ITINERARY FOR ALBANIA

At first glance creating a 2 week Albania travel Itinerary seems easy as there are only a few “touristy” destinations. Dive a little deeper and you will soon discover that the best places to see in Albania start to become endless, you’ll find a country with so much more to offer than expected.

Two weeks in Albania is a great amount of time to find a balance between relaxation and seeing the most beautiful areas in the country. Personally, one week in Albania is too short, unless it’s a summer vacation for the breathtaking “Albanian Riviera” then I would suggest just sticking to 2 or 3 main areas along the coast.

Below is a 2 week itinerary (road trip) for Albania including some of the “lesser known” areas for some extra ideas on spending longer in this beautiful, diverse and affordable country

WHEN TO VISIT ALBANIA

The near perfect all year round weather in Albania makes it easy to beat the crowds and travel off-season. Depending what your plans are whilst in Albania as the temperatures vary a lot from North to South, I would highly recommend the shoulder seasons which often bring warm temperatures and sunny days.

Summer can be extremely hot along the Albania Riviera (32°C average in Ksamil – August) and winter can be extremely cold with heavy snow in the Northern part of Albania – choose the season what best suit your holiday activities.

We were there throughout October where temperatures remained 25°C on the coast, but dropped to 0°C overnight in the Albanian Alps. 

Borsh Beach Albanian
27°C on the Albanian Riviera - October

TRANSPORT IN ALBANIA

We hired a car and did a road trip through Albania which we highly recommend having your own vehicle. It gives you the freedom, flexibility and most importantly the time to spend at the places you want to. Yes Albania is an extremely cheap country and hiring a car will add to your overall costs, but there are so many amazing places in Albania that aren’t reachable by public transport.

Buses in Albania are reliable, cheap and a great way to interact with locals. So if public transport is your only possible mode of transport, don’t worry just make sure to check time schedules in advance and leave plenty of time in advance because buses normally depart when full, not by times and make plenty of stops along the route.

If arriving and departing from Tirana we highly recommend hiring a car from “Easy Rent A Car”. Now, this isn’t sponsored by Easy rent, we’re just speaking from experience – a whole days scouting experience. I think we contacted every available car rental company in Tirana and overall we couldn’t speak highly enough for this company! The cars condition, insurance, price but the main selling point for us was the customer service – who said customer service is dying?

Easy Rent Car Hire Albania
Exploring Albania with Easy Rent A Car Albania

BUDGET FOR ALBANIA

We normally travel on a budget of 21€ per person per day and found this extremely easy to stick to in Albania. Depending on your travel style Albania can be very cheap to travel, even after hiring a car and petrol we were able to stick to our budget. Camping throughout Albania brought our costs down which you see in our Camping in Albania blog.

Below is a general overview of the prices in Albania to give you an idea of how much to budget for Albania:

Bed in Hostel room: 8€
Apartment: 12€ -20€
Camping: FREE – 5€ (Shower & WiFi Included)
Meals: 2-6€
Coffee: 0.40-0.80€
Intercity bus: 1-2€
Long Distance Bus: 3-5€

Albanian People
Locals in Albania

ITINERARY FOR ALBANIA (2 WEEK ROAD TRIP)

Tirana

Time Recommended: 1-2 days

A trip to Albania wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the budget friendly capital of Tirana. From very affordable and quality foods scattered around the city, cable car rides watching the sun set over the cities skyline there is plenty of fun and interesting things to do in Tirana. Not being huge city lovers we found it easy to see the main attraction of Tirana within a day, our second day was spent organizing car rental and supplies for our road trip.

Car Rental Company: Easy Rent A Car Albania

Where to stay
Hostel: D1 Hostel
Apartment: Nina Guest House

Tirana, Albania
Tirana - Capital of Albania

Lake Ohrid

Time Recommended: 1 day

A perfect place to sit back, relax and unwind. (I swear time moves slower here) As we were already travelling for 6 weeks before this, Lake Ohrid was a perfect destination to relax before starting another road trip. I highly recommend visiting Lake Ohrid for the beautiful views, especially sunrise!

Where to stay
Camping: Camping Rei, Pogradec Albania Camping and Restaurant
Apartment: Berberi Guest House

Lake Ohrid Sunrise
Lake Ohrid Sunrise - Camping REI

Përmet (via Korçë)

Time Recommended: 2 days

Leaving Lake Ohrid and heading south the road will take you through Korçë, it’s well worth a visit with a beautiful cathedral and stunning architecture. Heading further south along the road that borders with Greece, expect endless views and fantastic sights but beware road conditions in some areas are well below average. The option to sleep in Përmet or camp near Benja Thermal pools, both great options to explore the surrounding areas. Highly recommend spending a minimum of 2 days in this area, there is so much to explore near the roadside of the Vjosa River never mind the Benja Canyon & Thermal Pools.

