Epic One Week In Albania Itinerary: 7 Day Road Trip 

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  Written by Christin Theilig from Christin Theilig.  

This is the best Albania itinerary. We list how you can spend 7 days in Albania. Where to go, what to see, and how long to stay in each place. 

Albania Travel Blog_One Week Itinerary In Albania

Albania Road Trip Itinerary

Albania should be on top of your list if you are looking for an affordable, offbeat summer destination that combines pristine nature, enchanting castles, idyllic beaches, and recent history together!

Singing cicadas in pine trees, turquoise water, friendly people, and some of the Balkans’ best food—this post will give you ideas on how to spend seven days in this (wrongfully) underrated country!

Albania is a small mountainous country in Southeast Europe that belongs to the Balkans. It has access to the Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and a Muslim majority. Furthermore, the country’s only Nobel Prize winner (born in the now-capital of Macedonia), Mother Teresa, was Albanian!

Hiring a rental car is the best option to get the most out of one week in Albania, especially if you like to explore places and want a total road trip. Prices start from as low as 20 Euro per day and include insurance. 

The Albanian public transport system is another option if you are more money-conscious (& adventurous). You mainly find buses and furgons (shared minibusses) that work reasonably well, connecting most cities with each other.

This 1 week Albania itinerary will provide distances and timings for both options.

One Week Itinerary For Albania

Let us help you make your Albania travel itinerary action-packed and enjoyable.

Experience Diverse Tirana

A weekend in tirana_mural_blloku_tirana

Tirana, Albania’s capital, is a refreshing city with a mix of colorful Ottoman architecture, street markets, and a hip food scene. Walking within the city center is easy, and there is enough to explore for at least 2-3 days! Many of Tirana’s sights are within close proximity to each other.

How To Get Into Tirana

Tirana can be easily reached by plane from every major European city. The international airport is well-connected and is only 17 km from the city center. A shuttle bus (called Rinas Express) drops you off in the middle of the city. The ride takes roughly 30 minutes and costs 250 leks (2 euros).

Alternatively, you can take a taxi for 2500 lek (20 euros), which would take around 20 – 25 minutes, or get your rental car from the airport.

Tip: Bring some cash in Euros to pay for the fare and change it later in the city rather than at the airport.

Highlights Of Tirana For Your Albania Itinerary

For a complete list of what to do and see in Tirana, see here. These are my must-see sights, and we suggest you add them to your itinerary in Albania. 

Skanderbeg Square

THINGS TO DO IN TIRANA - Skanderberg statue in the center, Tirana, Albania

The central plaza in the center of Tirana covers an area of 40.000 sq. m. and houses many major sights of the city, including the National Opera, the Palace of Culture, the National Historical Museum, the famous Clock Tower, and the City Hall. Join a free walking tour to learn about Albanian history from the source!

Bunk’Art Museum

Photo Credit

If you ever wanted to visit a real bunker, you have the chance to do so in Tirana. The Bunk’Art museum is a highlight when visiting the city. Converted from a Cold War bunker, it spreads over 3000 sq meters underground. It lets you discover dark tunnels, private chambers, and exhibitions of contemporary art.

Take the City Centre – Porcelan bus line near the Clock Tower.

Et’hem Bey Mosque

A stunning city landmark, the little Et’hem Bey Mosque depicts waterfalls, trees, and other motifs not usually shown in Islamic art.

Where To Stay In Tirana

Situated in an old 1930s-era villa, Padam Hotel is one of Tirana’s most stylish boutique hotels, with one of the Balkan’s best restaurants on site. For a social and cheap stay, opt for Trip’n Hostel near Skanderbeg Square.

Where To Eat In Tirana

No itinerary for Albania would be complete without information on where to eat.

For some of the luxurious Albanian cuisine sourced directly from small farmers, head to Mullixhiu. Enjoy panoramic views of the town from a rotating restaurant at The Sky Bar, and make sure to try Rakija, Albania’s national drink! If you are after a cheap, traditional meal, go to Oda – Traditional Albanian Cuisine and try their stuffed peppers!

How To Get Out Of Tirana

After your week in Albania, the most convenient way to leave town is by rental car. Tirana has no central bus station yet, but three terminals are distributed throughout the city.

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Day Trip To Historical Shkodër

Tirana – Shkodër: 1 hour 50 minutes by car | 2 hours by bus

One of the oldest cities in Europe, Shkodër is a real gem that quickly enchants you with its cultural heritage. Many poets, artists, musicians, and photographers were born there, serving as the gateway to the Albanian Alps.

Get Into Shkodër

Get settled into your rental car and make your way up north early in the morning. Buses from Tirana towards Shkodër leave roughly every hour and cost around 500 leks (4 euros). Head to Zogu I Zi, and you’ll find the furgon bus stop nearby.

Highlights of Shkodër

Rozafa Castle

Best Castles In Albania - Old church in Rozafa castle ruins near Shkodra city

The Rozafa Castle is a special place and a must-see when in Shkodër—a legend accompanying it that a woman had to be sacrificed to finish it.

