(8 Oct - 15 Oct 2012)

Here is the actual route we travelled in Albania, starting from Kakavia (border town with Greece) to Hani i Hotit (border town with Montenegro).

Total number of days spent in Albania: 8 days                                                                                        

Cumulative number of days since the start of our journey: 72 days


Total distance travelled in Albania: 680km

Cumulative distance travelled since the start of our journey: 8,750km

Click here for Google map - Albania

Driving in Albania:

Albania was not as developed or advanced as other countries we have been to. Nevertheless, Albanians were friendly and helpful people. The roads were alright for the most part as long as we stuck to the main roads (like the SH3 etc). However, the lanes can be narrow sometimes. 

The stretch of road from Tepelene to Vlore (SH76) should be avoided unless one wishes to travel on unpaved gravel road at 20km/h almost the entire length of the journey. The views of the mountains and valleys below are nice though. 

There were some newer highways (no toll but these was not shown on our GPS). These were very good and comfortable to drive on, but it meant that we will miss seeing villages on the way.

We noticed Albanian drivers are very patient (less so in Tirane). We do occasionally see cars stop in the middle of the road and chat with either the person in the next vehicle or a pedestrian. No one honks at them. As long as we were alert on the road, we were fine.

Some places to visit:

At Gjirokaster - Take in the old town of Gjirokaster, inscribed on the World Heritage List as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate". Also, the traditional houses with stone roof are unique and these are not seen much elsewhere. Visit Gjirokaster Castle and enjoy the excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.

At Berat - Take in the city of a thousand windows at Mangalemi Quarters (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Visit the 17th century Gorica Bridge and take a long walk around Berat Castle. This 13th century castle, still inhabited by residents, once had about 20 Byzantine churches, though only a handful remains. The castle also has an old Ottoman Mosque.

At Kruje - Visit the Old Bazaar selling everything from traditional clothes (they have quite a variety worn by men, women and children), carpets and even antiques (including some artifacts from the war)  in addition to your usual souvenirs. Visit the castle town which has the Ethnographic Museum, old Hammam and Skanderbeg Museum dedicated to Albanian national hero. At the top of the Skanderbeg Museum, take in the excellent panoramic view of Kruje town.

Make it a point to visit at least one Ethnographic Museum to get a view of the Albanian way of life in the olden days. Almost every major city has an Ethnographic Museum. We chose the Kruje Ethnographic Museum and was not disappointed.

Something to look out for >> Dordolec


Malaysian do not need a visa for social visits to Albania for a period up to 90 days.

Carnet de Passages en Douane is not required for Europe for temporary importation of personal vehicle.

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