About this book
This new, thoroughly updated sixth edition of Bradt’s Albania remains the only standalone guide to this dynamic and rapidly modernising eastern European country, from the capital, Tirana, a lively European city, with shopping malls, cycle paths, museums, galleries and historic buildings, to remote outposts where traditional ways of life prevail. Updated by expert author Gillian Gloyer, it includes all developments since the last edition, reflecting changes such as continued investment in the road network and construction of fast highways connecting main cities, improved hotel provision and new museums dedicated to Albania’s communist history.
Despite such modernisation, Albania is one of very few European countries where it is still possible to immerse yourself in traditional lifestyles and culture, and Bradt’s Albania provides details of where to experience this for yourself. In highland villages, people tend their livestock and gather their crops with little or no mechanisation; they milk their cows and goats by hand, they make their own cheese and bread, they distil home-made spirits from local fruits and berries. In addition, many villagers have opened up their traditional homes as guest-houses, offering a wonderful opportunity to experience their culture first-hand.
Bradt’s Albania also includes details of watching the country’s rare wildlife, such as wildcats, lynx, wolves and bears, and of visiting its three World Heritage Sites: the archaeological site and national park of Butrint and the Ottoman cities of Berati and Gjirokastra. Iso-polyphony, the traditional music of the south-west, is also listed as part of World Heritage by UNESCO.
With rigorously researched historical and archaeological background information, detailed notes on popular and less well-known hiking routes and other outdoor activities, specialist contributors on wildlife, military history and other topics, and an unparalleled wealth of practical advice for the independent traveller, Bradt’s Albania is the ideal companion for discovering this intriguing country.
About the author
Gillian Gloyer studied ancient languages at Wadham College, Oxford. After university, she spent most of her professional career overseas, working in Spain, Chile, Belgium and Bosnia before finding herself, slightly by accident, in Albania. She lived in Tirana for four years, directing a long-term, multi-party training programme. Her training schedule took her all over the country and gave her the chance to discover Albania's astonishingly rich history and culture, then almost unknown outside the country. She learned the language and now speaks it well.
Gillian is now based in Edinburgh, but she visits Albania at least once a year, for both work and pleasure. She leads tour-groups to the country for several UK-based tour operators. She is a keen hillwalker and enjoys hiking in Albania's wildernesses.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMAT ION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, History 6, Government and politics, Economy, Ethnic groups, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Black and minority ethnic travellers, LGBTI travellers, Travellers with a disability, Travelling with children, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Photography, Media and communications, Albanian time and business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO T HE GUIDE
Chapter 3 T irana
Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Excursions from Tirana
Durresi, Kruja, Divjaka-Karavastaja National Park, Apollonia and Ardenica, Byllis, Elbasani, Berati
Chapter 5 T he Southeast
Korca, Voskopoja, Prehistoric sites, Pogradeci, The Prespa Lakes, The Gramoz Mountains, Permeti
Chapter 6 the Northeast
Mirdita, The Lura Lakes, Puka, Tropoja, Kukesi, Peshkopia, Mati
Chapter 7 the Northwest
Shkodra, Lezha, Th e Albanian Alps
Chapter 8 the Southwest
Saranda, Butrint, Gjirokastra, Libohova, Tepelena, The Riviera, Vlora
appendix 1 language
appendix 2 Further Information
"The best all round guide yet to this fascinating country." The Sunday Times
"An indispensable companion for all visitors." Mail on Sunday
"[A] lucid and readable guide book… invaluable." The Observer