How to get to Albania from UK?

There are not many airlines that fly from Albania to the UK. So, finding an available flight, which is also affordable, can be a challenge. I lived in the UK for quite a while, and I was always searching for the best way to get to Albania from UK? So, I decided to turn my research into a helpful blogpost.

How to get to Albania from UK? You can get to Albania from UK with one of these airlines: British Airways, Wizz Air or Albawings. All flights depart from London and it takes 3 hours to fly to Tirana. British airways depart from London Gatwick, Albawings departs from London Stansted and Wizz Air flies from London Luton airport.

However, these three airlines are very different from each other. British Airways is a well-established airline, but they can charge a high price depending on the season. So, you may want to consider the alternative airlines as well. Moreover, you could consider flying to Corfu and taking the ferry to Albania. Let’s dig a little deeper to plan your trip to Albania from the UK.

Which airlines fly from UK to Albania?

The best way to travel from the UK to Albania is booking a direct flight from London to Tirana. There are only three airlines that offer a direct flight from the UK to Albania. These are:

1.       British Airways

2.       Wizz Air

3.       Albawings (codeshare agreement with Blue Panorama Airlines)

All the direct flights to Albania depart from London Airports. There are no other cities in the UK, that offer a direct flight to Albania. If you want to fly from any other city in the UK, you only option is to book a connecting flight.

All three airlines fly from different London airports. British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Tirana. Wizz Air flies from London Luton to Tirana. And Albawings flies from London Stansted to Tirana. In case, you have never heart of Albawings, it is a low-cost Albanian airline.

How long is the flight from UK to Albania?

The UK to Albania flight time is 3 hours. The flight times from all the airlines flying from the UK to Albania is the same. Because British Airways, Wizz Air and Albawings all depart from London airports.

How far is Albania from UK by plane?

Albania is 3 hours from the UK by plane. The distance between the two countries is 2339 kilometres or 1453 miles.

What is the cheapest way to travel from the UK to Albania?

The price for a direct flight from the UK to Albania can be high, depending on the season. Because there are only 3 x airlines that operate direct flights. So, you don’t have much choice. Especially, in the holiday season, it can be difficult to buy a cheap ticket. Because many Albanian people, who work in the UK, are flying home for the holidays.

You can save yourself some money by booking a plane ticket far in advance. If you have the option to book a few months before your departure date, you will find flight tickets for only half the price. However, understandably you do not always have this luxury of planning your holidays that far ahead.

Therefore, I came up with some cheaper alternatives. Here is a list of some cheaper ways to travel from the UK to Albania:

1.       Book a connecting flight

2.       Fly to the Greek Corfu island and take the ferry to Albania

3.       Fly to Thessaloniki in Greece and take the bus to South Albania

4.       Fly to Podgorica in Montenegro and take the bus to North Albania

5.       Fly to Bari in Italy and take the ferry to Albania

6.       Fly to Brindisi in Italy and take the ferry to Albania

A direct flight is still a very good option, because it saves you a lot of time. However, if you find out that the flight tickets are too expensive, you may want to research these alternatives. Whether these options are attractive for you depends on the money and the time you are willing to spend on your journey.

What are the best connecting flights from the UK to Albania?

If the ticket prices for direct flights are high, you can try to book a cheaper connecting flight. But bear in mind that you sometimes end up paying the same price or more for a longer journey. The best connecting flights from the UK to Albania, have a layover in Italy, Germany or Austria.

There are many flights between Italy and Albania, because many Albanian people live and work in Italy. Therefore, you have a good chance of booking a low-cost flight from Italy to Albania. You can book a low-cost flight from the UK to Italy and then book a connecting flight to Albania.

Lufthansa also offers a good connecting flight between the UK and Albania. Lufthansa offers a flight from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and then a connection from Frankfurt to Tirana. You can sometimes book this combination with a short layover, bringing your total travel time between 4-6 hours only.

And finally, have a look at Austrian airlines for their connecting flights. Austrian offers a flight from London Heathrow to Tirana with a layover in Vienna. If the timings are convenient, you can book a flight which lasts 7 hours and 30 minutes for an affordable price. But it all depends on the dates and times obviously.

