Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Introducing Albania

#
Albania from Lake Ohrid © quinn.anya

Fast becoming one of the world's most remarkable tourist destinations and nestled in the heart of the turquoise blue Ionian and Adriatic Seas, the little Balkan gem of Albania is relatively unspoilt by globalisation and plenty of its culture is still firmly intact. Home of Mother Theresa and great 15th century hero Skanderbeg, and known for its isolation and totalitarian Communist government, the curious thing was that even after the Iron Curtain came down, Albania decided to go it alone. That was until 1992 when the Communist party finally relinquished power and Albania established a multi-party democracy with a coalition government.

Albania boasts stunning beaches, snow-capped mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests and some of the most hospitable people in Europe. Not only that, it also features Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's archaeological wonders. It provides visitors with a glimpse of Mediterranean civilization from the Bronze Age through the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman periods. And if that wasn't already impressive enough, all of this is situated on top of a cliff overlooking Corfu!

In the leafy capital city of Tirana, tourists can enjoy the breathtaking views over the city from Mount Dajt or head to one of the many sidewalk cafes to sample some traditional Albanian fare, which has a primarily Turkish influence.

Saranda in the south is known for its unforgettable beaches and colourful springs while Shkodra features the Rozafa castle, a major tourist attraction. Orchards burst with ochre, burnt oranges and yellows in autumn while spring sees apple and cherry blossoms carpet the roadsides. These seasons are the best time of year to visit Albania, as even in September it is still warm enough to swim on the southern coast.

With both coastal and mountain holidays on offer, as well as a cultural experience of lifetime, Albania is guaranteed to knock the socks off all its first time visitors, ensuring a return visit in the not too distant future!

Become our Albania Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Albania travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Albania or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

  URI STRING  
/Travelguide/Countries/Albania
  CLASS/METHOD  
countries/index
  MEMORY USAGE  
1,531,208 bytes
  BENCHMARKS  
Loading Time Base Classes  0.0020
Controller Execution Time ( Countries / Index )  0.1224
Total Execution Time  0.1249
  GET DATA  
No GET data exists
  POST DATA  
No POST data exists
  DATABASE:  globe_media   QUERIES: 36   
0.0007   INSERT INTO `ci_sessions(`session_id`, `ip_address`, `user_agent`, `last_activity`) VALUES ('48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe''54.83.236.56''CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)'1406113338) 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0015   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0021   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0014   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0018   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0007   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0016   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = 'a:1:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = 'a:2:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Albania\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1406113338, `user_data` = 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Albania\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:8:\"overview\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0006   SELECT *
FROM (`config_categories`)
WHERE `type` = 'left'
AND `parent_category_idIN (SELECT id FROM config_categories WHERE link "/countries")
AND `
display_order` != '0'
ORDER BY `display_order
0.0008   SELECT `province_code`, `province_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`provincesp)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `p`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Albania'
ORDER BY `p`.`province_name
0.0036   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Albania"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Albania"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0040   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Albania"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Albania"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0020   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Albania'
AND `attr_ski_chk` != "Yes"
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0018   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
FROM 
(`resortsr)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Albania'
AND `attr_ski_chk` = 'Yes'
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0014   SELECT `iata_code`, `name`, `url_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`port_of_callpc)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `pc`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Albania'
ORDER BY `pc`.`name
0.0004   SELECT *
FROM (`config_nodescn)
JOIN `config_nodes_categoriescnc ON `cnc`.`node_id` = `cn`.`id`
WHERE `cnc`.`category_idIN (select id from config_categories where link "/overview")
ORDER BY `cn`.`position`, `cnc`.`display_order
0.0040   SELECT `id`, `headline`, `via_title`, `via_link`, `body`, `event_date`, `end_date`, `anchor_link`
FROM (`news`)
WHERE `for_pro` = 1
AND `end_date` >  '2014-07-23'
AND `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Albania") 
0.0012   SELECT *
FROM (`tour_operators`)
WHERE `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Albania")
AND `
show_in_column` = 1
ORDER BY 
`show_in_columnDESC, `name
0.0010   SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Albania" 
0.0010   SELECT from tourop_list WHERE destinations LIKE '%AL%' ORDER BY id DESC 
0.0006   SELECT `country_code`
FROM (`countries`)
WHERE `country_name` = 'Albania' 
0.0163   SELECT d.id AS destination_idd.overview AS destination_overviewd.extended_overview AS destination_extended_overviewd.photo as destination_photod.*, c.*, 'Albania' AS country_nameLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.timed.electricityd.languaged.healthd.tippingd.safetyd.businessd.communicationsd.duty_free)) AS basicsLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.embassy_consulate_usd.embassy_consulate_ukd.embassy_consulate_cad.embassy_consulate_aud.embassy_consulate_ird.embassy_consulate_nz)) AS contacts(SELECT money FROM destinations WHERE country_code "AL" ) AS money(SELECT LENGTH(CONCAT_WS(passport_visaentry_req_usentry_req_ukentry_req_caentry_req_auentry_req_irentry_req_nz))
 
FROM destinations WHERE country_code "AL" ) AS visa(SELECT group_concat(id) FROM public_holiday p WHERE p.country_code "AL" order by p.weight desc) AS public_holiday(SELECT count(*) FROM tour_operators t where t.country_code d.country_code) AS num_tour_ops(SELECT count(id) AS total_rows FROM tourop_list tl WHERE tl.destinations LIKE ("%AL%")) AS num_tour_operators(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM port_of_call pc WHERE pc.country_code d.country_code) AS ports_of_call(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS cities(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS regions(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM resorts WHERE major_resort AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_resort DESCname ASC) AS resorts(SELECT count(*) FROM dmcs WHERE country_code d.country_code) AS num_dmcs(SELECT concat(caption" © "copyright) FROM images WHERE filename d.photo) AS photo_copyright(SELECT count(*) FROM airports ai where ai.nfuwt != AND ai.country_code d.country_code) AS num_airports(SELECT count(*) FROM events e where e.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country 1) AS num_events(SELECT count(*) FROM activities where region_city_code "0" AND country_code d.country_code) AS num_activities(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND excursion "No") AS num_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND show_on_kids AND excursion "No") AS num_kids_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND excursion "Yes") AS num_excursions(SELECT phrases FROM phrase_book pb where pb.country_code c.country_code AND phrases != "") AS num_phrases(SELECT count(*) FROM image_bridge ib LEFT OUTER JOIN images i ON ib.image_id=i.id WHERE ib.destination_code c.country_code) AS num_photos(SELECT count(*) FROM hospitals h where h.country_code c.country_code) AS num_hospitals
FROM 
(destinations d)
LEFT JOIN countries c ON c.country_code d.country_code
LEFT JOIN provinces pr ON pr
.province_code d.province_code
WHERE 
`c`.`country_name` = 'Albania' 
0.0005   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406113338user_data 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Albania\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:8:\"overview\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0006   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1406113338user_data 'a:4:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Albania\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:8:\"overview\";s:6:\"region\";s:0:\"\";}' WHERE `session_id` = '48a25a90e004853a91f8ea15222790fe' 
0.0008   SELECT i.*, e.fullnamee.bioe.pic FROM interviews i INNER JOIN experts e ON i.expert_id e.id
INNER JOIN countries c ON i
.spatial_id c.country_code WHERE i.interview_type 'country' AND c.country_name 'Albania' 
0.0005   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Albania'  
0.0005   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (1828)
                
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0007   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 622,5201,8645 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15