The Best Day Trips From Tirana, Albania
There are many beautiful day trips you can make from Tirana, Albania. I have created a list of the best day trips from Tirana. There are day trips from Tirana, you can make in a few hours or a full-day.
Day trip to the Cape of Rodon from Tirana
The Cape of Rodon is one of the most beautiful natural sights close to Tirana. The cape is basically a rocky peninsula that points into the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is overgrown with beautiful nature and it is a gorgeous place.
Once you arrive at the parking ground, you must hike for about 25 minutes along a path through nature. At the end of the path, you will see the impressive Cape of Rodon. It is a perfect place to take pictures.
Afterwards, you can descent from the hill down to the Cape of Rodon. You can visit the ruins of the old castle. The castle was built by Albania’s national hero Skanderbeg. Skanderbeg was a military commander, who defended the Albanian people against the invasion from the Ottoman Turks.
Skanderbeg constructed the castle to have access to the sea, but soon after its constuction it was destroyed by the Ottomans.
Moreover, there is also a little monastery close to the Cape of Rodon, which you can explore. And there are lovely wild beaches with perfect white sand. If you would like to visit the sea and beaches, but prefer to stay away from the touristic spots, then the Cape of Rodon is perfect for you.
How to get to the Cape of Rodon from Tirana?
You can get to the Cape of Rodon from Tirana with a private car, a rental car or by booking a tour. The Cape of Rodon is about 1,5 hours from Tirana by car. You must drive along the motorway from Tirana in the direction of Durres. Get off the motorway at the Maminas village and follow the road until the end, to get to the Cape of Rodon.
Insider tip for a Day Trip to the Cape of Rodon:
If you plan a trip to the Cape of Rodon from Tirana, you can also visit the Bay of Lalzi. Lalzi is a quiet and beautiful white beach, which is located along the same road as the Cape of Rodon. It is the perfect place to relax in the late afternoon on your way back to Tirana.
Day trip to the Pellumbas Cave from Tirana
Pellumbas is a little village about 45 minutes from Tirana. In the village, you can follow a 1-hour long hiking trail to the Pellumbas Cave.
The cave and the village are off-the-beaten-path for most travellers. But definitely recommend visiting if you like to see the local Albanian culture in a small village and you enjoy hiking through nature.
From the village, you will join a hiking trail that leads by the local houses and through the forest on the mountains. There are stunning view points from the hiking trail. You will be close to the top of the mountain and you can see the Erzen river in the valley.
At the end of the hiking trail, you will get to the massive Pellumbas cave (also called: the black cave). Insider tip: At the beginning of the trail you can rent a light, with which you can explore the inside of the cave.
In short, the Pellumbas cave is a perfect place to get away from the busy world and spend some time in nature together with your friends or family.
How to get to the Pellumbas cave from Tirana?
You can get to the Pellumbas cave with a private car, rental car or by booking a tour. Unfortunately, you cannot get to the village by bus or train. From Tirana, you must drive along the road to Elbasan. The Pellumbas village is located between the two villages, and you will see a signage indicating the village.
Insider tip for a Day Trip to the Pellumbas Cave:
The Pellumbas cave is close to the Petrela castle. So if you plan on making a day trip from Tirana to the Pellumbas cave, you can combine it with a visit to the Petrela castle. Petrela is a beautiful castle on the top of the hill, with a stunning view of village and the olive groves below. Petrela is a very romantic village with turning and twisting roads, nature surrounding the road and many holiday parks.
Day trip to the Lake Koman Ferry from Tirana
By far, one of the highlights you cannot miss in Albania is the Lake Koman Ferry. Lake Koman is a beautiful mountain lake in the North of Albania. Every day, there are multiple ferry boats that cross the lake from Koman to Fierze (and reversed).
The ferry boat journey on Lake Koman is very scenic. Actually, Bradt Guides called the Lake Koman Ferry: “one of the world’s classic boat trips”.
Initially, the Lake Koman ferry was only intended as a means of transportation for the local people, who live around the lake. However, the Lake Koman Ferry was discovered by tourists, as it was such an adventurous and stunning boat journey.
