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The Perfect Albania Road Trip: This Place Is Epic! (UPDATED 2024)

In this post, I’ll help you plan the perfect Albania road trip. I’ve included my pick of best places to visit, suggested itineraries, where to find accommodation, tips for car hire and driving in Albania, and much more.

I’ve been to Albania several times and know most parts of the country pretty well. Last year I lived there for almost 2 months. It’s one of my absolute favourite countries and has so much to offer.

Best Places To Visit In Albania

With so many fantastic places to see and visit, it can be hard to choose where to go in Albania.

Here are a few of my favourite places to visit in Albania. This list gives you a roughly circular route, so you can start and finish anywhere along it, depending on where you’re coming from.

1. Tirana

Most flights to Albania go to Tirana, the capital and most populated city in the country.  So you will probably be starting your Albania roadtrip here. 

Even if you aren’t, it’s a cool place and I’d recommend including it on your Albania itinerary. 

Colourful-buildings-near-skanderbeg-square-in-the-centre-of-tirana
The colourful centre of Tirana

There is enough to see and do in this quirky, fun city to spend at least a day or two here.  There’s also delicious food to be found all over the city.

A great way to get a feel for the city is to go on a walking tour.  These are organised by local people who are passionate about their city, its history, interesting architecture, and unique culture.  

Walking tours usually depart from the steps of the Opera House on Skenderbej Square, in the city centre.

One of the city’s most unusual, and interesting, sights is Bunk’Art 2.  This communist-era nuclear bunker was built by Albania’s paranoid former dictator Enver Hoxha in the 1980s. 

Today, it’s a museum dedicated to the country’s history.  Well worth a visit.

My other top recommendations would include a visit to the Natural History Museum of AlbaniaGallery 43 (an excellent art gallery), and the beautiful Et’hem Bey Mosque

The Tirana Sky Tower’s top-floor bar offers a panoramic view of the city.  It’s a perfect place for a drink at sunset, after a long day of sightseeing.

Check out my post on the best restaurants in Tirana.

2. Vlorë

An easy 2.5-hour drive southwest of Tirana is Vlorë, on the Adriatic Sea.  The road from Tirana to the coast is in excellent condition and you shouldn’t have any trouble navigating this first stretch.

Sun setting behind an island off the coast of southern Albania with orange sky, silhouettes of trees and a little harbour, and beautiful reflections in the sea
You’ll see many sunsets like this on your Albanian road trip

Vlorë is a coastal resort town, and a gateway to southern Albania, with many hotels and a good selection of restaurants.  The town itself is not particularly beautiful, but it has decent amenities and a laid-back seaside vibe.

There is a beach at Vlorë, but it’s nothing on the beaches you’ll be visiting later on.  So don’t worry about spending too much time here.

3. The Llogara Pass

South of Vlorë, the journey starts to get really beautiful.  In fact, the coastal drive between Vlorë and Sarandë is easily one of my favourite roads in the world.  

My green Fiat 500 on the Llogara Pass with the Albanian Riviera below
Seeing the best of Albania by car

The main coastal highway takes you through some truly spectacular scenery.  Think Amalfi Coast, but without the other tourists (and a fraction of the cost).

As you approach Llogara National Park, on the slopes of the Ceraunian Mountains, the road starts to ascend fairly steeply. 

There are many hairpins and switch-backs, as you snake your way ever higher.  

Mountain slopes near the top of the Llogara Pass in Albania

Try hard to keep your eyes on the road, though I guarantee this will be difficult.  The scenery is really stunning.

Finally, you will reach the Llogara Pass, the highest point.  Stop at the beautiful viewpoints and enjoy the breathtaking views. 

The azure sea sparkles in the sunlight as you gaze south over the Albanian Riviera, while Çika Mountain towers over you.

Panoramic-views-of-Mount-cika-and-the-albanian-riviera-seen-from-a-high-road-in-the-mountains

If you’re into hiking, there are several excellent trails in Llogara National Park, including a challenging 14-kilometre hike to the summit of Mount Çika and back.  

