Table of Contents
Where is Albania located?
What continent is Albania on?
Where is Albania? What continent is it on? Where Albania is located? Many people ask us these questions.
Albania has a 28,748 km² area and is located on the Balkan Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula is part of the European continent. Albania is actually a very beautiful country enjoying a Mediterranean climate pretty much like the one you might experience in southern Italy.
Which countries lie along Albania’s borders?
Albania borders Kosovo, Greece, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. And half of the ethnic Albanians live outside of the current borders of Albania.
What does the name Albania means?
Albania in its present form as a word is a Latinised pronunciation of the name Arbëria.
Through the centuries it was common for the local population to combine 2 to 3 words together into one pronounceable word.
So the word Arbën or Arban is made up of two separate words such as Ar (field, land) and Ban (to make, to do, to work) hence the origins of the word Albania.
The word Albania (Arban, Arbëria) was not used by the local tribe of Albani to describe themselves, but by other tribes who would describe their neighbors. So probably all those tribes living near the tribe of Albani must have seen that the locals are quite skillful at working the land and therefore have named them as “the people who know how to work the land”.
The name Albania was seen used first during the II century AD by Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria in his writings about Europe’s Geography.
In that period the chief town of Albania was called Albanopolis and the territory of Albania included pretty much the cities of Lezha, Tirana, and Dibra.
It is interesting to see that the name Albania is not used again until the 12th century. During this period the Albanian writers of the time used to refer to the country as Arbëria, language as Arbërisht, and ethnicity as Arbën.
What language do Albanians Speak?
The language spoken nowadays in Albania is known as Albanian by outsiders whereas the locals would refer to it as Shqip.
This language forms a branch of the Indo-European language family. The language was spoken since the Illyrian period.
The Albanian language is written with Latin letters. In fact, 7 million people speak it worldwide! Two main dialects make up this language; Gheg and Tosk. Northern Albanians speak Gheg whereas Southern Albanians speak the Tosk dialect.
Albania had massive immigration of the population after 1991, so out of 4.2 million, it shrinks to 2.8 million inhabitants nowadays. It is the 140th most populated country in the world. Many ethnic Albanians live outside the borders of Albania.
What is the Albanian Currency?
The Albanian currency is LEK (ALL). The currency was named Lek to honor Alexander the Great (the Great Leka in Albanian).
What’s the dialing code for Albania?
The country dialing code is 00355 +, the number for international calls.
For domestic calls within the country you just have to add a zero (0) in front of the number.
What is the capital of Albania?
The capital of Albania is TIRANA with a population of 906,166 inhabitants in 2020 according to INSTAT.
The Congress of Lushnja declared Tirana the capital on 11 February 1920.
What time zone is Albania?
Based on its location, it is Central European Standard Time.
Time zone in Albania GMT+1
Yes in Albanian
How to say the most important Albanian Words. Albanian is a language that derives from no other language than ancient Albanian. Meaning, the words in Albanian are a bit difficult to pronounce but the statistics have shown that whoever knows a second language and moves to Albania finds it easy to learn it.
Po means Yes in Albanian.
Jo means No in Albanian.
How to say Hello or Greetings in Albanian?
Not easy, Përshëndetje means Hello or Greetings.
What religion is Albania?
We are going to travel back in time with this question. In ancient Albania, nature worship was the status quo. Two main groups made up these nature worshipers; The Cult of the Serpents and The Cult of the Sun. Later, however, when the Romans conquered the country they changed their perspective on religion.
The Romans brought Christianity with them. This divided the country into three groups; the Pagans, the Orthodox, and the Catholics. When the Ottoman Army occupied the country, they forced the people to convert to Islam.
Meanwhile, Christians were worshiping their religion in complete secrecy. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the country revealed its hidden Pagan, Christian, and Muslim beliefs. Nevertheless, in 1923 things changed. The head of the country decided on religious reform. He banned the use of the hijab, abolished polygamy, and gave power to the Orthodox Church. Until that time the country was 70% Muslim and 30% Orthodox and Catholic.
It’s important to note that this time it was a very religious country. However, things did not remain like this. Enver Hoxha, as the head of the communist government, banned religion. Hoxha decided that the religion of Albania is Albanianism. In other words; the country became atheist. People would not show their beliefs in public.
Is Albania a Muslim country?
This is a very common question.
