Top destinations in Albania with incredible-albania.com? At only 11,100 square miles (28,748 square kilometres) and with a total population of just under three million people, Albania might be small, but it’s certainly not lacking in things to do and see. From the stunning beaches of the Albanian Riviera to gorgeous archaeological sites, Albania will not disappoint you. Here’s a list of the top 20 must-visit attractions in the country. The Albanian Riviera is, with the capital city Tirana, the most popular place in the country. The reason is that it is just amazing: long sandy and pebble beaches lapped by turquoise water, and lovely coastal hamlets with small Orthodox churches, cobblestoned streets and flowers everywhere. The best places to visit are Dhërmi, Drymades beach, Vuno, Qeparo and the seaside town of Himara.
The largest town in the north of Albania, Shkodra is often considered the cultural capital of the country. This is because it hosts events such as Carnival, Lake Day, the Children’s Festival and Shkodra Jazz Fest, while it is also home to a famous historic castle notable for its important role during the First Balkan War. Shkodra has a simply gorgeous lake, while the medieval citadel of Drisht is only a few miles away. The famous Migjeni theatre is in Shkodra as well, along with an ace market that is well worth visiting. Shkodra’s Malazeze cuisine is perhaps Albania’s best too.
Lying just to the north of Tirana, Kruje – or Kruja, as it is known in English – is famous for being the home city of Albania’s national hero Gjergj Skanderbeg. In the 15th century, Gjergj managed to hold out against the Ottomans for 25 years from his base in Kruje. Known as the ‘Adriatic Balcony’ by locals, the craggy mountain that looks over the city is home to the majestic Kruje Castle, which was once Skanderbeg’s base. Nowadays, there is an interesting museum about the hero as well as a fantastic 15th-century church located within its walls. The panoramic views from the castle are simply spectacular. The Old Bazaar in the center of town is just as fascinating to walk around. Nestled away amongst its atmospheric streets you’ll find some delightful little cafes and restaurants, alongside the plethora of shops selling anything from souvenirs and artisan goods to antiques and leather products. A picturesque and peaceful place, Kruje is well worth visiting for its historic sites and beautiful natural setting. The surrounding area is equally enchanting to explore, with its lakes, canyons, and mountains. Find more info on blue beaches in Albania Riviera.
One of the first things you should do in Saranda is going for a stroll on the Hasan Tahsini Boulevard. This beautiful pedestrian seaside walkway lies on the north shore of the little bay of Saranda. The boulevard offers beach access, while many bars and cafes serve a variety of drinks and snacks. There are fun markets to explore in summer, too, which are exceptional places to find souvenirs. This makes for a top-notch first impression of the city. Historically, a rather large Jewish community has called Saranda and southern Albania home for many centuries. One of the best places to visit in Saranda to explore this fascinating heritage is the old Synagogue Complex near the City Hall. This ancient building complex dates from the 5th century and once included a school and community center, along with various religious structures. After being destroyed by an earthquake, the synagogue was rebuilt as a basilica in the 6th century.
The Llogara Pass is one of Albania’s most famous places, with the road providing one of the most spectacular drives in the whole world. Located in the middle of the Llogara National Park, the road travels to over 1,000 metres above sea level and the scenery will take your breath away. At the top of the pass there is a good range of restaurants, which are ideal places to enjoy some of the most stunning sights in Albania. Llogara National Park itself is home to animals such as the golden eagle, European wildcat and fallow deer. A drive from Tirana to Saranda taking in the Llogara Pass should take a few hours, but allow plenty of extra time to stop and take lots of photographs. Find even more info at https://incredible-albania.com/.