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  #1  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Question Albania - recent experiences getting in & out

Hi All,

Anyone here had recent experiences touring Albania. I'm doing some research for a computer illiterate mate.

What were the problems or was it all good news?
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Dave Milligan
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  #2  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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All good news, people very friendly, haven't met any corruption, borders straightforward, just make sure you don't need the visa/can get one at the border/pop-up on the border with one in the passport.

Extremely bad roads (I only found similarly dangerous roads in Lebanon, and not in Syria, Egypt, etc.), people just aren't aware there can be something more than pedestrians, cows and the like on the road, so I had a "friend" imprisioned there for a couple of weeks because an elder woman walked just under his bus. The condition of tarmac itself is very bad and highly unpredictable, so you might be forced to fully brake far too often (potholes, missing tarmac, unvisible speedbreakers). Otherwise no problems whatsoever, generally no languages spoken, but Italian can help you a lot. Nice country, GREAT offroad, poor tourist attractions (if any). Cheap petrol and diesel (cheaper than the neighbouring countries). The experience described is a product of my three visits to the country in 2002 and end-2003. I know that during the last year it became a new tourist destination for Slovenian "adventurers" who drive there in high numbers.
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  #3  
Old 9 Jan 2007
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Albania - recent experiences getting in & out

Hi DesertSoul,

Thanks for that.

Did you require a Carnet de Passages for your motorcycle? .. and please tell me about accommodation.
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  #4  
Old 11 Jan 2007
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CdP

Hi, no CdP required, can't tell you anything about the accomodation since I visited the country in my monovolume, used as a campervan. But I saw hotels in Tirana and Durres, so there should also be more around. And I know Slovenian bikers are travelling there, so no need to worry. Nobody has mentioned difficulties finding accomodation.

I was never there with my motorbike, so I was only looking for diesel. However, I noticed problems finding unleaded petrol in Egypt and elsewhere, but I don't recal any such memories from AL. Once again, modern bikes travel downthere but if you're not in a hurry I'll check it out for you on our bikers' forum.

DS
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Old 11 Jan 2007
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Unleaded

After searching on the bikers' forum (and not finding it) I checked it on my web page and yes, there is unleaded petrol available in Albania (I got a PM asking about it). However, the prices indicated there are absolete.
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  #6  
Old 11 Jan 2007
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Entry-exit taxes

Oh, something else. If you don't need a visa to get in, you'll still have to pay entry tax 10EUR. For your vehicle, don't pay anything on entry, it only goes into the official's pocket. You will pay a road tay in the amount of 1EUR per day your vehicle spent in the country (entry/exit days included, i.e., one night=two days). All these are updated informations.
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  #7  
Old 12 Jan 2007
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tax

To my surprise, you not only have to pay an entry tax of 10 EUR. but also an exit tax of 10 EUR.
When I called the Albanian embassy before my trip, they only told me about the entry tax. I guess they know you'll pay anyway if you want to get out of Albania. :-)
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  #8  
Old 12 Jan 2007
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I was there last year

I had no problems getting in or out, don't remember paying any 'exit tax' either...

In terms of accomadation there are quite a few little roadside places springing up that are pretty good if you're touring. The one I stayed in had a strange ownership connection with what I can only assume is the Albanian Mafia - I got taken out (to dinner!!) by someone who seemed very important, got waved through all the police checkpoints at high speed, drove a brand new merc and said he was 'in construction'. He also kept asking me if I was 'scared' as I sat in the back of the merc getting driven through the night so we could go to one of his new restaurants. My concerns aside the guy turned out to be quite a good laugh, and insisted on paying for everything, then dropped me back at the place I was staying. Friendly bunch!

Make sure you're friend visits Lake Orchis - probably the best beauty spot in Europe and some great twisting mountain roads to get there. God I wish I was still on the road!
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  #9  
Old 12 Jan 2007
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Hi,

I rode north through Albania from Greece up to Montenegro along the coast (mostly) in September. In truth the roads outside towns and cities were generally better than I was expecting - ranging from poorly-maintained Scottish single-track to brand new and beautiful. Within town and city limits though road conditions are a different matter - absolutely dreadful. Riding through Schkoder in a thunderstorm, foot-deep potholes in road, random vehicle and pedestrian behaviour was very tough indeed. You will need a strong bike. No carnet required, I think you should buy Green Card insurance although I managed without, I only remember paying the tourist tax on the way in....

The south of the country is stunning from Greek border up towards Vlore; I wasn't as keen on the north - busier, building work going on everywhere. Everybody drives old Mercs, apparently liberated from captivity in Italy, but driving behaviour was fine. Accommodation was cheap, but you need to make sure everything's secure and locked up. Unleaded petrol not a problem at all - plenty around, but fill up when you can, rather then when you need to ;-)

Pat.
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  #10  
Old 12 Jan 2007
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exit tax

jkrijt,

If you paid a 10EUR "exit tax" I would assume you stayed in the country with your vehicle for 10 days, correct (1EUR/day road tax)?
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  #11  
Old 13 Jan 2007
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Tax (twice)

DesertSoul,

No, we delivered a 4x4 that we drove from the Netherlands to an aid organisation in Albania and then took the plane back to Holland.
On the way in, on the ferry from Italy to Albania, we had to pay 10 euro tax to get in and at the airport we had to pay 10 euro exit tax. It was very official and the lady from the airline who helped us, was a friend of the guy we delivered the car to, so I'm sure it was no scam

My report of that trip is on my website:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~jkrijt/trips/albania/index.shtml
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The bikes I ride are a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and a 1978 Honda CB400T
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  #12  
Old 17 Jan 2007
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Smile My experience to Albania summer 2006

Hi,

I have been last summer to Albania by motorbyke, cost of fuel 1 Euro about, choose brand fuel if possible, there is the risk of water added, traffic you are a small vehicle the danger is yours :-), avoid to drive in the night, keep safety distance as direction indicator is a merely an optional road conditons but changing every year, be aware to pedestrians on the motorway Durres - Tirana, never seen a motorcycle shops, hope it helps

Cheers
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