We might be a little biased when writing this and we totally understand camping isn’t for everyone, but right now the best way to experience Albania is by camping. Let me emphasis the words “right now” because in the next 5 years we don’t see this being as easy as it is right now.
After spending over a month in Albania we strongly believe it’s the next up and coming country in Europe and that’s why we encourage everyone to visit Albania right now! Camping, hostel, hotel or apartments it doesn’t matter your travel style, eventually this places is going to sky rocket with tourism. Plus we all know what goes hand in hand with that! (Don’t we Croatia $$$)
Below is a list of everywhere we camped consisting of wild camping, recommendations or paid camp sites. We traveled in late October (which we highly recommend) and had no problem getting a camp site. (May differ in the summer periods) We encourage people who wish to camp in Albania to travel from the middle of September to early November.
WILD CAMPING LOCATIONS IN ALBANIA
Camping REI 5€ – Powered sight, hot showers, WiFi, food & beers. Would highly recommend this place, wild camping is near impossible in this region. Beautiful location to swim, relax and unwind. We cooked all our food as our budget was low, but spoke to people who ate here and said food + hospitality was lovely.
Thermal Baths in Benja Canyon – FREE (200Lek summer) we stayed here for 3 nights and would highly recommend it for anyone wild camping! No power, but FREE baths. Natural thermal pools, Benja canyon and Vjosa river to explore nearby. Permet is the closest town for food supplies. (15min drive)
Very overpriced for accommodation and to wild camp. We actually decided to head further South towards the Blue Eye and camped close to the road side. Out of site, out of mind was the idea we went for here.
ALBANIA RIVIERA CAMPING
here we opted to rent an apartment for 2 main reasons. 1 – We had been travelling and camping for over 7 weeks already. 2 – Camp sites were extremely over priced. Traveling in late October the summer peak season was well behind us, apartment prices had dropped but camp sites were still expensive (for Albanian standards) 8-10€ camping or 10-12€ for an apartment.
A perfect destination to camp and explore that is completely free. No powered sites, running water or toilets so we recommend bringing everything you will need with you. The coast surrounding Lukovë beach is great for exploring and we where lucky enough to have the whole beach to ourselves.
The main one we would recommend. Very centrally located along the Albanian Riviera and seems to be designed for campers. Paid camping sights are stretched all along the beach front accompanied with small shops, Himarë town is only a 5 minute drive away for supplies. All facilities showers, toilet, running water and cooking facilitates are included. If you’re planning to stay at one location for 3-4 nights we highly recommend Livadhi Beach over anywhere else, wish to escape the crowds and wild camp head to Lukovë beach
A hard place to camp, but a must visit location. We planned to spend 2 nights here but due to lack of facilities and wild camping locations we decided to move on. The beach is a 30 minute walk away which can become annoying if you forget or need something.
The last destination on the Albanian Riviera and may have been one of the last chances to camp on this beach. Huge development is occurring on this beach, probably with good reason the scenery is simply stunning. Once again wild camping with no facilities so bring everything you need with you.
Other destinations we would recommend also: Jalë Beach, Dhermi Beach and Borsh beach
Berat is very similar to Gjirokaster so therefore we recommend heading 50km’s south to Osumi Canyon. Osmui Canyon has one camping spot (that we could find) suited for a smaller tent (see map below). The location was beautiful and exactly what we needed, there are no facilities apart from an old school non flushing toilet. (if you know what I mean) The canyon itself is stunning and well worth a visit but please factor in the extra 50 kilometers and 1 hour 20 minutes of driving. (One way)
Wild camping is possible throughout the Albanian Alps but not without some difficulties. We camped for 5 days in the Albanian Alps which meant we had to bring 5 days worth of food (weight adds up very quickly) We were torn between our love for camping (and photography) or fully involving ourselves in the nomadic lifestyle that Valbonë offers. Tourism is how they make money in this part of Albania so we split the deal 50% – 50% camping on their property and eating meals inside their homes. Sounds a little strange but to them this is completely normal and what we highly recommend.
Further away from the villages there are many places to wild camp without any facilities. This was something we wanted to do to capture the true essence of this wonderful place while watching the sunset, sunrise and spend a night in our 5 million star accommodation.
We can’t stress this enough, help out the locals as much as possible! There aren’t many places left in Europe where you can have this cultural experience, they deserve every euro. Camping on their property and eating meals in their homes is completely normal in this part of the world. Meals will cost you between 5-10€ but the experience of sharing stories and tasting traditional Albania food will make it 100% worth the everlasting memory.
We didn’t camp the whole journey it was broken up with Hostels and Apartments also which you can read on our full Albania Itinerary. Some paid camp sites are asking 7-10€ whereas an apartment was costing us only 12€ (main areas was Ksamil, Gjirokaster and Berat areas)