Best Time to Visit Albania For Travelers
Albania has an incredible coastline, so understandably, many assume that the summer is the best time to visit Albania. However, Albania is a huge country with a beautiful landscape perfect for hiking and is home to some stunning natural attractions that can be enjoyed all year round. I traveled much of Albania as a digital ... Read more The post Best Time to Visit Albania For Travelers appeared first on Goats On The Road.
Albania has an incredible coastline, so understandably, many assume that the summer is the best time to visit Albania. However, Albania is a huge country with a beautiful landscape perfect for hiking and is home to some stunning natural attractions that can be enjoyed all year round.
I traveled much of Albania as a digital nomad from May until September – it was a great time to visit.
There are some amazing cities, hiking trails, and canyons to explore as well as beautiful historical villages which are so well-preserved you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
The best time to travel to Albania will depend on what you’re looking to do there. So keep reading, and hopefully, I can help you decide when the ideal time is for you to book your trip to Albania.
Overall Best Time to Visit Albania – June
In my opinion, June is the best time to visit Albania overall. The temperatures are warm enough to enjoy the beaches and the days are sunny with many hours of sunlight.
So, if you’re heading to this Balkan gem, then June is the best month to visit Albania. You’ll be able to spend days by the coast without the crazy crowds of the peak months. Equally, the temperature is pleasant enough to wander the fascinating towns and cities in Albania comfortably.
The average temperature is around 26°C (80 Fahrenheit). It’s still very warm, but not as stifling as in the peak of summer. Equally, the summer crowds haven’t yet completely arrived. Everything will be open, but you’ll find the country much quieter than in the coming months.
Peak Season in Albania – July and August
Peak season in Albania sees super high temperatures and much larger crowds at the popular beach resorts.
If you’re after a beach holiday with lazy days of sunbathing by the sea, then this is the best time to visit Albania. The temperatures are at their highest and there’s a good atmosphere at the beaches.
Temperatures will average around 30°C (high 80s Fahrenheit), so you’ll need to take care to stay hydrated and remember to top up sunscreen when out in the sun.
The beaches are most crowded at this time of year with tourists from other parts of Albania, the Balkans, and from across Europe. Prices are also at their highest due to the huge popularity of the stunning beach resorts in Albania.
Inland cities such as Tirana are very hot at this time of year, and it is hard to escape the heat. The bars, restaurants, and cafes are all air-conditioned, so are perfect places to cool down inside.
Outside, there’s the Grand Park of Tirana, but otherwise, the city can get stifling in the peak summer seasons. I prefer to visit Tirana and other inland gems like Berat and Gjirokaster during the shoulder season instead.
Shoulder Season in Albania – April to June, and September to October
The shoulder seasons are the best time of year to visit Albania in my opinion. The temperatures at the start and end of the shoulder seasons are perfect for exploring cities on foot or hiking in the mountains.
As the shoulder season approaches peak season, you can enjoy some very good temperatures for visiting the amazing beaches of Albania without as many crowds.
The temperature climbs from around 15°C (60 Fahrenheit) in April to around 25°C (80 Fahrenheit) in June. The temperature then falls from those heights again from September to October/November when you can expect much cooler conditions.
So, if you’re looking to enjoy some of the best things to do in Albania, then early shoulder season is a great time to visit. It’s much quieter and offers perfect weather for walking tours, wine tasting, or hiking in the mountains.
If you want to add in some beach days without the crowds, then June and September are the best time to go to Albania.
Off Season in Albania – November to March
November to March is off-season in Albania; when temperatures drop through the winter and crowd numbers are very low.
That’s not to say it’s not a good time to visit Albania if you prefer to visit countries out of season. The temperatures through winter are still higher than in many other European countries during these months.
The temperature rarely gets below 0°C (32 Fahrenheit) and can reach around 12°C (54 Fahrenheit) which is a very pleasant temperature for taking on some of the longer hikes in Albania.
Tirana is also a fantastic place to visit in the winter as there are many museums and tours indoors as well as a huge choice of fantastic bars and restaurants to try out.
When to Visit Albania For Beaches
If you’re visiting Albania to enjoy the lovely coastline and relax on the beach, the shoulder or peak seasons are the best time to visit Albania for you.
The peak season between July and August will provide the best weather; you’re almost guaranteed sunshine and the country experiences the least rain during these times. Albania does occasionally have a few storms, but these are often short-lived and the sun soon reappears.
Shoulder season is also a fantastic time to visit Albania’s beaches. The weather is fantastic, and while there might be a few more showers, the sun will be shining, and the sea is warm to swim in.
