How many days should I spend in Albania?

One of the questions, I get asked a lot is: “How many days should I spend in Albania?”. So I decided to write a helpful blogpost explaining how many days I recommend you spend in each Albanian city or sightseeing place.

How many days should I spend in Albania? You should spend 10 days in Albania, if you want to see all the highlights. The highlights are: Tirana (1 day), Kruje (1 day), Apollonia & Berat (1 day combined), Albanian Riviera (1 days), Butrint & Ksamil (1 day combined), Blue Eye and Gjirokaster (1 day combined), Shkoder (1 day), Lake Koman (1 day), Theth (1 night), Valbone (1 night).

Obviously, the amount of days you should spend in each Albanian place, completely depends on your interests and preferences. So let me get into detail about the different highlights, so that you can make up your own mind.

How many days do I need for each tourist attraction in Albania?

Let me give you a quick overview of the number of days you should spend at each of the tourist attractions in Albania.

How many days should I spend in Tirana, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day in Tirana. During your 1 x day in Tirana, I recommend you combine the top 3 highlights in Tirana.

The top sightseeing spots in Tirana are:
1) The Bunk’Art 1 Bunker Museum (2.5 hours)
2) The Dajti Express Cable Car (3 hours)
3) A walking tour of the city center of Tirana (3 hours)

Bunk’Art 1 is a museum inside a massive communist bunker. This innovative and impressive museum is always the top 1 rated attraction in Albania on TripAdvisor.

You can visit the museum in about 1.5 hour and combined with the 20 minute taxi drive from the city center it takes approximately 2.5 hours in total.

The Dajti Express is a cable car on the outskirts of Tirana. The cable car ride takes approximately 15 minutes and takes you accross treetops, farmhouses, lakes and mountain cliffs. When you reach the top, you have a panoramic view of Tirana city from the mountain balcony.

Apart from the stunning view, you can enjoy the recreational park on the mountain balcony. You will need 20 minutes for the taxi ride from the city center and around 3 hours to enjoy this attraction.

And finally, I recommend going on a walking tour in the city center of Tirana for approximately 3 hours. You can even do this on your arrival day, after you have checked into your hotel and refreshed yourself.

During the walking tour, you can visit the main Skanderbeg Square, the main government street, the Murat Toptani Street, the Blokku area, the New Bazaar Market and the Grand Park of Tirana.

How many days should I spend in Berat, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day in Berat. During your 1 x day in Berat, I recommend you combine the top 3 highlights in Berat.

The top 3 x recommendations for Berat are:
1) The Castle of Berat (2 hours)
2) Explore the historical neighbourhoods: Mangalem & Gorica (2 hours)
3) Lunch with a view (2 hours)

If you have limited time in Albania, I absolutely recommend you visit Berat city. Berat is a historical city, which is also an UNESCO Heritage Site. But most of all, it is just a very pretty and beautiful town with a very “Italian” and “Romantic” feel.

The number one highlight in Berat is the Castle of Berat. The castle of Berat is located on the top of the hill, and therefore, it has a stunning panoramic view. Inside the castle, there is the Kala neighbourhood, which means that people have their house and live inside the castle. Which makes the castle feel happy and alive!

Berat also has two beautiful old neighbourhoods, called Mangalem and Gorica. When you are standing in the valley, you will see all the little white houses that were built on the slope of the hill. The two neighbourhoods are separated by a beautiful blue river and a lovely foot bridge. Stroll around the old town center and buy some handicraft items.

My third recommendation is having a lunch with a view. The Mangalem neighbourhood is the most beautiful part of Berat town. So I recommend you visit the Gorica neighbourhood, which is directly opposite. Have a seat on one of the terraces in Gorica to have a lazy lunch with a stunning view. Insider tip: Antigoni Restaurant in the Gorica Quarter in Berat is absolutely amazing!

How many days should I spend in Apollonia, Albania?

