Easter trip to Albania & Montenegro (Corfu to Dubrovnik)
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Apr 10, 2013 1:59 PM Last Post By: hs00
Feb 5, 2013 8:40 AM
I am considering going to Albania this Easter as I would like to go somewhere in Europe that is still relatively undiscovered.
I have found cheap flights from the UK to Corfu and returning from Dubrovnik, so was thinking of getting a ferry over to Albania and travelling up through the country (via Salandra, Vlora, Tirana... any other suggestions?) to Montenegro (hopefully to see Kotor) and then on to Dubrovnik for a day or two before flying back to the UK.
Does anyone have any idea of budget/costs for Albania. I am a student and would plan to stay in budget accommodation. I'd like to eat out sometimes and try local food but am happy to save by eating a few meals at a hostel etc. I am guessing Montenegro is more expensive relatively due to them using the Euro?
Regarding transport, I have read that mini-bus and bus travel is most common in Albania and this would suit me fine. I am considering going for about 10 days or so but am not sure how available transport is and whether I would need to factor in more time/less places to make the trip doable and to give me a reasonable amount of time in each place. Not sure if it will be quite beach weather in April but it would be nice to spend a bit of time in seaside areas anyway.
Any advice is welcome and appreciated and if I've forgotten any key details, please let me know. Thanks!
Feb 5, 2013 9:15 AM
2I suppose you checked the fares of http://www.belleair.eu/ too
Corfu - Saranda - Girokastir or Apollonia - Berat - Tirana - Kruja - Shkoder - Ulcinj - Stari Bar - Budva - Kotor - Dubrovnik is by far too much for 10 days.
So, you wll hve to forget the beaches not only because the seawater is much too cold in order to attract anybody, but just because you have no time for them.
Feb 5, 2013 9:59 AM
3Thanks for your replies. I wasn't planning on quite such a packed itinerary haha. My plan was something roughly like:
Day 1 - arrive Corfu and ferry over to Salandra
Day 2 - Salandra (see Blue Eye/Syri i kaltër)
Day 3 - Bus to Vlora
Day 4 - Vlora
Day 5 - Bus to Berat
Day 6 - Berat
Day 7 - Berat to Tirana
Day 8 - Tirana and then transfer Tirana-Kotor (Montenegro hostel has a 5hr direct transfer but it is 35 euros)
Day 9 - Kotor
Day 10 - Kotor-Dubrovnik
Day 11 - Dubrovnik
Day 12 - Dubrovnik - UK
I was not sure how many days to spend in various places - whether some places could be done without an overnight stay etc or merit more time? Maybe I should miss out Vlora then if the weather is not going to be so good for the beach areas. I don't know if there is anywhere on that list that is not so worth seeing in your opinions?
Feb 6, 2013 3:14 AM
Feb 6, 2013 3:54 AM
Feb 6, 2013 1:37 PM
6I did exactly this route a few months ago, so can offer some pointers. My personal opinion is that the sights are more impressive in ex-Yugoslavia than Albania, but stay in Saranda the first night and go see Butrint ruins, Ksmali also offers some (small) beaches. Note public transport to the blue eyed springs is a little sporadic, i think most tourists go via taxi. Berat could be seen in an afternoon and morning (walking up to the castle is the highlight), and Tirana too. The drive from Saranda to Berat, if going that way, is beautiful. I cant comment much more, the beaches are nothing much special but nice to relax by.
Montenegro is more pricey, but still affordable if you stay away from the tourist traps. Kotor and the coast is beautiful, but my favourite was hiking the mountains in Durmitor national park, Easter is a great time for rafting around there too. Of course Dubrovnik is beautiful, but extremely touristy and more expensive that Albania and Mont. Idea of costs; budget hotel room in provincial Albania; 15euros, Dorm bed in Tirana/Berat; 12euros, Dorm bed in Kotor; 15e, private room near Durmitor Ntl Park; 10-15e, Dorm bed in Dubrovnik/Cheapest private room; 20e/25e out of the old town. Buses and food are cheap in Albania, go up in Mont and to West Europe levels in Croatia. Alcohol cheap everywhere!
Id say 8 days is far too much for Albania, take 3-4 days from there and add in more time on Montengro's coast and if you like nature, head to Durmitor Ntl park, Id spend more time there any day than an Albanian beach. Don't forget to check out Kotor and Sveti Stefan from above, and Budva's old town. Walking up tot he view point above Dubrovinik will be a highlight of your trip. The Mont coast is over-developed with far too many package holiday tourists, but still beautiful. There is bus transport from Tirana to Podgorica (Mont capital), where there's frequent departures for Kotor, much cheaper than the hostel transfer. Be aware that you'll need 3 types of currencies for your trip and, Euro aside, you wont be change them once you return to the UK.
Feb 6, 2013 3:14 PM
Feb 7, 2013 1:23 AM
8You need more than 1 week for a decent visit of Albania. If you visit only the places around the coastal area, your trip could look lile that:
Day 1: flight to Corfu
Day 2: Check in at border control at Corfu harbour around 8am Greek time, arrival at Saranda around 9am Albanian time. Excursion to Butrinti and Hexamilion.
Day 3. Furgon to Girokastir, visit of the town
Day 4: Furgon Girokastir - Berat, visit
Day 5: Furgon to Tirana, visit Tirana and Kruje
Day 6: Furgon to Shkoder, visit
Day 7: Furgon to Ulcinj, bus to Sveti Stefan - Budva - Kotor
Feb 7, 2013 3:19 AM
Apr 10, 2013 1:59 PM
Me and a friend are planning a similar trip in May and have just over two weeks, starting in Corfu and finishing in Croatia. Just wondering how you got on with your Easter trip and if you have any recommendations? It would be great to know roughly how much time you'd suggest spending in Albania and Montenegro to allow time to see a few places along with travel time.
Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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