A misunderstood destination, which unfortunately has to fight with many prejudices and was literally made as for kitesurfing.
Kitesurfing is not yet so widespread in Albania. While there are a few locals who enjoy the wonderful sport, there aren’t very many and they would appreciate some fellowship.
Even the locals from Montenegro know about the top conditions in Albania and so many travel south to enjoy the solitude on the beaches and the good wind.
A Positive Impression Counts
There are no established rules or kitespot structures on the beaches yet and you are still rather curiously admired as a kitesurfer than fearfully watched. Here we can still give kitesurfing a good image and show the sport as it really is. With the right behavior just incredibly beautiful and pure freedom.
If you are traveling to Albania for kitesurfing, check out spots carefully, stay away from umbrella crowds, be aware of common behaviors, behave according to your kitesurfing ability, take at least one more trash bag than you brought with you, and always remember that you are a guest in this country.
Then together we can bring a positive view, on the kitesport and the kitesurfers into the country, are co-founders of a wonderful kite culture in the country and are seen with pleasure.
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|Location||Mediterranean Adriatic Sea|
|Ideal wind direction||Maestrale|
|Skill level||From intermediate|
|Best time||March till November|
|Accommodation||Camper Free, Campsite, Apartment, Hotel|
Kitesurfing in Albania
In Albania there are miles or super wide sandy beaches with good wind, which is ideal for kitesurfing. Unfortunately, so far there are only a handful of kitesurfers practicing their sport on the beaches. When we were there in June, we saw one from a distance and one that had just finished its session.
There are beaches with a large shallow area or others where it gets deep faster. Rocks are rarely in the water at the beaches and almost everywhere you can stand directly at the spot.
Unfortunately, there is also a lot of garbage everywhere and it is best for everyone traveling to Albania to bring several large garbage bags and collect the garbage in a certain radius from their location. On the one hand, this may be seen by the locals or other vacationers and in the best case imitated, on the other hand, everyone thus contributes to future clean beaches, which we can then enjoy together.
Where can I go kitesurfing in Albania?
In June, we took a closer look at the small country with its 362 kilometers of coastline and discovered or were recommended several good kite spots.
There are no special facilities for kitesurfers at any of the spots. Therefore, you should never go kiting alone, be safe with your equipment and always have a good eye for danger or other people.
We can recommend the following beaches or spots, but you are on your own there and should know your kite limits well. The further south you go, the less wind you will find.
Possible kitespots we recommend from north to south:
- Velipoja beach
- Shengjini beach
- Rinia beach
- Bisht Palla Beach, Durres
- Vile Bashtova Beach
- Divjaka beach
- Gryka beach
- Darëzezë e Re beach
- Vjosë-Nartë beach
- Zvërnec Beach Zverneci in Vlora
- Orikum beach
Where can I kitefoil in Albania?
At some beaches it goes in shallow and you have to walk a bit to get into the deep water, at others it gets deep right away. But once you’re in the water, it’s great for kiteboarding.
However, you should always have a look in front of you into the water for seaweed or plastic bags.
Good kitefoil spots, because less wind:
- Dhërmi beach
- Borsh beach
- Porto Palermo
What is the best kitesurfing season for Albania?
The best time to go kitesurfing in Albania is from March to November. Then it is ideal especially from the temperatures. You can also kitesurf in winter with the 5.5 neoprene.
There is a bit more wind in the north and it decreases a bit towards the south. In addition, the coast from Vlora becomes very rocky and there are only a few possible beaches, which are full of bathers, especially in summer.
Actually, the beaches are quite empty, except in the south and on the larger beaches near towns it gets more crowded in the summer. You should rather avoid these in July/August and during the vacation season. After that, they are also empty again.
What are the winds in Albania?
The main wind is the maestral and the conditions in the north are like in Montenegro. The wind is probably also stronger due to the thermals.
