CAMPING IN ALBANIA: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Albania is a wonderful all round destination for campers, adventurers and backpackers. If you’re keen to explore Albania and sleep under canvas, read on to find out more about camping in Albania.
Camping in Albania: Why it’s so hot right now
It is literally, so hot right now in tents across Albania! We traveled to Albania in August 2023, and were so surprised to see just how popular camping in Albania has become.
Here’s why camping in Albania is so hot right now:
1/ Camping in Albania suits many budgets: Camping in Albania is a great budget travel solution. Campsites have popped up and in part, they serve backpackers travelling through on a budget. They have become almost an alternative to hostels, as they have a sociable communal area and are reasonably priced.
2/ Albania is a stunning country: This year, record numbers of people have traveled to Albania. Why? Well, mainly because it’s an incredible travel destination. It’s perfect for a road trip, as small country and there’s so much to see from mountains to the Albanian Riviera. Campsites just happen to be in some of the best locations in Albania too.
3/ Campsites are everywhere: There are loads of fantastic campsites in Albania. They can be found even in the most popular beach resorts. Most have good facilities and epic scenery around them.
Best time of year to go camping in Albania
Here’s an overview of the seasons in Albania.
Spring: From March to May, you can find temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees centigrade with longer days and plenty of sunshine.
Summer: Things are hotting up in summer, from June to August, you can expect 25 to 30 degrees centigrade.
Autumn: Autumn cools down a little, returning to 20 to 25 degrees centigrade. Nights are slightly cooler, but the day time is still pleasant and adequate for sunbathing on the coast.
Winter: In Winter, temperatures can head down to 5 to 10 degrees centigrade.
We think that late spring (May), or early Autumn (September) are the best times to go camping in Albania. The weather is pleasant, but not too hot and it’s less crowded than in the summer. However, you can still have a great time camping in the summer, just book pitches ahead to get into the best campsites in Albania.
Can you wild camp in Albania?
Wild camping, or free camping, is completely legal. Not only that, but there are really no restrictions to wild camping in Albania – apart from not pitching your tent on private land.
As always, remember to leave no trace when you wild camp.
Best places to wild camp in Albania
Wild Camping in Albania is not only totally legal, but they have very few (if any) rules about where you can camp. So, this gives you totally free choice on where to pitch your tent for the night!
Some of the most popular places to camp, especially in the summer, are on the beach. In Albania, domestic travellers head to the beaches with their tents and often stay for the weekend or longer. You can literally just pitch your tent right on the sand.
Do note, you can only camp on public, not private beaches. It’s pretty easy to tell which is which. The private beaches will have sun loungers on and are normally attached to bars or beach clubs. Public beaches will have signs indicating that they are public.
Many people also choose to camp in the stunning, Accursed Mountains, also known as the Albanian Alps. The most popular hiking route in Albania is the walk from Theth to Valbona which goes through two national parks. The Theth and Valbona National Parks are particularly wonderful spots to wild camp. You can find out more about the Albanian Alps in our hiking guide here.
If you’re looking to explore the whole country – check out our Albania itinerary here, a guide to travelling without a hire car.
A few things to think about when you pick your wild camp in Albania
1/ Your location – whilst there are no rules in Albania about wild camping, we think that as a tourist it is best to be respectful. Try to stay away from properties, very busy and very public areas. Apart from minimizing the risk that you look like a bit of an annoying tourist, you’ll also have a more relaxing sleep if you pick a peaceful spot.
2/ Facilities – camping on the beach may sound incredible, but be sure to think about access to facilities. Where will you go the bathroom and where can you get water from too?
3/ Safety and wildlife – consider where you are planning to camp in terms of safety. Have you got access to a cell phone with signal in case of emergency? And, think about wild life in Albania too – snakes, bears and wolves (yes really.)
If you are planning to wild camp, you may be interested in our packing list for wild camping, found here.
Best camp sites in Albania
If wild camping sounds a bit, well…wild, then you are in for a treat in Albania. There are some fantastic camp sites, whether you’re looking to relax in your camp by the ocean or sleep under the starts in the Albanian Alps.
Campsites in Albania do tend to be a little rough around the edges, the facilities can be basic and often pitches can be quite crowded. If you’re used to campsites elsewhere in Europe, for example in Norway,
You can find a guide to the best camp sites in different areas of Albania below.
Camping in Himare: Best Camp Sites
Himare is one of the best places to camp in Albania, especially as you have so much choice for campsites. It is a wonderful beach town on the Albanian Riviera, more low key than the areas further south and a little less expensive than Dhermi.
You can find out more about Himare here on our two week Albanian itinerary.
Pine Side Camp Site, Himare
In Himare itself, the best campsite in our opinion is Pine Side. The communal space and bar area is great, the tents are spacious and it has a private swimming spot.
Rates: 20 to 25 Euros
Facilities: Pitches or tents with bedding, bar and communal space, beach front, decent showers, wifi
How to book: booking.com here
Sea Cave Camp Site, Himare
Sea Cave is right next to Pine Side. It is also a very similar camp site to Pine Side, but, the tents seemed to be a little more cramped together than they did in Pine Side. Nevertheless, it is still a delightful place to stay and has a 9.2 rating on Booking.com.
