Need to Know
Where to stay? I can’t recommend Guesthouse Kris enough – it has a dorm room, a two-bed apartment and a three-person underground den (my favourite) so is small and homely. I’m not even gonna chuck an affiliate link in here to a booking site, just book direct through their Facebook page so they get all the dollar and enjoy their tidy courtyard, perfect hospitality and the magic of staying in Berat Castle.
TIP: Book 10 nights and get one free on Hotels
I always book my accommodation with this website. Not only can you earn gold member status for discounts, but every 10 nights stayed gives you a free bonus night!
How to get there? I’ll always advocate getting a car in the Balkans, so many of the hidden gems can only be reached that way. Alternatively, the big cities such as Sarande run day trips and tours to places such as Berat though I imagine you won’t get the same vibe rushing to see it.
Hitchhiking is not that uncommon in these parts (we tried to pick people up until our car stopped working again 20 meters later – does not get any more embarrassing than that!). The public transport situation is difficult in Albania and not that regulated. There have been crashes and deaths over the years and the government are trying to regulate it more so. It has been a struggle to find much information but hopefully the official tourism transport page will bulk up over time.
Our original plan was to take the five-hour journey to the Macedonian capital from Berat, stopping at Lake Ohrid and spending two days in Skopje, but after realising that ‘five hours’ in the Balkans meant nothing we shelved that plan and continued for the Albanian riviera.
How much does it cost to travel Albania? I have to admit I was surprised that everything cost more than expected, but this was August and peak time. That said, a great meal in Berat could be found for about €6 and a three person room at Guesthouse Kris came in about the €35 which for peak season I thought was more than worth it.
I’ll be publishing a full guide to an Albania Road trip in the coming weeks with more costs, tips and places to go – sign up for the newsletter to know when it is live.
Have you been to Albania? Are you dying to go? Have you ever hired a junk as shit car? Share your stories in the comments :)
*Header photo credit: Jones Around The World