Albania is not the country where people go to indulge in fruits. It’s not the first thing on their minds. The question of what fruits in Albania are available is not a difficult one. Yes, I’ll say it right away, it’s not Southeast Asia in terms of fruit diversity. But you will definitely get your dose of vitamins.
Fruits and vegetables: general information
There are two important points that specifically concern Albania.
- In Albania, the use of GMOs in food and agriculture is prohibited at the state level. It is the only country in Europe where you won’t find McDonald’s, and you won’t find the usual broiler chicken on store shelves. Only yellow-blue, lean chickens with the BIO label. But oh, how delicious their broth is!
- The same goes for fruits and vegetables. Everything is natural, ecological, and beneficial for health.
- Those tourists who travel around Albania with children are especially happy about this. By the way, if you want to learn more about traveling with children in the country, there is a lot of useful information in the article provided in the link.
- The second important point follows from the first one. Since all the fruits are grown without the use of GMOs, their shelf life is not very long. Apples and, of course, walnuts and chestnuts have the best shelf life. That’s why apples are available on the shelves almost year-round. However, other fruits are subject to seasonal availability.
- By the way, pomegranates are also available almost year-round. But they will be sweet only from September until the New Year. You can read about all the Albanian holidays and festivals in this article.
What fruits in Albania can you buy
Below I will list the fruits you can find in the markets in Albania, along with their prices. The prices will be indicated for the harvest season when they are at their cheapest. In other seasons, the price may be higher.
Good to know:Albania does not have exotic fruits, and their import is greatly hindered precisely because of the law against GMOs. Producers outside of Albania find it difficult to prove that they do not use banned substances in cultivation. Therefore, you can only find imported bananas and pineapples on store shelves. Although bananas are also grown in Albania, they are very scarce.
- All types of citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, mandarins, kumquats
- Grapes, usually 2-3 varieties, from which every household makes wine and raki. You can find detailed information about Albanian wines and spirits in general.
- And the next three items are not fruits, but they occupy an important place on the shelves next to the fruits:
- Chestnuts for roasting
- Fresh green olives. Every family buys them in large bags and decides what to do with them: press oil or marinate.
Prices:The prices for all fruits during the season are not high, and it doesn’t make sense to list them separately. Usually, the price per kilogram of any fruit ranges from 50 Lek (0.5$) to 200 Lek (2$). For example, persimmons or pomegranates cost around 100 Lek (1$) per kilogram. Only chestnuts, olives, and walnuts are more expensive.
Seasonality is strongly felt in Albania when it comes to fruits. But describing which fruits are harvested in each month is relevant for countries where it’s summer all year round and they have 2-3 harvests per year. Although in Albania, snow only falls in the mountains during winter, and on the coast, the temperature is just slightly above 0. Usually, it’s around +3 to +5 degrees Celsius. So, like in our country, Albania has one harvest per year.
- For what to do in Albania in winter, about New Year, resorts, and skiing, you can read this article.
Good to know:In Albania, in spring and summer, at least until mid-summer, there are very few fruits available: apples, citrus fruits, and sour pomegranates. However, starting from August, it’s the harvest season in the country. The peak is in October, during the second half. In this month, you can find everything. Only citrus fruits ripen slightly later, and in October, they are still green.
Fruits in Albania: Travel Tips
I won’t write anything groundbreaking or unknown, but I’ll give you a piece of advice:
- If, like 90% of travelers, you’re not staying in one place and are moving around the country by car, visiting cities and landmarks, then during the harvest season, locals sell their produce right on the roadside.
- Freshly picked from their gardens or trees. It’s tastier, cheaper, and they will be incredibly happy to serve you.
- For example, near Berat in October, every family sells persimmons and pomegranates.
- And in the south, near the city of Përmet, you’ll find apples.
- For such occasions, it’s always better to have small change because they might not have change for large bills.
- I usually stop, buy a bag of pomegranates (around 3-4 kilograms). And if you find a pomegranate press in your apartment, you’re in for some freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.
And should you consider going to Albania for a vacation, you can read about it here.
In conclusion, fruits in Albania may not stand out in terms of abundance; they offer a standard selection for this region. However, you will certainly get your portion of vitamins, and all without GMOs. I highly recommend paying special attention to persimmons (they are different from what we’re used to; in Albania, they are crisp like apples and sweet), pomegranates (in season, they are like sweet honey, not just ordinary pomegranates), and figs.
Wishing you ripe fruits and a year-round season of enjoyment!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania
- Flights at the best prices with juicy discounts
- Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments throughout the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card in Albania
- Taxi and transfers: Intui.Travel