Your ultimate Albania Travel Itinerary [2 weeks] takes you on a round trip through one of my favourite European countries, and the best part of my Balkan trip. (Read all about the complete Balkan itinerary: 5 to 6 weeks). I would recommend to spend around 2 to 3 weeks discovering this beautiful country. This itinerary covers: Shkodra, Lake Koman, Valbona, Theth, Tirana, Berat and the Albanian Riviera.
As we were arriving from Montenegro, we took a minibus from Kotor to Shkodra. There are also busses from Tirana, in case you are coming from the capital.
Shkodra is the perfect place to start a 4 nights – 5 day round trip to visit the Albanian Alps. The stories we heard about Shkodra were far from positive and I wasn’t looking forward to ‘have’ to spend 2 nights here, only because of a day hike. However, I was positively surprised!
When in Shkodra, we had dinner in restaurant Elita, one of the ‘most expensive’ restaurants in Shkodra, but it offers good quality for a decent price. For pizza, we loved Fontana, where you can also enjoy a drink on the terrace. For another drink or bite, I recommend Rasputin Bistro.
I was really looking forward to this boat ride towards Fierza and therewith Valbona. We booked our transport at a small booking office in Shkodra (Tourist Information at North of Albania Travel – you can find the trip here), which arranged a pick up in the morning to arrive at the ferry on time, a ferry ticket and transport from the Fierza to Valbona. Read everything you need to know about this ferry ride in my Lake Koman Travel Guide.
The boat trip through Lake Koman, took us to Valbona, where we rested to start our day hike to Theth the next day. This hike was such a great experience, that I wrote this full report: Valbona to Theth day hike.
The next day, we requested a mini bus back to Shkodra. To not stress and move on too quickly to a new location, we stayed another night at the same hotel, also because this gave us the chance to leave everything we didn’t need for these 2 nights – and therefore hiked with a lighter backpack.
The capital of Albania, a capital with a lot of history. Naturally, Tirana can’t miss in an Albanian Travel Itinerary. Just a couple of quick tips: Walk to Skanderbeg Square, visit BunkArt, do not miss the pyramid and discover the best neighbourhood Blloku.
Have lunch at Salt Restaurant and a drink at Radio Bar, just to name some highlights. Did you know there are is no McDonalds in Albania, but they have their own alternative called Kolonat?
The city of a thousand windows and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It wasn’t my favourite place of Albania, although the view on the city is great. To me, 1 night would have been enough, as there is not much to do in the city itself. We stayed at the castle, which is a great experience, although it is bit of a slippery walk to the city centre.
Mountains, cities and… beaches! Lastly, this Albanian travel itinerary brings you to the Albanian Riviera, getting more popular over the last years.
We chose Saranda, as we didn’t want to move too much and have some time at the beach. We visited the beach of Ksamil (and enjoy your lunch at Korali). In Saranda, our favourite places for a drink were Limani, Bar Lerbi and Boulevard 40.
Another popular touristic place in Albania is Gjirokastro, as we didn’t have too much time, we choose Berat over Gjirokastro, but this could be a good addition to your ultimate Albania Travel Itinerary [2 weeks].
The one thing, that was certain for our Albanian travel itinerary was the hike from Valbona to Theth. To do this, you are kind of forced to also take the Lake Koman ferry, which was one of the highlights.
We chose Saranda over other beach places as it is the largest spot, we didn’t feel like moving too often but also wanted to avoid being bored spending 4 days at the beach, so we needed restaurants and bars.