Top 12 Day Trips from Tirana, Albania
Last Updated on February 2, 2023
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Written by Eneda from Albania
Did you know that Albania is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful and peaceful natural wonders?
It may surprise you, but Albania is a country that has a lot to offer nature lovers.
And for those who are only visiting Tirana, the city is actually the perfect base to explore more. There are many great day trips from Tirana to explore the country’s history and natural beauty.
Although it is the capital, Tirana itself is also often overlooked as a tourist destination, but it is one of the best cities to explore Albania’s hidden beauty.
There are many fun and unique things to do in Tirana to learn more about this amazing country and its history.
And, of course, it is a city that many start their Albania adventure with by utilising the many great Tirana day trips available.
🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.
If you are planning to visit Tirana and are also interested in day tours from Tirana that explore other natural gems, this article should come in handy.
The Best Day Trips from Tirana
1. Enjoy the view from Dajti Mountain
One of Albania’s tallest mountains, Dajti Mountain, is a beautiful area to go hiking, and one of the best things to do in Tirana and the surrounding area.
It is located on the outskirts of Tirana, the nation’s capital, and provides a sweeping panorama of the city with the lake in the foreground.
From the mountain’s peak, you can take in the breathtaking views over the entire city and the Black Drin River.
One of Albania’s tallest mountains and best attractions in Tirana is Dajti Mountain. Many Tirana tours include the mountain if you don’t want to do it alone.
It’s a beautiful mountain to go hiking and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When the weather is not too chilly, April and October is the ideal time to visit the hill.
Although the weather there might be unpredictable, you can see the mountain any time of year, and it’s one of the best day trips from Tirana central.
If you want more detailed insight into other beautiful destinations in Albania, then get my travelling Albania guide here on Amazon!
2. Visit the city of Kruje
Kruje is a beautiful medieval city situated 30 km from Tirana. The town was once the capital of the Albanian Kingdom, and it’s an unofficial Unesco World Heritage Site.
The city’s name and significance are strongly linked to the 25 years of service provided by Skanderbeg.
He is the Albanian national hero, who in the fifteenth century turned Kruja into a stronghold of unyielding resistance to the Ottomans.
The castle walls, which date from the fifth and sixth century, contain the Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg Museum and are home to the favourite Albanian National Flag.
Visiting Kruje will give you a great overview of Albanian history, especially since visiting Kruje Castle is a must on any trip to Albania. It is, after all, one of the most amazing castles in Albania.
The Kruja castle offers stunning views of the city and mountains, which is just one of the many reasons it’s one of the best day trips from Tirana.
You can see the museums, walk the old cobbled streets, explore the castles and towers and enjoy the picturesque views from above.
Did you know that there’s the Kruja Bazaar located near the castle? You can’t leave Kruja without taking a visit – pick up some Albanian souvenirs while there!
The Kruja Bazaar, which goes back to the 14th century, provides a superb assortment of items to buy, including the best Albanian souvenirs.
As one of the best day trips from Tirana, Kruja is easily accessible from the capital city. You can hire a taxi or travel by bus to get there.
Read my full guide on things to do in Kruja to make your day the perfect day trip from Tirana.
3. Take a look at the cultural city of Shkoder
One of the most unique things to do near Tirana is a day trip to the city of Shkoder.
Shkoder is Albania’s cultural capital and a city with an incredible mix of both Eastern and Western cultures.
The city’s architecture is a perfect blend of Ottoman and Byzantine buildings, which is why it’s one of the must-visit cities in Albania.
There are many things to do in Shkoder, such as exploring the medieval fortress that overlooks the city, taking a stroll at the botanical gardens, visiting the Ethnographic Museum, and enjoying the magical views of the lake.
Shkoder is a little over an hour’s drive from Tirana and is a great place to visit on a day trip. You can catch a bus or taxi to get there.
4. Have a food experience at Mrizi I Zanave
“Mrizi i Zanave” is a restaurant and Hotel agrotourism center in Fishtë, near Lezhë which is about 81 km from Tirana.
A place where tourists and citizens from all over Albania, even from Kosovo, come to the restaurant “Mrizi i Zanave” in Lezhë.
An amazing place, but above all with cuisine from the best, with an extremely high-quality service culture.
The restaurant took its name from the poetic work of Gjergj Fishta.
