Albania

By taxi
By taxi

Albania is a small country and as such it is possible to leave the country by taxi.

Your hotel will be able to arrange a taxi to the border, where you should be able to change to a taxi on the other side. For example, a taxi from Tirana to the Macedonian border, a distance of 70 miles, will take three hours and cost about €100. A metered Macedonian taxi from the border to Struga should cost no more than €6 December 2009 and take 20 minutes, while a taxi to Skopje would take 3 hours on much better roads and cost about €120 prices January 2008. Getting through passport control will take about 30 minutes.

A taxi ride from downtown Pogradec to the Macedonian border at Sveti Naum costs about 5 euros and takes less than 10 minutes. After Albanian exit procedures, walk about .5km down the road to the Macedonian border control point. The beautiful Sveti Naum Church is very close by, and from there you can get a bus north around the lake to Ohrid 110 denars prices April 2010.

A taxi from Ulcinj in Montenegro to Shkoder in northern Albania costs about €30 and takes 1 hour. You do not have to change at the border; the taxi will bring you all the way price June 2010.

Some taxis can take you into Greece; however, most will not go farther than Ioannina.

Borders

In the north of Albania there are three border control points with Montenegro. The narrow road from Ulcinj, Montenegro to Shkoder via Muriqan/Sukobin E851/SH41 is used mainly by locals. As of 2012, the Montenegrin section is under construction. However, it is worth a try to avoid heavier traffic on the main road E762/SH1 to Hani i Hotit which has almost finished 2012. Ask any police officer to point you in the right direction from Shkoder; they are helpful, courteous and friendly. The border crossing in the mountains SH20 near Vermosh is accessed by a 30km section of unpaved mountain track as of summer 2015, although there is construction work ongoing. This road is only suitable for 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes designed for off-road use.

There are multiple border crossings with Greece. The biggest and most famous one is the Kakavie Border, which is about 45km from Gjirokaster. Another border crossing, which is less frequently used, is Qafe Bote, which is after Butrint and about 43 km from Saranda. This road can get you to many calm beaches in Greece and the city of Igoumenitsa. The border crossing Tre Urat is best used only if you are going to Permet or want to see some wonderful scenery; this border crossing is about 35km from Permet. Another important border crossing with Greece is Bilisht. This crossing is mainly used for traveling to Kastoria, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, and/or other parts of Eastern Greece. The closest major Albanian city from this border crossing is Korca at about 35km away.

There are two major border control points with Macedonia. The most well-known and often-frequented one is Qafe Thane This border crossing is the fastest way to get to Ohrid, the Albanian parts of Macedonia and Skopje. This crossing is about 65km from Elbasan and 30km from Pogradec. The other border crossing, named Tushemisht, is the closest one to Pogradec at only 6km and is mainly used for tourists and locals who want to see the St. Naum Church and the Macedonian parts of Lake Ohrid.

By bus
By bus

You can reach Tirana by coach from

Istanbul, Turkey 20h, €35 one-way

Athens, Greece 9h, €30-35

Sofia, Bulgaria 22h, €25

Tetovo, Republic of Macedonia 6h, €15

Prishtina, Kosovo 4h, €10-15

There is a daily bus link between Ulcinj in Montenegro and Shkoder, with buses departing from the bus station at 06:00 or 07:00 this can be confirmed by calling the Ulcinj bus station on +382 85 413 225 and 12:30 €5. There is also a shared taxi minibus from the parking place next to the market in Ulcinj; it departs at 13:00 and costs €5, and the trip takes 1.5 hours. The stop is not marked, and a reservation can only be made by finding the driver in the cafe at the corner of the parking place. Ask around and be persistent, as not all the locals know about this. There are no scheduled buses from any other point in Montenegro into Albania.

Buses also run daily from Ioannina across the border at Kakavia and on to Gjirokaster. In Gjirokaster, you can buy a bus ticket to Athens, Greece or anywhere in between. The buses are new, cheap and air conditioned, and they stop at some service stations along the route.

By plane
By plane

Tirana's "Mother Teresa" International Airport (http://www.tirana-airport.com/) is located just 15 minutes away from the city. It is served by numerous European flag carriers such as British Airways, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Austrian, and the low cost carriers Germanwings and Belle Air. A new, larger and modern terminal was opened in 2007. A tourist information centre was opened in 2012.

