Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)

Last Updated on September 5, 2022


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If you decide to come to the beautiful Mediterranean paradise that is Albania, then I would recommend coming for as long as possible.

But if you only have 1 week to explore the country, then here’s a collection of 1-week Albania itinerary options, seeing some of the best sights that there are in Albania.

Enjoy the ultimate one week Albania itinerary, aerial view of white sandy beach and clear turquoise blue seawater with several areas of buildings and trees nearby

Because planning a trip to Albania can be overwhelming for first-time travellers, I have put together the best itinerary for Albania.

However, if you’ve already visited, or if you just want to try something different, I have also included several alternative Albania travel itinerary options below.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

You can use this one-week Albania itinerary as strict or loose guidelines depending on personal preference and travel style.

It can be your off-the-grid Albania backpacking itinerary, your tight and efficient Albania tour itinerary, or a super luxurious Albania holiday itinerary. It’s up to you!

What’s the best way to travel around Albania?

By car, if you want the flexibility of stopping at random spots along the way – there are a lot of great ones to see on your one week Albania itinerary!

If you don’t feel comfortable driving (Albanians can be unpredictable drivers by the way), or you’re on a budget, you can also use the public transport system.

There are many buses that can take you to various cities and towns.

Make sure you consider when you will be visiting. Albania’s tourism is very much seasonal.

July and August are by far the busiest times so that’s when more buses are put on, which will help you on your Albania travel plan.

During the other seasons, bus schedules turn to a more skeleton timetable and in the winter, tourism in the likes of the Albanian Riviera is dead.

A guide for doing Albania in one week, red white and blue hydrofoil ship speeding across deep blue seawater towards large built-up area with hills behind

How to get to Albania

There are many ways that you may enter the country for your Albania 1 week itinerary. One would be into the only airport in Albania, Tirana airport (or Mother Teresa airport).

You could also enter from Greece. The Greek island of Corfu is only a 25-minute ferry ride to the Southern city of Saranda.

If you are coming from Montenegro, you will probably catch a bus to the southern city of Shkoder or to Tirana. There are lots of options!

If you’re only coming for one week in Albania then your itinerary will depend on where you are coming in and out from.

This itinerary is made to be flexible and that’s how travel should be in Albania. There are places which people instantly fall in love with and places where people want to move on.

Take this itinerary and use it as a draft for your trip instead of having a rigid plane because honestly, ridged plans don’t work well in Albania.

Main points of interest in Albania

You can follow along on this map of the best places to visit on your Albania itinerary.

For more inspiration, check most post on the most beautiful places to visit in Albania.

1 week in Albania

When planning how many days to spend in Albania, I recommend as long as possible. But I recognise this isn’t always practical, and working out how long to spend in Albania can be tricky sometimes.

So, 7 days in Albania is a pretty good option for a first time visit. In one week, you could fit in at least 3 places on your Albania itinerary.

If you visit more than that you will just be scratching the surface but luckily Albania isn’t that big so if you do have time constraints then feel free to try and see more.

how to spend one week in Albania, aerial view of stone structure on cliff overlooking sandy beach and see-through blue ocean

South Albania Itinerary: Starting/Ending in Tirana

Check out the map of this route here. The following key will help when planning:

Yellow Pointers = Night stopovers

Black pointers = Great stopover points if travelling by car

2 nights in Tirana/Tirane

If you are flying into Tirana, then I recommend spending a couple of days exploring the city.

Tirana is a vibrant young city with plenty of interesting museums such as the House of Leaves and Bunk art 1 & 2. There’s also some great restaurants and other nearby points of interest.

Make sure you read my big list of things to do in Tirana here for more details on what to do in the city.

2 nights in Saranda/Sarandë

The seaside city of Saranda is one not to be missed – it’s one of the best places to visit in South Albania. It’s a great base to explore and there are tonnes of great things to do.

I always recommend people to stay at least 3 nights in Saranda so you can see some of the best nearby attractions.

Make sure you have time in the city as well as hop on a bus and visit Ksamil and Butrint, a UNESCO site. Here’s my full guide on what to do in Saranda.

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

2 nights in Dhermi

Dhermi is another favourite for travellers coming to Albania.

With its beautiful beaches like the main beach in Dhermi or Drymades (my personal favourite), adventure activities and lots of great sites nearby (like Gjipe, Palase beach, Vuno and Llogara national park), Dhermi is a great place to stopover for a couple of nights.

Travelling back to Tirana (via car) will take around 4 hours.

*If you are starting from Tirana and ending in Saranda then go from Tirana – Dhermi – Saranda

Best Albania 1 week itinerary, aerial view of city nestled between ocean coastline and mountains

Other examples of south Albania itineraries

Option 2

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 2 nights in Vlora
  • 2 nights in Saranda or Ksamil

Option 3 (If you want to see more during 1 week)

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 1 night in Himara
  • 2 nights in Saranda
  • 1 night in Gjirokastër

Option 4

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 1 night in Berat
  • 1 night in Vlora
  • 1 night in Dhermi

Option 5 (off the beaten path)

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 1 night in Tirana
  • 2 nights in Himara
  • 1-night in Qeparo
  • 1-night in Borsh

Option 6 (not a beach person but want to visit some beautiful historical cities?)

