2 weeks in Albania - The final report
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 3:09 AM Last Post By: scabbedsaint
Aug 14, 2012 3:25 AM
2 weeks in Albania - The final reportNow I am back home in the dull office enviroment after 2 amazing weeks in Albania.
We were driving, covering a total of 4004km from Prague, CZ to Albania and back and enjoyed the trip very much.
All the people we meet and experiences and views just made it a memorable trip.
We started off by entering Shkoder then up Thethi, hiked over to Valbone, ferry back down to Koman and up to Shkoder to pick up our car again. From there we headed Lezhe, Kruja and then had to take a break on the 6th day of the trip due to food poisoning.
Not the funniest, but first time it ever happened to me.
Then further down Tirana (which amazed me how restored and built up it has become since I was there 3 years ago) Jale beach and camping, Blue Eye where I swam and then Gjirokaster, Permet and beautiful Dardhe and then home again.
Sleeping and finding hotels were not so expensive as people suggest here.
Apparentally this year it has been a drop in visitors in the Northern mountains due to the prices, and some people have dropped their prices as well. We paid 20 Euro with breakfast for two people in a double room in a home stay in Valbone for example.
But mostly the prices were around 20-25 Euro in a hotel for two people with breakfast.
We even managed to get a double room in the 4 star hotel Dardhe in Dardhe for 25 euros for a night but that was due to bad English from the guy at the reception.
If you are driving then remember that cash is king in Albanias gas stations and that they may have signs saying Visa or Mastercard, however all of the 4 or 5 stations that we stopped at that had the sign said that the card was "no function".
Seems more like a market gimmick to get customers to stop but pay by cash anyway.
The fuel price is heavily fluxating from station to station.
The more general was between 178-182 Leke/liter which is cheaper then in most of Europe.
ALPI was the most expensive with 192 Leke/litre but we also saw a small station outside Tirana, on the way to Elbasan that had fuekl for 165 Leke/liter.
If interested in buying pure, home pressed olive oil then the going rate for 1½ liter bottle ranges from 600 to 1000 Leke.
We bought one bottle for 800 just before Elbasan, one bottle for 800 outside Gjirokaster and one bottle for 600 in Pogradec.
And dont try to bargain if you will just buy one bottle, it is impossible and they will be offended.
The going rate on the road from Saranda to Blue Eye is 1000 leke.
We got the Olive oil for 800 outside Gjirokaster on the way to Permet just because we also bought a 1½ litre bottle of Raki for 700 Leke other wise it would have been 1000 leke.
Mores stories and pictures are available on my blog and I am currently updating it as fast as i can to complete the trip.
Aug 14, 2012 3:27 AM
Aug 14, 2012 4:12 AM
2Nice report, thanks. Cool that you made it to Dharde, not many foreigners take the time to visit, which it's a really lovely place for walks in the forests (as long as you don't tray into Greece).
Aug 14, 2012 4:20 AM
Aug 14, 2012 5:01 AM
4I would recommend Dardhe to anyone I met.
However you should have a car for that drive as well.
Our 1997 Skoda Felicia Combi just made it on the hills.
We had insurance (doesnt everyone have it?) for the car so we had no problems entering Macedonia but the Bulgarian plated car in front of us was not let in and a huge and loud discussion between the border guard and the driver took place right in front of us.
Aug 15, 2012 8:20 AM
5hi! i've read your blog as well... it seems the temperatures have gone down just a bit, recently. the description you gave of the trip to logara peak, getting down with hardly any petrol left... i know, i know! did this trip myself from vlora to saranda, had to make clear to my friend that he DID have to fill up his tank and explained why... he thought i was crazy! so literally at the LAST petrol station leaving vlora, he stopped, pfew. the same guy forgot to bring his green card - okay, in italy it was not a big deal. but entering the harbour facilities in durres... he was offered a 30 days' insurance - and refused to buy it! i won't tell you what happened then... but we had to call friends in fier to pick us up, and he had to go back again the next day for the car... and PAY.
Aug 16, 2012 3:09 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$228.97 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$163.61 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$5.31 per night