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Tourism Destinations in Albania Offer Natural Beauty
and Notable Architecture
Tourism in Albania has remarkably increased over the past few years. Albania offers scenic mountain vistas and quaint villages with a breathtaking coastline on the Ionian and Adriatic Seas. Tourist destinations are becoming more prevalent in Albania since many foreigners do not have to have a visa to enter the country. With the Albanian Alps and the Lure National Park, Albania offers a nature enthusiast's haven.
Some of the main cities to visit in Albania are Tirana, Berat, Korce, and Sarande. Tirana is the capital of Albania and is bordered by a majestic mountain range. A Tirana guide to the capital attractions is available online or in tourism guidebooks. Tirana offers the best accommodations in Albania, and hotels can be found for as little as 15 Euros. The leek is the common form of currency in Albania so a piece of advice for all visitors is to find the currency exchange rate and get some Albanian currency for private shops or markets.
Berat is an ancient city with historic architectural structures dating back to the Balkan period. This town has been renowned as the “city of a thousand windows” because of the generous amount of large windows found throughout the buildings in Berat. Taking tours around this city would be a wonderful experience for any traveler. Some of the most notable places to visit in Berat are the Berat Castle and the St. Mary of Blachernae church that dates back to the 13 th century. The Berat castle has an interesting heritage because it has withstood numerous attacks and has since been fortified making it a sound piece of architecture and a reminder of Albanian history.
Other cities in Albania offer a tremendous amount of travel opportunities from the beautiful beaches of the coastland to the city of Korce that teems with life all year around. Korce is said to be the cultural capital of Albania where a lot of activities and various pursuits can be found. Information on these and other tourist destinations in Albania can be found in video format or through a tourism guide.
If you wish to travel in Albania, there are three distinct regions: Coastal Albania, Northeastern Albania, and Southeastern Albania. Greece, Macdeonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro border the Northeastern and Southeastern regions of Albania. Albania offers an eclectic selection of mountainous Alpine destinations, stunning beaches, and architectural masterpieces. Three World Heritage Sites are contained within Albania making it a premier destination for anyone wanting to visit historical landmarks.
Places to Visit in Albania
Major cities include:
- Tirana — the capital. Trees and mountains surround the city. Mt. Dajt is a popular tourist site for a great view of the city.
- Berat — Thought to be one of the oldest towns in Albania, it is a new member of the UNESCO world heritage list. Berat has long been known as the "city of 1000 windows" because of its unique Ottoman/Albanian architecture. It has a well preserved castle with residents still living inside its protective walls.
- Gjirokaster — another UNESCO city, located in the south is known for its unique Ottoman period architecture. There is a large castle on the hill in the middle of the city which served as a jail for many generations. A Military Museum and Art Gallery are now located inside. Gjirokaster is also the birthplace of former communist Leader, Enver Hoxha, as well as Albania's most internationally famous author, Ismail Kadare, their homes now serve as museums.
- Korce (Korca) — Located in southeast Albania, several miles from the Greek border, this city is Albania's cultural capital. It is full of life during the summer when you can find couples and families strolling through the city's main park, Parku Rinia. You can hike to the top of the beautiful mountain Moravia and view the city and its surrounding landscape. Don't miss the Korca Brewery (famous throughout Albania) which sponsors a week long Beer Festival every August!
- Kruje (Kruje) — ancient city of the national hero Skanderbeg. It consists of beautiful mountains; Skanderbeg's castle is now a museum. Kruje also contains an old style bazaar with shops selling traditional goods amid cobblestone streets.
- Pogradec — Overshadowed by its glitzy neighbors on the Macedonian side of the lake, the town of Pogradec has been experiencing a revival recently.
- Sarande — a city in southern Albania known for its unforgettable beaches and colorful spring blooms.
- Shkodra — the biggest town in Northern Albania. The Rozafa Castle is a major tourist attraction here.
- Vlore — Lively seaside city, nice beaches south of town. Passenger ferries to and from Italy dock here