Overall, my favorite time to visit the beaches in Albania is during shoulder season. While the weather isn’t quite as hot, there are far fewer people and so the beaches are much calmer and more relaxing.
Some of my favorite beaches to visit in Albania are Ksamil Beach and Livadi Beach in Himare. These beaches are bustling during the summer, and you may struggle to get a sun lounger if you arrive late. During the shoulder season, you’re sure to find the perfect spot no matter what time you turn up.
When to Visit Albania For Festivals
If you love EDM, then the best time to visit Albania will be from May – July, (shoulder to peak season). Many of these festivals are located right on the coast, and you’ll be partying on the beach until the small hours.
Another popular festival is the Korca Beer Festival in Korca. This is usually held mid to the end of August and celebrates different beers from all over the country. Over 100,000 people attend every year.
If you’re visiting Tirana, there are often events held in Skanderbeg Square over the shoulder and summer months. During the month I spent in Tirana, I went to a summer festival and an American festival/celebration too. It’s fun in the city from around May all the way through to the end of summer in September/October.
When to Visit Albania For Cities
You can really visit the cities in Albania at any time of year. However, keep in mind that Albania does get very hot in the summer, which can make city living somewhat uncomfortable during peak season.
Whilst you can absolutely visit the cities in the Summer, I advise you to avoid them in peak summer. For example, when I visited Tirana in May, it was already around 30°C, and it was stifling. I wandered around many museums to avoid the heat!
In winter, the cities and towns are beautiful to visit, they’re decorated festively and have a quaint and cozy feeling to them. While it can be cold, it’s a fantastic time to wander around and enjoy the local hospitality.
When to Visit Albania For Historical Sites
A great time to visit the historical sites in Albania is the shoulder season to avoid the heat and the crowds.
If you do visit in the summer, and you absolutely can, my tips are to take lots of water and try and arrive as early as possible to not only avoid the heat but the crowds too.
When to Visit Albania For Cheap Prices
If you’re coming from the US, Canada, UK, or West Europe, Albania is a cheap destination all year round. On the coast especially, prices will increase for the peak season, but it’s still pretty affordable, particularly when compared with other neighboring destinations like Greece and Italy.
Accommodation is much cheaper outside of peak season. You can expect to pay on average around 30% less during the off-season and shoulder seasons.
When to Visit Albania For Hiking
Mountains make up around 70% of Albania’s terrain, so it’s a dream destination for hikers. The scenery is truly spectacular and you can enjoy incredible views over towns, cities, the ocean, rivers, lakes, and valleys – it’s beautiful.
In terms of when to go to Albania for hiking, you should avoid the mountains with high elevation until June as there will still be snow until then.
A good example of this is the Valbona to Theth trail, which spans the Accursed Mountains, often called the Albanian Alps. It’s one of the most popular trails in the whole of Albania and can get very busy in summer. It’s around 28 km long and considered a fairly difficult hike, but wow, the views are well worth the challenge.
For an easy and relaxing hike, the Kryezi Waterfalls trail in Vlore is a great choice, particularly for families. It’s just 2.4 kilometers and in the summer, you can swim in the waterfall.
The Best Time to Visit Albania By Month
There are many amazing things to do throughout the year in Albania, with festivals and celebrations taking place all over the country.
So, let’s look at the best times to visit Albania, with some highlights picked out for each month to help you plan your perfect trip.
Albania in January
The weather in Albania in January is predictably cold, as it’s the peak of the off-season. That does, however, mean that crowds and prices are at their lowest, so it can be a good time to visit Albania if you don’t mind the cooler climes.
Weather in Albania in January
January sees some of the coolest weather in Albania. The coastal destinations such as Sarande and Ksamil are extremely quiet with many bars and restaurants closed for the off-season.
January can be a great time to visit the capital Tirana. The temperatures in Tirana range from between 0 and 12°C (32 to 55 Fahrenheit). This is a good time for visiting the Bunk Art museums or taking a walking tour around the city.
If you prefer a winter wonderland feel, then head to the magical town of Korce. Here, you’ll find snow in the mountains, and you can ski, skate, and enjoy a wintry experience. Note that snow is not guaranteed in Korce, so do check before you go.
Things To Do in Albania in January
The first week in January is a public holiday, so you’ll see lots of celebrations in Albania. Local establishments may be closed this week, although the larger business, especially in Tirana and Durres, will remain open.
For me, Tirana is a great place to base yourself for January. From here, you can enjoy some of the best things to do in Tirana away from the crowds. You can also head to some of the most popular spots in Albania, such as Berat, without the usual throngs of tourists that come with the summer months.