This is one of the best ways to enjoy the stunning landscapes and dramatic scenery.

Unnusual-shaped-trees-on-a-hiking-trail-in-llogara-national-park-albania

I love this place and I’m sure you will too.

4. The Albanian Riviera

Albania has some of the best beaches in Europe (fact), and most of them are on the Albanian Riviera. 

This mountainous stretch of the Ionian Sea coast runs between Sarandë and Vlorë, and the drive is epic.

View down over the beaches and coastline of the Albanian Riviera from a high mountain road
First glimpse of the Albanian Riviera

Here are some of the best spots on the Riviera to include in your Albania itinerary.

Dhërmi

Shortly after you descend from the Llogara Pass, you will come to Dhërmi.

This picturesque little coastal town is a great place to stop, either for lunch or overnight.  Just beware, it can get quite crowded in the peak summer months.

Empty Dhermi beach with footprints in the rocky sand and blue sky and mountains beyond
Not in October though 🙂

In Dhërmi you’ll find a range of options for food and accommodation, and it’s a stone’s throw from some amazing beaches.  

The town itself enjoys a beautiful setting, with crystal clear blue waters and a backdrop of craggy mountains.

See here for my pick of the best hotels in Dhërmi.

Drymades Beach

If Dhërmi beach is a little too crowded, Drymades beach is another good option and is only a 5-minute drive away.

Waves breaking on Drymades and Palasa Beach in Albania

However, at the time of writing, a big construction project had just started there.  I imagine that soon this area will be covered with luxury hotels. Visit now before it becomes too spoilt.

Gjipe Beach

If you prefer your beaches more secluded, definitely check out Gjipe Beach.  This idyllic stretch of sand is a definite contender for the best beach in Albania.

The car park for Gjipe Beach is a 15-minute drive south of Dhërmi.  This beach doesn’t have direct road access, and you’ll need to walk 1.5 km along a gravel track from the car park.

View of Gjipe Beach and along the beautiful turquoise coast from the hiking trail leading down to the beach
Be sure to include Gjipe Beach in your Albania road trip itinerary

It’s definitely worth the walk.  The little cove you’ll reach is beyond beautiful.  Outside of the summer months, you can often have the entire place to yourself.

If you have camping gear, this is an awesome place to spend the night.

Himarë

Once little more than a sleepy fishing village, Himarë is now a well-known (and much loved) beach town.  It’s also gaining a reputation as one of Albania’s best backpacker destinations.

Cafes along the Himare seafront with blue skies and green trees casting shadows on the waterfront promenade

In general, it’s quite a bit cheaper here than nearby Dhërmi.  

There are a number of budget-friendly hostels and cheap guest houses in Himarë.  And you won’t struggle to find cheap but excellent bars and restaurants.  

The whole place strikes the perfect balance between being well geared up for tourism, but at the same time not feeling overly commercialised.

View-of-Himare-Albania-and-the-surrounding-hilly-coastal-scenery-from-Himara-Fshat-on-a-cloudy-day

There are two main parts to Himarë.  The modern town centre is located on the seafront and has one main street and a little harbour.  

Then there’s the area around the historical castle ruins (called Himarë Fshat), which is perched at the top of a hill overlooking the bay. This second area is a real hidden gem.  

Himare-fshat-castle-and-old-village

I rented this place (Maria Apartments) up there for a month and loved it so much.  It’s incredibly peaceful, and you have an amazing view of both Himarë and Livadhi beaches.

Himarë is a very cool place and deserves to be on your Albania itinerary.  I’d recommend spending at least a day or two here.

View of Livadi beach from the coastal hiking trail from Livadi beach to Himare
Livadhi beach: one of my favourite places in Albania – spot the little green car!

Borsh Beach

Another great beach on the southern Albanian Riviera, Borsh Beach is an easy 30-minute drive south of Himarë.