Fly to Corfu Island and take the ferry to Albania

Flying to the Greek Corfu Island is a good option is you plan on visiting the South of Albania. Corfu is a small island that lays in front of the Albanian coast. The distance between Corfu and Albania is only 18 kilometres. So, you can take a short ferry trip from Corfu island to Albania.

Moreover, flying from the UK to Corfu can be a lot cheaper, than a direct flight. Because there are a lot of low-cost airlines that fly to Corfu island. You can fly from UK to Corfu with: Easy Jet, Ryan Air, Thomas Cook airlines, Jet2 airlines, British airways and Norwegian Air International.

From Corfu island, you can take a ferry to Saranda in Albania. The boat trip takes 30 minutes by high speed boat or 70 minutes by ferry boat. The prices are very reasonable. You can expect to pay €19.00 in low season or €23.80 in high season. In the summer, the boat departs 5 times a day. But in the winter, there is only one ferry boat departure per day.

There are several companies that sell ferry boat tickets from Corfu to Albania. You can book tickets with Joy Lines, Ionian Seaways, Sarris Cruises and Finikas Lines. However, you will soon find out that many of these companies work together and sell tickets for each other, so the difference are minimal.

Fly to Thessaloniki in Greece and take the bus to South Albania

If you are looking for a cheaper flight ticket, you could fly from the UK to Thessaloniki in Greece. Some of the budget airlines, like Easy Jet, offer cheap flights to Thessaloniki. The airlines that fly from the UK to Thessaloniki are Wizz Air, Ryan Air, Easy Jet and British Airways.

From Thessaloniki, you can take a bus to Albania. If you plan to travel all the way to Tirana or the North of Albania, this will be a long bus journey of 10 – 12 hours. However, the South of Albania is closer to the Greek border.

The bus from Thessaloniki to Albania departs at 19:15. The bus makes stops in Gjirokastra (2:00am), Permet (2:30am), Tepelene (2:45am), Vlore (4:00am), Fier (6:00am), Berat (7:00am), Durres and Tirana (7:30am). A bus ticket will cost you between €26 – €35 depending on which stop you get off the bus.

It is also possible to take a bus via the east of Albania, which stops in Korce, Pogradec, Elbasan, Durres and Shkodra.  

Fly to Podgorica in Montenegro and take the bus to North Albania

Flying to Podgorica in Montenegro is a good option, if you plan on visiting the North of Albania. You can fly from the UK to Podgorica with Ryan Air or Tui Airways.

Once you arrive in Podgorica, you can take the bus to the North of Albania. It takes at least 1 hour and 50 minutes to travel from Podgorica to Albania. The bus from Podgorica to Albania stops in the following Albanian cities: Shkodra, Lezhe, Durres and Tirana.

Shkodra city is the closest to the border, therefore it takes only 1 hour and 50 minutes. Travelling from Podgorica to Lezhe takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. The trip to Durres takes 4 hours. And Podgorica to Tirana is 4 hours and 45 minutes. The bus ticket cost between €10-€15 depending on where you get off the bus.

If you plan to go hiking in Albania, flying to Podgorica is a good option. This is because the city Shkodra is very close to the Montenegrin border. Once you research hiking in Albania, you will find that all hiking trips start from Shkodra.

If you plan on travelling to Shkodra, it does not matter if you fly to Tirana or to Podgorica. Because it will take you 2 hours to travel from Tirana to Shkodra or from Podgorica to Shkodra. Simply fly to the airport with the cheapest plane tickets, because either bus journey will cost you the same amount of time and money.

Fly to Bari in Italy and take the ferry to Albania

You can also fly to Bari in Italy and take the ferry across the sea to Albania. This is a longer trip though, because the ferry journey takes more time.

From the UK, you can fly to Bari with Wizz Air, Easy Jet, Ryan Air or British Airways. This flight will take you roughly 3 hours.

However, the ferry trip from Bari to Durres is considerably longer. It takes between 9 hours – 11 hours by boat from Bari to Durres in Albania. Moreover, you would have to work out the timings with the flight arrival and the ferry departure. The prices are usually around £40 per person for a ferry ticket.

You should ask yourself if it is worth travelling via Bari for you. Because even if you book a cheap flight to Bari, you still must pay for the ferry ticket. Moreover, you will spend at least 13 hours travelling.

