• Albania

Albania

Albania is officially known as the Republic of Albania. It is located in the southeastern Europe and bordered by Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea at the west, Montenegro and Kosovo to the north, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. It is nearer than 72 kilometres from Italy and is separated by the Strait of Otranto. Nearly 70% of the country is mountainous and unprocurable from the outside. The highest mountain is Korab. The country lying at particular latitude is subjected to various weather patterns during winter and summer seasons. The country is distinguished for rich flora and fauna.

Albania was a socialist republic under the 1976 constitution. The constitution intended that “the rights of the citizens are indivisible from the fulfilment of their duties and cannot be exercised in opposition to the socialist order”. There are 140 members in the unicameral People’s Assembly from which, 100 are directly elected and 40 are elected by proportional representation. The People’s Assembly elects the President for a five-year term and the President appoints the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister appoints the Council of Ministers, which is approved by the President. Before 1990s, the Communist Party was the only political party but now they include many other parties.

Once upon a time, Albania was one of the most unprocurable nations in the Eastern Europe. This was due to the strict and tight entry rules and regulations, which kept most of the visitors of western countries visiting Albania. In the early days of 1980s, US citizens, Soviet citizens and full whiskered men were explicitly prohibited to visit the country. But on the advent of democracy, the country became accessible by the outside world. The official tourist agencies of Albania cite the beaches of the Adriatic Sea particularly at Durres, Vlore and Sarande and the beautiful lakes. The tourist hot spots include Durres Amphitheatre, one thousand and one window town of Berat, stone city of Gijirokaster, honeymooners’ city of Sarande and many more. The most famous archaeological sites are Apollonia, Antigonia, Byllis and Buttrint. There are also many natural attractions like the 20 kilometres long Osum Canyon, Sotira Waterfall, Kune-Vain Lagoon and the list continues. There are many interesting places in Albania so you must visit there at least once in your lifetime.

The roads are generally not suitable for the transport of motored vehicles. Rather, bicycles and donkeys are more common. There were almost no private cars, but they are increasing since the opening of the borders. Now a four-lane highway is on the construction linking Durres with Greece. There are almost 11 airports and 1 heliport. Railway consists of standard gauge and narrow gauge tracks.

In Albania, the Arberia Airlines was established in May 1991. It was not meant for public transport and was just a private airline for politicians. But it was later named as Albanian Airlines in May 1992 and started public transport in mid 1992. Cheap flights are available by many travel agencies in the world and entering into Albania by flight is the most convenient way as it is mostly mountainous. The Albania has strict politics; therefore it is not possible to enter or leave Albania.

However, you can enter it from surrounding countries. There are daily buses and they are cheap, affordable, new, comfortable and air conditioned, which stop at the gas stations. Ferries are also a popular medium of transport. The ferries from Bari and Ancona go to Durres. There is also a high-speed service from Bari. The entry by car is also possible from the major cities of the neighbouring countries. The customs officer issues a “road tax certificate” on payment of the tax to the police, which you must keep with until you leave the country. Albania is such a small country that you can leave the country by taxi. The hotel at which you are staying may be able to arrange a taxi for you to leave you at the border. Hotel booking can be done online from travel operators.
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