Albania is not generally the first country one plans to visit on vacation to Europe or even on a trip to the Balkans. Through decades of dark times and brutal communism, Albania became a place of travel myths and untouchable secrets.
Whispers of its aggressive mountains, ancient fortress towns and valley villages, and pristine beaches made their way around travel circles, and by the time communism’s reign on the country came to an end in 1991, tourists around Europe were chomping at the bit to see what the hype was all about.
Now, nearly thirty years after the first modern travelers were able to truly explore the country without dealing with the communist’s grip on the country, its remote villages and nearly forgotten but well-preserved ancient Roman ruins are still intriguing pulls to this gem in the Balkans.
Not to mention, the thriving capital of Tirana is one of the up-and-coming centers of the region, teeming with a young and vibrant attitude. Yet, despite all of this, Albania’s way of life has hardly changed as ancient cultures and traditions, along with regional dishes, are still found throughout the country.
Especially in the past decade, there has been a wave of new and exciting tourism to pour into the country. Like the buzzing capital or the ritzy and continually developing Albanian Riviera, several areas in the country are making a name for the nation among all kinds of holidaymakers.
Where Is Albania?
In the deep south of the Balkans region, along the southern quarters of the Adriatic Sea, is the country of Albania. It shares a border with four other Balkans countries; Montenegro to the north, Kosovo and North Macedonia in the east, and Greece along its southern border.
What Are The Best Places To Visit In Albania?
Whether it is the rejuvenating capital, Tirana, or any excellent mountain town offering a winter paradise, such as the Korca region, there are great places to visit year-round, depending on your interests and time.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Albania?
Albania is best visited at any point in the year. Sorry — we know that does not help you narrow your research. However, we would be conflicted to tell you to visit this lovely country at one period over another. The truth is, there are better times to visit depending on what your plan is and where your itinerary will take you. Below, we have broken down what there is to do each month and what you can expect at every time of the year.
When is the best time to visit Tirana?
January is a relaxing time to visit Albania and its capital, Tirana, where we will focus on travelers to Albania in the first month of the year.
The first week of the month is a holiday with few tourists; if you don’t like crowds, it’s an excellent reason to consider visiting even in the low season.
Also, the most important events for the new year are celebrated in Tirana. So, if you like fireworks, music, and concerts, Tirana is the place to be in Albania to celebrate the right way. A unique way to celebrate this memorable holiday is to celebrate the New Year on Mother Teresa Square among thousands of Albanians. It is a real, local crowd-pleaser and a good time.
Though most people who visit Albania in the winter go skiing (more on that later), a visit to Tirana makes for a fun, festive time, too.
To enjoy the beautiful winter landscape, hop in a car and ditch Tirana to visit Korca, one of the most important cities in the country and the most popular ski resort in Albania.
This region of southeastern Albania has become the locals’ go-to winter holiday spot, where skiing is one of the best anywhere in the Balkans. In February, there won’t be much hiking to be had; it is a versatile small town to visit at any point in the year.
The historical center of Korca is also worth your time — especially for digital nomads who need to sit in a cafe with their laptop and knock out a few hours of work. After a cold day outside, warming up to a cup of hot coffee is one of the more enjoyable pleasures.
Spring In Albania
Late March, April, May, and early June are some of the best months to travel to Albania; with good weather for hiking and cycling, you can still make the most of the Mediterranean beaches. Prices will be lower (if not traveling during Easter), the main attractions will be quieter, and the hotels will be more empty than ever.
In March, the weather is beautiful, sunshine is abundant, tourists have yet to arrive, and March 14th is Dita e Veres, one of the most important pagan festivals in the country.
The best place to participate in this beautiful festival is Elbasan, a city an hour away from Tirana. During the day, people of all ages celebrate the coming of spring with dances, parades, and balloons.
Many people can’t wait to get to the mountain trails after the snow has started to melt, although it often means hiking in sloppy conditions. You may be better off waiting for the best hiking later in the spring. However, other places in the region are also lovely for their nature in the early spring.
April is the absolute best time to visit when the weather is good, tourists are still at home, and the natural environment is at its best.
There is no better place for history lovers in Albania than the impressive Butrint Archaeological Park. This is the most important historical place in the country and deserves a visit not only for its incomparable beauty and importance but also for its location right on the doorstep of the stunning city of Ksamil.
May is a perfect time and opportunity to visit Berat, one of the country’s most beautiful cities. Most construction in the town was done when the city was founded nearly 2,500 years ago — imagine the history!
It is not only located near Tirana (perhaps within a day trip), but it is also the finest example of the country’s prideful Albanian architecture.
Summer In Albania
The coast and inland Albania can get pretty warm from late June to late August. Around this time of the year, locals will start fleeing to the popular coastal resort city of Saranda, where Albanians escape the Tirana tourist rush and drabness. You may also experience tourists who make the short trip from Greece’s Corfu island for a day.
Unlike surrounding countries such as Croatia and Montenegro, Albania doesn’t receive a huge rush of tourists during the summer, making it one of the best destinations in the Mediterranean. And that is no exaggeration.
In June, the beaches are beautiful, the water sparkles and the prices are low. Plus, the view is (still) breathtaking, and you will never be caught up in long queues or crowds of people at some of the best attractions and destinations.
Plus, it is the best time to visit the Albanian Riviera (perhaps the most spectacular part of the country and certainly our favorite). Please don’t take our word for it, though. Book yourself a room and see for yourself!
