Albania is a country in South Eastern Europe, in the Balkan. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. Its total area is 11,100 square miles and the capital and largest city is Tirana. Albania is divided into 12 administrative divisions called Counties, all named from their capital cities, With one exception: Dibër, whit its capital Peshkopi.
Albania is a parliamentary democracy, members of parliament are elected through general elections. The parliament elects the president and he appoints a prime minister. Current president is Bamir Topi.
Albania has a unique culture and language, varied by different conquests during the long history. There is for example Butrint, an ancient Greek city and an archaeological site in the extreme south of Albania, in the district Sarandë, by the Ionian Sea. There are wonderful remains of the baptistery and the acropolis at Butrint is very well preserved. Butrint is with the historic center of Gjirokastër and Berat on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Gjirokastër is one of the oldest cities of the country and it is also a cultural center of the Greek minority in Albania. It was the birthplace of dictator Enver Hoxha and of the writer Ismail Kadare. The city plays an important role in many of Kadares books, including in “Chronicle of the stone city”. Mother Teresa was born in Albania, she was a world famous Catholic sister and the founder of a charitable religious order, in 2003 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
The Albanian cuisine has many Turkish, Greek and Italian influences. A popular dish in Albania is the meat dish musaka. Furthermore, feta cheese and olives are important ingredients in the Albanian cuisine. The national alcoholic drink of Albania is raki.
In the rugged Albanian landscape, nature has a free hand, so there in Albania a wonderful variety of plants and animals. The hills are covered with dense forests and high mountain dominates the alpine meadow vegetation. To the coast is mostly Mediterranean vegetation, swamps and lakes.
Albania is only now discovered by the tourists, with its splendid culture, untouched nature and a beautiful coastline. The country is still under construction, there is no mass tourism, they are improving the infrastructure, and restaurants, bars and a promenade are developed.
Sarande resort is considered the gateway to Albania from the south and the most famous resort of the country. The city is wedged between the mountains and the Ionian Sea . From Corfu, a Greek island, are regularly made trips to the town. Besides the beach there are several activities in Albania. In the south east of the country lies the Ohrid Lake, the deepest lake in the Balkans, known for its clear waters. Here you can fish well for carp and alcoran, a kind of trout. In the mountains you can go skiing, mountain climbing and go for a cave expedition.
Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland , Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Norway, Switzerland, U.S.A., Canada, Turkey, Israel, Japan, South Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, Croatia, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Romania do not need a visa, only a valid passport is required. The citizens of other countries can request a visa in the embassies of the Republic of Albania or Albanian Consulates. Citizens of Saudi Arabia, FYR Macedonia, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt and United Arab Emirates may obtain visa at any entry point by payment.