inhabited for nearly 2,500 years, previous civilizations and further enhanceis the crown jewel of Albanian the rich history of this city.archeological sites, and is even protectedby UNESCO. Local costumes, songs, andtraditions show that both western andeastern influences have shaped modernBerat. Even with these obvious influences,there is a wealth of Albanian culture todiscover in this city that was foundedin the fifth century, B.C. as an Illyriansettlement. Berat also provides a goodstarting point from which to exploreMount Tomorri, which is also known as theAlbanian Olympus, or the “throne of thegods.” It is located about 35 km from Beratand provides spectacular vistas; some sayit resembles a giant lion crouching behindthe city. Situated 2,416 m above sea level,this is one of the highest points in Albania. 31
  31. 31. Viroi water sources
  32. 32. ACCOMMODATIONSHotels Guest HousesMany hotels throughout the country are A reasonably priced option, guest housesregistered by the Ministry of Tourism and provide travelers with the comforts ofthis means that they are regulated and home and can easily be found throughouttheir facilities are required to maintain Albania.certain standards. More information abouttourist agencies and hotels is available atthe website are plentiful throughout thecountry and satisfactory accommodationsare readily available and can be securedwith little effort, particularly in majorseaside cities. Often these locations willoffer package deals that include accessto beaches and/or breakfast with the costyour accommodations. Camping Camping sites are rare but can be found. Contact a company that organizes outdoor adventures for more details.34
  33. 33. CUISINECuisineAlbanian cuisine offers unique flavors Coffee (Turkish or espresso varieties) is verythat have developed and evolved over the popular and enjoyed by many Albanianscenturies. Albania’s geographic location, throughout the daymore or less at the crossroads betweenEast and West, has resulted in an originalculinary blend. It shows influences fromAsian, Turkish, and various Europeansources. There are a wide variety of restaurants in Albania. Larger restaurants usually feature some variety of international cuisine inAgriculture flourishes here and the addition to some Albanian offerings. Oftenorganic fruits and vegetables grown in the the best Albanian food can be found in theMediterranean climate serve to further smaller restaurants. Some of the mainstaysenrich the cuisine. A traditional Albanian of Albanian cuisine include: roast lamb,drink is called raki. It is a distilled spirit veal escalopes, biftek (beef ), qebabusually made from grapes. Additionally, (kebobs), and qofte (meatballs). Fërgesëthe locally produced cognac, Skanderbeg tiranase, a traditional dish of meat, eggs,Cognac, is excellent and has won many and tomatoes is cooked in an earthenwareinternational prizes. Wine is also produced dish and is very popular. Excellent quality,on a large scale in Albania and many fresh seafood can be readily found whendelicious varieties of red and white are travelling anywhere near the coast.available. 35
  34. 34. TOURIST ATTRACTIONSMany ruins and vestiges of Albania’s rich Rural Tourismhistory await visitors. The most notable Albania has several regions wheretourist attractions are the ancient sites of mountain and rural tourism is wellApollonia, Butrint and Kruja. Additionally, developed. Among the most impressiveAlbania’s coastline has becoming are:increasingly popular with tourists due - Mountainous areas of Korça (Voskopoja,to its relatively unspoiled beauty and Dardha, Vithkuqi).amazing beaches. - Shores of Lake Ohrid, located in one of the most popular tourist areas (Lini, Hudenishti,Beaches Pogradeci and Tushemishti).Adriatic Coast - Shores of Lake Prespa. Tourism hasAlbania’s Adriatic coast begins in the north, flourished here recently and the followingin the delta of the Buna River. The coastline towns offer a variety of activities: Pusteci,offers countless opportunities for outdoor Gorica e Vogël, Gorica e Madhe andrecreation and extends southward through Gollomboçi.the communities of Velipoja, Shëngjin, - Albanian Alps. Rugged and imposing, theKune, Gjiri Lalzit, Durrësi, Golem, Mali i Alps in northern Albania offer world classRobit, Spillea, Divjaka, Darëzeza and Vlora. mountaineering opportunities. Some citiesIonian Coast with resources include Thethi, Vermoshi,The Ionian coast begins in Vlora and Ndërlysa, Lugina e Valbonës, Dragobia,continues southward toward Greece, to Selimaj and Rragam.the Cape of Stillo. This coastline is markedby its rugged beauty and, although rocky,offers many opportunities for kayaking,swimming, and other forms of outdoorrecreation. The Ionian coast and the“Albanian Riviera” stretch through Dhërmi,Himara, Qeparoi, Vunoi, Borshi, and evenmore communities.36