Borsh is one of the longest beaches in Albania, stretching for several kilometres.  It’s also one of the most beautiful.  The area has also not been overly developed, adding to the charm.

Beach with calm turquoise waters in southern Albania
One of the best beaches in Albania

Here the sea is almost impossibly clear and turquoise.  It’s perfect for swimming and snorkelling.  You can also hire kayaks or sailing dinghies from the vendors near the car park.

This is another fantastic place to camp on the beach.  Alternatively, there are many affordable hotels. 

You can feast on fresh seafood in one of the many beachfront restaurants, or head to one of the more secluded sections and barbecue for yourself.

5. Sarandë

About an hour south of Borsh Beach, you will arrive at Sarandë.

Small-boats-in-sarande-harbour-at-dusk-with-the-town-beyond

This medium-sized town is much busier and more developed than the idyllic little towns and villages that surround it.  

Nighttime view of Saranda with the lights of the town dotted around the sweeping curved bay
A good stop-off on your Albanian road trip

Sarandë might not be as quiet or peaceful as the smaller towns along the Albanian Riviera. 

But, it does have a large range of accommodation options, from budget to high-end hotels, several excellent restaurants, and a variety of bars and other nightlife.

Sailing-boat-in-saranda-harbour-with-colourful-sunset-colours-and-the-silhouette-of-mountains-on-the-horizon

This is a personal choice, but I prefer to stay in smaller, quieter places.  If you’re like me, instead of Sarandë, I’d suggest spending the night in Ksamil, 14 km further south.

6. Ksamil

Ksamil is a beautiful little village in the far south of Albania.  It’s located in a sheltered bay, with white sands, crystal clear waters and a few islands offshore.  

Ksamil-beach-and-harbour

Ksamil is a popular spot, due to its proximity to Sarandë, and its stunning setting.

This is another place with a fledgling backpacker scene, so you won’t struggle to find decent budget accommodation and places to eat and drink. 

There are loads of beach bars and restaurants with terraces that are great places to sit and unwind.

crystal-clear-water-in-ksamil-albania

There are several nice beaches in the bays around Ksamil, where the water is clear and great for snorkelling.  This is one of the best ones.

You can even swim to some of the little islands in the main bay.

Check out this post on the 10 best hotels in Ksamil.

7. Butrint National Park

A short drive (or 5 km walk) from the centre of Ksamil is the ruined city of Butrint.  This fascinating site has been occupied for thousands of years.

Today you can see the remains left by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians.  It’s well worth a visit if you have the time.

The ruins are located inside the larger Butrint National Park. 

This peaceful and picturesque place surrounds a large lagoon and consists of several freshwater lakes, salt marshes, islands, and reed beds.  

It’s an important habitat for over 1,200 different species of plants and animals.

8. Blue Eye

20 kilometres inland from Sarandë is the famous Blue Eye (Syri i Kaltër, in Albanian).

It’s a natural spring where fresh water emerges from the ground into a deep pool, which then flows out into a larger pool that drains into a little river.  

Vivid-blue-and-green-colours-at-the-blue-eye-spring-in-albania
The Blue Eye

The water is extremely clear, and from above looks like an eye, with a dark centre and a lighter-coloured ring around the edge.  

It’s really beautiful and is surrounded by tranquil forests of pine, walnut, hazelnut, and cherry trees.

Nobody knows quite how deep the pool is.  Divers have descended to fifty metres, but haven’t been able to go any further down inside.

The water stays at a constant 10 degrees Celsius, and there are signs saying not to swim in the pool, though many people still choose to take a dip in the water surrounding the Eye.

Looking down from above into the Blue Eye near Saranda

The parking area is located here (Google Maps), 1.5 kilometres from the natural pool. 

To get to the Blue Eye itself, you walk along a newly-made path, through some very picturesque scenery.  You can also hire an e-scooter if you’d prefer.

