Efficient Albania Road Trip Itinerary – 10 Days in Albania + Map

Author Carina Klein
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Super efficient Albania travel itinerary for your 10 day Albania road trip.

We went on a road trip in Albania and fell in love. Maybe our itinerary will help you to do the same.

Our Albania itinerary brings you to all the highlights as well as many hidden gems like

  • the Albanian Riviera.
  • the Albanian Adriatic Coast (don’t skip this part of Albania!).
  • the Albanian Alps.
  • the capital Tirana.
  • cute villages like Berat and Gjirokastra.

and more in just 10 days.

Quick disclaimer: We have crafted a super efficient Albania 10 day itinerary which means that you have to

  • Move most days.
  • Drive most days.
  • Use your transfer days for sightseeing.

Albania Itinerary 10 days

Albanian Road Trip Itinerary Map

Day 1: Tirana

Like every capital city, Tirana is the heart of the country. Like in every major city, we recommend you go on a free walking tour as it’s the most efficient and convenient way to see all the major sights.

Additionally, we really enjoyed

  • The Bunk Art 2 Museum.
  • Relaxing in a cafe at Tirana Castle.
  • Having a drink in the hip Blloku area.

Sleep: Tirana

Distance: /

Picture of Tirana, Albania
Tirana, Albania

Day 2: Theth

Today is a driving-heavy day which is why we have not included any fix stops along the way. While the road is nowadays paved all the way to Theth and you don’t need a 4WD car anymore, the road does get very small and windy after Koplik so keep that in mind when planning your day.

Once you arrive in Theth, you can have a walk in the super picturesque town – don’t forget to check out the Defence Tower.

Bucketlist2life tip: If you have the time and energy, you can go on the short hike to the Grunas Waterfall which we enjoyed a lot.

Sleep: Theth

Distance: 172 km (106 mi)

Picture of Theth, Albania
Theth, Albania

Day 3: Theth – Valbona Hike

Yes, theoretically, this is not quite the famous Theth Valbona hike as you just hike to Valbona Peak and back down. The scenery is still stunning.

The hike is quite tough with about 1000 m or 3280 ft of ascend. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with 360° views of the Albanian Alps.

Sleep: Theth

Distance: /

Picture of Theth – Valbona Hike
Theth – Valbona Hike

Day 4: Shkoder

After your windy drive from Theth to Shkoder, you’ll have roughly half a day to explore the city which has been continuously inhabited since the Early Bronze Age.

Make sure to stroll down the pedestrian street of Rruga Kole Idromeno. Maybe have a drink at the rooftop bar at Hotel Colosseo or visit a museum like the Marubi National Museum of Photography.

We loved Rozafa Castle. Also known as Shkoder Castle, it rises on a rocky hill 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level.

We have written a whole blogpost about Shkoder if you want more inspiration:

Sleep: Shkoder

Distance: 76 km (47 mi)

Bucketlist2life tip: In case you don’t want to drive you can also go on a tour that brings you to Theth, Valbona & Koman Lake in 3 Days .
Picture of Shkoder, Albania
Shkoder, Albania

Day 5: Berat

Berat is dubbed the Town of a Thousand Windows. To be honest, this was our favourite city in Albania. We loved getting lost in the cobbled alleys as well as the scenic views across the Osum River.

Berat Castle comes not only with great views but also with interesting ruins including a mosque, a church, and a cistern. There’s even a residential area on the castle premises with some accommodation options.

Don't miss your chance to stay overnight! The Republic Boulevard boasts many amazing cafes and we found the atmosphere to be lively, authentic and amazing.

Sleep: Berat

Distance: 199 km (123 mi)

Picture of Berat, Albania
Berat, Albania

Day 6: Gjirokastra

If you don’t have a 4WD car, do yourself a favour and drive the long way around via Qark Fier and Tepelena. We have marked a cute little rest spot on the Vjose River on the map.

The city centre of Girokastra is quite small so half a day was enough for us to explore it. You can visit

  • The Cold War Tunnel.
  • The castle
  • The obelisk for a view over the city and the castle.
Bucketlist2life tip: The Taverna Tradicionale is a total restaurant recommendation. The way up there is steep but it's worth it. The food and the service are exceptional and the prices are very reasonable.

Sleep: Gjirokastra

Distance: 157 km (97 mi)

Picture of Gjirokastra, Albania
Gjirokastra, Albania

Day 7: Borsh (via Blue Eye, Butrint, Ksamil)

Today is the day you’ll make your way to the Albanian Riviera.

If you want to, you can make a quick pit stop at the famous Blue Eye (or Syri i Kalter). If you ask us, it’s nice to have but not a must-see.

Butrint on the other hand is a must-see in our opinion. The UNESCO World Heritage Site features ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Additionally, the setting in the national park is very picturesque.

Bucketlist2life tip: If you want a bonus ruin you can visit the Venetian Castle which is just a short ferry ride away (marked on map).

This might be a controversial opinion, but we recommend you leave Ksamil behind and drive further to Borsh Beach. We found Ksamil very overcrowded, overrated, and overpriced. Borsh on the other hand still felt like a hidden gem with a much less crowded (and expensive) beach.

There’s not a ton going on in Borsh besides the beach but it’s perfect for some relaxation. We have written a whole guide about Borsh Beach:

Sleep: Borsh

Distance: 119 km (74 mi)

Picture of Borsh, Albania
Borsh, Albania

Day 8: Himare and Beach Hopping on the Albanian Riviera

Day 8 is the day to explore some amazing beaches along the Albanian Riviera. If you only make it to one beach, we suggest Aquarium Beach as it is still a complete hidden gem.

Here’s our Jale Beach and Aquarium Beach travel guide:

Himare is a great base on the Albanian Riviera. You can find

  • 6 beautiful beaches.
  • A lovely beachfront promenade with loads of food and drink options.
  • A castle with a view.

Other highlights in Himare are the old submarine bunker and Porto Palermo Castle.

Here’s our complete Himare Beach travel guide:

Sleep: Himare

Distance: 25 km (15 mi)

Picture of Himare, Albania
Himare, Albania

Day 9: Vlore (via Llogara Pass)

Today will be your most scenic driving day. Make your way to the Albanian Adriatic Coast. To get there, make sure to drive along the coast and take the Llogara Pass. Plan plenty of time for photo stops!

In Vlore, make a beeline to the scenic St Mary's Monastery which is located on an island in a lagoon and can only be reached by a boardwalk.

Vlore itself has a cute little old town full of colourful houses as well as a great beach.

Everybody always talks about the beaches of the Albanian Riviera which are stunning with their turquoise blue waters. In our opinion, the beaches the the Albanian Adriatic Coast have a lot of advantages. They are

  • Sandy which makes swimming and lounging more comfortable.
  • Less crowded.
  • Cheaper.

Sleep: Vlore

Distance: 75 km (46 mi)

Picture of Llogara Pass
Llogara Pass

Day 10: Durres

Durres is the second largest city in Albania. It is only 30 km (18 mi) away from Tirana and hence the perfect last stop for your Albanian road trip.

To be honest, Durres is a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it place. Some people say it's too crowded because all the inhabitants of the capital go on holiday there. We personally enjoyed the city and the beach a lot.

We thought the amphitheatre and the Venetian Tower were lovely sights – and who doesn't like strolling through cute alleys?

Yes, the beach is quite touristy, but the further you go the south, the fewer people you'll see.

Sleep: Durres

Distance: 123 km (76 mi)

Picture of Durres, Albania
Durres, Albania

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