  35. 35. FLORA & FAUNAFlora FaunaAlbanian flora is extraordinarily rich, ranges Albania is host to a wide variety of animals.from Mediterranean plants to Alpine fir, Carnivores are represented by wolves,and is estimated to be made up of more foxes, jackals, and a variety of wild cats.than 3,000 kinds of plants (not including Opportunities for hunting abound withsub-species and varieties). large mammals such as deer and boarThe Balkan Peninsula provides a unique making their homes in Albania . Manyclimate that allows for a remarkable species of birds flourish here, too; fromdiversity of plant life. grouse to pelicans, a broad array of more than 350 varieties is represented.. Mullet, carp, bass and trout are just some of the species of fresh and saltwater fish that are abundant here. Lake Ohrid boasts several important species, including the endangered Koran Trout, a distinct type of eel, and a variety of snail whose origins can be traced back 30 million years! 37
  36. 36. LAKES & RIVERSMain LakesIn the northwestern part of the countrylies Lake Shkodra, the largest lake in theBalkan Peninsula. Its surface measures368 km2, of which 149 km2 are withinAlbania’s borders, and its depth varies from10-12 m. In the northeast is Lake Fierza, anarrow but lengthy body of water offeringa variety of fishing opportunities. In thesoutheast lies Lake Ohrid, which is sharedwith Macedonia and boasts a surface area Main Riversof 367 km2. Just south of the Ohrid region, Several significant rivers flow throughoutLake Prespa and Little Prespa Lake offer Albania, many of which provide not onlynumerous recreational opportunities. They beauty but also irrigation essential tomeasure 285 km2 and 44 km2, respectively. agriculture. Among them are: River DriniOther small lakes, including the beautiful (285 km), River Semani (281 km), Riverglacial lakes in the Lura region, dot the Vjosa (272 km), River Shkumbini (182 km),Albanian countryside. River Mati (115 km) and River Buna (44 km).38
  37. 37. NATIONAL PARKSDajti National ParkLocated to the east of Tirana, DajtiNational Park has an area of 3,300 hectares.This popular park features a numberof beautiful 200-year-old beech treesthat provide an enjoyable sightseeingopportunity that is rivaled only by thefantastic views of Tirana. Accommodationsand a variety of restaurants are availablefor visitors within the park. One can reachthe park either by road or by cable car;either mode of transportation providesspectacular vistas.Lura National ParkLura National Park has an area of 1,280hectares and lies to the east of the areaknown as “Lura’s Crown.” This park offers agreat deal of unspoiled, natural beauty. 39
  38. 38. NATIONAL PARKSFir of Drenova National Park Divjaka Pines National ParkLocated 10 km from the city of Korça, this This park has an area of 1,250 hectares andpark has an area of 1,380 hectares. Pure, has been protected under the RAMSARunspoiled water resources within the park International Convention since 1994.provide drinking water for the communities It is part of the Karavasta Lagoon andof Shën Gjergji, Plaka, Pllica and others. represents one of the most important ecosystems in the country.Valbona Valley National ParkFeaturing an area of 8,000 hectares, thispark is the gem of the Albanian Alps. Itis located 25-30 km to the northwest ofthe city Bajram Curri and is notable for itstremendous biodiversity. Llogara National Park About 40 km to the southeast of Vlora, Llogara Natioanl Park marks the transition point between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The climate created here by the confluence of these bodies of water provides an extraordinary backdrop for outdoor activities of all sorts.40
  39. 39. NATIONAL PARKSTomorri Mountain Park Zall Gjocaj National ParkWith an area of 4,000 hectares, Tomorri With an area of 140 hectares, this park isMountain Park is located east of the located 40 km to the northeast of the cityhistorically significant city of Berat. Visible of Burrel. It is an extraordinarily picturesquefrom a great distance, Mount Tomorri is area offering a number of natural springsreminiscent of an enormous fortress. and creeks. Shtama Pass National Park With an area of 2,000 hectares, this park lies 25 km to the northeast of Kruja. A water source known as the Queen Mother is one of the most attractive areas in the park. It offers clean, cold and legendarily curative waters.Fir of Hotova National ParkWith an area of 1,200 hectares, this parkis located about 35 km to the northeastof Përmet, in the Frashër region. It isnoteworthy due to the presence ofthe Hotova Fir, the most importantMediterranean plant relic in the country. 41
