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Albania Albania

Capital:   Tirana
Currency:   Albanian lek
Time Zone:   GMT + 2
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Joanne Wheeler
Joanne Wheeler
What's in a name? Albania is known by locals as 'Shqiperia’, which if translated means ‘Land of the Eagles’ and a two-headed eagle is depicted on the Albanian flag. Albania was originally known as 'Illyria' and it was the Albanoi tribe, which used to inhabit the region around Albania's northern coastal town of Durres, pictured above that gave Albania its name today.
Skanderbeg Square in Tirana, Albania
 
The ancient city of Butrint, Albania
 
The beautiful town of Berat, Albania
 

Albania Holidays

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Members of the first Regent Holidays group who went on holiday to Albania in 1971 would struggle to recognise the country today. Gone are the virtually traffic-free roads, collective farms and churches and mosques converted into sports halls, but the warm Albanian welcome, dramatic wild scenery, evidence of 400 years of Ottoman occupation and enthralling archaeology are still the same.

Fiercely independent as a result of centuries of occupation, Albania embraced Communism after the Second World War and then firmly rejected it in 1992 with its first free elections. With so much history, an Albania holiday is guaranteed to offer you an insight into another time.

About Albania

Albania holidays offer the perfect opportunity to discover a country of wild, natural beauty with dark, brooding mountains, a dramatic undeveloped coastline and hills clad with olive trees. Explore the museum cities of Berat and Gjirokastra, both dominated by towering castles, and learn about Albanian national hero, Skanderbeg, in Kruja Castle Museum.

Marvel at Albania's archaeological sites - the extraordinary 3rd-century BC amphitheatre at Butrint and the ancient city of Apollonia where much remains to be discovered. Drive the roller-coaster road along the Albanian Riviera, pass remote mountain villages and gaze down on the pristine, unspoilt beaches of Durres. Join the evening promenade in Albania's capital Tirana, now more Mediterranean in style, and meander through the neighbourhood where the Communist party leaders used to live.

Regent Holidays & Albania

Regent Holidays were the first UK tour operator to operate tours to the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. Back in 1971 when the first Regent group entered the country, it discovered a closed society, rather like a Stalinist theme park, whose paranoid government insisted that visitors were closely controlled and monitored for any revisionist tendencies.

The Government gave visitors strict rules to abide by - "No male with long hair or full beard will be allowed into the country. A beard is permitted providing there is a large shaven area between sideboards and start of beard. Should the authorities not be satisfied in this respect, hair will be cut by the barber on arrival."

Despite this, the warmth and fun of the Albanians shone through and we were treated like guests of the family. The wild beauty of the country, the raw archaeology and the quirkiness of life there, with very little traffic and no religion, drew hundreds of people over the years and many left with a deep affection for Albania.

Towns and villages throughout Albania now have a relaxed mediterranean feel and the churches and mosques throng with people. The country and it's capital Tirana feature numerous pavement cafes, chic boutiques, family run eateries and Turkish Bazaars, all vieing for the visitor's attention.

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Total Holidays: 7      
Albania In Depth Group Tour
AlbaniaAlbania
Join Regent’s exclusive Albania group tour for an in-depth two week exploration of this Balkan gem. From the ruins of...
  • Group Tours
From £1495 per adult
15 Day Tour
Departs: 18 May 2014
Flights included
Essential Albania
AlbaniaAlbania
This individual itinerary introduces the highlights of central and southern Albania and is ideal for the first-time visitor....
  • Tailor-Made
From £1565 per adult
8 Day Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Flights included
A Balkan Adventure
AlbaniaAlbania
MontenegroMontenegro
KosovoKosovo
New for 2014, this unique tailor-made itinerary connects the diverse Balkan cities of Tirana, Kotor, Peja, Prishtina and Prizren...
  • Tailor-Made
From £1595 per adult
13 Day Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Flights included
Albania & the Balkans Group Tour
AlbaniaAlbania
KosovoKosovo
MacedoniaMacedonia
New for 2014, this exclusive Regent group tour combines the historic cities and stunning landscapes of Albania with forays into...
  • Group Tours
From £1680 per adult
14 Day Tour
Departs: 10 Sep 2014
Flights included
Highlights of the Balkans Group Tour
AlbaniaAlbania
MontenegroMontenegro
CroatiaCroatia
SloveniaSlovenia
Combine Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia for a truly unique journey through some of the Balkans’ most beautiful...
  • Group Tours
From £1755 per adult
13 Day Tour
Flights included
Best of Albania
AlbaniaAlbania
The location of the first ever Regent Holidays tour in 1971, Albania was one of the last countries to gain independence from the...
  • Tailor-Made
From £1875 per adult
8 Day Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Flights included
Cultural Landscapes of Albania & Macedonia
AlbaniaAlbania
MacedoniaMacedonia
Combine the historical highlightsof Albania with the beauty of Lake Ohrid on our Cultural Landscapes of Albania and Macedonia...
  • Tailor-Made
From £2440 per adult
13 Day Tour
Suggested Itinerary
Flights included