Getting to Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra is in the south of Albania, situated on the east face of the steep Mali i Gjerë mountain range. It lies 232 km from Tirana, the capital of Albania; 31 kilometres from the Greek border crossing at Kakavia; and 56 kilometres from Saranda, the seaport that connects southern Albania to Corfu. Citizens of most western countries are not required to obtain a visa in advance.

By air

Flights to Albania go to Rinas (Mother Teresa) airport, just outside Tirana. Alternatively you can fly to Corfu and take the ferry to Saranda, then a bus or taxi to Gjirokastra. You can also fly to Ioannina in northern Greece (90km away) and take a Greek taxi to the border crossing at Kakavia, then take an Albanian taxi to Gjirokastra. There is also a daily bus service leaving from Ioannina at 6.00 am from outside the main bus station.  In addition, Greek Ktel buses run up to the border several times a day. There are also Albanian minibuses and buses operating on the other side of the border you will need to walk past the taxi rank to the petrol station to find these.

By Road:

Gjirokastra lies on the main north-south Albanian highway (Rruga Nacionale) that connects with the Greek border. The highway from Tirana takes the following route – Tirana-Durrës-Kavajë-Rrogozhinë-Lushnje-Fier-Levan-Tepelenë-Gjirokastra. By private car this 232 km trip will take about 3.5 hours due to the traffic and rush hours. By bus it will take 4 to 4.5 hours depending on how many stops the bus makes along the way.
In Tirana, buses leave from the South Buses Station “Sheshi Shqiponja” at Kavaja Street, west of the city. The best advice is to tell a taxi driver where you want to go by bus and have him drive you to the departure point.  The taxi ride will cost you Lekë  300 to 500, the bus ride to Gjirokastra is Lekë 1000 per person.  Buses leave regularly throughout the morning. Alternatively, having the taxi driver take you all the way to Gjirokastra will cost between Lekë 14,000 and 16,000.

*Please contact at if you have any customized need for transport.

Buses and minibuses

From   / To

Departure   time

Gjirokastër – Tiranë 5:00 / 7:00 / 8:00 / 9:00 / 10.30 / 12:00 / 14:00 /15.00/ 22:00
Tiranë – Gjirokastër 06.30/ 07.00/10:00 / 12:00 / 13:00 / 14:30 / 18:30 / 22:00
Gjirokastër – Vlorë 8:30
Vlorë – Gjirokastër 6:30
Gjirokastër – Korcë 7:00
Korcë – Gjirokastër 6:00
Gjirokastër – Sarandë Every hour from 06.00 to 17.00
Sarandë – Gjirokastër Every hour from 06.00 t0 17.00
Gjirokastër – Përmet 10:00 / 12:00 / 13:00
Përmet – Gjirokastër 6:00 / 7:00 / 8:00

Buses from Gjirokastra depart next to the roundabout in lower Gjirokastra.

From Tirana at the Buses Agency in the so called Sheshi Shqiponja, at Kavaja Street