You should spend 2 hours at Apollonia in Albania. If you would like to visit Apollonia, I recommend you combine Apollonia and Berat into one day.

Visit the Apollonia archaeological park in the early morning before it gets hot and then drive onwards to Berat to explore the Castle of Berat and the historical neighbourhoods.

Apollonia is an archaeological park, where you can see the ruins of an ancient Greek and Roman city. According to the Roman speechwriter Cicero, Apollonia used to be “a great and important city”.

Centuries ago, Apollonia was a famous economic and trade center. Because Apollonia used to be gateway to the famous “Via Egnatia”, which was an important Roman traderoute through the Balkans.

Apollonia was also known for its famous school of philopsopy where Roman Emperor Augustus and statesman Agrippas studied.

Nowadays, you can walk through the historical central street of ancient Apollonia. The archaeological findings have clear explanations and with some imagination, you can feel what a grant city Apollonia used to be.

The most impressive is the Bouleterion, which was the meeting place of the city council. The Bouleterion has massive pillars on the entrance and when you stand there and look up, it makes you feel really small.

How many days should I spend in Kruje, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day in Kruje. During your 1 x day in Kruje, I recommend you combine the top 4 highlights in Kruje.

The top sightseeing spots in Kruje are:
1) The Castle of Kruje (1 hour)
2) The Skanderbeg Museum (1 hour)
3) The Ethnographic Museum of Kruje (1 hour)
4) The Old Bazaar Market (1 hour)

The main highlight of the Kruje village is the castle. The Castle of Kruje is located on a hilltop 608 meters above sea level and it has an amazing panoramic view. In the valley, you can see Tirana city, the Kruje village, the airport, lakes and greenery. And in the distance you will see the hills and the Adriatic Sea.

Inside the Castle of Kruje, you can visit the Skanderbeg Museum. Skanderbeg is Albania’s national hero. Basically, he was an epic military commander. And when the Ottoman Turks wanted to invade Albania, he was able to resist for 25 years. He also united the different Albanian tribes and brought them together in their resistance against the Ottoman Turks.

The Etnographic Museum of Kruje is also located inside the Castle of Kruje. It is basically a historic house from the 18th century, which has been turned into a museum. Inside the museum, you get an unique insight into what life was like for a rich Albanian family during the Ottoman Empire.

Then, after visiting the castle and the museums, you can stroll through the Old Bazaar Market. The market is 450 years old and completely in Turkish Ottoman Style. On the marketplace, you can buy lovely handicraft items, like olive wooden bowls, turkish coffee cups, handwoven carpets, embroidered wallets, handmade jewelery and much more.

Insider tip! If you still have time at the end of your visit to Kruje, I recommend you drive up to Sarisalltik. Sarisalltik is a viewpoint on the top of the mountain. You will have a mesmerizing view from a height of 1176 meters above sea level!

How many days should I spend in the Albanian Riviera?

You should spend 1 x day driving along the Albanian Riviera. Basically, the Albanian Riviera is a 120 meter long stretch of coastline between Vlore Beach and Saranda Beach.

You can reach all the beaches of the Albanian Riviera by driving along the coastal road between Vlore and Saranda. So I recommend you spend 1 x day driving along this coastal road and you make stops along the way to see the highlights.

The top sightseeing spots along the Albanian Riviera are:
1) Zvernec island (30 minutes stop)
2) Llogara Pass (30 minutes stop)
3) Dhermi beach (1 hour stop)
4) Jale beach (1 hour stop)
5) The Castle of Ali Pasha in the Bay of Porto Palermo (30 minutes stop)

Zvernec island is my favorite spot in Albania. It is a tiny island of only 430 meters in length and 300 meters in width. And the island is connected to the mainland by a 270 meter long wooden bridge. It is a very picturesque location and very quiet. You can cross the bridge and visit the little Zvernec monastery, which dates back to the 13th century.

