5 small towns in Albania to visit this spring

While no visit to Albania is complete without seeing Tirana, Berat or Gjirokastër, you’ll want to make time to discover these lesser known small towns too.


Himara, ©Valter Zhara

Part of the joy of traveling around the Albanian Riviera is the seemingly endless supply of picturesque cities. While there are many that exhibit old buildings and labyrinthine streets that make the area so popular among tourists, there’s something extra special about Himara -it’s location. Set right in the middle of the Riviera, the views of the mountains and sea from the old castle are stunning.
Where to stay: Mia Marine Rooms, 3 cozy rooms decorated with design elements, well furnished, near the seaside.


©Valter Zhara

Located a few kms away from the North Macedonian border, picturesque Lin is a small village with an archaeological site and spectacular views over Ohrid lake. The 6th century basilica of Lin, with stunning and well preserved mosaics, is one of the most important monuments of cultural heritage in Albania and the Balkans. Visitors can admire them and reach the top of Lin’s cape to enjoy the views and mesmerizing colors of water.
Where to stay: House 1960, a traditional stone villa immersed in nature with views over the lake.


©Villa Permet

A popular site for nature lovers, due to the presence of Vjosa river and Hotova National Park, the city has a remarkably preserved old town with historical buildings, ancient churches and traditional restaurants. Përmet is three hours and something away from Tirana, which makes it ideal for a weekend escape, but once you see the landscape, river views, natural hot springs of Benjë, and untouched nature in the surroundings, we’d wager you’ll want to stick around for a night or two.
Where to stay: Villa Përmet, an ancient villa turned into a boutique hotel with elegant rooms with original fireplaces, beautiful views and a gourmet restaurant.


©Elona Agug

Ask anyone who’s been to Tepelena, and they’ll tell you that this hilltop village ranks among Albania’s most scenic spots. Tucked in a steep valley between mountains and the last wild river of Europe, Vjosa, Tepelena is a must stop when traveling to South Albania. The city was home to the famous Ali Pasha of Tepelena, Albanian ruler in western Rumelia, part of Ottoman’s Empire European territories. His court has long been a magnet for famous artists and writers, including Lord Byron.
Where to stay: Lord Byron, guesthouse and agrotourism riverfront, with a pool and a restaurant where to eat ealth food.


©Agroturizëm Rruga e Mullirit

With its snow-capped mountain backdrop and lush rolling green hills, Reç isn’t what most tourists imagine when they picture an Albanian village. But this is the perfect place to disconnect and relax surrounded by nature. The chestnut forest of Reç, with trees old 300 years, covers more than 450 ectares and is the perfect place for trekking lovers. Tourism to Reç is largely local, which only adds to the charm.
Where to stay: Agroturizëm Rruga e Mullirit, a small guesthouse run by a local family. Excellent traditional food and relaxation are its strenghts.