Lake Koman is a very long lake, which turns and twists through the mountains. Every time, you will think that the ferry boat will run into a cliff or mountain. But then at the very last moment the lake turns in another direction, revealing another beautiful mountain landscape.
It is very popular to make a 3 day tour in the Albanian Alps, which includes the Lake Koman Ferry. On day 1, you would travel from Shkoder city to the Lake Koman Ferry and stay overnight in the Valbone village in the Albanian Alps. Then on day 2, you would hike accross the Valbone Pass to the Theth village. And on day 3, you would explore the Theth village in the Albanian Alps and travel back to Shkoder city.
However, if you do not have time for a 3 day tour of the Albanian Alps, it is possible to make a day tour to the Lake Koman ferry from Tirana. Your day would start early at 5 AM in Tirana, and you can drive to Shkoder city and from there to the Koman village to board the ferry boat. You can take the boat journey in both directions from Koman to Fierze and back. And then return to Tirana late in the day.
Day trip to the Dajti Cable Car from Tirana
One of the best day trips from Tirana, is taking the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car up Mount Dajti. The Dajti mountain is the closest mountain to the capital city Tirana. From Tirana’s city center, you can drive for about 20 minutes, to get to the cable car station.
The Austrian built cable car will take you from the lower station to a height of 1613 meters above sea-level. The cable car journey takes 15 minutes and gives you gorgeous views of the tree tops, Tirana city, local farm land and the mountain cliffs.
Once you reach the upper station of the Dajti Cable Car, you will have stunning panoramic views of Tirana city, the Adriatic Sea and Durres beach.
There is a variety of entertainment available at the Dajti balcony. You can have lunch or dinner in the Balkoni Restaurant, which is located on the top of the cliff. Or you can have a drink in the rotating bar on the 7th floor of the Dajti Tower hotel.
Moreover, there are outdoor activities like horse riding, target shooting, carting, minigolf and playgrounds. You can also visit the Dajti Adventure park and climb through the obstacle course with ziplines, nets and robes.
Or if you are looking for a more active afternoon, you can follow the hiking trail to the nearest top. The trail leads to the Tujani peak, which is 1580 meters high and it takes about 1.5 hours.
How to get to the Dajti Cable Car from Tirana?
You can get to the Dajti Cable Car from Tirana’s city center with the city bus, by car or with a taxi. The city bus departs from the bus station close to the central Skanderbeg Square. You must get on the blue bus to Porcelan and stay on the bus until the final stop. By bus it will take you approximately 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the city center, which will cost you between 700 – 1000 leke (6 – 8 euros) for a one-way trip.
Insider tip for a Day Trip to the Dajti Cable Car:
The Dajti Cable Car’s lower station is about 5 minutes from the Bunk Art 1 Museum. So if you are interested in both attractions, it makes perfect sense to combine the two sightseeing locations. The Bunk Art 1 museum is the most impressive and innovative museum in Albania. The museum is set in a massive bunker and inside you can explore Albania’s communist history.
Day trip to Berat from Tirana
A day trip from Tirana to Berat is one of the classics. Berat is a beautiful historical town, which is on the Unesco Heritage list.
The town is on the Unesco Heritage list, because it has traditional houses, which were built during the Ottoman period. The traditional houses were built on the hillside.
From the valley, you look upwards toward the hill and you will see all the little white houses stacked on top of each other. This is the reason why Berat city is also called “the city of a thousand windows”.
Within Albania, Berat is known as a “museum city”. Because you can explore the historical neighboorhoods by foot and it is like walking through a museum. The streets are layed with cobblestones and many of the traditional houses have been converted into coffee houses, restaurants and hotels.
Another highlight in Berat, is the Berat Castle (also known as: Kala Castle). The Berat Castle is an old fortress that was built on the top of the hill. From inside the castle walls, you will have the most amazing, panoramic view of the old town and the surrounding mountain landscape. Moreover, until this day some of the local people live within the castle walls.
And if you have time, I would definitely recommend visiting the Ethnographic Museum. Inside the museum, you can see a traditional house furnished. And you get to experience what life was like for a local family during the Ottoman period.
How to get to Berat from Tirana?
