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Llogara National Park in southwest Albania :: Image: Godo-Godaj
A virtual guide to Albania. Get an overview of Albania's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and its government.
Flag of Albania
Albania is a republic on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe that borders the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea in west, Montenegro in north, Serbia (Kosovo) in north east, the Republic of Macedonia in east, and Greece in south east. Albania shares also maritime borders with Croatia and Italy.
With an area of 28,748 km² the country is a just a bit smaller than Belgium or the U.S. state of Maryland. Albania has a population of 3.5 million people. Like neighboring and mainly Albanian-inhabited Kosovo, Albania has a Muslim majority - a legacy of centuries of Ottoman rule. Albanian Orthodox (20%), and Roman Catholic (10%) are the other main religions.
Republic of Albania | Shqipëria
Republika e Shqiperise
short form: Shqiperia
int'l long form: Republic of Albania
int'l short form: Albania
ISO Country Code: al
Local Time = UTC +1h (in Summer UTC +2)
Actual Time: Fri-July-1 20:56
Country Calling Code: +355
Capital City: Tirana (pop. 600 000)
Other Cities: Durres (200 000), Shkoder (81 000), Vlore (72 000, 2005 est.)
Type: Parliamentary republic.
Constitution: Adopted by popular referendum 28 November 1998.
Independence:28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire).
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea.
Area: 28,748 km² (11,100 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Situated in the southwestern region of the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is predominantly mountainous but flat along its Adriatic Sea coastline.
Highest peak: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2764 m.
Climate: Mediterranean, Mild temperate--short, soft, wet winters; hot and dry summers.
Population: 2.8 million (2011 census)
Ethnic groups: Albanian 98.6%, Greeks 1.17%, others 0.23% (Vlachs, Roma, Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Egyptians, and Bulgarians).
Religions: Muslim (Sunni and Bektashi) 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, and Roman Catholic 10%.
Official Language: Albanian.
Literacy: 86.5%; male: 93.3%, female: 79.5%
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower.
Agriculture products: Wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products.
Industries: Food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower.
Exports - commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco.
Exports - partners: Italy 51.1%, Spain 9.2%, Turkey 6.3%, Greece 4.4% (2012)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partners: Italy 31.9%, Greece 9.5%, China 6.4%, Germany 6%, Turkey 5.7% (2012)
Currency: Lek (ALL)
Source: Foreign Ministry and Institute of Statistics Albania and others.
Albania in Figures
Albania key statistical data.
Previously part of the Byzantine and later the Ottoman empires, Albania gained independence in 1912. It became a Stalinist regime under Enver Hoxha after World War II and remained extremely isolationist in policy and outlook until the Communists lost power in 1992.
Albania ended 44 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven difficult as corrupt governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, a dilapidated infrastructure, widespread gangsterism, and disruptive political opponents. International observers judged local elections in 2000 to be acceptable and a step toward democratic development, but serious deficiencies remain to be corrected.
Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and is a potential candidate for EU accession. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, the country is still one of the poorest in Europe, hampered by a large informal economy and an inadequate energy and transportation infrastructure.
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of AlbaniaThe President of Albania
Office of the President of Albania.
Albanian Government - Keshilli i Ministrave
Official website of Republic of Albania, Council of Ministers.
Kuvendi i Shqiperisë
The Albanian Parliament.
Ministria i Punëve të Jashtme
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website with general information about Albania.
More official websites
List of Albania's Ministries and National Agencies
Diplomatic Representatives of Albania
Address list of Albania Diplomatic Missions abroad.
Political Map of Albania
Map showing Albania and the surrounding countries.
Administrative Map of Albania
Map showing the administrative divisions of Albania.
Google Earth Albania
Searchable map/satellite view of Albania.
Google Earth Tirana
Searchable map/satellite view of Albania's capital.
Map of the Mediterranean
Political Map of the Mediterranean.
Map of the Balkan Peninsula
Political Map of the Balkans.
Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
Instituti Shqiptar i Statistikes
Albanian Institute for Statistics.
Albania in Figures
Albania key statistical data.
Panorama of Albanian Riviera from Llogara Pass overlooking islands north of Corfu. - Image: Malbin
Albanian Independent News Agency.
News and newspapers in Albanian
Weekly news magazine online.
Latest News From Kosova/Kosovo.
More Kosova related News and Information.
The national broadcasting company.
Top Albania Radio
Private radio station (in Albanian).
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Arts & CultureFilm
Tirana International Film Festival
Official website of the Albanian Film Festival.
National Library of Albania
Biblioteka Kombëtare e Shqipërisë
Albania National Theater
Business & EconomyAlbania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming, because of a lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land.
A weak judicial system, poor enforcement of contracts and property issues, and antiquated infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment .
Banka e Shqiperise
The Central Bank of the Republic of Albania.
Albanian Center for International Trade - ACIT
Established by the Institute for Contemporary Studies (ISB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Airline based in Tirana, Albania.
A french-albanian private Airline, provides connections to Bari, Athens and Thessaloniki, It ceased operations in January 2007.
Destination Albania - Travel and Tour GuidesDiscover Albania, a land of great natural beauty and romantic remoteness.
Places of interest: Korça, Pogradeci, Berat, Durres, Kruja, Gjirokastra, Saranda, Shkodra, Tirana, and Vlora.
More information on accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, biking, hiking, climbing, cruising, diving, tours and much more you will find in the bookmarks below.
National Tourism Organization Albania
Official website of the organization with comprehensive information about Albania.
Albanian Home Page
Comprehensive Information about Albania and the Albanians.
Hotels in Albania
Find a Hotel in Albania.
World Heritage Sites Albania
Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. The city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area.
Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra
Located in central Albania, Berat and Gjirokastra are rare examples of an architectur typical of the Ottoman period. Berat features a castle, locally known as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century. The citadel area is home to many Byzantine churches, mainly from the 13th century, as well as several mosques built in the Ottoman era.
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Historic Centers of Berat and Gjirokastra
Image: © Aneta Ribarska
EducationUniversity of Tirana
State University of Tirana, founded October 1957. Albania's first university.
Environment & NatureMinistria e Mjedisit, Pyjeve dhe Administrimit te Ujerave
The Albanian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration.
Albania's History from Origins until the Collapse of Communism, with a history time line.
History of Albania
Wikipedia: Albania's History from Prehistory to Post-Communist Albania.
Albania's first search engine.
Additional Information about AlbaniaAlertNet Country Profile: Albania
BBC News Country Profile: Albania
Background Notes: Albania
Open Directory Project:
The World Factbook -- Albania
Other Countries in the Mediterranean:
Algeria | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Croatia | Cyprus | Egypt | France | Gaza Strip | Greece | Israel | Italy
Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Monaco | Morocco | Portugal | Slovenia | Spain | Syria | Tunisia | Turkey
Other countries in the Balkan region:
Bulgaria | Macedonia, Rep. of | Montenegro | Romania | Serbia
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