There are certainly other winds, but we have yet to explore them. What can you say about the wind in Albania? What are your experiences.
Where can I learn kitesurfing in Albania?
Unfortunately, the country is not yet developed as far as this is concerned. We have only found one kite school online so far, which seems to really have a location in Albania. All the others are actually based in Italy.
The kite school is located at Velipoja beach, we would have liked to meet them, but unfortunately we couldn’t meet anyone.
Otherwise, Albania is more suitable for intermediates who are not dependent on a kite school. Or advanced drivers and professionals. For all, never go out on the water alone, or always have someone on shore looking out for you.
Which kite material do I need?
We went without neoprene in June, the water was warm. But I think in spring the water is even colder and in autumn the outside temperature is already cooler. We will test it in October.
We kite everything from 10s with twintip to 15s with foil. So you should have a good middle range with you and also something for light winds. You can probably leave the very small material at home.
Your kitesurfing trip to Albania
The best way to travel to Albania is with your or a camper, then you are the most flexible, can stand almost everywhere, because free camping is not prohibited in Albania and have your sleeping facility always and everywhere with you.
If you do not want to stand free, then there are also plenty of campsites. We have not visited any, but have heard very positive from good average to super comfortable. And price-wise, none actually cost more than €15 a night.
The arrival by camper/car
There are two options, either you come by land or by ferry. When you come across the country, you see even more and the way is the goal. At the ferry you can rest for your adventure or process what you have experienced.
Overland to Albania
You start with either Slovenia or Italy. Then you’d best cross Croatia first, Bosnia-Herzegovina briefly, and then Montenegro. It is a beautiful route along the sea. On this route there are tolls for Italy/Slovenia and Croatia for the highway.
There are no tolls on the roads in Albania. These vary greatly in terms of texture, so it’s best to always drive with foresight, otherwise you might be surprised by a large pothole.
But there are also roads that have just been built and are not even in Google Maps and the highway is also ok. Except for small bumps in front of the bridges, because somehow no expansion joint was installed.
Albania is also very popular with 4×4 drivers, there are probably cool tours with more and less demand through the country. But even with a normal motorhome you have fun in Albania and actually get to all the beaches where normal cars also come. Here it depends on how long your tail is and how fast you sit up.
Arrival by ferry
If you travel to Albania by ferry, you can go directly to Durrës. There are offers from Trieste, Ancona and Bari*. Here it depends on how far you want to go down in Italy.
The only thing to remember here is that there are also tolls in Italy.
Probably the shortest ferry connection is from Brindisi to Vlora, ideal if you prefer to drive down Italy and don’t like to take ferries.
Alternatively, you can go to Igoumenitsa and see Albania from the bottom up.
Ferries route overview:
- Trieste – Durrës
- Ancona – Durrës
- Bari – Durrës
- Brindisi – Vlora
- Venice – Igoumenitsa
- Ancona – Igoumenitsa
- Bari – Igoumenitsa
- Brindisi – Igoumenitsa
Camping on board is also offered on the Igoumenitsa route. A good provider to book trips is Direct Ferries*. We always find good deals there.
The arrival by plane
Another option is to arrive by plane. But here you should definitely take a rental car that you can be flexible. The coast of Albania is 362 km long, so you can easily reach all the spots from one central point.
Well suited here is Durrës. From there you have about 2 hours north to Velipoja beach and about 2 hours south to Orikum.
The best place to fly is Tirana, the capital of Albania. Here you have several options. Either you simply book a package tour* or you look for a suitable apartment at Airbnb* or booking*or you look for several accommodations that you can drive to.
Since the flight to Albania does not take long, you can book your trip very spontaneously and decide where you want to go depending on the wind. You can find even more travel providers on our partner page*.
The following locations offered*by 5vorFlug are also suitable for kitesurfing. They are located near the beaches that are ideal for kitesurfing. From Dhërmi southward, however, you should keep in mind that the wind is rare or lighter. Most of the time, the spots are busier in the summer, so you should rather visit them in the off-season.