You can get from Tirana to Berat by bus, by taxi or with a rental car. There is no train connection. The bus from Tirana to Berat costs 400 LEK (3.50 euros) for a single journey and it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes. The bus to Berat departs from the Intercity Bus Terminal – South Zone. A taxi from Tirana to Berat costs 8290 LEK (68 euros) for a one-way trip and it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Day trip to Bunk’Art 1 from Tirana
Bunk’Art 1 is the most innovative and impressive museum in Albania. The museum is located inside a massive bunker, which has multiple rooms and corridors.
The bunker was constructed during the communist regime in Albania. Albania’s communist dictator Enver Hoxha was convinced that a foreign nuclear attack was imminent. Although the foreign attack never took place, Enver Hoxha was paranoid and he constructed thousands of bunkers all over Albania.
The large bunker, which houses the Bunk’Art 1 museum today, was supposed to accommodate Enver Hoxha and his government elite.
Entering the Bunk’Art 1 museum is both fascinating and creepy at the same time. You will walk through a thick concrete door and enter a sanitation room, designed to clean of nuclear waste. Then you walk through a long concrete corridor and you will be impressed by the scale of the bunker.
Different rooms within the bunker tell you about Albania’s turbulent communism history. You will see the fences that were built around the country, to keep the Albanian people from leaving. And you will hear the dictator speak through phones and see footage of parades.
The Bunk’Art 1 museum definitely leaves an impression and it gives you an insight into what life was like during the strickt communism regime of Albania’s past.
How to get to Bunk’Art 1 from Tirana?
The Bunk’Art 1 museum is located near the Dajti Mountain in the outskirts of Tirana. You can get to Bunk’Art 1 from Tirana’s city center with the city bus, by car or with a taxi.
The city bus departs from the bus station close to the central Skanderbeg Square. You must get on the blue bus to Porcelan and stay on the bus until the final stop. By bus it will take you approximately 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the city center, which will cost you between 700 – 1000 leke (6 – 8 euros) for a one-way trip.
Insider tip for Day Trip to Bunk’Art 1 from Tirana:
The Bunk’Art 1 museum is located close to the Dajti Cable Car station. So if you would like to plan a full-day trip, you can combine the two attractions. You can spend the morning at Bunk’Art 1 and learn about Albania’s communist history. And afterwards, you can take a more light hearted journey with the cable car and have some food whilst admiring the stunning view of Tirana city.
Day trip to Shkoder city from Tirana
Shkoder city is a large city in the North of Albania. The city is know for its artistic culture. Throughout recent years, many Albanian artists and creatives moved to Shkoder city.
The hart of the city is the Kole Idromeno Boulevard. This is the main pedestrian street in the center of the city. The street has Venetian style houses and shops on either side. There is a variety of cafes and terraces in this street, so it is the perfect place for lunch or a coffee break.
One of the most popular attractions in Shkoder city is the Rozafa Castle. The Castle of Rozafa was built on the top of a hill, and as a result it has the most amazing panoramic views of the surrounding area. From the castle, you can see the impressive rivers and the Lake of Shkoder below.
The Castle of Rozafa is most known for the legend about its construction. Apparently, a lady called Rozafa was sacrificed and built into the castle walls, to prevent the walls from breaking down.
One of the most exciting new attractions in Shkoder is the Venice Art Mask Factory. The factory produces one-of-a-kind, handicraft Venetian Masks. The Masks are exported to Venice and used during the famous Venetian carnival. The factory was started by an Albanian man, who lived in Venice for a large portion of his life. At the Venice Art Mask factory you can admire the beautiful handicraft masks and buy a mask as a souvenir.
If you would like to learn more about Albanian’s history, then you can visit the Marubi National Museum of Photography. The museum exibits a collection of historic photographs made in Albania, by three generations of photographers from the Marubi family.
And finally, just to the North of the city center of Shkoder, you can visit the Mesi Bridge. This historical bridge was constructed, when Albania was ruled by the Ottoman empire. The bridge has been preserved really well and you can walk accross its cobble stone pathway to cross the river.
How to get to Shkoder from Tirana?