It seems, more than in other months, Albanians come out from hiding in July, and it is easy to see why; hello, beach holidays in Albania!
The weather is superb. Rarely is there a rainy day, especially on the beach, and although sometimes it tends on the warm side, the temperature dips and warms back up often, which means you will never have to deal with prolonged heat waves in the dead of summer.
Not only is the town beautiful, but it was also the birthplace of former dictator Enver Hodge, so there is a lot of history to nerd out on. Every year, the festival takes place in mid-July and is the perfect event to plan your holiday around if you are planning a trip to Albania.
In August, we suggest skipping the beaches of the Albanian Riviera, as they will be full of tourists, and instead going to the mountains. The climate in the mountains is pleasant, nature is impressive, and entertainment is abundantly diverse.
You will so thoroughly enjoy this region of Albania; we know we did. And don’t forget to visit the mountain villages — they are saturated in authentic culture, and you will have the opportunity to speak to some of the friendliest locals you have ever encountered. You can also explore the natural waterfalls, admire the beautiful views, and attend several summer festivals.
Fall In Albania
The weather from late September to mid-October is good. However, the fall season is short in Albania, and some years are even shorter than others. The beaches are one of our favorite things in the fall because the crowds rush out when the weather cools down, yet, the water is still warming up. Swimming in September and early October is not only enjoyable, but it is potentially the best time to swim in the open sea.
September is another great month in Albania as far as the weather goes. Up in the mountains, it may start to get a bit chilly. And on the coasts, you can feel the winds start to get cooler, too, but the dip in temperature is beyond manageable when you see the landscape change colors of the fall. Plus, we don’t have any evidence to support this, but the sunsets also seem to reach a new level of beauty in September.
Just a few hours from the capital city and Albania’s third-largest city is one of the best places to be in September; the city of Vlora. It isn’t a huge tourist spot but more of a place to soak in local culture.
One of the most underrated things to do in Albania is to catch a boat out to Karaburun. This untouched old military peninsula was opened to the general public several years ago.
Despite its stunning bays and dramatic cliffs, the nearly abandoned peninsula remains less of a tourist spot and has a stronger reputation for being a hideout for marijuana smugglers. This doesn’t make Karaburun dangerous; it only means it is another unspoiled gem.
The boat departs every morning at nine o’clock in the morning and takes guests to the beautiful peninsula where they can swim, relax, and eat delicious seafood.
Permet, hidden in the southern part of the country with natural hot springs, is the perfect October destination. The springs are tucked away in an impressive area next to the old Ottoman bridge and are surrounded by nature.
If you want to relax, come here for the weekend, and you will see many Albanian weekenders out as well — just trying to escape the workweek grind.
Winter In Albania
It is icy in the mountains in December, January, and February, and heavy rains can cause floods and mudslides. But as you will see, there is plenty to do in the winter months in Albania, even if you have never skied in your life. But if you’re looking for fresh snow to shred, now is the time: Specifically speaking, the slopes are primed and ready from late January to mid-March.
November is not the best month for those who prefer the great outdoors because it gets unpleasantly wet, but you will be able to stay plenty busy, don’t fret. An excellent set of museums and art galleries are surprisingly fun and educational. Now is the time to learn about the country on a deeper level.
Back in the capital city, the best place to immerse yourself in the city’s art scene. You will find the most fulfilling museums here, such as the National History Museum, the National Art Gallery, and more.
Albania’s recent history is fascinating, even if you only have the slightest intrigue in museums. Check out BunkArt, nothing like the ordinary museums you have been to in the past.
November 28th is the day of independence from the Ottoman Empire. If you are in Albania at the end of November, you must make your way to Tirana. Of course, Tirana is the place to be. It has outstanding events, concerts, and entertainment all over the city.
Albanians love the end-of-the-year holiday season, and they have their traditions, which would make for an excellent spot to spend the holidays this year.
And suppose you are going to be in Albania for the holidays. In that case, you may as well stay in Tirana — or, more specifically, near Skanderbeg Square, which is beautifully decorated with holiday lights and, if you are lucky, a light coat of fresh snow. The giant Christmas tree, which isn’t unique to Tirana but is every bit as beautiful, is the centerpiece of an already beautiful center. The winter has fairytale-like effects on the city.
Best Time To Go To Albania
So, overall, what is the best time to go to Albania?
This is a challenging question; we tend to prefer the south of Albania in the fall or early winter as the most pleasant time/place to visit Albania.
The mild Mediterranean climate, the constant breeze just about everywhere you are in the south, and the quietness after the rush of summer tourism are always welcomed.
The Best Time To Visit Albania
Flooded with secret treasures like secluded beaches, attractions that remind you of the country’s shackled past, world-class ski resorts, and the kind-hearted compassion of the Albanian locals, you are sure to be blown away when you visit Albania.
There are things to do at every time of the year — whether it is cruising along the Riviera in the springtime, bathing under the sun’s rays in the warm summer heat, or shredding fresh, crisp slopes of white dust in the dead of winter — everyone will find their joy in this truly magnificent country.
If you plan on visiting Albania or the Balkans and plan your itinerary, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding your trip or stay there. We will do our best to alleviate the stress of planning a trip to Albania.
So, now that you know how to pick the best time to go to Albania for you, we wish you safe travels.