This is a compilation article about tourism in Albania and general trends. It will be useful for anyone who is planning to spend their vacation in this incredibly beautiful country. I will talk about different types of vacation and provide advice for creating your perfect itinerary for a vacation in Albania.

tourism in albania
Vacationing in Albania is not just about the beaches, although the beaches here are excellent. One such beach is located in the village of Ksamil.

Some facts about Albania that will help you get an overall picture of vacationing in this country

I won’t beat around the bush, but rather be concise and to the point. You are adults, you can draw your own conclusions:

  • Albania is a small country. In terms of area, for example, it is 30 times smaller than Turkey.
    • The choice of resort in Albania is not that important. The weather along the coast is generally the same everywhere, and if you don’t like one resort, you can easily move to another place. Distances here are not significant.
  • The capital city, Tirana, is located in the center of the country, and all roads lead to it. It is also home to the main and only international airport.
    • This fact adds even more mobility and freedom to organizing transportation throughout the country.
  • Albania’s coastline is washed by two seas at once: the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
    • For more details about this, the differences, which sea to choose, and variations in beaches and water temperature, read the article: Which Sea to Choose in Albania.
  • Over 70% of the country’s territory consists of mountains. In fact, Albania is home to two mountain systems: the Alps and the Balkan Mountains.
    • Many tourists learn about this fact and are surprised. However, the mountains in Albania are incredibly beautiful, and there are plenty of attractions for active travelers.
    • Read all about the mountains in this country through the link.
  • Furthermore, Albania boasts narrow gorges and canyons, mountain rivers and hot springs, waterfalls, and caves. Just imagine the travel routes you can create if you prepare in advance.
  • Let’s not forget that the Balkans are a region with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Wars have been fought here for centuries, and spheres of influence have shifted. These lands were ruled by the Romans, Ottomans, and Byzantines. Imagine how many historical landmarks are found here.
    • Castles and fortresses.
    • Ancient bridges and roads.
    • Churches and mosques.
  • And finally, Albanian cuisine will delight you, and Albanian wine will pleasantly surprise you. You won’t find anything like it in our stores. I want to draw your attention to the article specifically about Albanian spirits and wines.
albania vacation
Albania is not just about the sea and mountains; it also has ancient cities. For example, the city of Butrint, as seen in the photo.

Tourism in Albania: General Trends

Next, I will talk about the aspects that are important for planning your vacation in Albania. Or rather, what is needed for a perfect vacation that will exceed all your expectations.

“All-Inclusive” package vacations are not for Albania

  • Albania is not Egypt or a resort in Turkey. Buying an all-inclusive package tour here and spending your entire vacation on the beach is a sacrilege.
    • In that case, it’s better to fly to Egypt, where the sea is more beautiful and the beaches are better.
    • According to the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, only 5% of all tourists come here on tour packages.
    • By the way, there are no hotels here like those in Egypt and Turkey.
    • The “All-Inclusive” system is represented by options that can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
    • The most common accommodation option here is apartments and guesthouses. What they are, their peculiarities in Albania, and the differences can be found in the article: Everything about accommodation in Albania.

Traveling by car is necessary in Albania

  • Although it is a small country with seemingly good roads, there are issues with public transportation. It is very limited, infrequent, and not available everywhere. Some towns require two transfers to reach.
    • Albania is made for road trips.
    • Your impressions of this country will be completely different without a rental car. And of course, having a car will greatly enhance your mobility.
    • By the way, if you have never rented a car abroad and are afraid to do so, Albania is the perfect country for your first time.
      • It’s inexpensive.
      • There’s no deception or scams.
      • The traffic rules and intensity are similar to ours.
      • The drivers are considerate without aggression, teaching, or erratic behavior. Despite what is written on the internet, there are far more idiots on our roads than here.
      • Yes, there is a certain national trait here; for example, people may turn around on a pedestrian crossing or park their car in the middle of the road with hazard lights on and go have coffee. But when you live here, it’s frustrating, whereas when you visit for two weeks, it’s even amusing.


If you have a driver’s license and are planning a vacation in Albania, a car is highly necessary. You’ll thank me later. Read everything about car rental in Albania, what to consider when choosing a rental agency, pitfalls, insurance, traffic rules, roads, parking, all in a comprehensive article: Car Rental in Albania, based on personal experience.
vacation in albania by car
Our car on the last trip to Albania. Without it, you can’t see even 10% of what you can see with it.

The only reason that can make you refuse a car is the lack of a driver’s license.