You can get from Shkoder to Tirana by bus, by car or by taxi. Shkoder city is located about 2 hours to the North of Tirana. You can take a bus from the Intercity Bus Station in Tirana to travel to Shkoder. A one-way bus journey will cost you 400 LEK (3 euros). Driving from Tirana to Shkoder is quite straightforward.
From Tirana, drive in the direction of Kruje city, pass by the city of Lezha and you will reach Shkoder. The quality of the road is decent and there is regular signage along the route.
Insider tip for a Day Trip to Shkoder from Tirana:
Shkoder city is often the starting point for a journey to the Albanian Alps in the North of Albania. From Shkoder city, you can make a 3 or 4 day journey through the mountains. On day 1, you travel from Shkoder to the Theth mountain village. On day 2, you hike accross the 1800 meter high Valbone pass to the Valbone village. And on day 3, you take the Lake Koman ferry from Valbone back to Shkoder.
Although Shkoder city is often a starting point for the Albanian Alps trip, it is also a beautiful city to explore for 1 day in its own right! And if you want to explore the city center like the locals do, then you can rent a bike. Because biking is very popular in Shkoder city.
Day trip to Preza Castle from Tirana
Preza Castle is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Just like Kruje castle, Preza is a hilltop castle with an amazing panoramic view. But the main difference is that Kruje castle is a very busy touristic castle. Preza Castle on the other hand is a hidden gem, that only a handful of locals know about!
From Tirana, you can drive for about 45 minutes to reach the Preza castle. The castle is located in a very romantic hilltop village. With the car you will drive on a turning and twisting road, that leads upwards toward the castle. Along the road, you will see these gorgeous stone houses with beautiful flower gardens. The village has a very Italian feel and athmosphere.
The castle of Preza itself is mostly in ruins. You will see the castle walls surrounding the hilltop and the remains of towers. Within the castle there is a tower and a mosque.
What makes this location special though, is the absolutely breathtaking view. I have visited many of the hilltop castles in Albania, which offer a view of the area, like Berat Castle, Rozafa Castle, Petrela Castle and Kruje Castle. However, none of those views compare to Preza. At Preza, you have the kind of view, that you can look at for hours.
Preza castle is for you, if you enjoy travelling off-the-beaten-path. If you prefer to stay away from the touristic spots, then I recommend you skip Kruje Castle and go to Preza Castle instead.
Another good reason to visit Preza castle is to have a relaxing day. Let’s say you spend a coupe of days visiting the historical cities and UNESCO sights, and you want to have a relaxing day with a good book, then Preza is the ideal place!
How to get to Preza Castle from Tirana?
You can get to Preza Castle from Tirana by car or with a taxi. Preza is located at about a 45 minute drive from Tirana. From Tirana, you must follow the highway in the direction of Durres. You must leave the highway at Vore. There is a signage indicating the Preza village on your left hand side.
Day trip to the Bay of Lalzi from Tirana
If you are looking for an amazing beach close to Tirana, then the Bay of Lalzi is an absolute must!
Albania has many gorgeous beaches in the Albanian Riviera. However, the closest beach in the Albanian Riviera is a 3-hour drive from Tirana. Therefore, many people staying in Tirana choose to go to Durres beach, which is only 45 minutes from Tirana.
However, Durres is a big coastal town, with many hotels, restaurants, night clubs and restaurants. Although Durres offers beach, it is covered with beach chairs and numerous tourists. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a vibrant, big coastal town, then Durres is great.
However, for the people who prefer to visit an unspoiled, wild beach, the Bay of Lalzi is the answer. The Bay of Lalzi does not have any hotels, night clubs or facilities. Instead the beach itself is surrounded by pinetrees. Apart from a little wooden shack, which serves as a restaurant, the Bay of Lalzi does not offer any facilities.
The beauty of the Bay of Lalzi is its nature. Here you can go for an undisturbed walk on the beach. And spend your afternoon wondering, why nobody knows about this beautiful place.
In short, if you are looking for a beautiful beach, which is close to Tirana. And you prefer a wild, quiet and unspoiled beach, then the Bay of Lalzi should be on the top of your list.
How to get to the Bay of Lalzi from Tirana?
