Albania //

Getting around


Getting from A to B is a little tricky in Albania – you simply need a little time and patience, and to treat travel information as a guideline not gospel.

Most travel is conducted by bus; the vehicles are usually fine, fares are cheap, and the roads are continually being improved. However, the authorities have steadfastly refused to build any bus stations – fine in smaller towns, but a nightmare in a city as large as Tirana where matters are utterly confusing. Buses are supplemented by minibuses known as furgons, which are more numerous but run to no fixed schedule, and with no obligation to depart until full, drivers tend to roam around town until they have the required number of passengers. Most buses and furgons depart in the morning, and tend to dry up by mid-afternoon.

Albania also boasts a limited train network. The main line runs from Tirana to Durrësi, then heads south before splitting off to Vlora and Pogradeci; there’s also a route heading north to Shkodra. The trains are slow and sport cracked windows, but are worth trying at least once. InterRail passes are not valid in Albania, and would be pretty pointless in any case.

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