  40. 40. NATIONAL PARKSButrint National Park Prespa National ParkButrint National Park is located about 25 This park offers an impressive 27,750km south of Saranda. It is, without a doubt, hectares and straddles the borders of threethe most archeologically significant site in countries: Albania, Greece and Macedonia.Albania and offers visitors a variety of ruins It contains the lakes of Prespa e Madheand sightseeing opportunities. The park and Prespa e Vogël, along with their watermeasures 2,500 hectares. Ecotourists will source. It is an area rich in both naturalbe captivated by the Butrint Lake region, beauty and cultural tradition.which features a tremendous variety ofplant and animal life. The area offers avariety of water sports, as well, and thereare opportunities to engage in “bluetourism” in the nearby town of Ksamil.42
  41. 41. NATIONAL PARKSThethi National ParkLocated in the Albanian Alps, in the vicinityof the “Cursed Mountains” (Bjeshkët eNamuna), this park has an area of 2,630hectares. Visitors can enjoy the beauty oftremendous oak trees alongside an arrayof wildlife. 43
  42. 42. Berati, UNESCO site
  43. 43. MUSEUMSTirana Natural Science Museum Phone: 00355 4/2229028National Historic Museum Visiting hours: 08.00-15.00Phone: 00355 4/2223446 Closed: Saturday and Sunday 00355 4/2228389 Address: “Kavaja” Street 00355 4/2223977Visiting Hours: 10.00-17.00 Sunday 10.00-15.00 Closed: MondayE-mail: informacioni@albmuseumWebsite: www:albmuseum.comAddress: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit” Skanderbeg Pl. National Art Gallery Phone: 00355 4/2233975 Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 17.00-20.00 Closed: Monday Address: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit” VloraArchaeological MuseumPhone: 00355 4/2226541 Independence MuseumVisiting Hours: 10.30-14.00 Phone: 00355 3/3229419Closed: Saturday and Sunday Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00,Address: “Nënë Tereza” Square 17.00-20.00 Closed: Monday46
  44. 44. MUSEUMSKruja DurrësiNational Museum Museum of Archeology“Gjergj Kastrioti - Skënderbeu” Phone: 00355 5/2222253.Phone: 00355 5/1122225 Visiting hours: 09.00-15.00Visiting Hours: 09.00-13.00 Closed: Monday 15.00-18.00 Address: “Taulantia” StreetClosed: MondayFrom May to September: 08.00-13.00 16.00-19.00Address: Fortress of Kruja Ethnography MuseumNational Ethnographic Museum Phone/Fax: 00355 5/2223150Phone: 00355 5/1124485 Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 Closed: Monday 15.00-18.00Closed: Monday Amphiteatre of DurrësFrom May to September: 08.00-13.00, This is open continuously 16.00-19.00 and charges no admission fee.Address: Fortress of Kruja 47
  45. 45. MUSEUMSBerati KorçaNational Museum “ONUFRI” National Museum of Medieval ArtPhone: 00355 3/2232248 Phone: 00355 8/2243022Visiting hours: 09.00-16.00 Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00Closed: Monday 15.00-18.00From May to September: 09.00-13.00 Closed: Monday 16.00 -19.00 From May to September: 08.00-13.00 16.00-19.00National Ethnographic Museum National Education MuseumPhone: 00355 3/2232224 Phone: 00355 8/2243022Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 15.00-18.00 15.00-18.00Closed: Monday Closed: MondayFrom May to September: 08.00-13.00 From May to September: 08.00-13.00 16.00-19.00 16.00-19.00Address: “13 Shtatori” Quarter Address: Lagja 12, Blv “Shën Gjergji”48
  46. 46. MUSEUMSGjirokastra PeshkopiCastle Museum Historic Museum of DibraPhone: 00355 8/4262460 Phone: 00355 2/1282516Visiting hours: 08.00-16.00 Mobile phone: 00355 68/2309998Closed: Saturday & Sunday Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 14.00-16.00 Closed: Saturday & Sunday Address: Blv. “Elez Isufi” Lezha National Museum of Skanderbeg’s Grave Mobile phone: 00355 69/2147344 00355 68/3647880 Visiting hours: 09.00-13.00 16.00-19.00 Closed: Monday Address: “Skanderbeg” QuarterEthnography MuseumPhone: 00355 8/4262460Visiting hours: 09.00-19.00Closed: Monday & TuesdayShkodraHistory MuseumPhone: 00355 2/2243213Visiting Hours 08.00-14.00Closed: Saturday & SundayRozafa Castel MuseumPhone: 00355 2/2243213Visiting hours: 09.00-14.00National Photo Gallery “MARUBI”Phone: 00355 2/2243467Visiting hours 08.00-16.00Closed: Saturday & Sunday 49