You can get to the Bay of Lalzi from Tirana by car or by taxi. From Tirana, you must take the highway in the direction of Durres. Leave the highway at Maminas and follow the road towards the coast. There is signage indicating the Bay of Lalzi (Gjiri i Lalzit) along the road. From Tirana, it will take you approximately 45 minutes to drive to the Bay of Lalzi.
Day trip to Apollonia from Tirana
Apollonia is an impressive archaeological park in the center of Albania. At Apollonia, you can see the ruins of an Ancient city.
In the ancient times, Apollonia was an important Greek & Roman city. The city was founded by the Greek Colonists from Corfu and Corinth in 588 BC. Although Apollonia was founded by the Greeks, it was during the Roman period that the city of Apollonia really flourished.
In the 4th century AD, the city of Apollonia became an important city with a great economy. The city was one of the gateways to the Via Egnatia, which was an important trade route in the Balkans during the Roman empire. Because Apollonia was located on this important trade route, it became a well-known trade center.
Apollonia was also known for its famous school of philosophy, where many well-known and public figures during the Roman empire studied. Cicero, who was a famous public speaker during the Roman empire, called Apollonia “a great and important city”.
In the 19th century, the ruins of Apollonia were re-discovered. As a result, the ruins became an archaeological park and a touristic attraction.
The most impressive ruin is the Buleuterion. The Buleuterion has impressive stone pillars, which are larger than life. You will truly feel small when you stand below these impressive pillars. Other highlights are the Roman theatre and the museum, which is located inside the monastery.
How to get to Apollonia from Tirana?
You can get to Apollonia from Tirana by car, by taxi or by bus. Apollonia is located just outside the town Fier, which is in the center of Albania. From Tirana, it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive to Fier. If you wish to travel by bus, you can get on the bus at the Intercity Bus Terminal in Kamez.
Insider Tip for a Day Trip to Apollonia from Tirana:
If you plan to go on a day trip from Tirana to Apollonia, I would recommend leaving in the early morning. Apollonia is best visited in the early morning, because it can get very hot in the afternoon in the summer months. And because there is little shade on side, it is hard to escape the heat, whilst visiting the ruins. Moreover, if you visit Apollonia in the morning, you can drive onwards to Vlore beach in the afternoon, to relax and swim.
Day trip to Gjirokaster from Tirana
Gjirokaster is a historical city with beautiful stone houses, that were built during the Ottoman empire. Due to the well-preserved traditional houses, the historical center of Gjirokaster is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The most impressive attraction in Gjirokaster is the hill-top Gjirokaster Castle. The castle was constructed on the top of the hill and it has a breath-taking view of the historical city below. The old town center was built on the hillside, so the best place to get a good overview of the city is from inside the castle’s walls.
Another great way to explore Gjirokaster’s history is by exploring the inside of one of the historical houses. Two well-preserved and fully furnished houses are open to the public; Zekate House and Skenduli House. The houses are owned by the descendents of the original owners. Both houses give you a unique look into the life of a rich family during the Ottoman empire.
Furthermore, if you are interested in exploring Albania’s communist history, then I would recommend visiting the Cold War Tunnel. The Cold War Tunnel was constructed by Albania’s former dictator Enver Hoxha. The former dictator was convinced that a foreign attack was imminent, and therefore he constructed thousands of bunkers all accross Albania. The Cold War Tunnel is a large 59 room complex intended to house government elite, during the foreign attack, that never took place.
Within Gjirokaster’s Castle, you can expore the Museum of Weapons. This museum is located inside the former prison, that was constructed by Albania’s king Zog in 1932. The prison was consequtively used by the Italians and German forces during the Second World War. And later on by the communist regime. Within the museum you can admire arms used during Albania’s independence struggle and against the Italian and German occupations.
And finally, if you simply enjoy strolling through the historical city center, you must visit the Old Bazaar Market. In this historical market street, you can visit one-of-a-kind shops with handicraft items and souvenirs. It is a great way to end a lovely visit to this historical city.
How to get to Gjirokaster from Tirana?