Price: 200 leks (1.50 euro)

Lake Skadar

On a sunny day, hire a bike to cycle along the shores of the beautiful Lake Skadar. It’s a great half-day trip that leads you past fishing villages and carpet weavers and rewards you with the best scenic views!

Price: 9 euros | Duration: 3.5 hours

Venice Art Mask Factory

If you are after something very unique, go and visit the Venice Art Mask Factory. It has the most diverse and magnificent collection of Venetian masks! Each mask is a unique piece of art that went through the hands of 12 to 13 professionals. Just stunning!

Where To Eat In Shkodër

Settled in a beautiful old villa, Vila Bekteshi offers outdoor seating and outstanding traditional food. For some tasty, reasonably priced seafood, head to Rozafa Sea Food and try their octopus!

Tirana To Berat

Tirana – Berat: 1 hour 45 minutes (123km) by car | 2 hours 15 minutes by bus

Balkans Travel Itinerary: Berat

To continue your journey towards Berat, take a bus from the Terminali i Autobusave të Veriut dhe Jugut for around 500 leks (4 euro). Berat, “The Town of a Thousand Windows,” as it’s lovingly called, is an absolute must-visit. A prime example of Albanian architecture, Berat is a UNESCO world heritage site over 2,400 years old.

How To Get Into Berat

Berat: Take a bus from Terminali i Autobusave të Veriut dhe Jugut for around 500 leks (4 euros) to Terminali i Autobuzave të Jugt for buses going to the North and South of Albania. They regularly leave towards Berat and the coast for around 400 leks (3.25 euros).

The bus will stop at Terminali i Autobuzave Berat, from which you will take another local bus to the center.

Highlights Of Berat

Berat Castle

Best Castles In Albania - Travel Blog - Berat Castle
The citadel and fortress of Kala at Berat in Albania

Towering over the city, Berat Castle (or the Citadel of Berat) is a well-preserved fortress with many Ottoman mosques and Byzantine churches. You get the city’s best panoramic views and the Osum River from the courtyard.

Unlike other castles, there is still a fully functioning town inside the castle! One with houses, bars, restaurants, churches, and museums. Don’t miss this one!

Price: 300 leks (2.45 euro)

Mangalem Area

Mangalem, a traditionally Muslim area, lies at the bottom of Berat Castle. It’s most famous for its three mosques and the Ethnographic Museum, which features artifacts from the Ottoman period.

Price: 300 leks (2.45 euro)

Tip: For the perfect photo opportunity of Mangalem’s white Ottoman houses, head over the bridge into the Gorica area.

Where To Stay In Berat

For a cheap stay in a 300-year-old UNESCO house with many original features, book a night in Berat Backpackers. If staying a night in the castle intrigues you, book a room in the traditional Hotel Klea.

Where To Eat In Berat

A unique dining experience, Homemade Food Lili is a restaurant run from the owner’s family home. There are only 3-5 tables, so make sure to arrive early – it’s worth it! For a wallet-friendly option serving vegan options, head to Temi Albanian Food.

Adventure Day Trip To Osum Canyon In Çorovodë

Berat – Çorovodë: 1 hour by car

Çorovodë is not only a convenient stopover on your way to the Albanian Riviera, but it also is a must-stop for every adventure and watersport lover! A tour through the Osum Gorge is one of Albania’s most exciting activities. The Osum Gorge is 26km long, with many unexplored caves and underground passages.

One way of exploring this natural attraction is going on a rafting tour. Rafting through the gorge allows you to explore the imposing Bogova Waterfall and impressive vertical slopes ranging up to 80 meters. The rapids are considered a Class II, which means no prior white water experience is needed – perfect!

Another option is to put on your hiking shoes and go on a guided walk through the gorge, with spectacular vistas of the surrounding area guaranteed!

Where To Stay In Çorovodë

To extend your time (and spend a night) in Çorovodë, think about ending your day at the Nurellari Winery Cellar and Guest House. The family-owned winery offers beautiful tours around the winery, followed by a wine tasting. They also serve delicious traditional food! Why not spend a night at their adjacent guest house?

Berat To Sarandë

Çorovodë – Sarandë: 3 hours 15 min or Berat – Sarandë: 3 hours 30 min

What To Wear In Albania_Sarande

Considered the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, Sarandë is the perfect place for a summer getaway. If you are looking for pristine beaches, some vitamin sea, and a thriving nightlife – Sarandë has got all of this and more!

How To Get Into Sarandë

Two buses run from Berat to Sarandë, around 8 am and the other around 2.30 pm from the main bus stop. The bus will take 5-6 hours, with a visit to Girokaster, and costs 1200 lek (9.70 euro).

