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Steve H

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We are currently in Greece and planning to make our way to Croatia via Albania. I quick dash through the country is what I have planned.

I have heard stories about the condition of roads in Albania and wondered if there was a route I could take which could greatly reduce the risk of being shaken to pieces.

Your personal experiences would be most helpful

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Spent a pleasant three days there in May 2012. They were working on the roads but generally we found them ok. Remember there ws on stretch where they had resurfaced the road except under the bridges!!


People we came across were friendly and we hope to go back some time.

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We spent some weeks there a few years ago. Travelled from Montenegro right to the Greek border and back.


A quick dash it will not be!


Maximum speed out of town is 30mph. In town 15mph. I am serious! The roads are not good - but I have come across plenty of roads in Italy and the UK which are almost as bad.

If you relax and go with the flow the roads will not be a problem, but don't expect the locals to go the right way around roundabouts, or behave in the way you would expect western drivers to behave. You will be most unlikely to have an accident - both parties can stop pretty swiftly from 15mph. You will share roads with horse drawn traffic. You will return the best mpg you ever have achieved (travelling at 15mph!)


There is a motorway, but it isn't what you would expect. Small businesses alongside it, access the motorway

at the point adjacent to their premises, not at a slip road. Motorbikes and horse drawn vehicles use it as well, and not always in the direction of traffic flow. I think that the speed limit on the motorway is 50mph from memory - but be careful if you go that fast, expansion joints in roads don't exist - there is just a gap. If the traffic ahead seems to stop for no reason expect an expansion joint and slow right down as well.


You cannot get insurance in the UK for Albania or Montenegro. You have to buy a green card at the border. That means third party only. So you cover the risk of damage to the camper/motorhome yourself. We were stopped by the police who wanted to check our green card ( he really wanted to practice his English) and he was very pleasant to chat to.


Everyone was most friendly. It is a safe place to visit - whatever anyone else tells you. However local advice is to spend nights in campsites. Wild camping could lead to problems which you do not need to face. The country does have an organised crime problem, but it is not focussed on tourists. Use campsites they are cheap and really friendly.


So in summary I think you will be frustrated trying to dash through Albania - it just won't happen. However it is a country worthy of a motorhome visit - and worth exploring properly. Some world famous historic sites as well - look up "Butrint" on the internet.




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That was very helpful information Trevor thank you, and thanks also to Ian and Brian.


When we visited Istanbul three years ago returning via Greece we travelled through the likes of Macedonia and Kosovo - never again, and so we felt Albania couldn't be much worse. The speed limits are very helpful as I need to time my arrival at Dubrovnik as the campsite is pre-booked. I think I'll add an extra day and if I arrive at the top of Albania early I'll sit it out on a campsite.


One last thing. Do they accept Euro's in payment of insurance and any other expenses?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Having now passed though Albania I offer my experiences to those who may be considering making the journey.


Firstly the currant speed limits:


Within built-up areas - 40kph/25mph

Outside built-up areas 80kph/50mph

Expressways 90kph/56mph

Freeways 110kph/68mph


Observe the speed limits there are police with speed guns everywhere.


I have to assume that the driving experience must depend on the route taken. Ours was as follows:


Ioannina, Greece - Kakavia (the border) E853

Kakavia - Levan E853/SH4

Levan - Lushnje SH4

Lushnje - Durres SH4/SH85

Durres - Lezhe E851/E762

Lezhe- Shkoder SH29/E762

Shkoder - Podgorika, Montenegro.


Stick to this route and don't take any short cuts. The road was very good for most of the journey, being dual carriageway at times. Traffic through the city of Fier was a bit fraught.

We completed the Ioannina to Skhoder section in one day and averaged 33mph with a fuel return of 36.6mpg. Fuel prices are much the same as the UK but they won't take cards for payment, only their local currency, so cross the border with a full tank.

Many of the drivers are lunatics, drive with your headlights on so that those coming towards you on your side of the road while overtaking can see you. Roundabouts are a free for all, you may be on it and have right of way, but others will just enter it in front of you.


The scenery heading north was amazing, and to observe how the locals live was very interesting, but I wouldn't deviate from your main route, we did a couple of times thanks to the satnav having a funny five minutes and you'll pay the price with dreadful road surfaces.


But as we have now experienced Albania is a possible route for transiting through, north to south.


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