This sunny slice of mountains and southern European easy living has been ground down by years of totalitarianism. But the new Albania packs a wild punch of traditional Mediterranean charm, delightfully hospitable people and a madly colourful art-driven renaissance in the capital, Tirana.
Capital City: Tirana
Language: Albanian (official)
Currency: Lek (Lek)
The best time to visit is either side of the summer peak: May, June and September stand out, when it's not too hot, too crowded or overbooked anywhere. Best of all is September, when it's warm, the days are long and the fruit and vegetables are in good supply. The main coastal resorts in Albania get fairly busy in July and August and ski season runs from late November until March.
Albania is a small country in Mediterranean Europe. It borders on Greece, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro.