USEFUL INFO

HEALTH&SAFETY

Visiting South Coastal Region of Albania  is an enriching and rewarding experience, and we look forward to introducing you to a new Mediterranean love. That’s why we seek to ensure your stay is as healthy and comfortable as possible. Albanians have a long tradition of hospitality, and you will find the people of our country quick to respond to any request for assistance. Thus, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!Since this region is warm in the summer months, remember to drink plenty of fluids while you are here.  Bottled water is widely available and is offered at a low price.
Driving in Albania presents a unique set of challenges for visitors. Infrastructure development is in full swing since the country’s emergence from communism, but drivers may still find it difficult to navigate our roads. As a result, we recommend taking a taxi or a bus. Local transportation offers a stress-free way for you to enjoy the scenery while listening to our professional drivers regales you with tales of life in Albania. This is if you want to experience the country with calm and mix with locals, because public transport is quite slow. While if you want to see more in a few days hire a local guide and driver from the online travel agencies prior to  your arrival.

As you would with any international vacation, be sure to check with your embassy or consulate for information that may be specific to you on your visit to Albania. Checking to see that you have your visa (if required), health insurance, and other documentation prepared will ensure that your visit to our country is as wonderful as possible. We wish you good health and maximum comfort on your trip to South Coastal Region of Albania!

LANGUAGE

Linguistic Affiliation.The Albanian language,shqip, is Indo-European, although it is not a member of any of the major branches of the Indo-European family. Despite its Indo-European affiliation and presence in the Balkans since ancient times, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact ancestry of the Albanian language because of the radical transformations that have taken place within it through the centuries. Among these transformations has been a substantial reduction in word length and extreme morphological alterations. Whether the Albanian language stems from Illyrian or Thracian, both, or neither is a matter of contention. The theory of the Illyrian origin of the Albanian people is the one most widely accepted in Albania and has been raised to the level of a national and state ideology. There is little evidence to prove or disprove this theory, since little is known about the Illyrian language. Since ancient times, very substantial strata of Latin and of Slavic and Turkish have been added to Albanian, making the older strata more difficult to analyze.

Albanian is a synthetic language that is similar in structure to most other Indo-European languages. Nouns are marked for gender, number, and case as well as for definite and indefinite forms. The vast majority of nouns are masculine or feminine, though there are a few neuter nouns. The nominal system distinguishes five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative; the genitive and dative endings are always the same. Attributive genitives are linked to the nouns they qualify by a system of connective particles. Albanian verbs have three persons, two numbers, ten tenses, two voices, and six moods. Unusual among the moods is the admirative, which is used to express astonishment. Among other particular features of Albanian and other Balkan languages are a postpositive definite article and the absence of a verbal infinitive. Although Albanian is not directly related to Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Romanian, or Bulgarian, it has much in common with all those Balkan languages after centuries of close contact.

The regional variants of spoken Albanian differ such that verbal communication between uneducated speakers of different dialects can be difficult. To overcome these problems, a standard literary language,gjuha letrare, was agreed on at an orthography congress in Tirana in late November 1972 and has been in use for the last three decades in virtually all publications and in education throughout Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia. This Standard Albanian is based about 80 percent on Tosk dialect forms, reflecting the structure of political power at that time in communist Albania. The subject remains controversial, with northern intellectuals having reopened in recent years the possibility of reviving a literary standard for the Gheg dialect. The “gjuha letrare” seems to be a widely accepted standard and probably will survive the current turmoil.

Most Albanian speakers in Albania are monolingual, although in view of the strong cultural influence of Italian television, Italian is widely understood along the Adriatic coast. Greek not only is spoken by members of the Greek minority in southern Albania but also is understood by many Albanians near the Greek border. Most Kosovo Albanians speak and understand Serbo-Croatian.

Ironically, because the Belgrade authorities willfully destroyed theAlbanian-language educational system in Kosovo in the mid-1980s, an increasing number of young people there, educated in “underground” schools, no longer speak and understand Serbo-Croatian.

PASSPORT / VISA

All the foreigners from the following countries enter the Republic of Albania without a visa, with the passport and by paying 10 Euros.The foreigners that enter without a visa have the right to stay in Albania only 30 days for an entry and they may stay up to 90 days within the calendar year.

Visas

The citizens of the following countries may obtain a visa at any entry point by payment: FYR Macedonia (10 euros; at the Embassy 5 euros), Montenegro (free of charge), Israel (30 euros). The citizens of other countries are required to obtain visas at the missions of the Republic of Albania that cover the country of residence. These missions can also provide them with the necessary information about Albania. The Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site is www.mfa.gov.al, carries information in English and Albanian about visa requirements and where to apply.

Customs

All personal items, new or old may be taken into Albania without incurring custom duties. A reasonable amount of tobacco, beverages and perfumes for personal use is allowed. Prohibited items include firearms, ammunition, narcotics, drugs and goods jeopardizing the observance of public order and social security. Special export permits are required for precious metals, ancient coins and scroll, antiques, books and works of art, which are considered to be part of national culture and heritage.