Albania is a small, mountainous nation in the Balkan Peninsula of South Eastern Europe. It is one of the least developed countries in Europe, with a large number of the population making their living through agriculture.
Albania was part of the Ottoman Empire for more than 400 years. It gained its independence in 1912 and from 1944 until the early 1990’s Albania was a Communist country.
Between 1990 and 1992 Albania ended 46 years of Communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, a dilapidated physical infrastructure and powerful organised crime networks.
The best months to visit Albania are between the months of May and September. With July and August being the busiest months, especially around the coastal resorts. If you enjoy skiing the season runs from November through to March.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
POPULATION: 3.6 million
LANGUAGE: Albanian, Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +355
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +1
Travel to the northeast border areas between Albania and Kosovo is advised against because of the very poor condition of the roads and the risk of unexploded ordnance.
Although public security is generally good, the crime rate has risen, especially theft, and visitors should be careful not to display valuables. Passports which allow entry to EU countries without a visa, foreign currency and cameras are mostly at risk, although all possessions should be kept close at hand at all times. Avoid remote areas and streets, especially at night. Gun ownership is widespread.
Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk