Table of Contents
- 1 Fier to Saranda through Llogara Pass, State Road 8 (Sh8)
- 2 Vau i Dejes to Puka, Sh5
- 3 Kuksi to Shishtavec, Sh26
- 4 Shkodra to Vermosh, Sh20
- 5 Fushe-Kruja to Qafeshtama National Park, Sh38
- 6 Milot-Shkopet-Uleza, Sh46
- 7 Elbasan to Gramsh, Sh59
- 8 Shkodra to Valbona, through Koman Lake
- 10 Gjirokastra-Kelcyra-Benje-Permet-Leusa-Leskovik-Erseka-Vithkuq-Voskopoja-Korca-Dardha, Sh75
- 11 Tepelena-Progonat-Gusmar-Nivica
- 12 Saranda to Konispol through Ksamili and Butrint
Who doesn’t love a good road or bike trip? Hitting the road in Albania is among the coolest things travelers can do. Albania has more than 20,000 km of roads that include motorways and dirt roads. Yet, for adventure seekers looking for nice sceneries, and the adrenaline factor, there are enough options worth the drive or ride across the country. Some of the roads are known among hunters of top road trip destinations. The thrill of the open road lures tourists that crave the freedom of road trips. Set your own schedule, stop and stare, explore around, you have to try it on the Albanian style.
Read also: Best Autumn Road – Trips in Albania
Driving in Albania
Must have: a valid license
An international driving permit
A fire extinguisher, first aid kit, spare bulbs, warning triangle, a spare tire, a repair emergency kit, your GPS device, a yellow vest.
In Albania, you drive on the right side of the road.
Speed limits are sign-posted in kilometers. Respect the speed limits
Drive with your headlights on during daytime.
Legal driving age is 18.
Everybody in the car over the age of 12 must wear a seatbelt. Anyone under the age of 12 wears a seatbelt or uses a child restraint.
Be careful and drive safely.
Don’t drink and drive.
Be careful on motorways. It is common to see pedestrians cross the motorway even though the footbridge can be 50 meters away.
Emergency number: 129
There is only one toll road in Albania, Nation’s Road (Rruga e Kombit).
Be careful around animals on the road
Pull over if you need to use your phone
In the case of an accident, you have to wait for the police to come
Stick to the rules, no matter how crazy others drive.
Fier to Saranda through Llogara Pass, State Road 8 (Sh8)
Sh8 is pretty much the definitive road trip in Albania. Spanning 126 km long through the southern Riviera it connects the cities of Fier and Saranda. Along the road, there’s everything, from the cooling towers of the communist-era legacy in Fier, salt plains, ancient sites, to the almost abandoned villages on the mountain slopes. The Southern Riviera is the most visited destination in Albania. Even though the sea is the main attraction, the area holds huge potential for developing into a year-round destination. Adventure travel, ecotourism, agrotourism, and cultural tourism are promising sectors that could pave the way to sustainable development and economic growth in the communities living in southern Albania.
Products of the area:
Olive oil, honey, fresh citrus fruit, dairy products
Experience cultural heritage, ruins, castles, iso-polyphony
Vau i Dejes to Puka, Sh5
Deja Ford is located 20 away from Shkodra and 92 km away from capital city Tirana. The municipality is known for its waterscape, hydropower plant, and old castles. The castles of Sarda, Shurdhah, Dalmica, Danja, and Vigu are found around the lake.
Kuksi to Shishtavec, Sh26
Highways are the best option for the fans of speed and for those that want to reach their destination faster, but there are many people who say that besides these, highways are emotionless and monotone. Now all the drivers travelling to Kosovo through Kukes can choose a scenic drive through Shishtaveci. This forgotten village, during the communist regime, supplied the entire country with potatoes, now is gaining the attention of visitors and tourists, thanks to the new road from Kukes to the Kosovan border that was financed by different donors in various sections including the European Union and the German Government.
Shkodra to Vermosh, Sh20
The road to Vermosh begins in Shkodra, one of the largest and most interesting cities in Albania. It is famous for Rozafa Castle and its legend, the stunning waterscape created by Shkodra Laka, Buna and Drin River and the impressive number of bicycles. This is a city of rich history, traditions and cultural heritage.
After crossing Leqet e Hotit Mountain Pass the road heads to Tamara, Kelmend and finally Vermosh. These and the villages of, Lepusha, Selca, Broja, Nikc, Vukel, and Kozhnja are part of a magnificent region of majestic landscapes. Tourism is developing in the area and guesthouses offer shelter to mountaineers and hikers that come to explore the area.
The best time to go: from April to September. Best for driving, cycling, and biking.
Fushe-Kruja to Qafeshtama National Park, Sh38
Ulza Eco Park is the newest destination for the fans of water sports and outdoor recreational activities. The park, a year-round destination is now part of the national tourism sites. Ulza is an area that combines natural beauty with cultural and spiritual heritage. The park aims at promoting sustainable tourism as a source for rural development and economic empowerment of local communities. Ulza Park, about 40km away from Tirana, is located in Dibra region and it’s an emerging destination. The number of visitors in the small city by the lake created by the Hydro Power Plant Dam increased during the recent years
Elbasan to Gramsh, Sh59
Gramsh, a city located in the Valley of Devolli River is proving that proper management of water resources is a key element to economic growth and sustainable development. Gramsh district is located in southeastern Albania, some 84 km away from Tirana, and the administrative center can be reached from the capital city in less than two hours’ drive.
Gramsh is home to beautiful natural monuments, while manmade works complement these natural assets. But the area was out-of-the radar due to lack of infrastructure until it got the attention of Norwegian investors that started the construction of two large renewable energy projects, the hydropower plants in Banja and Moglica. The investors also improved the road infrastructure.
Holta Canyon, Sotira Waterfall, Valamara Lakes, Sineci Canyon are among the must-visit destinations in the area.
Shkodra to Valbona, through Koman Lake
Saranda to Konispol through Ksamili and Butrint
Photo credit: Velecp