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Albania

Getting there & away

Contents

Land

Bus

From Tirana, buses for Prishtina (€30, 10 hours, 343km, three daily) leave from behind the museum near Sheshi Skënderbej. Buses for Sofia (€40, 17 hours) leave from Albtransport (223 026; Rr Mine Peza, Tirana; 8am-4pm Mon-Fri).

Macedonia-bound buses, going via Struga (€10, six hours, 197km, six per week) and on to Tetovo, leave from the muddy patch in front of the train station. Get tickets from the nearby Pollogu travel agency (04-23 500; 069-209 4906; Pall. 103, Bul Zogu I). It’s a little hard to find, upstairs in a modern apartment building; the entrance is next to a bright orange café, Pause.

Car & motorcycle

You will need a Green Card endorsed for Albania to bring a car into the country. You’ll find that many insurers and hire companies will not cover you.

Border crossings

Albania has land borders with Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro and the UN-monitored territory of Kosovo. Access to/from all neighbouring states is generally trouble-free and unrestricted.

Greece

There are border crossings between Korça and Florina at Kapshtica/Krystallopigi, between Ioannina and Gjirokastra at Kakavija/Kakavia, between Ioannina and Përmeti, and north of the Greek port of Igoumenitsa at Konispoli/Sagiada.

Macedonia

There are four border crossings with Macedonia. The two main ones are on either side of Lake Ohrid: Qafa e Thanës–Kafa San, 65km east of Elbasan; and Tushëmishti–Sveti Naum, 5km east of Pogradec. The latter is normally crossed on foot, as taxis from Pogradec will drop you off just before the Macedonian border. You can then wait for the bus to Ohrid (80MKD, 50 minutes, 29km, four daily) on the Macedonian side. There are two smaller crossings at Blato, 5km northwest of Debar, and at Stenje on the western shore of Lake Prespa.

Montenegro

There are currently two border crossings. There are regular minibuses between Shkodra and Ulcinj (€8, 40 minutes), crossing the border at Muriqani. By taxi it’s €10 to the border and US$10 from there to Ulcinj. The road to Han i Hotit on the way to Podgorica is in poorer shape. A taxi to this border crossing costs about €15.

Kosovo

The best crossing for travellers is at Morina/Vrbnica between Kukës and Prizren, though there is another rather isolated one at Prushi. There are still occasional reports of trouble in the border area, though nothing like as bad it as once was. Travellers on buses through to Prishtina should have no problems.

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Air

Albania’s only international airport is Nënë Tereza International Airport (also known as Mother Theresa and, more commonly, Rinas airport), which is located 26km northwest of Tirana. There are no domestic flights within Albania.

Airlines

Adria Airways (code JP; 04-228 483; www.adria.si, Ljubljana)

Albanian Airlines (code LV; 04-235 162; www.albanianairlines.com.al; Prishtina)

Hemus Air (code DU; 04-230 410; www.hemusair.bg; Sofia)

JAT Airways (code JU; 04-251 033; www.jat.com; Belgrade)

Malév Hungarian Airlines (code MA; 04-234 163; www.malev.hu; Budapest)

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