Famous for its gorgeous summer destinations, Albania offers equally, if not more, wonderful reasons to be enjoyed in autumn!
1. Ideal weather for walking, hiking, riding bicycles and picnics
The sunny days continue well into November in Albania, giving you a chance to enjoy the journey as much as the destination! Indeed, with its mild climate, the conditions to experience a hike in the outdoors or a walk around Albania’s major cities are simply ideal. Whether you are a city lover or a hiking enthusiast, wherever you choose to go, you will love getting there. If in Tirana, you may choose to ride your bicycle to the Grand Park of Tirana and enjoy a picnic near the lake. For more serious cycling plans, click here and for the very best bicycle tours, click here. For more outdoor adventure, check out our suggestions here.
Hiking in Albania, photo credits: Fation Plaku
2. Seasonal fruits and farm-to-table restaurants
The beauty of autumn invites you to unleash the Dionysus in you! And, where better than in one of the fantastic farm-to-table restaurants in Albania? Around Tirana, some of the most scenic and delicious places to enjoy your meal are UKA Farm, Nano Resort, and Ceren Ismet Shehu, among many others. Near Lezha, you simply must try the legendary Mrizi I Zanave! For more great restaurant options, click here. Keep in mind that Albania’s autumn fruits and nuts are at their peak during this harvesting season. Various berries, chestnuts, walnuts, pomegranates, apples and more are simply delicious! Look for them in the farmers’ markets in any city you visit. Ask for them in any place you choose to eat your lunch or dinner.
Fresh pomegranates at Mrizi i Zanave in Lezha, photo by IntoAlbania
3. Time to explore Albania’s famous villages
Villages in Albania offer some of the most spectacular natural and relaxing sites in the country. Not to mention the always delicious farm fresh foods and hospitable guesthouses. You may choose to visit Albania’s gorgeous villages near Korça, to enjoy the fresh air and vicinity to the pleasant town. Those of Pogradec are perfect to relax with the views of Lake Ohrid and enjoy the rare fish only found here. You will find that all of the winter villages on this list are even more spectacular in the fall, as well!
Natural Park of Pogradec, photo by IntoAlbania
4. A chance to visit destinations difficult to reach in winter
Theth and Valbona are two of the most popular locations in the beautiful and still relatively unexplored north of the country. Wild and slightly remote, both the villages of Theth in Shkodra and Valbona in Kukës are must-sees, comparable to the scenic Swiss Alps! The picturesque hike between the two villages is a great option, but must be done by the end of October. Likewise, the Koman Lake ferry, which takes the visitors to Valbona, is only available until the beginning of November. As the most breathtaking and photogenic part of Albania, these places are even more stunning in the luscious fall season. Visit them before it is too late!
Theth National Park, Shkodra, photo by IntoAlbania.
5. Perfect time to visit archaeological sites and ancient cities
Autumn is the ideal season to visit the country’s countless archaeological sites and ancient cities. These sites are beautiful year-round but their beauty truly thrives under the bronze rays of the autumn sun! If you find yourself in the southern part of the country, you should definitely consider witnessing the grandiose beauty of the 2500-year-old ruins of Butrint in autumn. In the nearby city of Gjirokastra, you can explore other ancient cities surrounding the city, like Antigonea and Hadrianopolis, among others. If closer to the capital, we suggest a stroll around the ancient city of Durrës or the Archaeological Park of Apollonia. For the list of top ancient cities in Albania, click here.
Archeological Park of Butrint, Saranda, photo by IntoAlbania.
6. A great excuse to visit museums
Autumn is the perfect season to catch up on culture! And, visiting museums is the best way to simultaneously engage in physical, cultural and social activities. Among countless fascinating options, we suggest: the National Historical Museum in Tirana, taking you from the Bronze Age to the Communist era and everything in-between, the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana, showcasing the finest works of Albanian artists, the Marubi National Photography Museum in Shkodra, with its collection of 400,000 hauntingly-beautiful photographs of Albanian life, from 1850 until today, the National Museum of Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg in Kruja, celebrating and commemorating the national hero, the National Iconographic Museum of Onufri in Berat, dedicated to Onufri, the renowned craftsmen of icons, and the Archaeological Museum in Durrës, housing some of the rarest archaeological discoveries in the country. For a full list of museums in Albania, click here.
Onufri Museum, Berat, photo by IntoAlbania.