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Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)

Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)

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 is in Albania.

 

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!  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 taking you to these cities and towns.

Make sure you consider when you will be visiting.  Albania’s tourism is very much seasonal.  July and August are the busiest times so that’s when more buses are put on.  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.

 

 

Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)

How to get to Albania

There are many ways that you may enter Albania.  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 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

Read more: 24 Incredibly Beautiful Places to Visit in Albania

 

1 week in Albania

In one week, you could stay in at least 3 places.  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 see more.

 

 

South Albania Itinerary: Starting/Ending in Tirana

 

 

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 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.

 

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

 

Other examples of south Albania itineraries

Option 2

  • 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)

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

 

Option 4

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

 

Option 5 (off the beaten path)

  • 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?)

  • 2 nights in Tirana
  • 2 nights in Korce
  • 2 nights in Berat

 

 

North Albania Itinerary: Starting/ending in Tirana

 

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.

 

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. Here are 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!

 

 

Other examples of North Albania Itineraries

 

Option 2

 

Option 3

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

 

Option 4

  • 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)

  • 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!

 

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!).

 

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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Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    boris barel
    September 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    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 )

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