  47. 47. ALBANIAN TRADITIONSFolklore Folk-musicAlbania has a rich history of folklore and Folk songs and dances have markedmusic dating back to Illyrian times. Songs significant events in Albanian daily lifefeature elaborate dances and instrumental since antiquity. Songs and accompanyingworks in which you can glimpse the vibrant dances are performed at events rangingspirit of the Albanian people. from weddings to funerals. TheseAlbanian folklore is a diverse, artistic performances vary by region, but areexpression which is handed down from an important aspect of cultural identitygeneration to generation. It is a historical throughout the country.narrative of sorts and continues to be Throughout the centuries, there havemodified to reflect recent history. There been several famous Albanian musicians,are literary, musical, theatrical and dance including medieval composer and singeraspects to this continually evolving John Kukuzelis, who is responsible forart form. Storytelling is integral to this reforming all types of church music.expression and takes the form of poetry,legends, tales, anecdotes, proverbs and Albanian folk music is comprised of threefolk sayings. Scores of volumes have been distinct styles:published over the years and are dedicatedto preserving all aspects of this culturalphenomenon. The diatonic music of the north is characterized by solo male singers. Instrumentation consists of the çiftelia, lahuta, and gajde. The sound produced is reminiscent of Celtic music. Polyphonic or pentatonic music is traditional in the south. It is usually sung a capella, or with no instrumentation and the sound is enhanced by multiple singers. This style of singing usually recounts epic tales or historical events. Urban folk music, or “muzika popullore qytetare,” encompasses a variety of styles and is more popular in the less traditional urban areas. Accompaniment ranges from a single instrument to a small orchestra.50
  48. 48. ALBANIAN TRADITIONSNational Festival of Folklore National Festival of RhapsodistsThis is the largest, most significant folklore and Folk Instrument Players-Lezhafestival occurring anywhere in Albania. This festival, held in Lezha, showcasesIt is held at Gjirokastra Castle every four rhapsodists from Northern Albania. It isyears. All regions and varieties of Albanian the only event that is wholly dedicated tofolklore are represented. Albanians travel rhapsodists and bards who enthusiasticallyfrom countries all over the world, including interpret their songs with instruments suchKosovo, Montenegro, Turkey, the United as lahuta, çifteli, and sharki.States and Greece to participate in thisevent. International guests also showcase National Festival of Urban Folkexamples of folklore from their country Songs- Elbasanof origin. This traditional festival showcases urban folk songs and is held on the first day ofNational Typology Festival of Saze summer.and Folk Orchestras-KorçaSaze (Albanian traditional clarinet) music National Typological Festivalis celebrated at this festival. Music of this of Iso-Polyphony-Vloravariety is played throughout southern The National Typological Festival of Iso-Albania, specifically in urban centers such Polyphony celebrates this unique subsetas Korça, Vlora, Pogradec, Përmet, Berat, of Albanian folk music. The immenseand Leskovik. significance of this style of folk singing is highlighted by UNESCO’s declaration of Albanian Iso-Polyphony as a “Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.” 51
  49. 49. ALBANIAN TRADITIONSNational Festival of Folk Folklore FestivalInstruments- Gjirokastra “Sofra Dardane”-TropojaThis multicultural festival is held in This festival seeks to preserve folkloreGjirokastra and features both folk music and provide enrichment through folkloreand the musical instruments used to performances. It is held in Tropoja andaccompany folk singers. specifically features Northern Albanian and Kosovar folklore and ethnographyInternational Festival“Multicultural Përmet”-Përmet Festival “Oda Dibrane”-PeshkopiThis is a festival of ethnic, cultural and Oda Dibrane is a relatively new style oflinguistic minorities in Albania. It is song and dance, first performed in 1994.sponsored by CIOFF, an international It is humorous and popular, and hasorganization that promotes folklore inspired this festival in Peshkopi.performances and the preservation offolklore worldwide.52
  50. 50. Traditional “logu” dance
