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|Area (km2)||28.748 km2|
Culture and history info
Albania officially known as the Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika e Shqipërisë) is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
Albania emerged from the prehistoric stage from the 4th century BC, with early records of Illyria in Greco-Roman historiography.
The first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë, near Sarandë and Mount Dajt near Tiranë, stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was mainly inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes. This territory was known as Illyria.
One of the most powerful tribes that ruled over modern Albania was the Ardiaei. The Ardiaen Kingdom reached its greatest extent under Agron of Illyria, son of Pleuratus II.
The territory now known as Albania remained under Roman (Byzantine) control until the Slavs began to overrun it from 548 and onward.
The territorial nucleus of the Albanian state formed in the middle Ages, as the Principality of Arbër and the Kingdom of Albania. The Principality of Arbër or Albanon (Albanian) was the first Albanian state during the middle Ages.
At the dawn of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire in Southeast Europe, the geopolitical landscape was marked by scattered kingdoms of small principalities. The Ottomans erected their garrisons throughout southern Albania by 1415 and occupied most of Albania by 1431. However, in 1443 a great and longstanding revolt broke out under the lead of the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, which lasted until 1479, many times defeating major Ottoman armies led by the sultans Murad II and Mehmed II. Skanderbeg united initially the Albanian princes, and later on established a centralized authority over most of the non-conquered territories, becoming the ruling Lord of Albania. He also tried relentlessly but rather unsuccessfully to create a European coalition against the Ottomans. He thwarted every attempt by the Turks to regain Albania, which they envisioned as a springboard for the invasion of Italy and Western Europe. His unequal fight against the mightiest power of the time won the esteem of Europe as well as some support in the form of money and military aid from Naples, the Papacy, Venice, and Ragusa.
At the All-Albanian Congress in Vlorë on 28 November 1912 Congress participants constituted the Assembly of Vlorë. The assembly of eighty-three leaders meeting in Vlorë in November 1912 declared Albania an independent country and set up a provisional government. The Provisional Government of Albania was established on the second session of the assembly held on 4 December 1912.
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