Albania in February
Generally, the weather in Albania in February is similar to January. It’s one of the least popular months for tourists, which can mean you’re more likely to find reasonably priced stays and tours thanks to the fewer visitors.
Weather in Albania in February
The weather across Albania in February is very similar to January. You can expect temperatures to range between freezing (32 Fahrenheit) and 12°C (55 Fahrenheit).
On average, there are around 8-9 rainy days, so factor in the chance of rain if you do head to Albania in February.
Things To Do in Albania in February
As with January, February is the best time to visit Albania if you’re happy to trade hot, sunny days for quieter cities and tourist destinations.
The great thing about Albania is that it has a fantastic mix of indoor and outdoor things to do, so, if you’re flexible, you can adjust to the weather when you arrive. Tirana again gets my vote for the best place to be based in February.
Here, there are museums, galleries, cafes, and bars to escape any rain. If the weather’s clear, then you can head up the Dajti mountains on the Dajti Express cable car for some incredible views over the city.
If you’re lucky, there may still be snow in Korce, but it’s usually melting by February, so check before you head off. In any event, Korce is a beautiful city to explore, with an incredible old town to wander through and enjoy.
Albania in March
The temperatures across Albania are slowly starting to increase in March. The historical sites and tourist destinations are just starting to come back to life too.
Weather in Albania in March
The weather in Albania in March can be mixed. It’s the end of the coldest season in Albania, but you may still get a few colder days. Equally, it’s heading towards shoulder season, so you can get some unseasonably warm days.
The average temperatures fluctuate between 4 and 15°C (40-60 Fahrenheit). If you get temperatures in the upper part of that range, then it can be an amazing time to go hiking in Albania.
As the seasons are changing, you can still expect some rainy days with rainfall similar to that in February.
Things To Do in Albania in March
Albania in March is the start of spring and so you can expect green leaves and flowers popping up all over the country.
Spring is celebrated in Albania on 14th March with the famous Dita e Verës (The Summer Day) festival. It’s a pagan festival that celebrates the coming of Spring. You can expect to see bonfires lit all over the country to ward off the darkness of winter.
I’d recommend heading to the town of Elbasan, an hour from Tirana, where the festival has its traditional routes. Here, you’ll see bright colors, music, singing, and dancing everywhere. You also need to try ballokume, a traditional Albanian sugar cookie baked during the festival.
Albania in April
April is the start of the shoulder season that sees rising temperatures and lots of sunny days.
Weather in Albania in April
The weather in Albania in April is very spring-like, with temperatures increasing each day as the year heads toward summer. The average daily temperature is around 7 to 19°C (45 to 65 Fahrenheit), so you can expect some much hotter days in the main cities.
The days are getting longer in April too and there are lots of clear, blue-sky days which makes it a really pleasant country to visit at this time of year.
As with other European countries, spring does bring its fair share of rain, so you may still get a few rainy days during April. Generally, it feels much warmer in April with lots of sunshine.
Things To Do in Albania in April
April is one of the best months to visit Albania for those that love hiking. The stunning countryside and mountains around Albania make it perfect for heading out to explore nature.
The warmer temperatures in April are a good time to explore the cities of Albania too. It’s a lovely temperature to wander around the capital, Tirana, or to head to Berat or Gjirokaster – two incredible, historic destinations in Albania.
Albania in May
Albania in May is the middle of shoulder season. The weather is becoming more summery and a lot of the seasonal towns and destinations are starting to open back up for the summer.
Weather in Albania in May
May is another of my favorite times of the year to visit Albania. The temperatures can feel very summery, and you can expect lots of sunshine days in May.
Temperatures should be in the mid-teens and low 20s (55 to 75 Fahrenheit). Coupled with the long summer days, the weather makes it one of the best times to visit Albania.
If you love exploring cities and sites, then the temperatures are mild enough to make this enjoyable. Equally, if you prefer life by the coast then the beaches in Albania such as at Sarandë and Ksamil begin to come alive for summer in May.
There’s slightly less rainfall in May too, with an average of around 7 days in the month. The weather is pretty consistent by this time which makes it a great time to visit Albania.
Things To Do in Albania in May
The increased temperatures and sunny days mean there are so many things to do in Albania.
If you want to learn more about the fascinating ancient history of Albania, then head down to Butrint National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Albania.
Here, you can wander through the ancient city previously occupied by the Byzantines, the Romans, the Venetians, and many others. In its day, it was one of the most popular Roman cities, and you can see discover the uncovered amphitheater, Venetian Castle, and the Great Basilica amongst other points of interest.
May is a fantastic time to visit Butrint as visitor numbers are much lower and the cooler, spring temperatures mean you can wander around for as long as you wish exploring this ancient city.
Albania in June
June is my favorite time to visit Albania, thanks to the warm and sunny weather and fewer crowds.
Weather in Albania in June
Summer arrives in June, with clouds and rain rapidly reducing over the course of the month. You can expect lots of gorgeous, clear, and hot days, which are perfect for enjoying the coast.
Temperatures hover around 26 to 30°C (78 to 86 Fahrenheit) and although there can still be rain in Albania in June, it’s usually short-lived. At the start of the month, there’s a 20% chance of rain, which falls to 14% by the end of the month.
Things To Do in Albania in June
The popular EDM festival, Kala takes place in June where you can dance the night away to live DJs as well as eat some lovely food and take part in various activities. The festival is located in Dhermi which is an ideal place to begin a tour of the Albanian Riviera.
If you’re into yoga and other wellness activities, Anjunadeep Explorations takes place in Dhermi too in June. It’s a music festival that also focuses on wellness. You can practice yoga, have a beach massage, and enjoy other mindful activities.
The coast of course is amazing to visit in June as the weather starts to create wonderful beach conditions, and there are fewer tourists around, particularly at the start. Explore the cities, towns, and beaches without the crowds – they’re beautiful.
Albania in July
July brings peak weather, but also peak season. Prepare for incredible weather and lots of people.
Weather in Albania in July
The weather in Albania is similar to that in June. It gets a little hotter, with temperatures averaging around 30-32°C (86-89 Fahrenheit).
There can still be a little rain, (around 2 days per month), and a few thunderstorms, but this is usually in the afternoon and overnight. Generally, you’ll get perfect weather in July.
Things To Do in Albania in July
Turtle Fest is the largest electronic music festival in Albania. It takes place at the beautiful Drimadhë Beach near Dhermi. It hosts some amazing local and international DJs and it’s a super fun event.
From Saranda, you can take boat trips, stay in some lovely hotels, and even take a trip to Corfu right from the port. On your doorstep, you have some fantastic beaches, restaurants, and great beach bars.
Albania in August
August is the hottest and busiest time of year. School holidays are in full swing, and a lot of people head to the coast.
Weather in Albania in August
Albania is very hot during August. The hottest day of the year is 3 August, with temperatures reaching 35-36°C. I avoid staying in the cities at this point as they can be stifling and without a pool or the coast to escape to, the heat can be unbearable.
Rainfall does increase from an 11% chance of rain on 1 August to an 18% chance by the end of the month. Rain is rarer on the south coast (Saranda and Ksamil) than it is inland, (like in Tirana and further up the coast towards Durres).
Largely, you’ll have beautiful weather in August, and the crowds on the beaches are evidence of that.
Things To Do in Albania in August
The Korce Beer Festival takes place in August, which is home to Korce Beer, Albania’s most famous brewery – seriously, you’ll see it everywhere. It’s a great excuse to visit one of Albania’s most underrated towns, particularly at a time when tourists are favoring those by the coast.
If you don’t like the heat, the south coast and the cities are likely to be scorching, and exploring the attractions there will be hard work. August is really too hot to do anything other than lounge around and swim.
Albania in August is a good time to explore the mountains. The higher altitude will see slightly cooler temperatures, and you’ll be able to take in some beautiful scenery. Theth or Kruja, just outside of Tirana, are both good options.
Albania in September
September marks the end of the peak summer season, but it’s still a great time to visit Albania. The continuing sunny weather and warm temperatures mean you can enjoy the coast with fewer crowds.
Weather in Albania in September
The weather in Albania in September is still excellent. While the stifling hot days of the peak summer months are behind, the days are still warm enough to spend days relaxing at the amazing beaches in Albania.
The average temperature is between 15 and 27°C (57 to 81 Fahrenheit) so can vary during the month. During the hot days, the beaches are much less crowded and the beautiful, crystal-clear waters are warm from a summer of sun.
The weather in the cities is more pleasant than during the summer. Temperatures are in the low to mid-20s (70-75 Fahrenheit); making this time of year much more comfortable to explore inland destinations.
There’s a little more rain in September than in the peak summer period, perhaps a day or two more each month. But for the most part, the skies are blue, the sun feels warm, and it’s a lovely time to visit this incredible country.
Things To Do in Albania in September
September is the best time to visit Albania if you want to explore the Albanian Riviera without the crazy summer crowds. Sarande and Ksamil boast some of the best beaches in the country. As a result, they are incredibly popular in the summer with tourists and locals.