The Llogara Pass is the highest point on the coastal road, that leads along the Albanian Riviera. The pass is 1043 meters above sea level. There is a lovely restaurant at the Llogara Pass with floor-to-ceiling windows, which is a perfect place for a coffee. You can take in the impressive view of the Ionian Sea and the coastline below.

Dhermi beach is easily the most popular and vibrant beach in Albania. In the summer, it attracts a young and cool crowd. It is a lovely beach and if you walk further along the coast, you can visit the hidden Drymades beach. Both Dhermi and Drymades come highly recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook.

Jale beach has the clearest seawater you have ever seen in your life! Of course, there are many lovely beaches along the Albanian Riviera, but be sure not to miss out on Jale beach, because it is a highlight.

And finally, the main sightseeing attraction in the Albanian Riviera is the Castle of Ali Pasha in the Bay of Porto Palermo. The Castle of Ali Pasha is a triangular castle on a little peninsula. The little island is connected to the mainland via a narrow strip of land. You can visit the castle and stand on the roof top for a breathtaking view of the Bay of Porto Palermo.

How many days should I spend in Ksamil, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day on Ksamil beach. Ksamil beach is the most beautiful beach in the Albanian Riviera. Therefore, the Albanian people call it “the pearl of the Albanian Riviera”.

Basically, Ksamil is a paradise-like beach all the way in the South of Albania. The beach is on a little peninsula with wooden shutters leading into the sea. The beach has perfect white sand and turqoise green water.

But the main reason why Ksamil beach is so popular, is because of the four little islands. From the beach, you can swim or kayak to the four little islands. None of the islands are inhabited and they are overgrown with wild nature. The highlight are the twin islands, which are connected to each other via a narrow strip of land.

I recommend spending 1 day driving along the Albanian Riviera and 1 x day on the beach. The driving day will be a long day, so it is great to plan a day to relax afterwards.

Or if you like to combine sightseeing with beach time, you can visit the Butrint UNESCO park in the morning and spend your afternoon on Ksamil beach. Scroll down for more information about Butrint.

How many days should I spend in Butrint, Albania?

You should spend 2 hours at Butrint. I actually recommend you visit Butrint in the morning for 2 hours, and afterwards, you spend your afternoon on Ksamil beach to relax. Because Butrint and Ksamil are located along the same road, close to each other.

Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Essentially, it is a very impressive archaeological park. Inside the archaeological park, you can see ruins from the Greek empire, the Roman empire, a bishopric, the Byzantine empire and the Venetian occupacion.

But what makes Butrint really special is the combination of monuments and nature. The archeological park is set on a little peninsula surrounded by bright blue water. You basically walk through a wild nature park and on-route you see the ruins. It is like an exploration or adventure in the nature.

Even if, you are not usually interested in history or archaeology, I still highly recommend you visit Butrint for about 2 hours. Because Butrint is an absolute highlight.

How many days should I spend at the Blue Eye of Albania?

You should spend 2 hours at the Blue Eye of Albania. I recommend that you visit the Blue Eye of Albania in the morning, and afterwards, you spend your afternoon in Gjirokaster city. Because the Blue Eye of Albania and Gjirokaster city are located along the same road and are close to each other.

The Blue Eye of Albania is really something unique. Essentially, the Blue Eye of Albania is a fresh water spring. What makes it this fresh water spring special, is its magical bright blue colour.

The spring is a natural sightseeing attraction. It is called the Blue Eye, because the fresh water spring looks like a human eye. Basically, the bright blue water resembles the iris of a human eye and the dark underwater cave resembles the pupil.

If you travel to the South of Albania, you absolutely must visit the Blue Eye of Albania. Because it is something you cannot see anywhere else in the world.

How many days should I spend in Gjirokaster, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day in Gjirokaster. And I recommend combining a visit to Gjirokaster city with a visit to the Blue Eye of Albania.

Most tourists stay overnight in Saranda city. So when you drive from Saranda to Gjirokaster, you will see the Blue Eye is located along the road to Gjirokaster. Therefore, it only makes sense to combine the two attractions.

