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Thethi National Park

National Park of Thethi is situated in the Albanian Alps near Bjeshket e Namuna (the Cursed Mountains). It is 3,300 ha large and through it flows the beautiful Thethi River. A magnificent place to visit is the waterfall at Grunas. Significant wildlife populates this park, as well, a large community of lynx call home this tranquil area.

Kruja

Kruja is Skanderbeg's town. Yes, Albania's national hero was born here, and although it was over 500 years ago, there's still a great deal of pride in the fact that he and his forces defended Kruja from the Ottomans until his death. As soon as you get off the furgon, you're face to knee with a statue of Skanderbeg wielding his mighty sword with one hand, and it just gets more Skanderdelic after that.

From the road below, Kruja's houses appear to sit in the lap of a mountain. An ancient castle juts out to one side, and the massive Skanderbeg Museum juts out of the castle itself. The local plaster industry is going strong so expect visibility-reducing plumes of smoke to cloud views of the Adriatic Sea. Kruja's sights can be covered in a an hour or two, making this a great stop en route elsewhere.

Drin

The Drin river system is the largest river of Albania and collects water from the Adriatic portion of the Kosovo watershed in Serbia & Montenegro (as Beli Drin river) and in the south from the border region with FYR Macedonia (Lake Prespa / Lake Ohrid drains into Crn Drim river); its total basin encompasses about 14,173 kmĀ² (without both lakes).

The Drin River (285 km) is the most constant river of Albania: Fed by melting snows from the northern and eastern mountains (mean elevation at 971 m asl.) and by more evenly distributed seasonal precipitation, its flow does not have the extremely varying characteristics of nearly all other Albanian rivers.

The mouth of Drin river into the Adriatic Sea is located south of Shkodra near the city of Lezha but most of its water runs through an arm into Buna river near Shkodra.

Shkoder

A diamond-shaped city wedged between the Rozafa Citadel, the magnificent Albanian Alps, deep blue Lake Shkodra, a 30-kilometre sand beach and the serene Buna river delta reservation - Shkodra is a diamond in the rough with plenty of potential.

While many visitors quickly breeze though the city, Shkodra's turbulent 2400-year history has left plenty of interesting relics that make a stay in Albania's cultural capital worthwhile.

Tirana

Lively, colourful Tirana is the beating heart of Albania, where this tiny nation's hopes and dreams coalesce into a vibrant whirl of traffic, brash consumerism and unfettered fun. Having undergone a transformation of extraordinary proportions since it awoke from its communist slumber in the early 1990s, Tirana's centre is now unrecognisable, with its buildings painted in primary colours, and public squares and pedestrianised streets a pleasure to wander.

Trendy Blloku buzzes with the well-heeled and flush hanging out in bars or zipping between boutiques, while the city's grand boulevards are lined with fascinating relics of its Ottoman, Italian and communist past - from delicate minarets to loud socialist murals. Tirana's traffic does daily battle with both itself and pedestrians in a constant scene of unmitigated chaos. Loud, crazy, colourful and dusty - Tirana is never dull.