- Shkodra* (40 min from the beach,
- Plazhi San Pietro*
- Golem (Durrës)*
- Qerret (Kavaja)*
- Fier* (40 min to the beach, but more possibilities)
- Radhime* (Vlora)
- Drymades Beach* (Dhërmi)
Where do I stay in Albania?
In Albania, as already mentioned, it’s best to have a camper. Then you can either stay at a campsite or just free on the beach. For the second, you should be rather self-sufficient and make sure that you are not on private property, because this is not always so obvious. But if someone says something, it’s best to apologize and find another seat. We had no problems here.
What you will always find is water to fill up your tank, I wouldn’t drink it now, but for everything else it is good. Disposal is already somewhat more difficult. For the sewage you can find a drain, but otherwise you almost always have to go to a campsite for camper service .
As mentioned above, you can also stay in a hotel or apartment. I definitely recommend renting a car to get to the different kitespots. And you always have to think about your kite luggage, which you have to transport with you.
You can find suitable rental cars at Check 24* or at Billiger Mietwagen*.
Albania in detail
For a long time, and even today, not many people think of traveling to Albania. Unfortunately, in the minds is still too much anchored that it is not safe there and you should be careful when you travel there.
When we traveled to Albania in June 2019, we tried to enter the country as unbiased as possible and already at the border we were welcomed joyfully.
Even though the country is one of the poorer ones and certainly also plagued by clans and corruption, the people who live there are simply warm and helpful. In more rural areas most people don’t speak English, but with hands and feet and a little Italian you can get by. In the larger cities this is different and you can even hear some German.
The country seems a bit behind in time, but that decelerates you immensely. It’s not just purely about consumption and you start to think more simply again. Very pleasant.
If you drive through the country from the top, there is a lot of flat land with hills in between and the further south you go, the mountains come and at the end there are almost only cliffs. Very impressive, so you should definitely go along the coast, which you will do anyway as a kiter.
Big garbage problem
The biggest problem in the country is garbage or understanding it. You find it everywhere and even when you start to put something together it’s just depressing because you don’t know where to start. Everywhere on remote streets and corners lies the garbage, partly already burned or ready to be burned. Garbage is simply thrown carelessly somewhere.
Nevertheless, there are many large trash cans that are everywhere along the streets and we even saw a garbage truck that emptied them. Well in the end you don’t know where the garbage ends up again. :/
in the country
We also heard a lot before we traveled to Albania, be careful, it’s really dangerous there, etc. Therefore, we had a strange feeling, but wanted to enter Albania as unprejudiced as possible.
So we stood about 10 minutes at the border from Montenegro to Albania and were warmly welcomed. And from that point on, we never felt uncomfortable, or even afraid .
We stood free for the complete 10 days and there was never any uneasy feeling. The people here were very warm and helpful and we didn’t want to go any further to Greece.
The only “dangerous” things in Albania are the partly the bigger potholes on the roads and the animals. Because the Albanians let their animals run around freely and only rarely tie them up. So It can be that a cow, pig or other animals stand in front of you on the road.
On the road in the country
The picture in Albania is very mixed, there are several run-down houses and ruins and then again beautiful, almost villas. Many houses still have the metal sticking out at the top, probably to build another floor on top when the opportunity arises.
What is also immediately noticeable are the tangled power lines everywhere, where you sometimes have to look a bit to see if you can fit underneath.
A very popular car brand in Albania is the Mercedes, you will see it here in the most different types and years of manufacture. Also very common is the Audi A4 Avant B6, our car, we have already thought about whether we probably get a new tailgate here. 😛
What is super developed is the cell phone network, we bought a 10GB internet card for 10€ and had internet even on the most remote beach. The two main providers are Vodafone and Telekom. Nothing compared to Germany, where you have to fight for every GB and are sold 30€ as a good deal.
