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Karaburun - Sazan Park

Lied in the South of Albania it is the only marine national park in Albania. This Park protects an area of almost 2 kilometers into the sea with both the Peninsula of Karaburun and the Island of Sazan as Natural Borders. The relief is made up of a series of mountains that rise to an altitude of 800 meters above the Adriatic. The mountains in the west of the peninsula plunge sharply into the Ionian Sea. For this, it is one of the preferable areas for Hiking Trails, Snorkeling, Watersports, and more activities. 

How to get to the Natural Park of Karaburun and Sazan

Located just a few Kilometres from the city of Vlora, this Park is easily reachable by car. Find your time and visit it via a rented car, taxi from Vlora, or on a Private trip from Tirana. 

 

 

Butrint - UENSCO World Heritage

Butrint National Park is the most well-known feature in Albania’s south, and the UNESCO World Heritage site is the country’s most visited archaeological park. Everything you need to know about Butrint may be found in this blog post.

The best way to get there

The Butrint National Park is 17 kilometers south of Saranda, and there is a direct bus link that takes around 30 minutes to visit the archaeological site. This is the same bus that stops at Ksamil and departs from the ferry terminal in Saranda. Every hour, the bus departs for a fee of 100 lek.

You can also organize a tour to visit Butrint on a day excursion from Corfu or to combine Butrint with other sites like Ksamil or the Blue Eye.

The UNESCO World Heritage site is Albania’s most visited archaeological monument and a major tourist destination. It may get quite crowded in the summer, with hundreds of people flocking to the area. If you have the flexibility to travel alone, it is best to arrive early in the morning, before the Corfu tour groups arrive, or late in the afternoon, after they have left.

Butrint’s History

Butrint is a remarkable ancient site and Albanian National Park located on a lovely and small peninsula between the Corfu Straits and Butrint Lake in Albania’s far south. Butrint has been inhabited from prehistoric times and has seen a Greek colony, a Roman city, an Epirote bishopric, and Ottoman rule. The town site, which is located on a peninsula extending into Lake Butrint and was known as Bouthroton or Bouthrotios in Ancient Greek and Buthrotum in Latin, was an important location throughout history, with numerous archaeological finds from the area’s long and stormy past. According to legend, fleeing Troyans founded Butrint in the 12th century BC after the victorious Greeks burned their town of Troy down.  

Plan beforehand for your visit.

To see everything on the site, you’ll need at least an hour, but many people will easily spend 2-3 hours or more. We recommend bringing plenty of water because you will be walking a bunch and it may become rather hot in the summer. There is a restaurant on the premises (near to the Venetian Castle) as well as restrooms.

Another option is to go on a picnic with your lunch and some snacks. There are lots of shaded locations with wonderful views along the road, so why not take a break?

Llogara National Park

The road to the Llogara National Park begins where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet. This “mountain of panoramas,” which is attractively flanked by many mountain ranges and the breathtaking Ionian Sea, begins with lush pine and oak woodlands. The Llogara National Park, roughly 40 kilometers southeast of Vlora, is one of Albania’s most popular natural parks, with diverse flora and wildlife as well as some of the country’s best cuisine. The park is open all year, although it is particularly popular in the summer as a refreshing halt and a physical rite of passage to the southern Albanian Riviera. 

The Llogara Pass separates the western and eastern ranges of the Alps. The route will pass across the well-known Llogara Road, which connects Orikum and Dhermi and begins at Dukat hamlet. You’ll be surrounded by huge trees as you progressively rise to the summits, which reach a height of 1017 meters. A parking facility, as well as eateries and an observation area, are located at the summit of the Llogara Pass.

Visitors will be able to observe wonderfully curved trees created by air currents. The Flag Pine tree (Pisha Flamur), a century-old tree that resembles the Albanian Eagle, is a notable example of this.

