Albania

Albania is one of the smaltest countries of Europe, it is a mountained country whos residents assumedly descended from the acient Illyrians.


Ruine near Borsh, Albania

Culture

The albanian culture is majorly influenced by the greek culture especially in the urban locality. A thing you need to be aware of is that nodding one’s head means ‚no‘ while shaking the head means ‚yes‘. Handshaking is preferred to greet someone, even tough Shoku (Comrade) was used before. People dress informally here, swim suits are only meant for the beaches, besides women are expected not to dress revealing. To adress someone use Zoti(Mr.) or Zoti(Mrs.) before the name and remember to carry gifts when visiting someone, weather flowers are not much acceptable. For normal the guests are served with coffe, sweets or raki. Smokers don‘t have to worry much, but they should not smoke when seeing a sign of Ndalohet Duhani or Ndalohet pirja e duhanit.

Traveling within Albania

In the main cities of the country buses with relativly cheap fares are operating another choice are the taxis that can be found infront of some main hotels.

Visit Djti Mountain to expirience tje Dajti Ekspress Calbe car for an memorable ride through Dajti Oark to Tirana. The route is 4.2km long and it costs about 6.50€. The Tirana Bank is the best place for widthdrawing money becaus it allows Visa cards to be used.


Castle Krija, Albania

Eating Out

Restaurant are not always heated sufficient, so make sure to wear warm clothes if out during winter nights. Tourists are charged more than locals. The entry fees as well as any merchandise will be more expensive, so try not to releal the fact that you are a foreigner when out on the streets.

Site Seeing

Right outside Tirana you can find places that are amazing for canoeing, rock climbing, hiking and camping.

Accommodation

The Sheraton Tirana Hotel and Towers provides a 5-Star ambience. It is situated in the middle of a shopping and entertainment center and there are 151 rooms and about 56 suites. This hotel combines the comfort with the chance to go shopping in the same center. Another Hotel providing all modern comfort is the Hotel Mondial which is located only 1km from the city and it is also an example for traditional architecture.


Valley near Gjirokastra, Albania

Getting There

The best and easiest means is to go by plane. The national airline is Albanian Airlines whoch in collaboration with Tyrolean Airway and is providing service to nearly all big European cities. The „Mother Teresa“ airport is 26km or 16miles away from the capital. Every 3 hours a tourist bus is aviable to get to the city center and it takes round about 30 minutes to get there. Taxi are aviable infront of the airport round the clock. While waiting for any transport service you can check out the duty free shops, eateries, bank or car hire at the airport. All foreign nationals are charged a departure tax of 10$. For flight times and offers check out flyalbanian.com.

If trying to get to Albania by sea use the ferry services provided by Adriatic Line and Agoudimos. The main ports are Durres(ferry connection to Italy, Bari, Brindisi, Trieste, and Ancona), Vlora (ferry connection to Bari, and Brindisi), Saranda (connection to Corfu) abd Shen Gjini( connection to Bari). You can find more information on adriatica.it and aqoudimos-line.com.


There are also Buses starting from Istanbul, Athens and Sofia. Internal passengers have quite alot of options with bus services provided. If you are traveling by road in a private car there is road network to the Kosovo region, but they can be dangerous to use because of the political tensions within this region. Crossings at Hani I Hotit, Bllata, Oafa e Thaes, Tushemisht, Gorica, Kapshtica, and kakavija can be taken. Tired from driving one can take halts at hotels or other designated areas. About 2200km of the 18.000km network is in poor condition and has pot holes, and utmost safety precautions should be taken on such roads. The Speed limit should always be followed strictly. Aviod driving at night because of the absence of streetlights outside of the urban areas. Traffic should drive on the right-hand, like in the rest of Europe. Keep an eye on the filling level of the gas tank because there is a shortage of gas stations in the countryside. You should also be prepared for an emergency or breakdown because of the lack of a national recovery system. Of course it is also important to carry necessary documents like International Driving Permit and national driving license.

Duty Free Items

The following items can be carried without customs duty being levied on them:

1. 1liter of spirits or 2liter of wine
2. 250ml of eau de toilette
3. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
4. 50ml of perfume.

Prohibited Items

You are not allowed to carry firearms, narcotics and ammunations. For precious metals, books, antiques work of art or material of national or historic value a special export permission is needed.