Gjirokaster is a UNESCO World Heritage city. Basically, Gjirokaster has a beautiful historical town center with old stone houses. The stone houses of Gjirokaster date back to the period that Albania was a part of the massive Ottoman-Turkish empire. And Gjirokaster shows the typical building style that was used during that period.

The top sightseeing spots in Gjirokaster are:
1) Gjirokaster Castle (2 hours)
2) Zekate House or Skenduli House (1 hour)
3) Old Bazaar of Gjirokaster (1 hour)

Gjirokaster Castle is a massive castle on the top of the hill, which overlooks the entire historic city center. It is one of the biggest hilltop castles in the Balkans. And it is the one must-see attraction in Gjirokaster that you cannot miss.

The castle was originally built in the 12th century by the Byzantine government, but it was changed and expanded during the Ottoman Empire and the rule of King Zog. It was also used as a prison from 1930 onwards.

The next best place to visit in Gjirokaster is either Skenduli House or Zekate House. Both of these houses are traditional family houses. Inside you can see what life was like for a rich family during the Ottoman Empire.

You can see the original decor and the luxuries that well-off families had in 300 years ago. What I like most about these is that you get to experience their house, which is very different than a traditional museum.

And finally, I recommend visiting the Old Bazaar Market of Gjirokaster. The Old Bazaar of Gjirokaster is the traditional market place in Gjirokaster. The bazaar was originally build in the Middle Ages.

There are a variety of craftsmen shops, souvenir shops and coffee houses along the Bazaar. You can buy handmade wooden pieces, handwoven rugs and delicate lace items. The street of the Bazaar is made of cobblestones and it set on a steep hillside.

How many days should I spend in Shkoder, Albania?

You should spend 1 x day in Shkoder. During your 1 x day in Shkoder, I recommend you combine the top 4 highlights in Shkoder.

The top sightseeing spots in Shkoder are:
1) Rozafa Castle (2 hours)
2) The Mesi Bridge (30 minutes)
3) The Kole Idromeno Street (1 hour)
4) The Lake of Shkoder (2 hour)

Shkoder city is known as the artistic and cultural city of Albania. For travellers, Shkoder is very often seen as a starting point for a hiking trip in the Albanian Alps. However, Shkoder is a beautiful city its own right and definitely worth a 1 x day trip!

The main highlight of Shkoder is Rozafa Castle. Rozafa Castle is a hilltop castle, which has an amazing view of the surrounding areas. From the castle you can see three rivers Kir, Drin and Buna and Shkoder Lake in the distance.

The castle used to be Venetian city part of the “Republic of Venice”, who used to have trading colonies in North Albania and Montenegro. But mostly, the castle is known for its fascinating legend!

The Mesi Bridge is an old bridge, that was built when Albania was a part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The bridge dates back to the 18th century and it is the longest Ottoman Bridge in the Balkans. You can walk accross the cobblestone footbridge for a beautiful view of the bright blue river below.

The Kole Idromeno street is the central boulevard in the city center of Shkoder. Kole Idromeno used to be a famous Albanian painter, who lived in Venice for many years. On his return to Albania he painted the city Shkoder with a romantic and Italian athmosphere.

Recently, the Kole Idromeno street has been renovated to match the vision of Kole Idromento. The boulevard has Venetian style buildings, lovely cobblestones and little terraces.

The Lake of Shkoder is a great place to sit down, relax and enjoy the view. Drive to the south of Shkoder to the little village of Shiroke. The village has a lovely boulevard by the water with many restaurants, that offer a great view of the lake.

How many days should I spend in Valbone, Albania?

You should spend 1 x night in Valbone. Actually, if you do want to travel to Valbone, you must stay at least 1 night, because it requires a full day of travelling one way.

Valbone is a little mountain village in the Albanian Alps in the North of Albania. Valbone is mostly known for the famous “hike across the Valbone Pass”.