You can visit the restaurant every day which is open from 9 AM – 11 PM, but it is best to call ahead to make a reservation.
5. Marvel at Lake Bovilla
Bovilla Lake is located in Tirana’s northeastern outskirts, between two mountain ranges. This is most likely the nearest place to practice rock climbing near the capital.
Some tour providers in this area provide a safe schedule for rock trekking, hiking, and climbing.
The area around Bovilla has a stunning beauty with the Bovilla waterfall, the Bovilla gorge and the surrounding rocks.
Lake Bovilla is an excellent place for birdwatching and is a favourite spot for migratory birds. The best time for birdwatching at Lake Bovilla is between October and April.
Lake Bovilla is only 55 minutes- 1 hour from Tirana and is one of the best day trips from Tirana.
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6. Relax at Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
The national park is near the Adriatic Sea, and near the town of Lunshje (on the road from Durres to Vlore), and includes several lagoons, including the country’s largest.
Many water bodies were drained in the agricultural revolution of the 1960s, and wildlife populations were decimated by hunting.
It has been designated as a RAMSAR-protected biotope to safeguard this rare ecosystem, and all hunting is prohibited.
Recently, nesting platforms were also installed to attract the rare Dalmatian Pelican, one of the world’s giant birds and the park’s main attraction.
In the Divjake national park, habitats such as river deltas, lagoons, dunes, psammophyte, halophyte, and hygrophyte vegetation, soft and wild pine forest, and the presence of juniper (Juniperus monocarpa) are part of it.
There are three endemic species of salep of the genus Orchis and the endemic species Aster albanicus.
In the lagoon grow several rare species of pines and a rare type of Pelican, “Dalmatian Pelican,” which is supposed to be 5% of all pelicans of this type living there.
The national park is a great place to relax and unwind. You can stroll on the beach and pick a few seashells.
You can also hike in the lush forest and enjoy the scenic views. The national park is located about 85 km from Tirana.
To enter the park, go to the Visitor Center and get information about the park and lagoon. You can either hire a taxi or take a bus to get there.
The park remains open throughout the year and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
7. Visit the UNESCO city of Berat
Berat, in central Albania, is a beautiful stone-and-alabaster city surrounded by fig trees and divided by the Osumi river. This is one of my favourite Tirana excursions.
Berat, an old Illyrian village that became a Byzantine frontier town, is famous for the Ottoman homes that cascade down both sides of its beautiful river valley.
The City of a Thousand Windows gets its name from the evenly spaced portals carved into the stone façade. Berat, Albania, is a popular day trip from Tirana.
The city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a fantastic example of Albanian culture.
Berat is a city full of history, culture, and charm. You can also explore the city on a walking tour to learn more about its rich history.
Berat has a lot to offer, from the distinctive Berat Castle to the medieval bazaar, ancient mosques, local food, a busy café scene, and one of the most stunning ethnographic museums in the Balkans.
Not to mention the gorgeous landscapes, canyons, and wineries that are easily accessible from the city. Berat is located about 52.5 minutes from Tirana.
If you decide to stay longer, there are many wonderful hotels in Berat to stay out and enjoy this charming city.
8. Enjoy the views from Petrela Castle
Not more than 18 km from Tirana, you will find one of the typical villages of the medieval Albanian model.
Petrela is a picturesque village; it got its name from the castle that dominates the historical settlement.
Petrela Castle is perched on a rocky outcrop 400 meters above sea level.
It is believed to have been constructed in the late antique era (3rd-4th century AD) and renovated under the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.(527-565).
Since antiquity, this castle has commanded strategic commercial and military intersections like the Via Egnatia.
The castle is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy views of the city from above. You can also learn about the castle’s history and explore the castle grounds.
To get there, you may take a cab or a bus. The castle is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Petrela Castle can be reached via the Tirana-Elbasan highway; the journey takes 34 minutes by car.
What makes the Petrele Castle so impressive is the houses are in harmony with the cobblestone complex, dominating the medieval character of the village.
The large gate is covered by branches of hundred-year-old olive trees and leads up to the castle.
Today in the Petrela castle, there are several service points such as; restaurants, coffee bars, hotels, etc.
And it serves as an attractive tourist point not only for the capital’s residents but is also part of the tourist itineraries for foreign tourists visiting Tirana. It has been declared a cultural monument.