Highlights of Sarandë

Ksamil Beach

Things To Do In The Albanian Riviera - Ksamil Beach

Ksamil Beach, with its clear turquoise water, could easily be mistaken for a beach in a tropical country. This gem on the Ionian Sea is a famous summer destination for locals and tourists alike. The area comprises many small coves wrapped around a jagged coastline.

Butrint National Park

Things to do in Saranda - Ruins Butrint Albania
Ruins of Butrint, Albania

Easily the most romantic of Albania’s ancient sites, a visit to the UNESCO site of Butrint should definitely come onto your list! Settled within a national park, the ruins have been inhabited since prehistoric times. They used to be Greek colony sites and Roman cities.
Only 20 km from the city, it takes around 2-3 hours to explore.

Price: 700lek (5.70 euro)

Buses from Sarandë leave outside the ZIT Information Centre on the hour and take 20 minutes.

Price: 100 leks (0.80 euro).

Tip: Try to visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid the cruise ship tourists!

Where To Stay In Sarandë

For a hostel with great views, friendly hosts, and 20 meters from the sea, choose Hairy Lemon Hostel. For a top-notch 4-star hotel on the beach, with breathtaking views of the ocean and in proximity to many bars, book at night at Hotel Brilant.

Where To Eat In Sarandë

For an authentic meal or coffee next to the ocean, head to Limani Bar & Restaurant. This family-owned restaurant offers fine Mediterranean dining since 1998. Dishes are cheap, and portion sizes are big, a win-win! To see the sunset, try SunSet Saranda Restaurant.

How To Get Out Of Sarandë

The most convenient way to end a fantastic week in Albania is to leave from Corfu, Greece. From Sarande, you can take a ferry (70 minutes) or a speedboat (30 minutes) to Corfu to catch your flight back home.

Whatever option you choose, make sure to leave enough time between leaving Albania and getting to the airport two hours ahead of your scheduled flight!

Depending on the season, 2 – 13 departures are available, and ticket prices range from 18 to 24 euros. Three different companies operate the lines, so check for times for each individually: Ionian Seaways, Finikas Lines, or Joy Lines.

From the Port of Corfu, it takes only 15 minutes to the Corfu airport. An airport taxi costs around 15-20 euros and operates 24/7. Bus Line no. 15 costs 1.5 euros, takes about 20 minutes and runs between 7.50 am and 9.50 pm.

Hopefully, this post gives you enough ideas on how to spend seven wonderful, relaxing, adventurous, and history-packed days in this Balkan gem.

Driving In Albania Overview

Driving in Albania can be an adventure all its own, and a car in Albania is your ticket to discovering the hidden gems this country has to offer.

Roads vary from the well-paved to the more adventurous types, making a trip around Albania exciting. Google Maps is a trusty companion but be prepared for the occasional detour that turns into an unexpected highlight of your journey.

Renting a car for your trip allows you to explore secluded beaches or quaint villages at your own pace. Remember, driving in Albania means you’ll pass breathtaking landscapes, so keep your camera ready. Just be sure to have travel insurance that covers driving in Albania, as it’ll give you peace of mind while you navigate the roads less traveled.

Is Albania Safe?

When it comes to safety, Albania is one of those underrated destinations that’s much safer than you might expect. Like any trip abroad, common sense is your best travel guide; keeping an eye on personal belongings and staying aware of your surroundings goes a long way.

Albania’s welcoming locals add to the feeling of security. However, don’t skip on travel insurance. It’s not just about safety; it’s about peace of mind. Whether you’re sunbathing right on the beach or exploring the old town of one of the cities in Albania, knowing you’re covered makes all the difference.

Albania’s charm lies not just in its landscapes but also in its ability to make you feel at home. It is a perfect one-week getaway or even a 10-day trip to dive deeper into its culture.

How Many Days In Albania?

Deciding how many days to spend in Albania isn’t easy, given all it has to offer. A perfect itinerary ranges from a compact 7 days to a more leisurely 10 days, allowing you to soak in the best of Albania.

With 7 hours, you can explore the beauty of the Blue Eye or spend an afternoon at the beach in one of Albania’s stunning beach towns. For those with more time, extending your stay to 10 days lets you delve deeper into places like the beautiful old town areas or the serene beaches in Albania, ensuring you experience the ultimate Albania.

Each day brings a new adventure, whether it’s Day 1 in the bustling capital or Day 7 when you find yourself in a great place known for its sensational views. Remember, whether it’s a quick trip or a longer stay, Albania promises to be one of the most memorable parts of your travel diary.

Final Word On Your Albania Travel Itinerary

Wrapping up your 7 days in Albania, it’s clear this trip is the perfect one-week escape to one of the most beautiful corners of Europe, from the serene waters of Gjipe Beach, a favorite for anyone seeking beautiful beaches, to the historical depths.

Your Albania trip will be a blend of relaxation and discovery.

Remember, while seven days can give you a taste of Albania, don’t be surprised if you find yourself dreaming of what 10 days in Albania could offer. This Albania travel guide was just the beginning; the rest of the journey awaits.

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