There’s a picnic area and a little restaurant next to the Eye that serves traditional Albanian food.  It’s a pleasant spot to spend an hour or so, and the beautiful trees provide some welcome shade.  

Narrow snaking tree trunks and bushes in the foreground and colourful natural pools with blue and green colours behind

Here you’ll also find a drinking fountain that’s constantly flowing with fresh water from the Eye.  Fill up your water bottle here, it’s really delicious!

See here for a detailed explanation of how to visit the Blue Eye, Albania.

9. Gjirokaster (an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Heading back north, I’d definitely recommend spending at least a day or two in and around Gjirokaster, the “Stone City”. 

This amazing old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is incredibly atmospheric.

Here you will find some of the best examples of Ottoman architecture in Europe.

Wandering through the maze of cobblestone streets, past carpet sellers and artisans making clothes and jewellery, feels like going back in time.  

Cobbled streets, traditional Ottoman architecture, and traditional fabrics and other products displayed on the streets in the Old Bazaar in Gjirokaster

The medieval castle perched on a hill is a popular tourist destination and offers fantastic views over the old town and its surroundings.

Bizarrely, inside the castle grounds, you will find a U.S. Air Force plane that crash-landed in 1957. 

The aircraft was confiscated by the Albanian government, which believed that the Americans were using it as a spy plane.

Learn about the turbulent history of this fascinating little city by taking this excellent walking tour.

view-of-clocktower-and-mountains-from-gjirokaster-castle

Gjirokaster is also a fantastic place to take a traditional Albanian cooking class.

If you have the time and want to stretch your legs after all of the driving, there are several great hiking trails in the mountains surrounding the town. 

Head to the tourist information centre in the main bazaar for maps and further info.

Gjirokaster is a really awesome place and definitely deserves to be on your Albania road trip itinerary.  I’d recommend spending at least one day here to see all the sights.

10. Berat

About three hours north of Gjirokaster, Berat is another well-preserved Ottoman city.

This historic town, known as the “City of a Thousand Windows”, is actually spread over two locations. 

The lower area beside the river bank is called Mangalem, and this is overlooked by Kalaja which is dominated by a medieval castle.

View along a long tree lined boulevard in Berat with Ottoman houses rising up the hillside
Don’t miss Berat

Visit Albania runs guided walking tours of the old city which give a fascinating insight to the rich history of the area, and the city’s inhabitants through the ages. 

These tours are really great, I’d thoroughly recommend joining one.

For accommodation in Berat, the castle itself contains a few guesthouses which are excellent and have fantastic views over the old town below.

From Berat, it’s an easy two-hour drive back to Tirana.  On the way, check out Çobo Winery, a great family-run vineyard with beautiful grounds.

Suggested Albanian Road Trip Itineraries

Here are a few suggested Albania itineraries to help you plan the perfect trip.

These all assume that you will be flying into and out of Tirana.  But because each itinerary is a loop, you could start and finish at any point.

Bee-hives-by-the-roadside-in-albania

Albania isn’t a huge country. It only takes a few hours to drive from end to end.  

You could technically squeeze all of the above places into one week, at a push. Especially if you don’t spend too long at each of the beaches.  But it would be quite rushed.  

I always prefer to travel slowly and would recommend taking at least two weeks to do this trip, if possible.  

That way you’ll get much more of a feel for the places you’re travelling though.  You’ll almost certainly meet more people too. 🙂

1-week Albania itinerary

With only one week, you’ll need to move quickly, but you’ll still be able to see a decent amount of the country.

Here’s the itinerary I’d suggest:

  • Day 1: explore Tirana
  • Day 2: drive to Vlorë, spend the afternoon and evening there
  • Day 3: drive over the Llogara Pass, check out Dhërmi beach, stay in Himarë
  • Day 4: spend the day exploring the local beaches (Gjipe is my favourite)
  • Day 5: drive to Sarandë, look around, then drive to Gjirokaster (via the Blue Eye, if you have time)
  • Day 6: explore Gjirokaster
  • Day 7: drive back to Tirana (via Berat, if you have time)

10-day Albania itinerary

With 10 days, you can either try to visit more places or spend a bit longer getting to know the ones mentioned above.