Fly to Brindisi in Italy and take the ferry to Albania

From the UK, you can fly to Brindisi and take a ferry to Albania. The airlines that fly from the UK to Brindisi are Easy Jet and Ryan Air. Then from Brindisi, you can take a ferry boat to Vlora in Albania. The ferry boat departs at 23:30 in Brindisi and arrives at 7:00am in Vlora. The ferry boat trip takes 7:30 hours.

Does Albania have an airport?

Albania has only one airport, which is Tirana International Airport. The airport is also known as Nene Tereza airport (in English: Mother Tereza Airport) or Rinas International Airport.

The airport is located 11 kilometres to the northwest of Tirana. Therefore, you will need to book a taxi, buy a bus ticket or rent a car to get to the city centre.

The airport of Tirana is small in scale and offers only European flights. So if you are flying from another continent, you will need to buy an interconnecting flight.

The facilities at Tirana International Airport are:
Car rental companies. You can rent a car from Eurocar rentals, Enterprise rent-a-car, Europcar, Avis, Sixt, Hertz, Albania Airport Rent a Car and ARA Auto Rental. You can expect to pay between €20-€30 per day for an average car rental in Albania. Obviously, a premium car will cost you more, depending on the make and the model.
ATM and banks. There are ATMs from Tirana Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Banka Kombetare Tregtare and Procredit Bank.
Car parking. The car parking at the airport costs 150 LEK for 1 hour and 720 LEK for 24 hours.
A few bars and coffee houses
Small gift shops and a few duty-free shops in the departure hall
Business Lounge
Taxi and bus stop

What airlines fly Albania?

The airlines that fly to Albania are:

1.       Adria airways
2.       Transavia airways
3.       Austrian airlines
4.       Alitalia
5.       Tui Fly
6.       British Airways
7.       Lufthansa airline
8.       Edelweiss air
9.       Czech airlines
10.   Aegean air
11.   Air Serbia
12.   Turkish airlines
13.   Pegasus airline
14.   Albawings
15.   Blue Panorama airlines
16.   Wizz Air
17.   Smart Wings airline
18.   Air Albania
19.   Eurowings
20.   Ernest airlines.

Can you fly direct to Albania?

Yes, you can fly direct to Albania from the following European countries:

1.       Slovenia
2.       Germany
3.       France
4.       The Netherlands
5.       Austria
6.       Italy
7.       Belgium
8.       United Kingdom
9.       Switzerland
10.   Czech Republic
11.   Greece
12.   Serbia
13.   Turkey
14.   Hungary

It is not possible to fly direct to Albania from outside of Europe. Therefore, if you want to fly to Albania from another continent, you will need to book a connecting flight.

Does Albania have airline?

Albania has two airlines, which are: Air Albania and Albawings. Both airlines are brand new, especially if you compare them some of the more established airlines in Europe.

Air Albania is the national flag carrier of Albania. The airline was founded in 2018 and flew its first flight in April 2019. The company is owned by Turkey and Albania. Right now, Air Albania owns only one airplane, which flies between Istanbul and Tirana.

Albawings airline is a low-cost airline based in Albania. The airline operated its first flight in August 2016. Albawings currently owns 3 airplanes. With Albawings you can fly to Dusseldorf, London and several Italian cities. Moreover, Albawings has a codeshare agreement with Blue Panorama Airlines, which means that Blue Panorama sells tickets for Albawings on their website.

Related Questions

Are there trains in Albania? There are national trains in Albania, but there are no international trains that cross the border. Moreover, the trains that travel within Albania date back to the communist period and need refurbishment. Only take the train for the experience, because travel by bus if faster.

What is the best way to get around Albania? The best way to get around Albania is by minibus or by car. Albania has only one airport in Tirana, from there you can travel to other destinations with a rental car or by minibus. The trains in Albania date back to the communist period and need refurbishment.

How do you get to Saranda Albania? You can get to Saranda with the ferry from Corfu island or by bus from Tirana. If you fly to the Greek Corfu island, the boat trip which takes 30-70 minutes by speedboat or ferry. If you fly to Tirana International airport, you can take a bus from the Dogana roundabout to Saranda which takes 5 hours.