In September, those crowds are calming down, but the weather is still perfect for beach days. The Ksamil beaches themselves are stunning, especially with fewer tourists, and the incredible, clear waters are warm after the summer. Sarandë and Ksamil are also excellent places to base yourself to explore the south of Albania.
Head across the water on a fast ferry to Corfu, or seek out the incredible Blue Eye in Albania, a stunning blue spring located in the middle of a national park. For history buffs, check out Butrint National Park, and be sure to head into the hills to explore the quaint and cobbled town of Gjirokastër for a beautiful day trip.
Albania in October
The weather in October has a much more autumnal feel to it, with cooler temperatures but plenty of sunny days still.
Weather in Albania in October
The average temperature in October drops slightly. You can expect the weather to be between 10 and 22°C (50 to 70 Fahrenheit). Generally, the weather in October is better suited to exploring the cities and inland destinations rather than beach days.
You may see a few more rainy days in October, with the average amount of days equating to around 8 to 9 in the month. However, in between any rain, you can expect clear, blue, sunny skies.
Things To Do in Albania in October
For me, October is one of the best times to go to Albania to explore the historical sites and ancient towns. Crowd numbers are drastically down on summer numbers, so it’s easier to take your time and really explore.
Tirana is an excellent place to be based in October, as there are so many things to do in Tirana itself. From Tirana, you can take tours or trips to nearby Durrës for wine tasting, Berat to explore the city of 1000 windows, or hike into the Gamti Mountains to see the incredible Lake Bovilla.
October is a great time of year to visit Albania and make the most of the last of the summer weather. Prices and tourist numbers are also much lower at this time of year.
Albania in November
The weather in November in Albania is much cooler and more changeable as the year heads into winter. Despite the change in weather, there’s still plenty to do in the major cities.
Weather in Albania in November
The temperatures are approaching their lowest of the year during November. Average temperatures for this time of year range between 4 and 15°C (40 to 60 Fahrenheit), so although you can get some pleasant days, it’s definitely worth taking some extra layers for those colder, wintry days.
There’s much more rainfall at this time of year as well, with an average of around 10 rainy days in the month, and the days are shorter as we head into winter.
That said, it’s still a fantastic time to visit Albania, especially for the major cities where there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy.
Things To Do in Albania in November
With the changeable weather and lower temperatures, November isn’t the best time to visit Albania if you want to explore its magnificent countryside and coastline.
However, if you base yourself in Tirana, you can still enjoy many of the highlights of this bustling, metropolitan city. There are many fascinating museums in Tirana to explore and November is a great time of year to see them.
The two Bunk Art museums are incredible if you prefer to focus on more recent history. These re-purposed bunker systems have been dedicated to telling the story of Albania during its Communist Era. If you only have time for one, go to Bunk Art 1.
If you’re in Tirana at the end of November, then you can join in the Independence Day celebrations. The 28th of November marks the anniversary of Albanian independence from the Ottoman Empire and is accompanied by parties, concerts, and events throughout the country, (particularly in the capital).
Albania in December
December in Albania welcomes the Christmas and Festive Period with lots of wintry activities and decorations.
Weather in Albania in December
As December is the middle of winter in Albania, it’s unsurprising that you’ll have some of the coldest weather at this time of year. The average temperature is around 1 to 12°C (35 to 55 Fahrenheit); take extra layers to wrap up and feel festive in these more wintry conditions.
Rainfall is also more prevalent in December and you can expect around 10 days of rain during the month. That does leave plenty of dry days to explore the festive events taking place across the country, so it’s still a very possible time to visit Albania.
Things To Do in Albania in December
As with November, the unpredictable and colder weather in December tends to lend itself to more indoor activities.
That said, there are lots of Christmas and Festive events taking place across the country in the lead-up to Christmas. In Tirana, Skanderbeg Square has a huge Christmas tree and its own Christmas markets. This is a fantastic place to explore and feel the holiday season spirit in Tirana.
Equally, many of the bars and restaurants in Tirana, (and across the country), have events on in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a great place to visit to celebrate all things festive. Tirana is also a walkable city, so it’s a good place to be based.
Wrap up warm, stop for plenty of hot coffee or drinks, and enjoy exploring the city during this magical time of year.
There are some brilliant things to do in Albania, and for me, the best time to visit is in the shoulder season (May-June, and September). It’s the best time to visit Albania to enjoy the beaches, as the weather is hot and the sea is warm, but you can enjoy far fewer crowds, and also walk around the beautiful and historic cities and towns comfortably.
However, peak season does have its perks – the weather is fantastic and visitors are almost guaranteed sunshine. If you want to lie on the beach or around a pool, peak season is amazing for this.
I hope this post helps you plan when to visit Albania!