Either way, I’d recommend spending two days in Tirana to get a better feel for the city.

You could also spend a night in Sarandë, and visit Ksamil and/or Butrint if you fancy.

2-week Albania itinerary

2 weeks is an ideal length for your Albania itinerary.  In this time, you’d easily be able to visit everywhere mentioned in this post.

Here’s a rough suggested itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Tirana
  • Day 3: Vlorë
  • Day 4: Llogara Pass, hike in Llogara National Park
  • Day 5: Dhërmi beach, Himarë
  • Day 6: Hike from Himarë along the coast, checking out the various beaches between there and Jalë beach
  • Day 7: Gjipe beach
  • Day 8: Sarandë
  • Day 9: Ksamil and Butrint
  • Day 10-11: Blue Eye, Gjirokaster
  • Day 12-13: Berat
  • Day 14: return to Tirana

View-of-Livadi-beach-and-out-to-sea-from-Himara-Castle

How To Get To Albania

There are a few different ways to get to Albania, depending on where you’re coming from.

By air

Several airlines fly to Tirana from other European cities.  If coming from the UK, you can fly direct with either British Airways or Wizz Air.

I use – and recommend – Aviasales to find the best deals on flights. 

Their search engine is really easy to use and often picks up on promotions and discounted fares that are missed by other comparison sites. 

You can search across a range of dates, and it suggests the best dates and times for you.

🤩 Click here to compare the cheapest flights available

An alternative (and sometimes cheaper) option is to fly to Corfu and then take the short (forty-minute) ferry to Sarandë. 

If you’re doing this, you can easily start your Albania road trip from here and still follow the above route.

By ferry

If coming from Italy, there is an overnight ferry from Bari to Durrës, which also takes cars.  I took this ferry earlier this year and it was great. 

The cabin was super comfortable, and it’s a really atmospheric way to arrive in the Balkans.

From Greece, there are daily buses to Tirana from Athens and Thessaloniki.

By car

Albania shares land borders with Montenegro (north-west), Kosovo (north-east), North Macedonia (east), and Greece (south/south-east).

Petrol-station-in-the-mountains-near-himare-that-I-visited-during-my-albania-road-trip

These borders are all open and straightforward to cross, making it relatively easy to reach Albania by road from other destinations in south-east Europe.

You can also take your car on the ferry from Bari to Durrës (above).  This is likely to be the most convenient option if you’re coming from Italy, or other destinations in western Europe.

(If you are also visiting southern Italy, spend at least a few days in Naples – it’s one of the best, and most underrated, cities in Europe.)

Where To Stay During Your Albania Road Trip

Albania is still a very affordable destination, by European standards. From cheap guesthouses to luxury hotels, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations to fit your budget and preferences.

Hotels and guesthouses

Most locations have a variety of hotels and guesthouses. You usually won’t struggle to find a double room for €30 per night, including breakfast.  

They can be even cheaper in less touristy areas, as well as during off-season periods.  Popular places fill up during the summer months, so it’s a good idea to book ahead if you’re travelling then.

🤩 Check availability and prices!

Those travelling on a larger budget will find many luxury hotels and spas, especially in popular holiday spots like Dhermi and Ksamil.

Booking.com is a good place to look for deals.

Hostels

Hostels can be found in the towns and cities which are popular with backpackers, including Tirana, Himarë, Sarandë, Gjirokaster, and Berat. 

These are usually high quality and you can often snag a dorm bed for around €10 per night.

Airbnb

Airbnb is becoming increasingly popular in Albania.  I’d always check out the listings on offer wherever you are planning to visit.  Sometimes the most beautiful places can be a steal.

