Accomodation

Yes, Wi-Fi is available in most hotels (and also in many restaurants).

Drinks

Albanians love coffee as the English love tea. They have a whole ceremony around it.  It’s the preferred moment to think the day through. The Albanians have taken over the Turkish way of making coffee from the Turks. The finely ground coffee, together with sugar and water, is cooked until it foams. But this is not the only way they drink it. Espresso is served almost everywhere. The younger generation prefers cappuccino and latte as well. They have taken over the Greek way of drinking coffee too, by ordering Frappes during the hot summer months. In addition to coffee, a lot of tea is drunk, especially the Albanian mountain tea. The original Albanian mountain tea grows indeed in the mountains and is picked by hand. The tea has a fresh taste and is very healthy. It is organic, soothing and decaffeinated.

The Albanian wines come mainly from the area of Korçë, Berat, Permet, and Shkodër. This wine is also for sale in supermarkets. The traditional alcoholic drink from Albania is raki. Many Albanians make it themselves from grapes or prunes. Albanians drink a lot of beer too, next to raki and wine.

Food

Albanians themselves do not take a full breakfast. They often limit themselves to a cup of strong coffee. For their guests, they usually make a full breakfast with eggs, bread, fruit, cold cuts, kos (a type of yogurt), feta cheese and coffee. In the afternoon there is extensive lunch, usually a hot meal with meat or fish. And in the evening, at about 9:00 a.m., another warm meal.

In addition, snacks are available at food stalls such as byrek, puff pastry with feta cheese, onion, meat, and spinach. You have round byrek and triangular byrek. And there is qofte (mince meatballs) and pita (a puff pastry).

In the larger towns, you also have Greek and Italian (pizza) restaurants next to Albanian ones. In the countryside, you should not be surprised if you are asked if you are hungry. The table is always richly covered with fresh meat or fish, potatoes or rice, salad, cheese, eggs, vegetables, and bread. After the meal, there is – for the good digestion – a glass of raki, also with the Muslims. That raki is even drunk early in the morning.

Albanian cuisine uses various vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, onions, pickles, aubergines, courgettes, and olives. In the winter months, there is cabbage and carrots. As far as meat is concerned, there is sheep and goat meat. That is roasted or grilled. The intestines (heart, liver, kidneys, brains) are also loved. If you stop at eateries along the way, you can get pilaf (rice with meat sauce) or roasted kebab. The kebab can be lamb, pork or beef.

Fish is everywhere and served fresh. You have trout in small rivers. The specialty of Shkodër is carp. Along the coast, you have all kinds of fish such as perch, bream, and hake.

Albanian lamb is prepared with butter, eggs, yogurt, flour, parsley, and dill. Përshesh was originally a poor meat dish, but nowadays one of the top dishes of, for example, the King’s Park Hotel. Old bread is mixed with egg, salt, and oil. Then the meat broth is added. It is completely absorbed by the bread. This is served with white wine. A special treat is salce kosi, which is thick home-made yogurt. Other desserts are halva (a sweet pastry), xupa (similar to pudding) or sheqerpare (traditional biscuits in syrup).

Luggage

We recommend traveling with a travel bag or a soft case. That can be a backpack, but also a travel bag on wheels. Please do not travel with a hard-shell case, because it is difficult to transport. We also recommend limiting the weight to 15 kg for your travel comfort.

Payment

Yes.

We charge an extra fee of € 2,50 for your contribution to the calamities fund.

We charge € 25,- administration costs on a one person’s booking.

We charge € 35,- administration costs on a two persons’ plus booking.

 

We understand that you may not have a printer handy when you’re traveling so it is not necessary to have a printed copy. However, we require that you show ID matching your reservation and also the Order number that is immediately emailed to you after you make your reservation.

Please contact us to get the latest information on your desired trip.

Yes, it is wise to bring cash.

In Albania, the currency is LEK. The easiest way is to pin this on the spot, but because Albania is outside of the EU, your bank can charge you extra costs. So, before departure, check what the costs are. Another thing is that paying by credit card is not possible at small shops or bazaars. You will need to exchange your euros to LEK. We advise 150-200 euros (souveniers excluded) as pocket money which is best exchanged at banks or exchange offices. At hotels, you generally get a slightly worse rate than at banks and exchange offices.

Preparation

Wear whatever is comfortable.

For the hiking tours, it is recommended to have a sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers. It is preferable to dress in layers and wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable.

This answer depends on the standards used in your country of origin.

The answer is no for most European travellers. So no for Dutch, Belgian, German travelers e.d.

We refer you to the following website where you can see what you need and check for yourself too. http://www.wereldstopcontacten.nl/

Reservation

Different travel and cancellation conditions

Due to the adventurous nature of the trips and the specific problems at a number of travel destinations, TravellingAlbania.com uses the ANVR cancellation policy that deviates from the travel conditions stated in the ANVR brochure. In the event of cancellation, each passenger will owe the following amounts:

a) up to 56 days before departure: 15% of the fare * with a minimum of € 250 per person
b) from 56 to 28 days before departure: 50% of the fare *
c) cancellation from the 28th day (inclusive) until the 14th day before departure: 75% of the fare *
d) cancellation from the 14th day (inclusive) until the day of departure or later: the full fare *.

You also need to pay 25% of the fare *. The remainder must be received by us six weeks before departure.

* The travel sum includes the published travel sum, any (international) flights, any airport taxes, any surcharges, any visa costs, Calamity Fund contribution, any change costs. These amounts are covered by a cancellation insurance (provided of course you have a valid reason to cancel).

Roads

In principle, the roads in Albania are perfectly commendable. In the past twenty-five years, many national roads have undergone major improvements and new roads have been built. Albania has classified three kinds of roads:

Type Name (Albanian) Name (English) Description
Autostrada A1 Albania.svg Autostrada Motorway The motorways are the highest level of roadway in the country, marked as A with a number on a green field.
SH1-AL.svg Rrugë Shtetërore State Road The state roads are the main and most common level of roadway in the country, connecting major cities marked as SH with a number on a blue field.
Rrugë të rrethit 37 Albania.svg Rrugë Rrethi District Road The district roads are the lower level of roadway in the country found between districts roadway marked as Rr with a number on a blue field.
Rrugë komunale 19 Albania.svg Rrugë Komunale Municipal Road The municipal roads are the lowest level of roadway in the country, typically found in rural areas and marked as K with a number on a white field though it is not observed on the ground.

Dependent on your destination, if you come to use district roads or even municipal roads, it could mean that despite the short distance, some roads could take longer than one would expect. 

For more information on the roads in Albania, please see the link below.

More information on Albanian roads

 

Travel

If you have booked a group’s tour,  we will be using our own (mini) bus. Having your own bus has many advantages in Albania. Many attractions are far from the usual routes and could hardly be visited by public transport.

Travel period

Albania has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, winters are mild and wet. The higher you come the more variation there is. From May to October you can swim in the sea with water temperatures of about 23 C. On the coast there are 270 to 300 sunny days. There is always a refreshing breeze in the vicinity of the sea. In the high mountains in the north and east of the country, there is a chance of snow from November to March.

The best travel time for Albania is spring. Then the apple and cherry trees are in full bloom and many flowers decorate the landscape. The early autumn (September and October) is also a pleasant journey time.