I am going to be spending August in Croatia with some side trips to Belgrade, Bosnia...is Albania (specifically Tirhana, Durres) worth the extra trip? I generally like the less travelled areas...the less pristine the better in some cases.
Can someone share some thoughts on Albania with me? Is it easy to get there from Sarajevo?
I've never been to Albania but I've always wanted to go, I definitely think it would be worth it from what I've read. As for getting there from Sarajevo it's probably a bit of a hassle, firstly trains are not an option, you can't even go to Montenegro by train from Sarajevo and you can't go to Albania by train from anywhere as there are no international train services and very few domestic services. Therefore it would have to be by bus, there isn't any way to know all the bus services online, but from what I've read there are no direct buses from Sarajevo to Albania.
What you would have to do I think is get a bus to Ulcinj in Montenegro, then from Ulcinj you can get a taxi to Skhodra in Albania for about 15 Euros. I'm not even sure if there is a direct bus to Ulcinj from Sarajevo, but there is one from Dubrovnik and you can go to Podgorica in Montenegro direct from Sarajevo by bus and then on to Ulcinj.
I was last year in Albania.... it depends on your taste and what you are looking for. For me it was a great and interesting experience.
I went there from Skopje (FYROM) directly to Tirana. I wouldn´t say that it´s a beautiful city, but a city of big contrasts, and for that really interesting. From there i went to Durres, that´s just a summer spot, but also with interesenting contrasts. To Durres, you can go by bus though i recommend you doing it by train, and you´ll have the chance to meet and mix with albanians.
The population has a big sense of hospitality. But, as even some albanians told me, in Tirana people go to try to make money, so form them you will not have a faithful image of what albanian people is.
To get out of the country made me a bit desperate as there is no bus station and no international trains, i left it for the last minute and it was saturday. You will find some agencies in Tirana at the avenue going from the main square to the train station and they will offer you some posibilities to get out of the country. It´s also possible to get out of Albania from Durres, as it´s the most touristic village in Albania a lot of agencies are operating there.
It seems the most beautiful wild beaches, full of huge mosquitos, are on the southern area. Also really interesting the area of Shkodra.
Last i have to add that i founf more people speaking italian than English out of Tirana.
All the best and good luck!