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WorldMediterraneanIonian SeaAlbania
41°19.876'N, 019°48.329'E Chart icon.png
Albania map.png
Albania flag.png
Capital Tirana
Language Albanian. Greek is widely spoken along the coast.
Currency Lek (ALL)
Time zone CET (UTC+1) , DST: CEST (UTC+2)
Calling code +355

Albania with a population of 2,986,952 has a total area of 28,748 square kilometers. Its coastline is 362 kilometers long and extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The lowlands of the west face the Adriatic Sea. In antiquity there were many colonies in what is today Albania. The territory was part of the Roman and then of the Byzantine Empires. In the 7th century it was absorbed by the emerging Bulgarian Empire and then on the 15th century it, like the rest of the Balkans, became part of the Ottoman Empire. In the early 19th century Albania and Epirus on the south was dominated by the colorful and cunning Ali Pasha. After the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire Albania became short-lived principality (1914–1925) which was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928), to be replaced by a monarchy (1928–1939). Albania was annexed by Fascist Italy during World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became a communist "Stalinist"dictatorship under Enver Hoxha (d. 1985). During this period Albania was totally isolated from the rest of Europe.

The Albanian communist regime collapsed in 1990, and the Republic of Albania was founded in 1991. Crisis followed crisis throughout the 1990s, peaking in the 1997 Lottery Uprising, that led to mass emigration of Albanians, mostly to Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and to North America. Albania became a full member of NATO in 2009. The country is applying to join the European Union.

Albania has a large population of ethnic Greeks and the Greek language is widely spoken. Many Albanians now live in Greece but return home during their vacation.

Cruising in Albania until 1990 was strictly forbidden but now the country welcomes cruisers, even though there are few facilities for them (with only one marina in the whole country, at Orikum). Since the political situation is now stable, a growing number of cruisers use the ports along the coast of Albania as convenient stopping-off points between Greece and Croatia. In most harbours it is necessary to use an agent to handle the entry and departure procedures; however, beyond that the bureaucracy is no worse than most other Mediterranean countries.


186 Vlorë to Bar and Brindisi to Vieste
188 Entrance to the Adriatic sea including Nisos Kérkira
1590 Albania Ports
54240 Dubrovnic to Pellg I Drinit
54260 Pellg I Drinit to Kerkira including the Strait of Otranto
54266 Durres and Vlore Albania
54267 Durres and Appr Albania
54280 Corfu Channel to Nisis Proti Albania


With its coastline facing the Adriatic and Ionian seas, its highlands backed upon the elevated Balkan landmass, and the entire country lying at a latitude subject to a variety of weather patterns during the winter and summer seasons, Albania has a high number of climatic regions for so small an area. The coastal lowlands have typically Mediterranean weather; the highlands have a Mediterranean continental climate. In both the lowlands and the interior, the weather varies markedly from north to south.

Weather links

  • Athens Observatory gives 3 day (every 6 hrs) detailed graphical forecasts for the Greek seas.
  • Poseidon System gives 3 day forecasts for Greek seas from the National Center for Marine Research (Not very reliable).
  • Weather on Line provides detailed 7 day forecast charts for the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Atlantic.
  • Greek Meteorological Service (EMY) it includes the Navtex weather bulletins.
  • Wind Guru a surfer's site with worldwide wind forecasts.


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


  • Albanian Coast Guard - VHF 11

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Some older charts have minefields marked as potential dangers. These have now been removed, but there are still some areas where it is not advisable to anchor.



You must clear into and out of every port. In most ports, owing to language difficulties, the officials will insist that you engage an agent. This agent will, for a stiff fee, fill-in all the numerous forms and clear them with the officials. If you insist on handling it yourself (and you speak reasonable Albanian!), you can try to contact the Coast Guard or the Harbor Master on VHF before arrival. Sometimes they may not respond.

If you are entering the country, you or your agent will have to deal with the Harbor Master, Coast Guard, Customs, Police, and Security. All these officials will, most likely, want to inspect your boat.


You must get clearance before departing from any port.

Customs and Immigration


There are no restrictions other than on firearms. For more information see Albanian Tourism.


Visas are not required for citizens of European Union, Australian, Canada, USA, Japan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Korea (Rep), Kosovo, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, San Marino, Switzerland, and Turkey for stays of up to 30 days.

Visas can be issued at the ports of entry. For more information see Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fees and Charges

There is currently no specific cruising tax payable on entry to Albania, other than the usual costs of customs clearance and form filling by your agent (a necessity unless you speak fluent Albanian), which is usually around Euros 50. Typical berthing costs in Albanian harbours are around Euros 10 per night.


Travel by yacht used to be severely restricted in Albanian waters. Now, however, yachts are tolerated virtually everywhere except in areas where there are military installations. If you approach one of these, you will be politely ushered away.

Health and Security


The standard of healthcare is mixed in Albania. Comprehensive travel insurance is a wise precaution if staying for any length of time.


Security is much improved since the 1990s and, while it is sensible to take the usual precautions if leaving your yacht unattended, Albania is no worse than any other Mediterranean country.


Key to symbols: |Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||
From South to North
Ksamil Ksamil /wiki/Ksamil Island icon – island |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
SarandëSarandë/wiki/Sarande Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Palermos Palermos /wiki/Palermos Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
HimarëHimarë/wiki/Himare Harbour icon – harbour |
Orikum Orikum /wiki/Orikum Marina icon – marina |
VlorëVlorë/wiki/Vlore Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
DurrësDurrës/wiki/Durres Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |
ShëngjinShëngjin/wiki/Shengjin Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |



Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)




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Names: Lighthouse, Istioploos, Haiqu, Athene of Lymington

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