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Albania is a small south-eastern European country in the Balkans. It offers extensive beaches along the Adriatic coast, pristine national parks, a rich culture and exciting cities. Historically, Albania's third largest city is also significant, as it was here that the founding of the republic was proclaimed. Witness to this event are the Independence Monument and Museum. Other historical and ethnographic museums as well as the Petro Marko Theatre form the cultural centre. Worth seeing are the Muradije Mosque, the Narta Lagoon with Orthodox monastery, Kanina Castle and the Lungo Mare beach promenade.
Dajti is a mountain and national park in central Albania, to the east of Tirana, with the highest peak standing at 1,613 m. The Dajti National Park was officially designated a national park in 1966 and in 2006 was expanded to cover an area of approximately 29,384 hectares. The mountain is home to a panorama restaurant serving national and international dishes. Dajti also offers a range of hiking trails, as well as horse riding, archery and buggy riding. Opened in 2005, the "Dajti Ekspres" cable car transports visitors from the eastern edge of the city to the top of the mountain in just a few minutes.
Albania's second-largest city, Durrës is located on the Adriatic Coast approximately 30 kilometres from the capital Tirana. It boasts the distinction of being Albania's oldest seaport and was founded in the 7th century by the Greeks as a colony. Today, the city attracts visitors with its picturesque old town and dreamy sandy beaches.
The Llogara Pass (Qafa Llogara in Albanian) is a mountain pass in southern Albania. The national park with its flora and fauna covers an area of 1,010 hectares in the middle of the Ceraunian Mountains and lies between 470 and 2,000 metres above sea level. The national park can be wonderfully explored by hiking and when you reach the top of the pass at 1,000 metres, every effort, no matter how great, is rewarded with a fantastic view over the Albanian Riviera. Bathing suits should not be missing either, because over stony gorges you reach many beautiful bathing beaches, some of which are still almost untouched. Gjipe beach, for example, is a real gem, as the beach is inaccessible to cars.
The village of Kanina lies about six kilometres southeast of Vlora on a hill that is part of the northern foothills of the Ceraunian Mountains. On a small hilltop are the remains of an old fortress, around which the village extends. A visit is worthwhile for anyone who wants to enjoy the view over the bay of Vlora.