Basically, hikers go on a 3 day and 2 night journey to the Albanian Alps. On day 1, the trip starts in Shkoder city. From Shkoder, you take a bus or car to the Lake Koman Ferry. After the ferry, you take another bus or car to the Valbone village. You stay overnight in the Valbone village.

Then on day two, you start from the Valbone village and hike across the 1800 meter high Valbone Pass. Depending on how fast you hike it will take you between 6-8 hours, so it is a full-day of hiking. At the end of the trail, you end up in the Theth villlage, where you stay overnight. And on the third day, you drive from the Theth village back to Shkdoder city.

What it comes down to, is whether you want to hike across the Valbone Pass or not. If the big hike is not for you, you can make a separate trip to Theth for 1 night and a separate trip with the Lake Koman Ferry for 1 day. And thereby you avoid the Valbone village and the Valbone Pass.

How many days should I spend at Lake Koman, Albania?

You should spend 1 day on the Lake Koman Ferry. Actually, if you do want to take the Lake Koman Ferry, it is always 1 full day. You really don’t have any other choice.

The Lake Koman Ferry departs only once a day at 9AM from Koman. Which means you must depart Tirana at 5AM or Shkoder at 7AM in order to get on the ferry boat on time. The boat journey from Koman to Fierze takes 3 hours.

Then in Fierze, you have a choice. You can take a bus from Fierze to Valbone. In this case you will arrive in Valbone in the evening, so you have travelled a full day to get to Valbone.

Or you can take the boat back from Fierze to Koman, which means you arrive in Koman around 3PM and drive back 2 hours to Shkoder or 4 hours to Tirana.

Regardless of how you decide to craft your itinerary, it will take you 1 full day of travelling.

I must say that the Lake Koman Ferry is an absolute highlight. Lake Koman is very much like a very long river that turns and twists through the mountains. And every time the ferry boat turns a corner, you are able to enjoy another breathtaking view.

Bradt Guides even described the boat trip on Lake Koman as “one of the World Greatest boatrips”. So even if you have limited time in Albania, it is absolutely worth spending a full day on the ferry boat!

How many days should I spend in Theth, Albania?

You should spend 1 x night in Theth. If you want to visit Theth, you simply must stay 1 night. Because Theth is located in the mountains, it requires a 3 – 3.5 hour drive on a mountain road with a 4 wheel drive. Moreover, you will need time to hike to the Blue Eye of Albania and to hike to the Waterfall.

The top sightseeing spots in Theth are:
1) The Blue Eye of Theth (8 hours if you hike from Theth or 4 hours if you combine driving and hiking)
2) The Grunas Waterfall (2 hours)
3) The Church of Theth & the Lock-in Tower (1 hour)

The Blue Eye of Theth is a natural mountain pool which is filled by a little waterfall. The natural pool is surrounded by cliffs and wild nature. The Blue Eye of Theth is without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural sights in Albania.

The Grunas Waterfall is a 25 meter high waterfall in the mountains of Theth. On the bottom of the waterfall, there is an emeralt green pool. There is almost always a rainbow at the waterfall.

You definitely need to ensure you leave early for your trip to Theth, because you need sufficient time to visit the Blue Eye of Theth and the Grunas Waterfall.

If you want to hike to the Blue Eye of Theth from the Theth village, it will be 3 hours of hiking along the road and the river. And then 1 hour of hiking through the mountains on an actual mountain trail. So for a return trip it will take you 8 hours.

If you take a taxi, you skip the first 3 hours of hiking. And you only hike for 1 hour to the Blue Eye of Theth and 1 hour back. So the return trip will take you 3-4 hours in total.

The waterfall is only about 45 minutes from the village of Theth, so it will take you roughly 2 hours for a return trip.

In the evening or the early morning, you can explore the Theth village. The main highlights are the Church of Theth and the Lock-in Tower. This will take you about 1 hour to explore.

About me

About me

I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon

Welcome to Albania!

I am a Tour Guide in Albania

I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania.

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