You can get to Gjirokaster from Tirana by bus, by car or by taxi. Gjirokaster is located in the South of Albania. By car or bus, it will take you approximately 4 hours, if you are starting from Tirana. It is therefore possible to make a day-trip to Gjirokaster, if you leave Tirana in the early morning. The bus to Gjirokaster departs from the Intercity Bus Terminal in the Kamez district of Tirana. A one-way journey by bus costs 1000 LEK (8 euros).
Insider Tip for a Day Trip to Gjirokaster from Tirana:
Instead of a 1-day trip to Gjirokaster, you can also plan a 2-day trip and stay overnight in Gjirokaster or Saranda. The advantage is that you get to explore other highlights close to Gjirokaster. The sightseeing destinations close to Gjirokaster are the Blue Eye of Albania, Ksamil beach & islands and Butrint UNESCO sight.
Day trip to Petrela from Tirana
The Petrela village is a very romantic village close to Tirana, with an impressive castle located on the hilltop.
If you are staying in Tirana’s city center and you are looking for a relaxing day-trip, then you might really like visiting the Petrela village.
When you drive to the village, you will pass through a turning and twisting road with many mom-and-pop owned resorts. There are little restaurants, swimming pools and hotels everywhere along the route. The entire village has a very romantic feel as it is surrounded by olive groves everywhere you look.
On the top of the mountain, you can visit the Petrela castle, which was built on a massive rock. The castle served as a part of Albania’s defense against the invasion of the Ottoman Turks. Albania’s national hero Skanderbeg used a series of castles in the area and Petrela Castle was one of them.
The castle has a lovely coffee house inside its walls, which is a great place to enjoy the view and take lovely photos.
How to get to Petrela from Tirana?
The only way to get to Petrela from Tirana is by car or with a taxi. The Petrela village is close to Tirana, it is only a 25 minute drive from Tirana’s city center.
Insider Tip for a Day Trip to Petrela from Tirana:
If you are planning a day-trip to Petrela from Tirana, you may want to consider combining Petrela with a visit to the Pellumbas Cave. Both destinations are located close to each other and can be explored in about 3 hours each.
Day trip to Kruja from Tirana
Kruje is a classic day-trip destination from Tirana. The Kruje village is located about 45-minutes from Tirana’s city center and it has a gorgeous hill-top castle.
The main attaction in the Kruje village is the Castle of Kruja. This impresive hill-top castle has the most breath-taking view of the surrounding areas. From the Castle, you can see Tirana city, the Kruje village, the airport, Durres beach and the Adriatic Sea.
Within Albania, the town of Kruje is famous as the home of Albania’s national hero Skanderbeg. Skanderbeg was a military commander, who defended the Albanian people against the invasion of the Ottoman empire. Most importantly, Skanderbeg was able to unite the local leaders in Albania, in order to defend themselves against the Ottoman invasion.
Inside the castle of Kruje, you can visit the Skanderbeg museum, which is dedicated to Albania’s national hero.
Another interesting sight within the Castle of Kruje is the Ethnographic Museum. The Ethnographic Museum is essentially a traditional Albanian house. Inside the museum, you can get a unique insight into the life of a rich family during the Ottoman empire.
And finally, there is a lovely traditional Bazaar Market on the road leading towards the Castle of Kruje. The traditional shops sell a variety of souvenirs and handicraft items. Moreover, there are lovely cafes as well, where you can enjoy Albania’s coffee culture.
How to get to Kruje from Tirana?
You can get to Kruje from Tirana by bus, by car or by taxi. By bus, it will take you roughly an hour to get to Kruje. The bus departs from the Intercity Bus Terminal in Kamez. It is also easy to drive from Tirana to Kruje, there is clear signage along the route.
Insider Tip for a day trip to Kruje from Tirana:
Close to Kruje, you can visit the Cave of Sarisalltik. The mountain cave of Sarisalltik is a religious location in Albania. Pilgrims hike up to the cave, because the journey has a sacred meaning for them.
The cave of Sarisalltik is at a height of 1176 meters and it has the most amazing view of the surrounding landscape. Inside the cave, you can visit the fountain of holy water, the first Albanian mosque and the grave of Sarisalltik, who was a religious leader. You can have a coffee at the cafe and enjoy the stunning views.
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
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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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