An inspiring time to visit ancient cities and charming villages: with fewer queues you can fit more into your itinerary, and off-season accommodation prices make Albania even more travel wallet-friendly in December, January and February. Here are the 5 best winter destinations in the country.
Korça is a winter wonderland like no other in Albania. Aside from being perhaps the best place in the country to spend Christmas, Korça is packed with traditional tavernas that serve excellent food, restaurants and clubs with live music, a ice skating rink, and snowy surroundings that make it a must-visit for adventurous travelers. You can also add Voskopojë or Dardha to your itinerary, as Korça makes the perfect base for southeastern day trips.
Albania’s capital is one of our favorite places to visit in winter -and not just because its warm atmosphere. Every December, the city hosts the largest and most famous Christmas market in Albania, with the highest Christmas tree in the country, stands with food and local handicraft. Tirana (like the rest of Albania) gets lights up more around New Year’s Eve, with events like the free concert in Skanderbeg Square and final fireworks. The surroundings of Tirana are the perfect place for a wild winter adventure.
One of Albania’s most beautiful city, is also one of its most bewitching, especially during the holiday season. North Albania’s largest city, Shkodra, is a real-life fairytale setting, come sunshine or snow flurries. Visit during December to see the elegant architecture surrounded by Christmas lights; or dodge the crowds and book a trip after the holidays, when you’ll have tons of room to stroll the pedestrian-only pedonalja and sip coffee by the cafés.
Winter is, hands down, the best time to visit Voskopojë. Seeing this ancient village surrounded by ice drifts and snow could make even the strictest of beach bums embrace the cold. And you’re sure to find old churches to visit, traditional tavernas and welcoming villas-turned hotels to spend a chilly, warm weekend with your family.
Christmas time in Kruja has timeless appeal -chalk it up to the decorated wooden shops, cafés and a dash of old fashion charm. But the winter months that bookend the holidays have their own charms, as well. Visitors can visit the old bazar and stroll through its charming streets without queues, spend some time at the Skanderbeg Museum or Ethnographic Museum discovering local history, then warm up with some traditional food at Restaurant Panorama.
Featured image: ©Christian Grab