Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel To Albania

EuropeAlbaniaHow To Travel To Albania

By plane

The “Mother Teresa” International Airport in Tirana is just 15 minutes away. Numerous European flag airlines, including British Airways, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Austrian, and the low-cost carriers Germanwings and Belle Air, service it. In 2007, a new, bigger, and more contemporary terminal opened. In 2012, a tourist information center was built.

You may order a cab with MerrTaxi Tirana online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for €10,99. To summon a cab, dial 0800 5555 from anywhere in the country. The international cab number is +355 67400 6610.

There are also many taxis available at the airport exit 24 hours a day, seven days a week to transport you to the city. Taxis to the city center cost between €11 and €15. (1500 – 2000 Lek). Taxi fees to other places may be seen here.

Rinas Express is a bus that operates every hour between the airport and Skanderberg Square. It costs 350 lek each way and departs every hour from both the airport and Skanderberg Square. It operates from about 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The journey takes around 25-30 minutes. To locate the bus stop, go towards the parking lot from the airport exit doors, past the taxi touts. The bus stop in Skanderberg Square lies at the northwest corner, near other bus stops. The bus is not only timely, but sometimes occasionally early, so arrive a few minutes early. Don’t be put off by the lack of signage stating “airport” or any variant of it at the Skanderberg Square stop. “Rinas” denotes that the bus is heading to the airport. If in doubt, ask the locals, who will gladly guide you in the right direction.

Another less expensive and more comfortable method to visit the Albanian Riviera in Southern Albania is to fly to Corfu and then take the hydrofoil to Saranda.

By train

Albania cannot be entered or exited by rail. There are, however, trains that run across the nation. Despite the fact that the service is restricted, the cost is low. Due to the shutdown of the capital’s sole train station, there is no direct service to Tirana. Tirana is now serviced by the rebuilt Kashar station, which is situated 10 kilometers west of the city.

By bus

Tirana can be reached by coach from

  • Istanbul, Turkey (20hr, €35 one-way)
  • Athens, Greece (12 hr, €30-35)
  • Tetovo, Republic of Macedonia (7 hr, € 15)
  • Prishtina, Kosovo (4,5 hr, € 10 )

There is currently a regular bus service between Ulcinj, Montenegro, and Shkoder, Greece. There is also a shared cab (minibus) service from Ulcinj’s parking lot adjacent to the market. It departs at 1PM and costs €5; it takes 1.5 hours. The stop is not signposted, and reservations may only be made by locating the driver in the café near the parking lot’s corner. Ask around and be persistent, since not everyone in the area is aware of this. There are additional scheduled buses from Kotor to Tirana that stop at Podgorica (at 10:45 a.m.) and Shkoder.

There are also regular buses from Ioannina to the border at Kakavia (9 per day, €5.70, 1 hour). It’s just a short walk between the Greek and Albanian checkpoints from there. Just don’t be late, since the furgon (minibus) to Gjirokastra won’t wait for one more passenger, forcing you to negotiate with predatory taxi drivers. You may purchase a bus ticket to Atens, Greece, or anyplace in between in Gjirokaster. The buses are modern, inexpensive, and air conditioned, and they make stops near petrol stations.

By boat

  • Ferries to Durres depart from Bari (9 hours, €50) and Ancona (19 hours, €70). From Bari, a high-speed service (3 hours, €60) is available.
  • Skenderbeg Lines and European Seaways have also been operating two dependable overnight ferry trips from Brindisi to Vlore since May 2015.
  • Every day, ferries go from Corfu to Saranda.
  • European Seaways re-established a ferry service between Brindisi and Shengjin in June 2015, running twice a week throughout the summer.

By car

You may drive to Albania from anywhere in the world, passing via important cities in neighboring countries such as:

  • Podgorica, Montenegro
  • Ohrid, Macedonia
  • Prizren, Kosovo
  • Thessaloniki, Greece Thessaloniki is far away from Albania
  • Ioannina, Greece

To enter the country, make sure your International Motor Insurance Card is valid for Albania (AL), as well as the Vehicle Registration and a Power of Attorney from the owner if the vehicle is not yours. The border guards are very rigorous about allowing vehicles to through without these papers.

The road connecting Ioannina, Greece and Tirana, Albania (E853/SH4) is of adequate condition. The construction work between Tepelene and Fier is almost complete. The new section between Rrogozhine and Durres is also almost finished. This is the primary north-south road between Montenegro with Greece.

The road between Struga, Macedonia, and Tirana (E852/SH3) is of adequate condition. Because there are a lot of slow moving cars along the twisty hilly road, additional care is required, particularly around bends and while overtaking. A new highway is being built between Elbasan and Tirana.

The road between Prizren (Kosovo) and Tirana (Albania) (E851/A1/SH5) is of comparable quality to that seen in other areas of Europe. Some bridges near the Kosovo border should be avoided since they have not been expanded, and uncontrolled entry points are becoming hazardous. Also, be aware that cows roam free on the highway: there is no fencing, and they use the highway to return home before nightfall.

The road between Shkoder (Montenegro’s border) and Tirana (E762/SH1) is passable for driving, however there are a number of slow moving vehicles and uncontrolled access points, so additional care is required, particularly while overtaking. As of 2012, a section of the road between Milot and Thumane has been upgraded to dual carriageway standards.

Albania has two border crossings with Montenegro in the north. The small, winding route between Ulcinj, Montenegro, and Shkoder through Muriqan/Sukobin (E851/SH41) is mostly utilized by locals. The new Montenegrin stretch near the Albanian border was finished in 2014. However, it is worth a shot to escape the heavier traffic on the recently constructed major route (E762/SH1) between Hani Hotit and Shkoder. Ask any police officer in Shkoder to guide you in the correct way. They are polite, helpful, and pleasant.

By taxi

Albania is a tiny nation geographically, and as such, it is easy to depart by taxi.

It costs approximately 5 euros to take a cab from downtown Pogradec to the Macedonian border at Sveti Naum (and less than 10 minutes). After completing the Albanian departure formalities, go about.5km down the road to the Macedonian border check. The lovely Sveti Naum church is nearby, and from there you may take a bus north around the lake to Ohrid (110 denars). (prices as of April 2010)

A cab from Ulcinj, Montenegro, to Shkoder, Albania, costs approximately €30. It takes one hour. You won’t have to change at the border since the cab will take you all the way there. (June 2010 pricing)

Some taxis will drive you into Greece, but most will only take you as far as Ioannina.