Shebenik-Jablanica National Park

Shebenik – Jabllanice National Park is a protected national park in central Albania, located in the Librazhd District of Elbasan County. The park has a boundary with the Republic of Macedonia and encompasses 33,927 hectares. The park’s elevations range from 300 meters to nearly 2,200 meters at the peak of Shebenik Mountain, which, along with Jablanica, gives the park its name. The park was opened in 2008, is one of Albania’s newest.

Several species that are gradually becoming scarce in Albania, such as the brown bear, gray wolf, and endangered Balkan Lynx, live within the park’s boundaries. A variety of indigenous and uncommon flora may also be found in the park. Librazhd and Prrenjas are the towns closest to the park.

The Qarrishte River and the Bushtrice River, each 22 kilometers long, flow through the park’s boundaries, as do a number of minor water sources. At least 14 glacial lakes may be found in the region, the tallest of which is about 1900 meters.

This park is home to nearly 32 percent of the country’s flora, which is a fascinating fact. Imagine how much beauty is tucked away here! The expansive landscape is now very easy to visit thanks to new trails constructed by tourist specialists. The hermit caves, which are strewn across the area, are particularly interesting. The cave of Koshorishti is particularly beautiful, as well as having artistic and historical significance. Inside, you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness antique artworks with biblical themes developed over many centuries. 

PRESPA NATIONAL PARK

Prespa National Park is one of Albania’s largest national parks, and it’s only a 20-minute drive from Korça. Prespa e Madhe (Greater Prespa Lake) and Prespa e Vogël (Small Prespa Lake) have been keeping each other company for an incredible 5 million years. The Great Lake of Prespa, which spans Albania, Greece, and Macedonia, has a surface area of over 300 km2 and reaches depths of 54 meters. As a result, the region is well-known for its clear waters and sandy beaches!

 

Maligrad Island

Without a doubt, Maligrad Island is one of the main Prespa Great Lake attractions. The attractiveness of the island is due to its sloping limestone surfaces. Maligrad, the island’s name, means “small city” in Macedonian. Aside from its evident natural beauty, Maligrad Island also has a pleasant surprise in store for visitors: the Church of St. Mary. The modest church, which was built in 1369 inside a cave that is considered a holy spot, immerses visitors in its quiet and spiritual environment. 

Another must-see in this area is Treni Cave, located on the western side of the lake near the settlements of Treni and Devoll. You will have the unique opportunity to view prehistoric paintings going back to 6,000 BC.

The largest village around the lake, Liqenas Village, is another fascinating excursion. Don’t miss a visit to the intriguing Church of St. Michael (Kisha e Shn Mihalit) while you’re there. If you’re looking for a great location to eat, Zaroshka has some delicious local cuisine to offer, such as its famed Carp Casserole (Tava e Krapit).

Divjaka-Karavasta National Park

The Divjak National Park, which overlooks the Adriatic and is located in the Fier prefecture near Lushnje, is less than 2 hours from Tirana and is the ideal destination to visit over a weekend in Tirana. The Karavasta lagoon, Albania’s largest and one of the largest in the Mediterranean, is located inside.

Bird-watching

The four lagoons of Karavasta, Godulla, Godulla e Pishës, and Spiaxho are home to over 230 different bird species. The Dalmatian Pelican, a rare and beautiful bird, is the most popular among them. The population of the Karavasta Lagoon accounts for around 5% of the overall global population of this species. As a result, if you’re near the lagoon, keep an eye out for these magnificent creatures. The famed curly pelican is also responsible for one of the lagoon’s most spectacular sights! The lagoon is frequently overrun by a big flock of white and gray birds. As they soar over the water’s surface, their reflection is wonderfully mirrored!

Divjaka beach is about 1 km (0.7 mi) southwest of the park entrance for all you sea lovers. Its beach, which stretches about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) amid the pine forest, welcomes all Adriatic Sea lovers. But don’t forget to carry your anti-mosquito spray! As lovely as it all is, these obnoxious creatures are an unwelcome addition to the lagoon’s environment.

Theth National Park

Theth National Park is located in Albania’s far northwestern region, around the midpoint of the country’s border with Montenegro. The park is barely 10.15 square miles (26.3 square kilometers), making it another small park inside the country with incredible natural wonders.