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 2 nights in Korce
  • 2 nights in Berat
Best itinerary for Albania, view over Tirana, the capital of Albania

North Albania Itinerary: Starting/ending in Tirana

Check out a google map of this route here.

2 nights in Tirana

Stay 2 nights exploring Tirana then head straight to Shkoder.  Here’s a list of the best things to do in Tirana!

2 nights in Shkoder

From Tirana, you can catch the bus or drive to the northern city of Shkoder. Shkoder is a charming city and a gateway into the Albanian Alps.

You will love the north if you are more into the mountains than the beach.  There’s a lot of things you can do in Shkoder including visiting Rozafa Castle.

If you like museums then you can check out Shkoder history museum, the site of witness and memory (which is set in a communist prison) or the Marubi Photography museum.

📦 PACKING TIP: Don’t leave home without a solar powered battery pack so you can keep your devices connected at all times.

1 night in Theth

Once you have had some time to explore the city of Shkoder, it’s time to do some hiking! The Theth to Valbona trail is the most popular and most beautiful in Albania.

To get to Theth you must take a shuttle or taxi from Shkoder. Usually, you can ask your accommodation and they can organise one for you or go to the nearest tourist agency.

On the way out of Shkoder towards Theth usually many 4wds wait to take people to Theth so you could head straight there and get a ride right away.

The price is usually between 10 -15 euro per person. It’s not recommended for tourists to drive as the road is built for 4wd and it’s not in good condition, leave it to the locals!

Once you arrive in Theth you can relax at one of the beautiful guesthouses and get ready for your hike tomorrow.

The hike take 7-8 hours and you need a medium level of fitness. The total distance of the hike is 17km.

Note: You do not need a guide to do this hike. The trail is relatively easy to follow. You can also do an extra hike to the Blue eye from Theth. You may opt to do this the day you arrive into Theth or you can stay an extra night to complete this one too. You won’t be able to do both hikes in one day.

1-night Valbona & Komani Lake Ferry ride

You will walk for 7-8 hours until you reach the beautiful village of Valbona! You will want to spend a night here to relax after your intense hike up the mountains.

There are also some great guesthouses to relax in.

From Valbona you can take the Komani Lake Ferry to Komani and from there they will take you back to Shkoder.

The ferry ride is about 3 hours long and is a beautiful ride, one that has become increasingly popular due to how beautiful it is!

planning a trip to Albania, white stone walls of Rodoni castle with red and black Albanian flag flying in the wind with coastal bluffs behind

Other examples of North Albania Itineraries

Option 2

You can find a google map of this route here.

Option 3

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 1 night in Kruja
  • 2 nights in Shkoder
  • 1-night in Durres

Option 4

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 1-night in Shëngjin
  • 1-night in Velipoje
  • 2 nights in Shkoder

Option 5 (for people who want a slower pace)

You can find a google map of this route here.

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 3 nights in Shkoder (do Komani lake ferry as a day trip)
  • 1 night in Kruja

As you can see you have lots of options if you only have a quick week in Albania. Obviously, I recommend you spend longer as there are just so many more beautiful places!

Top places to visit in South Albania, Albania, aerial shot of Qeparo with terracotta rooftops and areas with trees lining the roads

Can you travel the north AND south in 1 week?

Well, technically yes of course. It will be easier if you have your own car as relying on public transport on a short time frame can be a bit annoying.

If you have limited time and want to see the main places then try visiting places like Tirana, Berat, Saranda, Vlora and Shkoder.

Take note that driving from the southern city of Saranda to the most northern city Shkoder takes approximately 6 hours according to Google that is.

It may take you a little longer than that, especially if you want to stop along the way (which you will!).

📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ How many days to visit Albania?

One week in Albania is the minimum I would recommend if you want to explore more than one city. While you won’t see all of Albania in one week, you can see a lot of the best parts of the country in that time.

✅ Is a week in Albania enough?

A week isn’t a lot of time, and if you can spend more time you should. However, you can see a lot of Albania in a week, and this is still a good amount of time to explore this beautiful and unique country.

I hope one of the 7-day Albania itineraries helped you plan your quick trip to Albania. Let me know if you have any questions below and be sure to join my Facebook group ‘Travelling Albania’ to connect with other travellers coming to Albania!


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The Comments

  • boris barel
    September 28, 2019

    THanks, it is a great read, me and my lady are planning to visit Albania in the beggining of october, hopefully water is still good for a swim )

  • Raj Bhide, Pune , India
    November 7, 2019

    Hi!, I, am from India, planning 10 days in Albania, visiting places, Saranda first as arriving from Corfu, Gjorokastra, Berat, Kruje, Tirana, Shkodar,1 day every city =6 days, pl. suggest balance 4 days for nearby cities excursions, last should be Shkdar, as on way to Ulcinj, Montenegro. Your experience should help me to decide also how much would be the cost of hiring a taxi to cover, what I, intend to see.