Camping

The cheapest (i.e. free) option is to wild camp, which is possible on many of the country’s stunning beaches.  You shouldn’t have any trouble doing this as long as you steer clear of the busier places.  

View of the sea and mountains from my tent pitched on Dhermi beach
Wild camping on the beach is free!

If you have your own car, it’s usually straightforward to find a secluded spot and pitch up for the night.  This is also one of the best ways to keep your itinerary as flexible as possible.

Don’t expect many facilities, but this is an awesome way to keep costs down.  Plus you get to fall asleep to the sound of the waves 🙂

Check out this article where I review the best tents for wild camping.

In short… One of the best tents that money can buy is the MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent.

Here are some of my favourite camping quotes and captions.

Why Visit Albania?

In this little corner of Southeast Europe, you’ll find extremely varied scenery, mountains, forests, stunning beaches on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, crystal clear waters, friendly people, and beautiful architecture.

Turquoise sea, small islands offshore, an untouched white sand beach, and coastal greenery with autumn colours

Albania was a closed country for much of the twentieth century, under a strict and insular communist regime.  But that’s now very much a thing of the past.  

Today, Albania is a fast-changing, modern democracy with a huge amount to see and do.  

The potential for tourism here is immense, easily equal to some of its better-known neighbours (Montenegro, Greece, etc.).  

But while Albania is slowly creeping onto some people’s travel radars, for most it still remains a mystery.  That makes it a fantastic place to explore now! 

See also: Basic words and phrases in Albanian

Best Time Of Year To Visit Albania

You can visit Albania any time of year.  However, the winters are cold (icy, steep, winding mountain roads = bad), and the summers very hot (and crowded, especially on the coast).  

The best time to visit Albania is either during the spring (April-June) or autumn (September-October).  The weather is pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities.  

You’ll also avoid many of the crowds, and may even be able to blag some off-peak discounts for accommodation.

Old traditional buildings in Berat illuminated at night plus an illuminated suspension bridge

Staying Safe In Albania

Albania is a very safe country to visit.  Crime against foreigners is rare, and most Albanians are extremely welcoming and hospitable.

Petty crime does occasionally occur, though probably no more than where you live.  Take the same precautions as you would anywhere, and you’ll be fine.

Albanian roads are the only places where your safety is likely to be at risk.  (See next section.)

Car Hire In Albania

In my experience, the best deals on car hire in Albania are usually found on localrent.com.  

They compare the prices of local car rental companies, which tend to be significantly cheaper than the big international hire companies.

I definitely recommend that you check out Localrent Albania if you need to hire a car for your road trip through Albania.  Prices are often lowest if you pick up your rental car from Tirana Airport.

🤩 Click here for the latest prices

Many countries’ driving licences are recognised in Albania.  If you’re coming from the UK, you can drive with your UK driving licence, without the need for an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Car hire companies may impose their own requirements, so it’s always best to check with them before arriving if you need to hire a car.

Driving In Albania

Driving in Albania is super fun, and the best way to see the country.  But it’s not for the faint-hearted. 

Drivers can be aggressive (e.g. regularly overtaking on blind hairpin corners at three times the speed limit).  

If you’re a confident, competent driver you’ll be fine.  Stick to the limit, and if people are on your tail, just pull over and let the nutters pass.

Curving mountain road in Albania with dramatic mountains above
Albanian roads

Some roads are in fantastic condition, others are not. 

Beware of potholes, especially in rural areas.  And I’d avoid driving at night, as it’s much harder to spot animals/potholes in the road (and you’ll miss the amazing scenery).

Best Tours In Albania

You can browse through and book some of the best and most high-rated Albania tours on Viator.

There are many different tours to choose from. Some are short day trips with guides, others are multi-day (or even multi-week) trips where all of your transport and accommodation is taken care of.

🤩 Check availability and prices!

Personally, I prefer to travel independently, but there are certainly advantages to joining an organised tour. It’s up to you what style of trip appeals to you most.