  51. 51. CULTURELiterature and Arts democratic character to many writingsThe earliest book written in Albanian is of this period. Several figures rose toGjon Buzuku’s “Meshari,” or Prayer Book, prominence in this period, includingand dates from 1555. Literature from this publicist, poet and politician Fan Noli,period is comprised primarily of religious Migjeni, Lasgush Poradeci, Gjergj Fishta,texts and volumes detailing the Albanian Ernest Koliqi and Faik Konica.resistance to the Turkish invasion. Notable After the end of World War II, a themeearly Albanian authors include: Pjeter Budi, of politicized socialist realism dominatedFran Bardhi and Pjeter Bogdani. many novels. Several other genres beganThe 19th century saw a resurgence of to gain prominence, though, includingAlbanian during what has been called a poetry and drama. A movement of“national renaissance.” Most works from dissident writers openly defied Communistthis period are romantic in nature and restrictions and further advanced literaryrecount Albania’s history or focus on development in Albania. Many significantthe struggle to preserve the culture and authors emerged during this period,establish a national identity. The most including Mitrush Kuteli and Dritëro Agolli.distinguished authors from this period Ismail Kadare, probably Albania’s mostinclude Naim Frashëri, Andon Zako Çajupi, famous author, was awarded the inauguralSami Frashëri, Ndre Mjeda and De Rada. Man Booker International prize in 2005,Following Independence, Albanian and his 15 books have been translatedliterature continued to emphasize patriotic into 40 languages. Kadare is frequentlythemes which were popular during the mentioned as a contender for the Nobelrenaissance period. There is also a notable Prize for Literature.54
  52. 52. CULTURECinematography TheatreAlbanian cinematography began to Theatre performance in Albania is a long-develop in 1947, after the Second World standing tradition. Evidence of centuries-War. The New Albania Film Studio (known old performances can be seen in thetoday as Alba Film) was created in 1952 excavated theatres and amphitheatresand it produced Albania’s first full-length dating back to the 4th century B.C.feature film, entitled “Tana,” in 1958. As There was a resurgence of amateur theatretime passed, the studio become prolific during the national renaissance of the 19thand produced as many as 14 feature century, specifically in the cities of Shkodra,films annually. Filmmaking decreased Korça, Gjirokastra and Elbasan.dramatically under Communist rule, but The famous actor Aleksander Moisiu isproduction resumed in the 1990’s following Albanian. Professional theatrical andEnver Hoxha’s death. Although Albanian variety-show troupes frequently performcinema lacks a global following, some in larger cities. Notably, the Nationalfilms have been popular in Europe and the Theatre and Opera and Ballet Theatreindustry has been repeatedly recognized hold regular performances in Tirana.for many films at a variety of festivalsworldwide. 55
  53. 53. CULTUREMonuments of Culture HandicraftsAlbania is a country with a unique and The history of handicrafts in Albaniacolorful history. There are distinctly is extensive and dates back at leastAlbanian artifacts, but other civilizations to the Illyrians. The Arbëresh peoplehave left traces here, as well. Ruins exist of early medieval times are known tofrom Illyrian, Roman, Greek and Byzantine have developed a high level of artisticcivilizations, adding to the mystique and expression in the form of crafts. Manyrich history of this land. quality items are still produced today and feature folk designs or patriotic motifs such as Albania’s double-headed eagle emblem. It is common for artisans to work in a variety of media including wood, cooper, alabaster, bone, and ceramic. Also noteworthy are textiles, leather goods, and delicate silver jewelry found throughout the country.56
  54. 54. SPORTTraditional sportsAncient, excavated stadiums hint at thelong history of athletics in Albania. Today,spectator sports, specifically soccer, playan integral role in the culture. Basketball,volleyball, boxing and wrestling are alsopopular, but soccer consistently drawsmany fans. Most of the larger cities inAlbania have a soccer stadium. Enthusiastscome to matches by the thousands tosocialize and cheer on their team. 57
  55. 55. MEDIANewspapersA diverse range of newspapers is printedin Tirana. The Albanian Daily News ispublished in English and a variety offoreign newspapers and magazinesare available in most major hotel lobbiesand larger book shops Radio Tirana has a number of radio stations that broadcast news, talk, and a variety of music. Most of the broadcasts are in Albanian, but the BBC can be found at 103.9 FM and the Voice of America broadcasts at 107.3 FM.58
  56. 56. InternetMost towns offer internet cafes,in which the user pays an hourly ratefor internet access.These are generally affordable,around 150 lekë/hour and the TVinternet speed is generally very good. There are many TV channels available in Albania. Broadcasts are primarily in Italian or Albanian, but satellites can pick up some English channels.
