Head to the fortress of ancient Berat for dazzling vistas. Once you’re here you will understand why it is named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Berat has an impressive Ottoman-era center with lovely white houses with small windows and many mosques and churches. Berat is the symbol of Albanian religious tolerance, which is one of the reasons why it was included on UNESCO’s list. If you love adventure then from there we strongly suggest you to head to Skrapar, a village two hours from Berat. Reach the gorgeous Osumi Canyon and indulge in some river rafting with the help of Albania Rafting Group.
Saranda is the main coastal town on the Albanian Riviera and is a must-see destination for every traveler. Despite the fact that the town is crowded in the summer months, it offers various activities thanks to the gorgeous beaches that surround it. But just 30 minutes away from Saranda lies one of the most magical places in the country, Syri I Kalter, or Blue Eye. This natural spring, a geological phenomenon with dazzling blue, cold waters, which resembles a pupil and its iris, is one of the best places to visit in Albania.
If you love archaeology and history, you need to spend some of your time in Durrës, one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic Coast. Most of the main archaeological landmarks of Albania are located here, and the majority are situated behind the port. One hour away by car from Durrës you can reach the stunning Kepi I Rodonit, a rocky cape on the Adriatic Sea built by Skanderbeg in 1463, the Albanian greatest national hero, which offers terrific views over the sea.
Tirana is one of the coolest and liveliest capital cities of the Balkan Peninsula and totally worth a look. But sometimes it can be very crowded and noisy, so if you are looking for peace and quiet take the bus and head for Kruja. This lovely hamlet surrounded by mountains and nature is just one hour from the capital city and is the perfect place to escape Tirana’s crowds.
Shkodra is one of the most important cities in Albania and the gate to the north of the country. It is home to Albania’s largest castle – Rozafa Castle – that sits on the edge of Lake Shkodër and offers breathtaking views over the town and lake. Shkodra is the perfect base to explore the north of Albania. Plus, if you have time, we strongly suggest you visit Theth; a mountain village nestled in the Albanian Alps, and one of the most enchanting destinations in the country.
Vlora is the third largest town in Albania and also the base point to visit the south of the country. After spending some of your time strolling through its city center and recently renewed lungomare, head to the Riviera. After the Llogara Pass you will find the gorgeous coastal hamlet of Dhërmi, one of Albania’s most magical places. The road that connects Vlora to Dhërmi is simply amazing.
Gjirokastër is one of the best preserved Ottoman cities in the Balkans and part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Gjirkoastër owes its preservation to the fact that it was the birthplaces of the former dictator Enver Hoxha who ordered that the city remained untouched during the regime. From Gjirokastër you can easily reach Përmet, the Albanian town known for its natural hot springs, and spend some of your time relaxing in the warm waters.