Arriving in Albania
The fastest and most comfortable way to enter Albania is by air. Tirana Airport, located at Rinas, 17 kms northwest of Tirana, is served by a dozen airlines. There are some new hotels a few hundred meters from the airport and frequent connections between Tirana and the airport. There are many hotels of all grades throughout the country.
There is a shuttle bus service, the Tirana - Rinas Express, which operates between 07.00-18.00, every hour, from the centre of Tirana to the airport(journey time approximately 35minutes) and between 07.00– 19.00 from Rinas Airport to Tirana. The fare costs about €2 and tickets are available on the bus. This is the cheapest way to travel between airport and city. Taxis are always available and easy to find both at the airport and in the city. The airport journey costs about €20-25 / or 2,500 Albanian leke. The Official Airport Taxis(yellow) stand in front of the main airport terminal, can be reserved ahead of time, and can be summoned using a call-switch located near the taxi stand. Other taxis (yellow) and private cars stand at the main, south, door to the airport, near the cafes. At the airport, there are also representative sof the major international car rental companies operating in Albania.
Ferries operate regularly from Italy - Trieste, Ancona, Bari, Brindisi and Otranto -to Durres and from Brindisi to Vlora. Durres is about 40kms from Tirana. Ferries also operate between Corfu (Greece) and Saranda in the south of Albania, with some taking a small number of cars.
There are more border crossing points by car, whether coming from Greece, Montenegro, Kosovo or (FYROM)Macedonia. Borders are open 24 hours. The border crossing can sometimes be fast, sometimes not, depending on time of year and other travellers. Insurance costs are paid at the border, calculated on how many days are to be spent in country. The car’s full documents must be provided.
1. Dalmatia: The drive along the Croatian coast is very scenic, but slow. There are two border crossings from Montenegro: one from Podgorica through Hani i Hotit, north of Lake Shkodra and the other from the south, from Bar or Ulqinj through Murriqan, which is often faster. Coming from Montenegro is usually quick and easy. A new border post has recently opened at Vermosh, which links the region of Kelmendi in Albania with Plava and Gucia (Gusinje) in Montenegro.
2. Serbia and Kosova: The fastest route from Central Europe to Kosovo and northern Albania remains the main road through Serbia. However, the Serbia-Kosovo takes a long time due to extensive border controls. There are three border crossings from Kosova to Albania;
a) through the Morina pass, which links Kukës with Prishtina,
b) through Morina which links Tropoja with Gjakova and
c) Qafë Prushi, which links Kruma with Gjakova. The new highway between Kosovo and Albania runs through the Morina Pass and is the route most recommended.
3. FYROM: Entering Albania from (FYROM)Macedonia is easy, fast and the roads are mostly in good condition. There are three border crossings from Macedonia (FYROM). The main point of entry between is at Lake Ohrid, near Struga at
a) Qafë Thane and is the main link between Macedonia ( FYROM) Ohrid, Struga with most of Albania – Pogradec, Elbasan, Tirana, etc,
b)The second crossing is on the south of Lake Ohrid, at Sveti Naum/ Tushemisht, is quieter and links best with southern Albania –Korca, Erseke, etc.
c)The third crossing, Bllata links Peshkopi with the Region of Great Dibra. We recommend the Struga crossing.
4. Greece: Generally the roads that lead from Greece to Albania are newly constructed and well maintained. There are different border crossings between Albania and Greece:
a) Kapshtica (Greek border - Kristalopigi) leading from Thessalonica/Kastoria to Korça,
b) Kakavija leading from Ioannina to Gjirokastra,
c) Qafë Boti at Konispol the best route from Saranda to Igoumenitsa and
d) Tre Urat connecting Përmet with Konica. Crossing borders can be a lengthy process, depending on time of year and seasonal flux of visitors/emigrants.