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albania driving

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perth
posts: 13
reviews: 4
albania driving

We are driving through Albania in August 2007 from Dubrovnik to Greece. Does any one have any recommendations about which roads are the best, does Albania have motor ways and where. We would prefer to travel close to the coast if possible. Thankyou in Advance.

Florence, Italy
posts: 18
reviews: 14
1. Re: albania driving

i was in albania about a month ago and the streets (no real western type motorways, even if they insist into calling them so) were not so good, albanians are crazy drivers and you'll hardly find any signal.

the landscapes are good, especially in the southern part of albania but that is the long way to get to greece.

i recommend you www.viamichelin.com , it gives you the best routes, time employed, fuel costs and many other tips you'll certainly need on your trip.

one more thing, albania is literally packed in august since most of albanian emigrants around europe go back for holidays , still if you decide to go the "long costal way" try stopping at dhermi or saranda, the beaches there are worth it!

enjoy your holidays

Aussie in London
posts: 1
2. Re: albania driving

Hi we are also aussie and are also planning on doing that trip in a camper van in aug-sept. What have you decided on, will you drive via the coast or go inland? Some people i have spoken to have said it is too risky so we are in two minds, the only other option was to get a ferry from Croatia to Italy and then to Greece - but would be quite costly.

We would love to here what your plans are...thanks.

Albania
posts: 1
reviews: 2
3. Re: albania driving

Hi. I live in Albania and have done a lot of driving here. From Dubrovnik to Tirana is no problem. Just follow the coast down through Montenegro. As you approach the Albanian border the road does get narrow and twisty but it is not too bad otherwise. Once across the border the road to Shkodra is not great but after crossing the bridge across the river and getting out of the town it does improve. In fact the road from Shkodra to Tirana is one of the best in the country. It is only two lanes though, so you are going to get stuck in traffic.

Heading South is more problematic. You can continue down the coast but the road South of Vlore is terrible and it will take a very long time. It is better to head inland and go via Elbasan, Pogradec and Korce, where you can take the road into Greece. Once across the border the road passes the lovely town of Kastoria before delivering you to the motorway where you can head for Thessaloniki or Athens.

There is a 'direct' route from Tirana to Elbasan but it is over some steep mountain passes and the road lacks basic safety features. Some people prefer to head for Rrogozhine and then Elbasan which cuts out the mountains.

Another option is to go by Elbasan and then head for Ochrid in Macedonia and travel South into Greece from there. This cuts out a lot of Southern Albania which, away from the coast, is not that interesting.

If you have time on your hands it is worth taking the slow coastal route since you do pass some nice seaside town like Dhermi and Vuna as well as a kind of national park at Llogarja pass, where you can stay overnight.

From Sarande you can also cut back inland to see the Blue Eye and visit Gjirokaster.

Regarding Albanian driving - yes it is terrible and dangerous. You just have to keep your wits about you. You do get used to it eventually.

Good luck. If you are passing through Tirana maybe I will see you.

Regina, Canada
posts: 19
reviews: 24
4. Re: albania driving

We are travelling in Croatia for the later part of May/07 &then we are on to Greece. We were going to take the ferry from Dubrovnik to Bari & then to Igoumenitsa but becasue there are 6 of us (middle aged adults) travelling together, we thought it might be a good idea to hire a person with a vehicle to drive us there. We actually had found a very good fellow in Dubrovnik who would drive us but his vehicle was a 7 passenger car which would have been quite crowded.

We would still like to travel by vehicle to Igoumenitsa but we need a van that can accommodate us & a bit of luggage. Does anyone know of a person(s) who would be available for to hire for a few days to drive us???

Thanks for any suggestions, or for any drivers contacting us!!!!!

Munich
posts: 1
5. Re: albania driving

We also have to drive from Dubrovnik to Thessaloniki in August and are not sure which route to take. I have even considered doing a 1500km detour via Belgrade.! I would be interested if anyone can give us an idea how long it would take to cross Albania given that we could spend a night in Tirana and assuming its safe to park our car

Thanks for any advice

San Diego...
posts: 16
6. Re: albania driving

Sure, Albania has motorways which are upgraded constantly. It is as safe in Albania as it elsewere, even safer.

Pick up a RECENT map of southern Europe or the book "Tirana in your pocket".

cork
posts: 7
reviews: 2
7. Re: albania driving

My experience of drivers/driving in Albania is you would need nerves of steel. There does not appear to be any rules or else only the locals know about them. I would compare driving in Albania to driving in Southern India....... also a nerve wracking experience

UK
posts: 65
reviews: 4
8. Re: albania driving

I would agree with a previouse author. The differnt between driving in Albania and India is very small, but it generaly truef or driving in Tirana. Once you outsite the sity for some reasons most of drives respect the roles and each other (possibly because th road traffic police are oftern hide in bushes randomly with speed meters and can gran to drives a big fine). Road are constantly updated, but I would addmit that road in souther part of the coutry and coastal roads are in much better condition that northern part in a country. Some plases in the north and central part do not even have an asfalt on the road. i

UK
posts: 65
reviews: 4
9. Re: albania driving

I would agree with a previouse author. The differnt between driving in Albania and India is very small, but it generaly truef or driving in Tirana. Once you outsite the sity for some reasons most of drives respect the roles and each other (possibly because th road traffic police are oftern hide in bushes randomly with speed meters and can gran to drives a big fine). Road are constantly updated, but I would addmit that road in souther part of the coutry and coastal roads are in much better condition that northern part in a country. Some plases in the north and central part do not even have an asfalt on the road. i

Nottingham
posts: 7
10. Re: albania driving

Its good that people are considering to pass through Albania to go to Greece. I guess the best information about the trips from Dubrovnik are the ones given by OurmaninTirana and there is nothing else to add. U certainly need a map to make sure u are going in the right direction. And u should stop to Tirana and pass through the southern riviera even though its not with the best roads. However there is a very good project which will in the future make the trip from Dubrovnik to Igumenitsa much better, and of course most of the job will have to be done in Albania. Yes the locals know the rules better, and when they see foreign cars they tend to be more careful since they know how hard it is for foreigners. It is a beautiful country to visit, but unfortunately our roads are not comparable to Europe, probably India, but Ive never been out of Europe so couldnt really tell. So be safe and drive carefully.