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Albania is in South Eastern Europe, north of Greece. Large parts of it are still untouched by tourists, especially the North. Must-see places include Tirana, the Berat Citadel, Saranda, Gjirokastra, The Pyramid and Kruja. Beautiful natural areas are the Tomorri Massif and the Llogaraja National Park.
Whether its adventure touring, exploring historical monuments, visiting fascinating medieval towns or beautiful countryside, Albania has something for every type of tourist...
The country has a dramatic coastline on the Ionian and Adriatic coasts with views across to the Greek islands and Italy. The coastal areas have a temperate Mediterranean climate and it is cooler at the sea than inland, especially in July.
The best time to visit Albania is in spring or autumn, although skiing, snowboarding and snow shoeing tours are run from November to April in areas such as Mount Jezerca, Mount Korab and the Valbona Valley. Make sure to make reservations in advance, as most hotels will be fully booked in the busy season. Independence Day on 28 November and Liberation Day on 29 November are celebrated with great enthusiasm; as is March 14, Summer Day, with traditional games and food and live music festivals in the evening.
Adventure touring is an exciting aspect of Albania. Get out of the city with white water rafting on the River Osumi, hiking and walking in the Tomorri Massif. Go mountain biking in the unspoilt countryside along village and mountain roads. Although most hotels are in the cities, the countryside offers small guest houses and accommodation on farms if you relish peace and quiet.
Albania was one of the last communist states and has lots of monuments to Enver Hoxha the former Stalinist leader, such as The Pyramid. This imposing former museum in Tirana has fallen into disrepair and Albanians are divided as to whether it should be torn down or repaired. There are many other museums in Tirana worth visiting. The capital city is rapidly developing into a commercial city and base for exploring the country, with many good hotels in the central district for tourists arriving on Albania flights.
The town of Berat situated on the Osumi River is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its famous Citadel, beautiful Ottoman houses and elegant mosques. It is known as The Town of a Thousand Windows because of the many large windows of the ancient houses overlooking the town. The medieval town of Kruja has an imposing fifth century castle with nine watch towers on the outside wall.
The ruined city of Saranda has the ruins of a large third century BC amphitheatre. Gjirokastra, birth place of Enver Hoxha, is a beautiful example of an Ottoman town, with its Gjirokastra Castle. The ancient city of Byllis dates back to the fourth century BC and was at one stage an important Greek city. The Llogaraja Pass rises over 1000 metres high and affords you with dramatic scenery across the plains and down to the sea. The locals call this Thunder Mountains.
The whole country is still in love with the late British comedic actor Norman Wisdom, one of the few actors whose films were allowed in Communist Albania.
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