Nowadays the situation is different. Albania has religious freedom, meaning people can believe in whatever they want. That said, there are two main religions that can be further divided. Sunnism and Bektasi make up the Muslim population of Albania. Catholic and Orthodox make up the Christian one. Both celebrate official holidays throughout the country as national holidays.
Even though there are official national holidays for both religions, public schools do not teach religion. The statistics say that Albania is 56.7% Muslim, 10% Roman Catholic, 6.8% Orthodox, 2.5% atheist, 2.1% Sufi order, and 21.9% other or unspecified. Furthermore, there is one thing that the country is proud of; Religious Tolerance. This lies at the core of Albania’s values. A study found that religious tolerance in Albania finds its roots in tradition and culture.
Are Albanians Religiously Discriminated Against?
Almost 95% of the people in Albania can say that they have never been discriminated against for their religious beliefs. The constitution prohibits religious discrimination. Moreover, it guarantees freedom of conscience, religion, and free expression. It affirms the freedom of all people to choose or change religion or beliefs. They can also express themselves in public or in private.
The constitution states that individuals cannot be compelled in terms of religion. The constitution additionally bans any group that would incite religious violence or hatred.
This criminal code prescribes jail time for those who infringe on other’s religious rights. It also punishes for willfully destroying objects or buildings of religious value.
Where is Albania located on the map?
Below you can find a map of Albania and its neighbors.
Here it is on the world map.
History Facts of Albania
Albania has a history of invasions. The Ottoman Empire conquered it for 5 centuries. During that time, a man named Skenderbeg was born. He was held hostage by the Turkish army for 20 years. After this, he went back to his country and rebelled against the Ottoman army. His rebellion resulted in many victories over 25 years.
People throughout Europe appreciate him, many even thinking a supernatural force dwells within him. He is the Albanian national hero. In 1912, Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
This invasion was soon followed by more. The most important of which happened during WWII when the Italian army invaded the country.
The purpose of this invasion was to gain power in Europe. The Albanian King Ahmet Zogu left the country and ran away from the consequences. While the Italian Army occupied the country, they had to fight one last time for their freedom.
Albania’s Communist History
After the invasions, Albania faced another kind of invasion: the communist regime. Enver Hoxha closed the borders and shaped the country in a way it hadn’t been shaped before.
He reduced illiteracy and taught everyone to write and read. He promoted the same social class for everyone. Hoxha banned religion and traveling. In many ways, the country became weaker after the fall of communism. This period in history left the country with deep scars and many things to fix.
A few years after the fall of communism, the country faced great difficulties. But nowadays, even though work needs to be done, it is thriving and developing.
Albania has a lot of Bunker-related facts
These pillboxes (small concrete rooms) are a reminder of the isolationist Hoxha of Albania. A proof of how communism shapes a country in a way that it needs years to recover.
You can read more about them here.
To truly experience Albania, seek out those who practice hospitality and pride themselves on keeping their promises. In Albanian, we have a word that doesn’t exist in other countries: BESA. Besa means keeping your word. If someone gives you their Besa, legend says that even the tombstone won’t stop them from keeping their promise. (read Constantine and Doruntine? Constantine’s Besa)
Albania has just one Nobel prize winner
Mother Teresa which was born in Macedonia was of Albanian Origin. Her real name was Gonxhe Bojaxhiu and she was the first to ever win a Nobel Prize, even more, the Nobel Peace Prize for her work helping the poor in Calcutta, India.
Albania has a lot of plants/flowers
Albania boasts more than 3,250 species of plants, which accounts for 30 per cent of all flora in Europe. The best places to see the country’s colourful stock is its national parks, of which there are 15: Llogara is best for vibrant flora and fauna, while Butrint, a Unesco World Heritage site, offers archaeological sites that date back to the Romans.
Few countries in the world in proportion to their size, have such a variety of plants, like Albania. Climate diversity, geological composition, and geographical position allow the flora and fauna of Albania to be as unique as they are. After the fall of the communist regime, the Albanian government aware of the rich heritage of the flora and fauna has taken precautions in order to ensure the conservation and rational use for the benefit of both: people and nature. It includes fishing and uncontrolled hunting which can lead to the extinction of certain endangered species.
Surrounded by beaches and mountains, hills and valleys, rivers and lakes, the beauty of this country goes beyond the eye of the beholder. Travel to Albania and visit this country of miracles and magical views.
I hope you got inspired to visit Albania. Check our tours for more