The national park is centered on the Albanian Alps and the Shala Valley. The park, in general, has the features of a high-altitude landscape with sharp, steep mountains. The area is distinguished by thick forests, meandering rivers, stunning waterfalls, and striking rock formations.

The park has a diversified environment that shifts with height, shifting from oak-dominated lower elevations to beech-dominated higher elevations. Junipers, bushes, and alpine bluegrass may be found in the alpine landscape at even greater levels.

A wide range of animal species call these different environments home. The brown bear is the largest and most thrilling of the bears. Chamois, roe deer, lynx, wild goat, and the gray wolf are among the other popular animals. From the 50 kinds of birds breeding or migrating through the park, the lesser kestrel and golden eagle are two of the most spectacular encounters.

Valbonë Valley National Park

Valbona Valley National Park, often known as the Gem of Albania, is located in northeastern Albania, within the Accursed Mountains (Albanian Alps). It is sandwiched between Montenegro’s Thethi National Park, the Gashi River, Plava, and Gucia, all of which are designated as strictly protected natural areas. The mountain range runs along with Albania’s, Kosovo’s, and Montenegro’s borders.

The Valbona Valley has been blessed by Mother Nature. Some of the most spectacular peaks in the Dinaric Alps may be found here, including Jezerca (2694 m) and Kollata  (2556 m). Meanwhile, the crystalline Valbona River meanders across the valley bottom for almost 50 kilometers, surrounded by lovely oak, and pine woods. Another must-see while in the region is the Valbona Waterfall, which is not far from Gjelaj Village. The Bajram Curri road, which leads to Shoshan Village, leads to Shoshan Canyon, which contains another spectacular waterfall. Vrella e Shoshanit, Xhema Lake near the Kollata mountain, Haxhia Cave, and Dragobia Cave, where the great national hero Bajram Curri was murdered, are among the other must-sees.

How to get there.

This magnificent retreat in the Tropoja area may be reached through two routes. Despite the fact that they are both lovely, the boat ride over Lake Koman is particularly magnificent. Before you even reach your final destination of Valbona, you float over pristine blue water amid spectacular rock formations!

  1. Tirana-Koman (2-hour boat journey) –Fierz–Bajram Curri–Valbon via ferry through Koman Lake
  2. Automobile (about 5 hours) across Kosovo: Tiran–Kuks–Prizren–Gjakov–Bajram Curri–Valbon
  3.  Public transportation (about 5 hours) via Kosovo: Tirana–Bajram Curri

Tomorr National Park

In southern Albania, Mount Tomorr is a big mountain. Its tallest peak, known as uka e Partizanit, is at 2,416 meters and rises to a height of 1,200 meters. It is located east of Berat and Poliçan, along the Osum River Canyon, and east of the cities of Berat and Poliçan.

Berat and Elbasan are the two districts where it is located. The area is currently 24,723.1 hectares. Endemisms and sub endemisms thrive in this park, which has a high level of biodiversity. There are oak, pine, and black pine trees, as well as subalpine and alpine grasslands, in this park.

The Illyrian gods are thought to have lived on this mountain in the past. Baba Tomorr or Father Tomor, an ancient giant with a long flowing white beard and four female eagles soaring above him and perching on his snow-covered slopes, anthropomorphizes the Mountain in Albanian folklore.

Another mythology about the mountain exists. Tomorr and Shpirag were two attractive and courageous brothers. The two brothers were both smitten by Osumi, a lovely young lady. Osumi couldn’t choose between them since she adored them both. The brothers eventually became aware of the others’ interest. Because neither brother was willing to give up Osumi, they battled. Tomorr pulled his sword and charged, the wounds from the sword creating large crevasses on his brother. Shpirag swung his flail at his sibling, inflicting deep yet minor wounds. As a result, Tomorr’s corpse was left full of holes, while Shpirag’s body was hacked apart. As both of her brothers died, Osumi began sobbing uncontrollably, and her tears formed the Osumi River, which runs between the Tomorr and Shpirag mountains.