Basically, Albania is very affordable. Be it shopping or even going out to eat. We once ordered two Sufllaqe (Gyros Pita) and two Cokes and paid 2.20€ for them.
What is more “expensive” are the fuel prices. Diesel cost about 1.35 per liter. Already a lot when you consider that the locals do not earn very much. That’s probably why you see many riding around on mopeds or horse-drawn or donkey-drawn carts.
But you can find many gas stations and never have to worry about running out of gas.
The currency in Albania is Lek, but I use the converted Euro prices. 1 Albanian Lek is equal to 0.0089 Euro. (as of April 10, 2023)
During our tour through Albania, we were actually only on the coast and this was already very impressive. But there are arguably a few worthwhile domestic destinations as well.
One is the Theti National Park, there is also the impressive Blue Eye of Theth. Then the oriental bazaar and the old town of Kruje. The place is located near Tirana, the capital of Albania, which you should also visit.
We also liked the place Vlore. It looks very modern and progressive. Also beautiful is the old town of Shkodra and of course you should visit the Shkodra Lake. There is probably also the “Lake Shkodra Resort” which is one of the best campsites in Europe.
Country and people
Albanians are very hospitable and helpful. They are happy to see you and make you feel welcome.
If you ever need help, like we did when we got stuck, they were right there to help, but didn’t want anything in return and definitely didn’t want any money. Something for the kids to play with, or a Bavarian beer was gratefully taken.
Poverty is great in the country, yet they do not want anything as a gift. Of course, there are also many beggars in the larger cities, where especially children come up to you and ask for money. But from us they rather get cookies, or a cap. We do not give out cash.
I think you shouldn’t give them cash, because you never know exactly what’s behind it. What always works is asking them what they would like and buying it for them at the supermarket.
Many Albanians go to Germany, Italy, Croats to work, because at home they would earn only 20€ / day, which is far from enough to live. Therefore, many are happy to see one to use their mostly broken German a bit.
In Albania agriculture is very big so there are many fields and animals walking on the road. It is a simple life and consumption is not as important as it is here.
Religion and customs
Most Albanians are Muslims, followed by Christians and then other religious communities. There was a time when practicing one’s religion was forbidden in Albania, so even today everyone lives out their faith for themselves.
Thus, all religions live together peacefully here and even High Holidays of the individual religions are celebrated together. This is how it should be everywhere.
A somewhat strange image are the many stuffed animals or dolls hanging on the houses, which partly look very worn, almost scary. These are supposed to avoid the evil eye and bring good luck. Also a nice custom and it certainly does no harm.
The food in Albania
Popular food in Albania is probably the stew or musaka a casserole. In the south you will find a lot of honey and spices and there are heaps of watermelons.
It’s best to buy your fruit directly from the local roadside stands. So you support the population directly and it’s also good stuff.
What you’ll also see a lot is someone sitting on the side of the road grilling corn on the cob. I am not so the corn on the cob fan, but for those who like it a great snack for in between.
What is also available everywhere as good fast food is the Suflaqe, it is actually the same as the Gyros Pita from Greece and super delicious. You can order it either as a plate or directly in the pita. But you definitely have to try it.
The language and useful vocabulary
The national language in Albania is Albanian. It is similar to the Italian. So you don’t always get very far with English, but Italian works even better.
However, we were often approached in German and, when asked, the person was already working in Germany and was happy to be able to use his language skills.
|Për të mirë!||Meaning Good appetite! literally For the benefit|
|Mbrëmje e mbarë!||Good evening!|
|Përfytyroni||Here you go|
|Emri im është …||My name is…|
|Si jeni?||How are you?|
Facebook group: Kitesurfing in Albania
You want to go kitesurfing in Albania, but you are still unsure how, where and what to consider? Or you are an experienced Albania kitesurfer and want to share your experience?
Then join our Facebook group: Kitesurfing in Albania and get help or share your knowledge.