Eid holidays calls for short holidays and this Eid my family and I visited Albania. It is not a well-known tourist destination but a country that is worth visiting.
We traveled by direct Fly Dubai flight from Dubai to Tirana the capital of Albania. It took us approximately 5 hours 45 minutes. Currently there are 3 direct flights per week from Dubai to Tirana.
Resident Visa holders in UAE do not require Visa for short term stay if they hold a proof of accommodation, round trip ticket and Albanian/foreign currency. We spent few minutes at the passport control and the whole process went swiftly.
Travel during Covid
All Covid-19 travel requirements has been lifted. You no longer need to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative PCR test. Even face masks are not required. Please check for the latest official travel guidelines to Albania before planning your holiday, as these guidelines are constantly being revised based on the current health situation.
Located in Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, Albania is a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps.
Tirana is the largest city and capital of Albania. It is located in the centre of the country, enclosed by mountains and hills with Dajti rising to the east and a slight valley to the northwest overlooking the Adriatic Sea in the distance.
On our 5 day visit to Albania, we stayed in Tirana and explored the other parts of the country.
What is the best time to visit Albania?
The best time to visit is from April-June and September-October as you’ll avoid scorching coastal summer heat and bitter winter mountain cold. During our visit in first week of April, the weather was pleasant.
Where to stay?
Whether it is luxury, mid-range or budget hotels, Albania offers options. We stayed in the comfortable and family-friendly Rogner Hotel situated in the centre of Tirana.
Albania has public transport like minibuses, vans and public buses. It is a good idea to hire a car or van. We had hired a car with the driver/guide throughout our 5 day trip.
Things to do and see in Albania
We stayed in Tirana for 4 nights and 5 days and explored Tirana and various parts of Albania in a private car with a guide.
The first day we arrived from Dubai and checked into our hotel and then proceeded with our guide Adam to explore the city of Tirana. It is a bustling city with colorful buildings, we walked by the main boulevard, visited Skanderbeg Square, Mother Teresa Square, National Library and Historical Museum, Tabake Bridge and Piramida.
On day 2, after an early breakfast we drove to Shkodra the most important city in North Albania, set in a beautiful plateau in front of the largest lake in the Balkans with the Albanian Alps as a backdrop. After that we visited Rozafa Castle, Shkodra city centre and also visited the Venetian Masks Factory and Venetian Art Showroom.
Day 3 was exciting as we visited the UNESCO-listed town of Berat. It is a beautiful town with amazing architecture and is known for its white Ottoman houses. We visited the Onufri Museum, had traditional Albanian lunch in Berat Castle and explored the town on our own.
Afterwards we continued to Durres– the ancient Greco-Roman port city of Dyrrachium. It is one of the oldest towns in Albania. In Durres, we visited Byzantine city walls and Roman amphitheater. On our way back to Tirana we stopped by the Old Bazaar.
Day 4 we drove down to Dajti Mountain and took the cable car and enjoyed the beautiful view of the mountains. We spent couple of hours in Dajti National Park which is rich in flora and fauna.
Next stop was one of the biggest cities in Northern Albania- “city of history” Kruje, best known for their National hero Gjergj Kastrioti. There we visited the castle, Skanderbeg Museum and shopped for souvenirs at the old bazaar.
The last day or day 5 was a relaxed day at the hotel and we went around the city, did some shopping and had a nice lunch. After that it was time to pack and head over to the airport to catch a flight back home.
Overall we enjoyed our trip to Albania. We especially loved the town of Berat, nature, mountains, lakes, fresh food and friendly people. Albania is certainly worth visiting!