  57. 57. The sunset, Vlora beach
  58. 58. OTHER USEFUL INFORMATIONMonetary system Credins Bank The Albanian monetary unit is called Phone: 04/ 2234 096the Lekë. It is issued in denominations 04/ 2233 912of 5000, 2000,1000, 500, 200, 100 (paper) Fax: 04/ 2222 916and 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 (coins). E-mail: info@bankacredins.comThe currency floats freely but is quite Web site: www.bankacredins.comstable. The exchange rates for foreign Address: “Ismail Qemali” Str. Nr. 21 - Tiranacurrencies are available in newspapers andat exchange bureaus. Cash point machines, Popular Bank or ATMs, which issue Albanian Lekë, can be Phone: 04/ 2280442/3found in all major cities in Albania. Fax: 04/ 2280441Credit cards like American Express, Diners Mobile phone: 0682060974Club, Visa, and Maestro (by Pro Credit Bank) E-mail: info@bpopullore.comare accepted by banks, major hotels and Web site: bpopullore.commany restaurants. Travelers Checks may Address: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit”be cashed at any bank. Payment for most Twin Towers - Tiranagoods and services is generally made incash. Bis Bank Phone: 04/ 2280 555Banking hours: Fax: 04/ 2280 356Monday to Friday: 08.30 to 15.00. E- mail: Web site: www.bisbanca.comBanks operating in Albania include: Address: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit”(country code 00355 + Phone No.) Twin Towers - TiranaAlpha Bank NCBank (BKT) Phone: 04/2240 478 Phone: 04/ 2266 276Fax: 04/2232 102 Fax: 04/ 2266 282E-mail: Web site: Blv. “Zogu I” Nr. 47 - Tirana Address: Blv. “Zhan D’Ark” - TiranaIntesa San Paolo CBA Phone: 04/2276 000 & 276222 Phone: 04/ 2272 168Fax: 04/2248 762 Fax: 04/ 2271 262E-mail: E-mail: Web site: creditcba@icc-al.orgAddress: “Ismail Qemali” Str. Nr. 27 - Tirana62
  59. 59. OTHER USEFUL INFORMATIONEmporiki BankPhone: 04/2 258755 04/2 2258760Fax: 04/ 2258752E-mail: Investment BankPhone: 04/ 2276702Fax: 04/ 2280210E-mail: fibanktr@abcom.alAddress: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit” Twin Towers, 2nd floor - Tirana UBA Phone: 04/2 227 408NBG Bank 04/2 228 873Phone: 04/ 2233621 Fax: 04/2 228 460Fax: 04/ 2233613 E-mail: info@ ubaal.comE-mail: Address: Blv. “Dëshmorët e Kombit”Address: “Durrësi” Str. Nr. 8 - Tirana Godona Comfort - Tirana Union Bank Pro Credit Bank Phone: 04/ 2 258 081Phone: 04/ 2271275 Fax: 04/ 2273880 04/ 2240777 E-mail: info@unionbank.alFax: 04/ 2220774 Address: Blv. “Zogu I” - TiranaE-mail: site: World Bank Phone: 04/ 2 280 650/1Raiffeisen Bank Fax: 04/ 2 240 590Phone: 04/ 2274 910 Web site: 04/ 2227 262 04/ 2147 912 BIA Web site: Phone: 04/ 2 233 965Address: Blv. “Bajram Curri” Fax: 04/ 2 235 700 ETC - Tirana E-mail: Web site: Bank Address: “Barrikadave” Str. Nr. 3 - TiranaPhone: 04/ 2277700Fax: 04/ 2263022 Bank of Albania E-mail: PPhone: 04/ 2 222 230Web site: 04/ 2 222 752Address: “Dëshmorët e 4 Shkurtit” Str. 04/ 2 222 152P.O. Box: 2400/1 Address: “Skanderbeg” Square – Tirana 63
