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Cheap Flights to Albania

Albania, or more officially the Republic of Albania, is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the Northwest, Kosovo to the Northeast, Macedonia to the East, and Greece to the South and Southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the West and Ionian Sea to the Southwest, and is less than 72 kilometers from Italy, right across the Strait of Otranto that links the two seas bordering the country.  

The modern-day territory of the country was at various points in history a part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia, and Moesia Superior. The modern Albania became independent after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars. The country declared independence in 1912, to be recognized in 1913, became a Principality, Republic, and Kingdom, until it was invaded again for years by various forces (Italy, Germany, etc). Thereafter, Albania regained its independence in 1991 upon the dissolution of the Socialist Republic, thus naming it the Republic of Albania.

Today, the country is an upper middle-income economy with the service sector dominating the country's GDP, while on the trail comes the industrial and agriculture sectors. The capital of the country, Tirana, is home to 421,286 of the country's 3.1 million inhabitants, and is the financial center of the country. Free market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania also has a high Human Development Index, providing a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education. 

Tourism-wise, Albania's strength lies on its natural resources, an abundance which has been shelved and has been took for granted in the past 20 years. It is magic really – as some countries that are equally beautiful takes tourism as their primary economic money cow while Albania's destinations waited for two decades before it was utilized. That phase is over though, as Albania has hit its stride and is now offering a healthy dose of stunning and unique attractions. 

What to see & do

Tirana – the vibrant and beating heart of the country, Tirana is a colorful and lively concoction of Albania – a slush worth trying out upon arrival to the country. The city has undergone a transformation of extraordinary proportions since the communist veil was lifted in the early 90s, and today, it is a more upbeat version of the once timid and quiet capital. Trendy Blloku buzzes with well-dressed bourgeoisie who hang out in bars or weaving through fashion boutiques; the city's grand boulevards are lined with fascinating relics of its Ottoman, Italian, and communist past, while just about 400,000 souls live through the daily battle of wills with vehicles. Loud, vivid, and crazy, the city is never a dull spot. Visit the iconic National History Museum, which is the largest of Albania, check on the Former residence of Enver Hoxha, and taste the local cuisine through Oda and Era. 

Saranda – like the capital Tirana, Saranda is another busy metropolitan in the country with a plus factor: its stony beaches. It helps that it is almost always summer in Saranda – and it is just obligatory to go for a swim. It is also a favorite spot for honeymooners to spend a week too – as the beauty of the Albanian Riviera can be enjoyed from here. From the noisy city center, hop to the beautiful Blue Eye Spring, or drive to Ksamili, a village with a beautiful beach and several small islands that tourists can swim to. Visit the Butrint too for some dose of Alabania's past, and taste the local Albanian Raki.

Durres – once called Albania's capital, Durres is now a virtual extension of Tirana – a bustling city filled with industries that have flocked the country upon the free market agreement. The city is also gifted with a decent 10-kilometer stretch of beach, although can be crowded especially during the summer months (which is typically 80% of the year).

How to get around

Travelers may go around the country via bus, trains, rental cars, or even bicycles. Check on the ride schedules for buses and trains first if traveling for the first time. Hitchhiking is not very common, however it is possible that people will drop and pick travelers up if they are able. 

How to get there

The Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza is Albania's only international airport. It is commonly known as Rinas International Airport, and is located some 11 kilometers northwest of Tirana. It is the gateway of the world to Albania, and is served by various airlines including Adria Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Blu-express, British Airways, Lufthansa Regional, Pegasus Airlines, and many others. Cheap flights can be booked using Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online resource of the cheapest flights from over 600 airlines including the above-mentioned. Book your flights directly through the site, or download the Skyscanner app available free for mobile devices to access the cheapest flights.

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