Vacation in Albania in different places

You can’t stay in one place here. Even if you don’t need mountains, only the sea. Even if the best vacation is in Saranda and Ksamil. You can’t come here for two weeks, for example, in Saranda. Even if you plan to take day trips to the surroundings between beach visits. That’s not what Albania is about.

The essence of Albania is its diversity. Even two resorts 50 kilometers apart are completely different from each other. And if you go deeper into the country from the coast, that’s where the most interesting things begin.

Useful to know:

Tourists often ask me to help adjust their itinerary. And I see that all people are different. Some want to see as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. They are willing to travel hundreds of kilometers and visit dozens of attractions in a day. Others want a calm and leisurely vacation. Everyone is different, and any vacation is beautiful.

Therefore, even if you love slow and leisurely vacations and just lazing on the beach, and you came to Albania for just a week, the biggest mistake is to stay in one place for the entire week. Plan 3 days, for example, by the sea in Vlore, another 3 days by the sea in Ksamil, and 1 day in Tirana. The experiences will be completely different,

And if you’re willing to change locations more frequently, you can see a lot even within a week. In the article linked below, you’ll find a lot of information about ready-made road trip routes in Albania. It’s not just about the sea, but also about the mountains, canyons, waterfalls, fortresses, and hot springs.

Relax in Albania
This is also Albania. The Bogove Waterfall and me (wearing red pants), 40 km from Berat.

Vacation in Albania: Types of Recreation

We have come to a very interesting topic. Albania is all about diverse types of recreation. As I mentioned before, everyone is different, and people come here for various types of relaxation. Each person chooses their own.

It’s interesting to know that

the vast majority of travelers in Albania combine different types of recreation in equal proportions. It’s not like in Egypt, where you have 10 days of beach vacation and only 2 excursions and 1 visit to the city for souvenirs in between. That’s how I vacation in Egypt. In Albania, it’s interesting to try everything.

So here are the popular types of recreation in Albania:

  • Of course, the sea and the beach. You can read in detail about beach vacation in Albania, choosing resorts, and their differences here.
  • Mountain retreat.
    • There are many options here: you can come and rent a chalet in the Alps and simply enjoy the landscapes.
    • You can go hiking, conquer mountain peaks, visit scenic viewpoints. Or you can simply drive along the most beautiful road in Albania by car.
    • You can create your own itinerary, for example, visiting waterfalls in the mountains of Albania.
tourist albania
Would you like to stay in such a chalet in the Albanian Alps? We did.
  • Recreation for architecture enthusiasts:
    • The fortress and old streets of Gjirokastër, the ancient city of a thousand windows, Berat, the castle on the hill near Himare, the ancient amphitheater in Durrës.
    • Believe me, lovers of ancient stones will find their kind of relaxation here.
what to do in albania
If architecture and history are your thing, here’s the ancient city of Berat (below). The photo was taken from the walls of Berat Castle.
  • Food-tourism and visits to private wineries. There aren’t many, but they exist.
  • Extreme recreation: In Albania, there are 3-4 rivers where you can go rafting at different times of the year. Additionally, there are at least two sites for paragliding.

Tips and Recommendations

As you have already understood, the most important aspects in organizing your vacation in Albania are:

  • Changing locations
  • Having a car
  • Diversity

And to create an itinerary to visit the places that specifically interest you, read the article: the most comprehensive list of attractions in Albania.

It’s important to know:

When planning your vacation in Albania, know that all the stereotypes about this country are false! The crime rate here is low, the people are kind and hospitable, and they don’t see you as a wallet. In the mountains, they don’t harvest organs from people, and the Albanian mafia remains in the 90s. There is no war or any conflicts in Albania. And all the Mercedes cars in the country are not stolen.

In conclusion, today Albania is racing full steam ahead towards the European Union. Yes, it’s not like the resorts in Italy or Spain here, it’s different. But if you plan your vacation and itinerary correctly, your experience in Albania will stay in your heart for a long time.

Wishing you an unforgettable vacation in Albania!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania

  • Flights at the best prices with best discounts
  • Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
    • DiscoverCars – a major international resource
    • LocalRent – the leader in the Albanian car rental market. Very low deposits, even in cash.
  • Hotels and apartments throughout the country:
    • Hotellook – compares prices among dozens of platforms and offer you the best one.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Albania.
  • Tours, excursions and activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 550 tours
    • Viator – 920+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo eSIM in Albania from $4.5
    • DRIMSIM – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfer: Intui.Travel