  60. 60. OTHER USEFUL INFORMATIONOfficial Holidays Weight and measures: January 1 & 2 New Year’s Day Metric system.March 14 Summer DayMarch 22 Nevrouz day Guides and Interpreters: May 1 Labor Day Travel agents provide professionalOctober 19 Day of Beautification interpreters for most inclusive tours. of Mother TeresaNovember 28 Independence Day Doctors and Dentists: November 29 Liberation Day Doctors and dentists can easily be foundDecember 8 National Youth Day throughout Albania, both in hospitalsDecember 25 Christmas Day and in private practice.The following are also public holidaysthat do not occur on the same dateevery year:Catholic Easter March/April/MayOrthodox Easter March/April/MayBajram i Madh End of RamadanBajram i Vogel Around December Web tourist information Information about tourism in Albania National Tourism Agency source Source of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and SportsLocal Time: +1 hourGMT + 2 hours between Source of the Ministryend of April and of October of International Affairs. Current: 220 v and AC 50 Hz European Information about the hotels in Albaniacompatible network. www.outdooralbania.com64
  61. 61. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIESOutdoor Activities Outdoor AlbaniaA wide variety of outdoor activities and (Profesionistë të aventurës)adventures is available throughout Albania. Trekking, hiking, rafting, kayaking,Contact any of the agencies below off-roadingfor more information: Executive Director: Gent Mati Specialised Outdoor GuideAlbanian Aeronautics Phone/Fax: 00 355 4/2227121(Aeronautika shqiptare) Mobile phone: 00 355 69 21 888 45President: Alket Islami E-mail: info@outdooralbania.comAerial Photographer and Travel Instructor Web site: www.outdooralbania.comFax: 00355 4/2367071Mobile phone: 00355 692042222 Albanian Horse Riding FederationE-mail: (Federata shqiptare e ipizmit)Web site: President of Honour: Ali Ohri Mobile phone: 00 355 69 20 650 74 Amateur Hunters and Fishermen Society (Shoqata e gjuetareve dhe peshkatareve amatore) President: Bujar Hyka General Secretary: Jorgo Lako Phone: 00 355 4/ 2232884 Mobile phone: 00 355 68 20 659 59 65
  62. 62. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIESAlbanian Volleyball Federation Albanian Mountain Hiking Federation(Federata shqiptare e volejbollit) (Federata shqiptare e alpinizmit)President: Gjergj Liqejza President: Koço JaniGeneral Secretary: Leonard Tase General Secretary: Ilir CulePhone: 00 355 4/ 2228196 Mobile phone: 00 355 4/ 2228499Mobile phone: 00 355 69 21 431 26 The Dive Club President: Idit Riza Mobile phone: 00355 6926408 52Albanian Ski Federation E-mail: shqiptare e skive) Web site: www.albaniadive.comPresident: Shkëlqim Mema Blue SubGeneral Secretary: Astrit Hutka Chairman: Igli PustinaPhone: 00 355 4/ 2228499 General Secretary: Arian GaceMobile phone: 00 355 68 24 267 79 Mobile phone: 00 355 69 20 796 6366
  63. 63. The beautiful nature
  64. 64. POSTAL SYSTEM AND PHONE CALLSAlbanian post offices are recognized bytheir signs which read “PTT.”The central post office operates from 07.30to 20.00, Monday through Friday.The phone number is 0355 4 2222315.In addition to regular services, they offer anexpress delivery option called EMS Express.To use this service, contact the post officevia phone at 0800 4141 or /2245308. UPS service Private companies such as DHL, UPS, Address: “Pjeter Bogdani” Str.FEDEX and TNT also operate in Albania. Teuta building - Tirana. Open: 08.30-17.30 Monday to Friday, DHL service 08.30-14.00 Saturday Address: “Ded Gjo Luli” Str. No. 6 - Tirana. Closed: SundayOpen: 08.00-18.00 Monday to Friday, Phone: 04 2259742 08.00-12.00 Saturday, Fax: 04 2259743Closed: Sunday Mobile phone: 068209000Phone: 04 2233932 E-mail: uadvisors@albmail.comFax: 04 2257294 Web site: al.customet@dhl.comWeb site: FedEx service Address: “Zhan D’Ark” Blv.EMS service Second “Kulla” - TiranaAddress: “Çamëria” Str. Open: 08.30 -16.00 Monday to Friday Central Post Office 09.00-12.00 SaturdayOpen: 08.00-13.00 Closed: SundayPhone: 04 2245309 Phone: 04 2253203 Fax: 04 2253630 E-mail: Web site: TNT service Address: “Mine Peza” Str. Nr. 2 - Tirana Open: 08.00-17.00 Closed: Sunday Phone: 042234914 Fax: 042235489 E-mail: Web site: www.tnt.com68
  65. 65. POSTAL SYSTEM AND PHONE CALLSPost restante Emergency numbers:Post restante letters should be labeled Police: 129“post rest ante”. These are routed through Fire: 128the central post office and are used for Hospital emergency: 127sending and receiving documents from Night pharmacy: 04/22 222 41other countries. Emergency hospitalsValuable Dispatch 127 is the emergency contact numberThis service is used to send valuable throughout Albania and should alwaysbelongings or important documents. work to summon medical assistance.Mobile Phones Emergency telephone for city hospitals: Currently, three mobile phone companies Tirana 04/2222235(AMC, Vodafone, and Eagle) operate in Durrësi 052/222222Albania. Roaming costs for users based Kavaja 055/242828in other countries can be extraordinarily Berati 032/234222high in Albania. Often, it is worthwhile and Korça 082/222552more affordable to purchase a local SIM Pogradeci 083/224444card to make and receive local calls while Vlora 033/224151in Albania. Gjirokastra 084/262222 Saranda 085/222312Public Service numbers Fieri 034/222021Phone Numbers of 12 Police Districts Kukësi 024/222308Police Directorates: Shkodra 022/247289“Shqiponja” 126/129Directorate of Shkodra: 022 423 23Directorate of Velipoja: 026 7802 07Directorate of Durrësi: 052 2231 51 052 2221 51Directorate of Vlora: 033 2239 10 033 2229 50Directorate of Orikum: 039 2123 33Directorate of Himara: 039 2323 44 Directorate of Korça: 082 2426 96Directorate of Saranda: 085 2222 05Directorate of Ksamil: 089 2321 56Directorate of Gjirokaster: 084 2636 82 084 2623 33Directorate of Pogradec: 083 2223 59Directorate of Shengjin: 028 2123 99 028 2123 98 69
  66. 66. POSTAL SYSTEM AND PHONE CALLSTelephone country code 00 355 Shkodra 022City Name Area Code Kukësi 0242 Ballshi 0313 Tepelena 0814Libohova 0881 Laçi 053 Bajram Curri 0213 Vlora 033Lushnja 035 Lezha 0215Berati 032 Librazhdi 0514Rrësheni 0216Burreli 0217 Rrogozhina 0577Bulqiza 0219 Maliqi 0861Bilishti 0811 Memaliaj 0885Cërriku 0581 Orikumi 0391 Government OfficesDelvina 0815 Hours of Operation : 08.00-16.30Patosi 0381 Closed: Saturday and SundayDurrësi 052 Përmeti 0813 Ministry of Tourism, Culture, YouthElbasani 054 and SportsPoliçani 0368 Phone: 00 355 4 2232488 Erseka 0812 Web site:ërrenjasi 0512 Fieri 034 National Tourism Organization Puka 0212 Phone/Fax: 00 355 4 2273281Gramshi 0513 E-mail: info@albaniantourism.comPogradeci 0832 084 Web site: www.albaniantourism.comPeqini 0512 Himara 0393 Peshkopia 0218 Marketing Promotion Department Kavaja 0554 Phone: 00 355 4 2273425Saranda 085Kruja 0511 Banks Selenica 0392 Operating Hours: 08.30-15.00Kopliku 0211 Closed: Saturday and SundaySkrapari 0312Korça 082 Shops Shijaku 0571 Operating Hours: 09.00- 20.00Kuçova 0311 Closed: Sunday70