Where to stay
Camping: Benja Thermal Pools (Free)
Apartment: Eagle house 

Benja Thermal Baths
Thermal Pools - Benja Canyon

Gjirokaster

Time Recommended: 1 day

The UNSECO Heritage town of Gjirokaster aka the stone city! A very interesting town to wander around with many nice cafes and restaurants, a little overpriced because Gjirokaster is doing well with tourism numbers. The Castle is a must see attraction not just because of its history but the amazing views looking over the old town and down the stunning valley. I hope you like walking up and down hills because Gjirokaster will make you work hard for the rewards of this city.

Where to stay
Hostel: Stone City Hostel
Apartment: Mele Guesthouse

Gjirokaster City, Albania
Gjirokaster Castle

Ksamil (via Blue Eye)

Time Recommended: 1 day

Leaving Gjirokaster and heading west towards the coast you will come across Syri Kalter or ‘Blue Eye’ (Natural Spring). It’s well worth a stop to witness some of the clearest, bluest water in Europe. There is also a restaurant open in the summer, but we recommend bringing food to save money. Leaving the clearest water in Europe behind heading to the undiscovered coastal water on the Albanian Riviera. Relax and explore Ksamil whether it’s swimming, paddle boarding or renting a taxi paddle boat, there are 3 unique islands not far from the shore line that are well worth exploring.

Where to stay
Camping: Ksamil Caravan Camping
Apartment: Spahiu Apartament 

Ksamil Beach
3 Island of Ksamil

Albania Riviera

Time Recommended: 3 days

Hmm… Where to start with the Albanian Riviera? Firstly 3 days is a minimum we recommend especially if you’re doing a road trip! We spent 6 days along the Albanian Riviera and could’ve spent an extra 2 days. A handy tip when planning, as there is so much to see and do along this stretch we recommend not over planning and just go with the flow. As there is so much to see & do along the coast, we’re going to list 3 places we think you must visit.

Gjipe Beach & Canyon

Possibly one of the most unique beaches in Europe. Gjipe is perfect for those people who cant sit still and relax. Get up early and hike, explore and witness the one of many viewpoints overlooking the canyon. Active in the morning earns a swim and relaxation in the afternoon watching sunset over the turquoise blue water.

Livadhi Beach

A stone bay surrounded with endless possibilities, this selection isn’t so much about the beach but the exploring you can do near it. Hike either side of the beach to find small bays, rocky outlets or rock pools to swim and explore without the crowds.

Drymades

Located near the picture perfect village of Dhërmi lies possibly one of the most beautiful beaches in Albania. A pebbly beach and a sandy beach that is divided by a large rock makes it the perfect location to relax and unwind. Different to the two beaches above, this is where you beat the crowds, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.

We highly recommend staying in Himara a beautiful town centrally located along the Albanian Riviera which gives you a central base to explore. Camp sites are located all along the coast.

Where to stay
Camping: Gate to Horizon – Bio Camping Lukove
Apartment: Sunset Guest house 

Albanian Riviera Coffee View
Coffee Views - Albanian Riviera
Gipje Beach
Gjipe Beach

Berat

Time Recommended: 1-2 days

Berat is also know as the city of 1000 windows and also one of Albania’s UNSECO Heritage listed sites. A great city to spend the day wandering the streets of the old town enjoying Albanian food and Albanian expresso’s (Which are just to die for) Spend two days in Berat if you plan to escape South to Osumi Canyon (52km South). In the summer it’s a great place to experience rafting along with exploring the canyon rim. There are not many accommodation options to stay near Osumi Canyon so we suggest booking 2 nights in Berat.

Where to stay
Hostel: Maya Hostel Berat
Apartment: Guest House Donend 

Berat Albania
Berat

Shkodër:

Time Recommended: 1-2 days

Often missed tucked up and hiding away in the northern part of Albania, this city is worth a stop off. With some interesting history, cute cafes and bars, incredible views from the castle you’ll find plenty to do in Shkodër. Hire a bike for the day and explore surrounding areas of Shkodër – ride to Drishti Castle for breathtaking views or ride around Lake Skadar to watch the sunset. Organise everything you need for your upcoming trip to the Albanian Alps: accommodation, food supplies, transport and hiking information.

Where to stay
Hostel: Shkodra Backpackers Hostel – Mi Casa es Tu Casa 
Apartment: Hotel Kaduku

Shkoder
Shkodër

Valbonë to Theth

Time Recommended: 3 days / 2 nights

This is the most stunning day hike in Europe! A day trip from Shkodër that consists of a bus, ferry and another bus before you arrive in the gorgeous mountain village of Valbonë. Everything about this journey from start to finish screams picturesque – every turn, sight and interaction will leave you breathless. The minimum time we suggest is 3 days / 2 nights. There is so much to see, do and organise. We have put together a complete blog about this trip and everything you will need to know – “Valbone to Theth: All you need to know”.

Where to stay: Organise it with your Hotel/Hostel before leaving – It’s very much a someone knows someone mentality in this part of the world. Everyone is super friendly and helpful so don’t be worried about this at all. Read my full blog “Valbone to Theth: All you need to know”.

Valbona Valley Sunset
Valbonë Valley