If you are in Tirana and need a daily escape, the freshness of the countryside, the quiet of nature, delicious food, and a cultural and historical place to visit, Petrela is an ideal choice.
💡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!
9. Enjoy the sea at Durres
The city of Durrës is located along the coast, directly west of the capital Tirana, and is the location of Albania’s largest port.
Durrësi has wide beaches, making it a favourite holiday destination and perfect for Albania day trips.
Stretching along the entire coast of the city, Durrës beach is a little less than an hour’s drive from Tirana on the Adriatic Sea.
In Durrës, you can find 10 km of beaches, so you will easily find a place to sunbathe for the day, but if you want to explore some wilder ones, you can drive just out of the city.
What is unique are the soft sandy beaches, which remain warm from May to September.
The beaches of Durrës are particularly nostalgic for the locals, historically the most visited by families, which have turned into a modern natural international tourist attraction.
The main beach of Durrës is a long public beach that stretches about 4 km from Ura e Dajlani to the Rock of Kavaja.
Lalzi Bay beach is located approximately 30 km north of Durrës and 25 km from the capital of Tirana and has been the number one summer resort among other Durres beaches the past year.
10. Visit the Cape of Rodon
The Cape of Rodon, the ideal break from the Capital, is a stunning piece of coast located near Durres.
The Cape is surrounded by a beautiful beach and is an excellent place for a stroll or a walk. It is a great place to visit during both summer and winter.
In summer, you can enjoy scenic views and swim in the sea. In winter, you can walk along the cliffs and marvel at the beautiful waters.
This high strip of land as a peninsula extends into the Adriatic Sea. It offers attractive landscapes and some historical and cultural monuments of particular importance located about 58 km from Tirana.
Cape Rodoni is also known for the Skanderbeg Castle, which is located right by the sea and was built by Skenderbeg around 1450-1452.
It was intended to be used as a faster exit to the Adriatic in the event of an Ottoman invasion.
We cannot leave without mentioning the Church of St. Anthony, located very close to the Cape, with a Romanesque-Gothic type of architecture.
Today, you can see traces of frescoes or other exciting elements.
The road you must follow to Cape Rodon: Tiranë – Manzë – Ishëm – Darç – Kepi I Rodonit.
11. Take a trip to Pogradec
There are countless options to unwind and have fun in Pogradec. It is the ideal location for travellers of all ages, regardless of whether they want to stay for a day or longer.
It is still a fantastic location for couples that select Pogradec for their honeymoon.
The inhabitants are kind and don’t be surprised if they invite you for a drink or a dish of jam, which Pogradecar homemakers know how to prepare flawlessly.
If you walk around Pogradec, you will discover many beautiful things, starting with the Art Gallery, which is located in the centre of the city.
Here visitors will find paintings by famous Pogradec painters and is open from 09:00 to 16:00.
Then we go to the Museum of Pogradec, which is rich in evidence of antiquity and wartime.
The Parks of Pogradec, where Pogradec has long been called the city of flowers and greenery, are still fanatically preserved today.
You can walk along the “1 Maji” promenade along the city beach and enjoy the incredible scenery of the “sleeping lake.”
12. Take a quick trip to Lin
The trip to Lin village is only 20 km from Pogradec, while it is 110 km from Tirana, one of Pogradec’s wonders. Lini is a small peninsula on the western shore of Lake Ohrid.
Life on this peninsula is thought to have begun in the first period of the Iron Age, continuing into the early Middle Ages.
What makes this peninsula unique is the Paleo-Christian basilica and mosaics located on top of the hill of Saint Thanas.
Many villagers have turned their houses into guesthouses for tourists, and there is a potential to promote activities such as horse riding, visits to historical sites, and even traditional cooking.
I highly recommend checking out the beautiful village of Lin during your travels to Albania.
📚 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
There are a lot of amazing things to do near Tirana as day trips. Some of my personal favourites are Kruja, Berat, Cape of Rodon and Shkoder.
Generally, many of these Tirana day trips will not be busy, especially compared to the capital or other popular destinations in Albania. But to really avoid the crowds, take a day excursion to Lake Bovilla, the village of Lin.
These are the 12 top day trips from Tirana that you have to add to your list when you come to visit Albania. We hope you have enjoyed reading this article on the top day trips from Tirana. Comment below and let me know what trip you will be taking first!
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