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By No owner — last modified Jul 30, 2015 02:53 PM

 Albania - Profile

Facts

  • Albania, known as Shqiperia in Albanian, is situated on the Adriatic Sea between Greece and the republic of Montenegro.
  • After decades of rule by a strict Stalinist regime, which systematically discouraged any contact with the outside world, Albania has now opened its doors to foreign tourists and the number of visiting cruising yachts is steadily increasing. Whilst the welcome may be warm, visiting yachts can still be treated with some suspicion by officials.
  • The main ports of entry, Durres, Vlore and Saranda are all commercial ports with few or no facilities for visiting yachts. There is a new marina at Orikum, near Vlore with some facilities, and a marina planned for Durres.
  • The opening up of the country in the early 1990s has brought freedom to the people but has also affected the economy. This has caused high unemployment and has forced many people to emigrate. Greece and Italy are the main targets, which many Albanians try to enter illegally in small boats. Cruising boats sailing the Adriatic should be aware of the possible presence of small unlit boats.
  • Cruising along the coast offers many possibilities although permission to do so must be obtained when clearing in. One of the main attractions inland are the remarkably well preserved Greek and Roman ruins at Butrint, which is best reached from Saranda. The capital Tirana is 24 miles inland from the port of Durres.
  • It is not advisable to leave a yacht unattended or without someone appointed to keep an eye on it.
  • Be aware that not all the buoyage conforms to the IALA System A as it should and anchoring in areas marked as "minefieds" (although mostly cleared), are best avoided.

Weather

The climate is Mediterranean in type, with hot summers and mild winters. The wind in summer is mostly onshore, stronger in the afternoons and dying away at night. Unpredictable thunderstorms are common in the summer.

Albania Weather Forecast

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Durres * , Himare , Saranda * , Shengjin * , Vlore (Valona Bay) *

* indicates port of entry

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 30, 2015 02:53 PM

Sarande to Vlore: Port of Refuge
Posted on behalf of Tony Olin

Port of Palermo: We came in here in a thunder storm on passage to Vlore. It's an old military disused port. We dropped anchor off the old submarine penn to the north of the port, but were chased off by armed soldiers to the other side of the port where we took up a mooring bouy in 5 meters that held us overnight in up to 35 kts of wind. This is an ideal port of refuge along this coast, no need of an agent if you don't go ashore, although I did the next morning and was invited for Albanian coffee by a couple of local fishermen who were glad of the visit.

Irene Cop
Irene Cop says:
Jun 15, 2015 04:39 PM

Albania has custom rule regarding foreign flagged boats. Stay less than 6 months inside the country or you will have to pay custom duty, abt 22% of value of boat.

Irene Cop
Irene Cop says:
Jun 15, 2015 04:37 PM

Himare is for time of writing no port of entry.

jwallace
jwallace says:
Jun 14, 2015 10:03 AM

We visited Vlore June, 2015. I contacted Sail Albania (www.sail-albania.com) and rec dived an immediate response from Orion, one of the two sailors listed on the website. He met me the next day at the dock in Vlore and handled all paperwork for our US flagged yacht. He was very kind and courteous. We then spent the night at Marina Orikum. Again, we were met with kind service. The facilities are very nice. We had a fine dinner at a nearby seaside restaurant. We will return on any trips North in the Adriatic. Note that we were also contacted by Captain Irene Cop, from the same website to make sure we had been contacted and were being taken care of. Orion's mobile is 355 69 7710739, and Captain Cop's mobile is 355 69 7324138, and, again, the website is sail-albania.com.

S.thompson
S.thompson says:
May 09, 2015 07:02 PM

A very professional and helpful port agent in Saranda is Jelja Serani, from Saranda Summer Tours. She will give you all the necessary information and advice on sailing to Albania. She can also organize sightseeing tours. Find important nautical information on her website
www.sarandasummertours.com

Ali BROWN
Ali BROWN says:
Sep 14, 2013 07:27 PM

Visited Vlores Sept 2013 direct from Greece and wasn't allowed to go direct to Orikum. Agent Nino cost Euro55. Only stayed couple of hours at Vlores moored alongside tug boat-boat continually beset by youths begging so didn't feel secure to leave boat for any length of time.
Anchored north of Cape Porto Nuovo. Very sheltered from Southerly winds for shallow draught- 1 metre ish.
Durres much better. Agent Beni. 00355 672082061 very helpful- cost Euro50 plus Euro 10 per night. Quay very secure but can be covered in coal dust/ grain.Harbourmaster and dock staff very helpful. Needed new rudder made EXCELLENT SERVICE from Henkel +355 665680386. (was difficult to track down any repair facility in Durres) Made new rudder wood and GRP within 48 hours for less than Euro 200. Was very professional from small repairs to whole boat moulding- workshop 10 minute drive from Durres on Tirana dual carriageway- difficult to find.

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