Lurë National Park

Since 2018, the Lurë-Dejës Mt National Park has encompassed the whole portion of Kunora e Lurës, previous Zall-Gjocaj National Park, and Dej Mountain, spanning an increased area of 202.42 km2 (78.15 sq mi). Lura National Park was established in 1966 to safeguard the park’s different habitats and wildlife. The elevation ranges from 1,500 to 2,300 meters (4,921 to 7,546 feet). The park is classified as Category II by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Despite this, it is designated as a major Bird and Plant Area since it is home to numerous bird and plant species.

Lurë-Dejës Mt National Park is heavily packed with vegetation, despite a wide range of elevations. Coniferous and deciduous trees dominate the higher plant life, especially around the lakeshores. European beech, silver fir, black pine, red pine, and bosnian pine are the most frequent trees native to Lur.

Several species of animals may be found in the park. European brown bears, eurasian lynx, eurasian wolf, european pine marten, roe deer, and western capercaillie are among the park’s most notable inhabitants.   The scarlet squirrel and edible dormouse are examples of small animals. During the ice period, the national park’s twelve glacial lakes were created.

However, once communism fell apart in the 1990s, the area was devastated by illegal logging and forest fires, which seriously harmed ecosystems. In fact, it is thought that up to half of the original Lura National Park has been destroyed. Albania’s government initiated a contentious restoration program in 2014, which included planting, roadwork, and the installation of new signage.

Dajti National Park

Mount Dajti National Park (1,611 meters above sea level) lies about 25 kilometers east of the city. For people from Tirana, a weekend excursion there is a highly popular pastime. The cable car station is about 20 minutes by car or bus from the center of Tirana, and from there you may enjoy a magnificent experience by using the cable car. After 15 minutes, you’ll be at the summit of the mountain, with stunning views over the city, towns, woods, the sea, and traditional residences as well as a nuclear bunker.

Because the national park is so close to Tirana, it is ideal for single-day excursions. As a result, you may visit it at any time of year. In the winter, it is possible that it could snow, so be prepared for the cold. Summer is the most popular season, and there will be a large number of guests on the mountain. Because the national park is so close to Tirana, it is ideal for single-day excursions. As a result, you may visit it at any time of year. In the winter, it is possible that it could snow, so be prepared for the cold.

Since 2006, Dajti National Park has spanned an area of 293.84 km2 (113.45 sq mi) in central Albania, having been established in 1966. The park is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Tirana and 26 kilometers (16 miles) east of the Adriatic Sea. Albanian Agency of Protected Areas (AKZM) and Tirana Municipality Parks and Recreation Agency share control over the region (APR). It is bordered on the northwest by Shtamë Pass National Park, on the west by Kraste-Verjon Protected Landscape, and on the east by Mali me Gropa-Biz-Martanesh Protected Landscape. The park’s topography is exceedingly fractured and rough, providing ideal conditions for a wide range of habitats and species.

Fir of Hotovë-Dangelli National Park

Located in the Korca and Gjirokastra districts. The area is now 34,361 hectares. Park has a high level of biodiversity. It is in this location that the majestic fir woods.  Endangered, sub-endemic, Balkan, and Mediterranean flora flourish in the park. You may see creatures such as wolves, bears, deer, and wild boars in this park. The natural landscape, as well as its cultural and historic value, has a lot of promise for the development of ecological and cultural tourism.

Bredhi I Hotoves-Dangelli is in the southeast of the nation, not far from Permet. This national park, which covers 34,361 hectares and is largely made up of Macedonian Fir, is one of the country’s tourism treasures, offering some pleasant surprises in every season, such as in the winter, when it is covered with snow, and in the summer, when you can taste its freshness. It has been a popular tourist destination in recent years. It is located in the Frasheri region, some 35 kilometers northeast of the town of Permet.

This Park attracts visitors, recuperative, and sporting qualities throughout the year due to its magnificent and scenic environment, healthy temperature, pure air, and near to urban areas. Echo-tourism, champing, and excursions are examples of types of tourism to engage in.