Rates: 20 to 25 Euros
Facilities: Tents with bedding, showers, beachfront, smal bar and communal apace
How to book: booking.com here
Olive Camp Site, Himare
We also stayed in Olive campsite which is different to the others in Himare. Set further around the bay and back into town, this is a very quiet and peaceful site with only a handful of tents.
Rates: 20 to 25 Euros
Facilities: Offers pitches or tents with bedding, great showers, small bar and communal space, wifi
How to book: On booking.com here
Scala Bungalows, Himare
Not strictly a camp site, but Scala Bungalow provides the outdoor feel, but with a bit of luxury
Rates: Around 40 Euros for a couple
Facilities: Bungalows, private bathroom, terarce, sea view
How to book: Booking.com here
Camping in Gjipe: Best Camp Sites
Gjipe Beach is a remote, rugged and stunning beach on the Albanian Riviera. It is popular, as it has calm blue water and it is one of the most idyllic places to spend a day, or a night, in Albania.
There is only one camp site on Gjipe Beach, Gjipe Eco Campground, and it’s a corker. Facilities are a little basic, the shower and bathrooms particularly, but it’s very hard to beat the location. Set a little way back from the beach with some shade from trees, but close enough that you can stroll out of your tent and into the ocean in approximately 30 seconds!
Gjepe Eco Campground
Rates: Around 25 to 30 Euros, depending on season
Facilities: Restaurant and bar, communal space, showers and breakfast included, tents provided
How to book: Here on booking.com
💡Top Tip: the restaurants and bars on the beach and campsite bar is expensive and there is nowhere to get water (apart from the bar.) If you can, take some drinks and snacks with you.
How to get to Gjepe Eco Campground
Getting to Gjipe beach is quite tricky unless you have a car. By car, you can simply drive towards the beach and park up around 1.5km away. However, if you don’t have a car, it can be difficult to get to Gjipe.
We ended up walking from nearby Dhermi to Gjipe – do note, there is no coastal path, instead you have to walk along the roads. Another option is to try to jump on the private buses that travel from Dhermi to Himare on a daily basis – but you may be waiting a while, as there is no set schedule for these and Gjipe is not an official stop.
Getting a cab from nearby Dhermi or Jala Beach is also an option. Just remember, you’ll need to walk either from the car park (1.5km) or from the trail head at near the main road (3km.) The 3km trail route is particularly stunning.
Camping in Ksamil: Best Camp Sites
Ksamil is a really beautiful beach town, in the south of Albania. Although it wasn’t our favourite place to stay, Ksamil is still worth a visit if you’re travelling all round Albania. Find out more about Ksamil here.
Ksamil Caravan and Camping
Rates: 12 Euros per person
Facilities: Bathrooms, electricity, pitches
How to book: Via the campsite website.
Camping in the Albanian Alps: Best Camp Sites
The Theth and Valbona national parks are great places to wild camp, but if you want a bit more of a campsite than a wild camp, these are some of the best.
Find out more about hiking in the Albanian Alps here.
Camping Freskia, Theth
Rates: Around 20 Euros
Facilities: Grass pitches, restaurant, bathrooms
How to book: On Pitch Up, here.
Rupa Guesthouse, Theth
A guesthouse rather than a campsite, but you are able to pitch your tent and use the facilities.
Rates: 5 Euros
Facilities: Pitches, bathrooms, dinner and breakfast available
How to book: Contact via booking.com
What to pack for camping in Albania
In addition to your usual backpacking gear, there are a few items we recommend packing for camping in Albania.
1/ Something to sit on – many of the campsites don’t have chairs near to the tents, think about packing something to sit on. A large sarong or beach blanket could do the trick.
2/ Trek Towel – whilst sheets are supplied, towels are not. We recommend packing a trek towel to shower and use on the beach.
3/ Head Torch – toilets can be quite far from the tent and a head torch can help you find your way in the night. Also useful if you’re walking back from town to your tent.
4/ Crockery and cutlery – some campsites have kitchens, but they tend to be quite basic. We suggest taking some crockery, even just a spork, so you can eat your own food with clean cutlery.
5/ T shirt or cover up – after a dew days of camping in Albania in the summer, we were feeling a bit cooked by the sun. Often it can be difficult to find shade, therefore we recommend taking some clothing to cover up from the sun, like a t shirt or a kaftan.
6/ Multi-outlet adapter – plug points tend to be quite sparse on campsites in Albania. We recommend taking a multi plug adapter, so you can share the plug points with your fellow campers.
7/ Ear Plugs – campsites in Albania can be quite noisy. Often pitches are close together and campers can be up late partying. Ear plugs are your friend when camping in Albania.
Where to next in Albania?
- Albanian Alps hiking three day itinerary: circular route back to Shkoder
- Our two week Albania itinerary: an epic road trip without a hire car
- Best things to do in Durres, Albania for a short and fun visit
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