FAQs

Here are answers to a few more frequently asked questions about visiting Albania.

Is Albania worth visiting?

Yes, Albania is definitely worth visiting for its stunning natural beauty, including pristine beaches and scenic mountain landscapes, rich historical sites from different eras, and a unique cultural blend of Mediterranean and Balkan influences.

How long do I need to see Albania?

You could see many of Albania’s highlights in 7 days, including Tirana, the Albanian Riviera, and historical sites such as Berat and Gjirokastër. However, I recommend spending at least 2 weeks in Albania to allow you to visit more off-the-beaten-path destinations and truly experience the local culture.

What paperwork do I need to drive my own car in Albania?

To drive your own car in Albania, you need a valid driver’s license from your home country, original car registration documents, and proof of insurance. It’s also a good idea to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a green card or international insurance document that proves your vehicle is insured for driving in Albania.

What are Albanian roads like?

Albanian roads vary in quality. Major highways and roads in urban areas are generally in good condition. However, rural and mountainous areas often have roads that are less maintained, with potholes and uneven surfaces. Some remote areas have unpaved or gravel roads.

Is Albania cheap to visit?

Albania is one of the most affordable countries to visit in Europe. Accommodation, food, and transportation are generally cheaper compared to most other European countries.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide helps you plan an epic road trip in Albania. It’s one of my favourite countries and I’m sure you’ll see why once you start exploring this Balkan gem.

Enjoy your trip! Let me know how it goes in the comments below.

** Love road trips?  Me too.  Check out some of my other road trip-related posts, including:

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  • SafetyWing – if you’re a digital nomad like me, it’s essential that you have suitable insurance. It’s super flexible and affordable, you can sign up for as little or as long as you want, and can activate and deactivate it whenever you need to.
  • World Nomads – for adventurous travellers, covers 200+ activities that many other insurers won’t, such as skydiving, heli-skiing, rock climbing, rafting, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and kiteboarding (not available for residents of every country – check here).

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10 Comments

  1. Loved the articles. We’re planning to drive from Dubai to Oman in February and your road trip and advice is timely and helpful. We’ll let you know how it goes ????

  2. Great post. Thanks for all that advice.

  3. Thank you Alex. I have limited time in Albania, hired a car but wasn’t sure of the best places to visit. You answered all of my questions. Thank you so much.

  4. Hello mate, do you have any tips for renting a car out in Albania, and crossing borders with it? I’m going to be travelling the Balkans in late Aug/early Sept and I want to go from Albania to Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia. From there I’ll be re-entering Albania after a couple of nights at the lake. I actually think the best way would be bus to Ohrid and then pick up a car there and drive back to Albania (Saranda area) but cant find any reasonable deals online

    • Eurocar (not Europcar) is one of the best local car companies in Albania and, as far as I know, they allow you to take their cars out of the country for a small additional fee. You can contact them directly via their website: https://eurocar.al. Make sure you let them know that you want to take the car out of the country at the time you make the booking, as they’ll need to sort out some extra paperwork for you that you’ll (probably) need to show at the border.

      I don’t have any experience with renting a car in North Macedonia, but your other plan would be a one-way rental with a dropoff in another country, which I assume would cost a lot more (/ not be possible at all). If it were me, I’d definitely rent the car in Albania and return it to the same place.

  5. Some great ideas here, but you’ve completely missed everything north of Tirana, particularly the northern city of Shkodër, which has absolutely transformed in the past two decades from a quaint town still pulling itself out of the vestiges of communism to a nexus point for backpackers and travellers. The amazing pedestrian-only Rruga Kolë Idromeno is not to be missed – both during the day and at night. Rozafa Castle and the nearby Lake Skadar, which straddles the border between Albania and Montenegro are a short drive/taxi ride away. Do NOT miss this northern Albanian jewel!!!

    • I’ve only just recently visited northern Albania for the first time and haven’t yet got round to writing about it (including updating this post). But you’re right, those places are awesome!

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