Positioned in south-east Europe lies one country which deserves more attention to travellers coming to Europe. That country is Albania. For Albania, tourism is growing steadily every year but it’s still one of the least visited places in Europe due to a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about the country. When travellers come to Albania, they usually come here in the heat of summer, but I want to show and inform you that Albania is not ONLY good for summer. It’s actually a beautiful place all year-round and in fact, I recommend travellers to come in every season apart from summer!
Albania is a very diverse country. There are a lot of spectacular places to visit. From historic and UNESCO towns like Gjirokastër and Berat to beautiful coastal cities like Saranda and Vlora. Then you have the north of Albania which hold incredible scenery such as the Albanian Alps and beautiful mountain towns like Kruja, the historical city of Albania. Let me tell you more about Albania weather.
The weather in Albania
The average low temperature in Albania during winter is around 1 degree. In the south where I live (Saranda), it’s always 1-4 degrees warmer than northern cities like Shkoder. We get less rain and more sunny days. In my opinion, Albania is one of the few countries in Europe that don’t have an overbearing winter if you compare to the likes of the UK, Poland and Romania. On average in the north they get over 290 days of sunshine and in the south they get over 325 days of sunshine! Albania weather is some of the best you can find in Europe.
Spring – March 20th – June 21st
If you want to come to Albania, I highly recommend you come in Spring. This is my favourite season here! It’s starting to get warm, the flowers are blossoming and there are virtually no tourists. I really love the month of March, not only because it’s my birthday but because this is the time you will literally have UNESCO sites to yourself. As you go towards May you travellers start to visit Albania and then by summer European tourists are flocking (but it’s nothing compared to Greece and Croatia yet!).
Come to Albania in spring if you:
- Like travelling without tourists everywhere
- Like cheap prices (prices go up in summer)
- Don’t mind wearing a jumper at night as the nights are still chilly
- Like colourful destinations as beautiful flowers start to bloom and the country lights up!
Summer – 21st June – September 23rd
Summer is when Albania comes alive for tourists. This is when 90% of people come to Albania. All the clubs, restaurants and accommodation begin to open their doors as many close only to open for this season. It’s a shame because as I said, spring and autumn are also magical. This is when the south of Albania shine and you will find places like Ksamil (named the gem of the Albanian Riviera) absolutely packed with people.
So, in terms of discovering Albania, summer is my least favourite. Also, because of the demand for tourists’ prices rise, sometimes double. This happens in accommodation but also restaurants and bars too.
Come to Albania in summer if you:
- Like the heat of the summer because in Saranda the temperatures hit 40 degrees!
- Like to party as beach bars and clubs are fully open along the Albanian Riviera
- Don’t mind sharing the places you want to see with hordes of tourists (including cruise ship tourists in Saranda)
Autumn – September 23rd – December 21st
Autumn is another favourite for me as the crowds go from the Albanian Riviera and it starts to become quiet again. Nature is beautiful, everything is tainted with an orange colour in celebration of autumn and the weather doesn’t really start to get cold until November.
For example, it’s currently the 19th of November as I write this, and it’s only in the last few days, I have started wearing my jacket here in Saranda! Obviously inland and northern regions it starts to get chilly a little earlier but from what I can see, the heat of summer is extending until early November.
Come to Albania in autumn if you:
- You like exploring places with fewer tourists
- Love cheaper prices, as businesses start to cut prices in half and some shut down for this season (in the Riviera)
- Like hiking as this is a great time for it as it’s a lot cooler than in summertime with a lot fewer people
- Interested in exploring beautiful beaches with NO ONE in sight. Autumn and spring are my favourite time to explore the Albanian Riviera!
Winter – December 21st – March 20th
An absolutely hidden magical time to visit the country. There’s snow throughout which makes a great time for winter sports enthusiasts! You will find the capital, Tirana filled with Christmas lights. You will find tourists spots absolutely empty which are great for really immersing yourself into the local culture. Although its cold it’s one of the mildest winters throughout Europe as the country is neighbours with Greece and we all know about Greek weather. You will find along the Albanian Riveria that nearly all businesses are closed so just beware of that. I hope in the future that the tourists can spread throughout the season making a demand for businesses to stay open!
Come to Albania in winter if you:
- Like skiing and snowboarding at a fraction of the price. Places like Bigell in Dardha, Voskopoja, and Boga are good ones to try and accommodation is very affordable (around 40-60 euro a night in ski resorts!)
- Want to explore the capital of Tirana. A lot of locals come to Tirana after the summer season ends to work, so you will find a majority of the population here. It’s a great time to soak up all the city has to offer!
I hope this article has given you an insight into Albania weather and that Albania is the perfect destination to come all year-round. In the future, I would love to see more tourists venture here at times other than summer. This is important for several reasons including making sure that the area doesn’t get affected by overtourism and boosting the local economy.
Businesses in the Albanian Riveria find it extremely hard after summer and many have to travel elsewhere in the country to find a job to survive for the winter. It would be amazing to see the growth in tourism here and for it to spread into other seasons!
Leave me a comment down below and tell me which season you would love to explore Albania in!
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