At the airport exit, there are numerous taxis 24/7 that can take you to the city. The taxi fee to the city center is €15 2000 lek. Taxi fees to other locations are posted on a placard just outside the exit doors.

There is a bus called Rinas Express that runs once an hour between the airport and Skanderberg Square. It costs ALL350 each way and leaves on the hour from both the airport and from Skanderberg Square. It runs from about 08:00-19:00. The trip takes around 25-30 minutes. From the airport exit doors, walk towards the parking lot past the taxi touts to find the bus stop. At Skanderberg Square, the bus stop is located around the northwest corner, near other bus stops. The bus is not only punctual but sometimes even early, so plan to be there a few minutes in advance. Do not be intimidated by the signs not mentioning "airport" or any variation of it at the Skanderberg Square stop. "Rinas" means the bus goes to the airport. If in doubt, ask the locals, who will be happy to point you to the correct bus.

Another cheap and convenient way to reach the Albanian Riviera in Southern Albania is by landing in Corfu and taking the hydrofoil to Saranda.

By ship
By ship

Ferries to Durrës arrive from Bari 9h, €50 and Ancona 19h, €70. A high-speed service operates from Bari 3h, €60. (http://www.apdurres.com.al)

There is also a reliable overnight ferry service operated by Skenderbeg Lines from Brindisi to Vlore Skenderbeg Lines (http://www.skenderbegline...).

Ferries from Corfu to Saranda every day. (http://www.portisarande.com.al)

Ferry between Brindisi and Shengjin re-established in June 2015 by European Seaways (http://www.europeanseaways.com) operating twice a week in the summer.

By train
By train

It is not possible to enter or leave Albania via train. There are, however, trains that operate within the country. Though the service is limited, the price is inexpensive. There is no direct service to Tirana due to closure of the capital's only railway station. However, Tirana is served by the renovated Kashar station located 10 km west of the capital.

By Yacht

Yachts can be anchored at Albania's only marina in Orikum, south of Vlore. You can also an anchor in the ports of Sarande, Vlore, Durres, and Shengjin.

By car
By car

You can reach Albania from anywhere by car by crossing through one of the major cities of the neighboring countries such as:

Podgorica, Montenegro

Ohrid , Macedonia

Prizren, Kosovo

Thessaloniki, Greece

Ioannina, Greece

After payment of the tax to the police, the customs officer will issue a "road tax certificate" which you must keep until you leave the country. When you exit the country, you'll pay €2/day and return the certificate.

To enter the country, make sure that your International Motor Insurance Card Green Card is valid for Albania AL along with the Vehicle Registration and a Power of Attorney from the owner if the car is not yours. The border guards are very strict about allowing cars through without these documents. Insurance can be purchased at the border if you do not have a Green Card.

The road between Ioannina, Greece and Tirana E853/SH4 is in great condition since it has recently been renewed as of 2013/2014. When you are in Gjirokaster you will be about 2 hours and 45 minutes from the capital. But still travel with caution. This is the main north-south route between Montenegro and Greece.

The road between Struga, Macedonia and Tirana E852/SH3 is of decent quality. There are a lot of slow moving vehicles along the curvy, mountainous route, so extra caution must be exercised, especially around corners and during over-taking. A new motorway is being constructed between Elbasan and Tirana 2011.

The road between Prizren Kosovo and Tirana Albania E851/A1 is comparable in quality to that found on roads in other parts of Europe. Much of the road is dual carriage autobahn/motorway style, but some is single carriageway. Extra caution should be exercised along some bridges near the Kosovo border, as they have not been widened to dual carriageways. Also be aware of the fact that cows run free on the motorway: there is no fence, and before dusk they return home using the motorway itself.

The road between Shkoder border of Montenegro and Tirana E762/SH1 is of sufficient quality for driving, but there are a lot of slow-moving vehicles and uncontrolled access points, so extra caution must be exercised, especially during over-taking. A portion of the road between Milot and Thumane has been widened to motorway standard as of 2012.

The road between Hani Hotti north of Shkoder and Vermosh beside the border crossing with Montenegro in the mountains SH20 is half unpaved as of summer 2015. The first 30km from Hani Hotti is a high quality new asphalt road; however the road abruptly turns into a stone track for the remaining 30km until Vermosh. The unpaved section is suitable for 4x4 vehicles and motorbikes with good suspension and tires.