Shtamë Pass National Park

Shtamë Pass National Park is located approximately 25 kilometers east of Kruja, on the edge of the mountain chain north of Tirana. The park is named after the Qaf-Shtam crossing and spans 2000 hectares of spectacular alpine scenery, with pine woods, tiny lakes, and significant water sources dominating the landscape. The Albanian government established the national park in 1996. It has recently become a popular trekking destination.

At a height of roughly 1250 meters, the route from Kruja to Burrel passes through the park. The remainder of the park north of the pass road is primarily an undeveloped mountain area with woods dominated by pine and oak trees. The black pines, which may grow to be 20 meters tall and 60 years old, are one of Albania’s principal wood suppliers.  The woodlands provide refuge for brown bears, wolves, foxes, and a variety of birds, all of which are threatened by illegal destruction. The Maja e Liqenit (1724 meters) and the outlying peak Maja i Rjepat e Qetkolës are the highest peaks on which it climbs sharply from the Pass to the north ( 1686 meters).

The Fir of Drenovë National Park

The Fir of Drenovë National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombëtar Bredhi i Drenovës) is a national park in Korçë in eastern Albania, covering 10.3 km2 (4.0 sq mi).

The park is part of the Palearctic temperate broadleaf and mixed forest Illyrian deciduous forests and Dinaric Alpine mixed forests terrestrial ecoregion, which is dominated by the Silver fir. The region’s various morphological, climatic, and hydrological circumstances encourage the production of a wide range of geological characteristics. Various rock formations, such as the Stone of Capi, the Cut Stone, the Zhombrit’s Pyramide, and the Cave of Tren, can be found in the national park, as well as many water features, such as the Lenies Lakes and the Karstic Cavity. All of these have been designated as natural landmarks and are protected.

The most convenient mode of transportation to the national park is by vehicle. Depending on traffic, the trip from Tirana will take between 3 and 4 hours. Flights to Tirana are available from most of Europe’s largest international airports.

The park is difficult to reach via public transportation. If you are not driving your own car during your trip, it is advised that you rent a car to go to the park.

Vjosa National Park

Outside of Russia, the Vjosa River in Albania is Europe’s last wild river. The river and its tributaries run freely from Greece’s mountains to Albania’s Adriatic shore. From the small canyons in the upper portion to the large braided river sections in the middle part to the near-natural delta at the Adriatic Sea, this wilderness region is made up of an enormous mosaic of varied habitat types. At least eight habitat categories with the highest conservation importance in the EU are found in the middle stretch alone.

The biodiversity and physical processes of the Vjosa are poorly understood by scientists. It is one of Europe’s least explored rivers. However, the few known studies highlight the river valley’s importance as Albania’s biodiversity hotspot, providing perfect aquatic habitats for a variety of species. The river supports around 1,100 species, including 13 globally vulnerable animals and two plant species, while at least 50 animals and 24 plants are included on Albania’s national Red Lists.

The nearby watershed provides good space for agricultural operations such as grain production and animal farming in the communities. The volume and diversity of fish is critical for the livelihood of local fishermen, particularly in the Vjosa’s lower reaches. Eco-tourism on the Vjosa and its tributaries is growing in popularity, especially in recent years, as more people take up activities like rafting, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and other water sports.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Shala River

Shala River’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, with more folks heading to the north for their summer enjoyment. It is known for its gorgeous turquoise waters. Shala River is surrounded by a stunning environment and amazing caves, making it ideal for swimming. It’s a necessity to take a dive inside the caves!
The Shala River flows for 37 kilometers from its source on Radohina Peak in the Albanian Alps, colloquially known as Bjeshkt e Namuna (Accursed Mountains). The river empties into the magnificent Koman Lake, a popular tourist destination for both locals and visitors from around the world. Because of their close vicinity, the two are frequently connected via water ferries. If you take the ferry, keep in mind that most people who have done so are unable to stop talking about their experience.

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