Amazing Things To Do In Albania
30 March 2011
Summer time is near and why not take advantage of what Albania has to offer for an exquisite trip to the heart of the Balkans. Whether you enjoy surfing the deep blue waters, relax with your favorite drink by the shore, explore the ancient ruins of history or eat some heart healthy food, Albania is the place to be any time of the year. Albanians are known for their rich hospitality and welcome tourists with heart felt warming generosity.
Summer in Albania © Luan Bexheti Photography
Enjoy The Albanian Coastline
Vlora, Saranda, Durrës and Himara are your dream beaches. If you are looking for something more peaceful, Dhëmri is the place to be. The Islands of Ksamil (15 minutes from Saranda) are worth exploring and if you are interested in hearing stories about the Illyrian pirates take a tour of the huge caves in Himara. If cliff jumping is what you go for, then you will find your thrill in Saranda.
If you are a beach lover and want to experience the whole coastline of Albania, then start with the Velipoja beach in Shkodra, stop by in Shëngjin (Lezha) and continue South. Stop for fresh seafood in Durrës and enjoy the great nightlife the city has to offer. Head south to Vlora, Himara, Dhërmi, Jala, Borsh and stop at Pasqyra or “Syri Blu” “Blue Eye” for BBQ or family picnic.
If you are simply a visitor or a sport lover, then Lura offers the year round endless possibilities from the gorgeous panoramas view to climbing to picnics to winter skiing. The Capital Tirana, Durrës, Gjirokastra, Saranda, Kruja, Fieri, Pogradeci are some of the most memorable cities. Take a walk along Tomorr Mountain south of Berat and you will be mesmerized with the panoramic view of the Adriatic coastline.
Uncover the ruins of Ancient City – Apollonia
Apollonia, 1000 year old city, outside of Fier was the cultural center during 3rd century AD. Much of the city still remains buried and it makes for a great archeological trip.
Only 14 km from Saranda, the ancient archeological site of Butriniti is legendary of some of the world’s most known poets, leaders and historians including the “Lion Gate” as mentioned in Homer’s Iliad.
The Durrës Amphitheatre, build in the 2nd century AD makes for another memorable experience. It is the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans and today is the most famous tourist attraction in Europe. The Butrinti National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site with magnificent historical monuments, ancient ruins and beautiful lake.
Follow the archeological ancient trail of Antigona in Gjirokastra and it will lead you to the National Archaeological Park.
Visit the National Museums
The National Historical Museum in the capital Tirana is the largest in Albania. Its pavilions cover Medieval, Anqituity, Rilindja Kombëtare, Albanian Resistance of WWII and the Communist Genocide. It hosts the largest collections in the country.
The National Museum of Medieval Art, Korça
The National Museum of Medieval Art showcases amazing textile works, beautiful paintings and over 7,000 pieces of art from medieval era, including stone, wood and metal. It is located in Korça.
The National Arts Gallery in the capital Tirana hosts a wonderful collection of series of sculptures, paintings and icons dating back to 13th century to current modern art.
The National Ethnographic Museum in Kruja, located in a traditional house built in 1764, showcasing Albanian traditional life. It carries items as old as 500 years old.
Skanderbeg Museum, Kruja
Other memorable museums are the Skanderbeg Museum inside the Kruja Castle; the Independence Museum hosting historical documents and relics; the Ethnographic Museum in Gjirokastra, with over 500 pieces of silk, wood, ceramic materials and various embroideries; the Ethnographic museum in Berat, which showcases the folk culture typical for Berat area; the Durrës Archeological Museum and the Museum of Apollonia.
Two unforgettable sites known for political prisons are Prison of Burrel and and Spaç Prison (concentration camp), both closed and transformed to museums today.
Gjirokastra © Richard Schofield Photography
The Underwater World in Albania
Visit Historical Castles with legends
Berati, Dibra, Durrës, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokastra, Korça, Shkodra, Tirana, Vlora are known for the historical castles and traditional ancient legends. Favorites are Petrela Castle, Rozafa and Krujë Castle. They are located in historic towns, known for legends, archeology and ancient ruins that testify their early historical existence.
The Best Nightlife
There is a lot of interesting night life in Albania ranging from the best clubs in Europe, to bars right by the beach or live music clubs. Just pick a city and you will find it all. Favorites are clubs along “Blloku” the center of rock, jazz and pop music that close at 6:00am.
Fontana ‘Al Mare’ Velipoja © www.fontanashkoder.com
Mango Night Club in Saranda is rated as one of the best for House, Dance, Ethnic music housing over 2500 people open during summer. Himara cosmopolitan nightlife is another favorite destination known for the best cocktails and coffee variety.
Spend your Honey Moon in Albania
Spend the honey moon in the heavenly city of Saranda, with amazing landscape, located in the open sea gulf. It has a private beach and the couple can enjoy live music with folk and modern music in the bars along the beach. | Prishtina Press