How To Get Around
When To Travel
Useful Travel Info
Summer or winter, beach or mountain. Outdoor or cruise, hotel or tent. There are many things to consider, before taking a trip to Himara region. Here you will find a range of questions that hopefully will answer some of the questions you might have. Whether you are traveling on your own or in a group, the information will hopefully make it easier, for you to plan a great trip to Himara.
MAPS AND GEOGRAPHY
The region of Himara
Stretching approximately 45 kilometres (27 miles) from Llogara National Par to Kakome beach north of Saranda and approximately 15 kilometres (9.2 miles) from east to west, Himara region is located on the western-south part of Albania.
Key map of Himara
Albinfo is the place from where you can see a full range of map of Himara, from 1:75,000 to 1:500,000.
You might get lost in London, Paris or New York City, but don’t worry in Himara: Our town is relatively small and easy to walk. In most villages, the local tourist office can provide you with a map.
Hiking & Cycling maps of popular areas
our agency has published a number of hiking maps that cover the most popular hiking and cycling areas in Himara.
Routes, beaches and monuments are marked on the map, and on the reverse there are descriptions of the routes themselves, fauna and whatever else you may need to know.
There is also a view of the local area in 1:10,000. Even if you are not planning to go on a long hike, it is a good idea to get hold of a map. The maps are sold in Himara at most of the shops and hotels. See an overview of the existing maps here.
The maps can be purchased here:
Ruci Tours Agency
There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing
Regardless of whether you are travelling to Himara during the winter, the spring or the summer, we recommend that you dress according to the layer-to-layer principle. The outermost layer should be wind and waterproof, and underneath you should wear items such as synthetic fibre fur and/or wool. Even in the middle of summer, when it can be warm on land, sailing trips can be cold as the temperature of the water is only one or two degrees Celsius (33-36 degrees Fahrenheit). So bring a hat, scarf and gloves with you on a sailing trip.
During the summer it can occasionally be so warm that shorts and t-shirts are suitable, although mosquitoes can be a problem in July and August. It is important to bring a mosquito net, insect repellent and antihistamine if you are allergic to insect bites.
Bring suitable footwear
Regardless of the nature of your visit to Himara, you will often have to travel a lot on foot, and frequently in hilly and uneven terrain. Therefore it is important to bring good, waterproof walking boots or walking shoes with a sturdy moulded sole. If it is the first time you are using this type of footwear, make sure you break the boots in before departure so as to avoid blisters.
The Himariot Dialect, Our Language
The Himariot Dialect is a dialect of the Greek language that is mainly spoken by ethnic Greeks in the Himara region of Albania. Despite the small distances between the towns in the region, there exists some dialectal variation, most prominently in accent. The region of Himara is predominantly populated by an ethnic Greek community, so the Greek language is also widely used in most of the villages.
Other languages in Himara
Albanian (called Shqip, which is pronounced “shchip”, which gives you a little preview of the beautiful chaos that is the Albanian language) is the official language. It is widely spoken all over Albania and also here at the region of Himara.
A couple of useful expressions in Himara
Good morning / Good Day: Greek: Kalimera - Albanian: Miremengjesi
Good Afternoon or Good Evening: Greek: Kalispera - Albanian: Miredita
Thank You: Greek: Efharisto - Albanian: Faleminderit
Excuse Me: Greek: Signomi - Albanian: Me Falni
Hello / Hi: Greek: Giassas - Albanian: Pershendetje
Good memories from the Region of Himara
Souvenirs and various crafts are sold at the promenade of the town of Himara and at some shops around the villages, although it is difficult to find them.
CURRENCY AND PRICES
Albania’s currency is the lek (plural leke). Like other minority Balkan currencies, it is difficult to exchange abroad.
So, on your trip to the Region of Himara you can exchange your currency at the exchange corners and Western Union shops. Everyone in Albania knows the value of €1 in lek (it’s between 130 to 140), and will gladly offer prices in euros – typically, and understandably, at a rate advantageous to them. So, you might prefer to change euros (sterling is also acceptable) at one of the prominent exchange bureau. Change only small amounts of cash – say £10 or £20 a time – because it is pointless leaving Albania with local currency unless you intend to return.
Credit Cards are not widely used in stores and hotel so do keep in mind that cash is very important. You can withdraw from almost any ATM machine and they are easy to find at the town of Himara but difficult at the surrounding villages.
Shopping in the town
You will probably be surprised at the wide range of goods to be found in a supermarket in Himara – in many ways similar to what you would find in a European supermarket. However, since almost everything except fish and certain meat products has to be imported to mainland Albania, price levels are a little higher than in bigger cities in Albania. Alcohol, tobacco, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy products are considerably cheap in Albania, and also Himara.
Shopping in the villages
In the villages the choice of goods in the shops is of course somewhat more limited. The more inhabitants there are in the settlement, the greater the choice. On the other hand, it is often possible to buy fresh fish, lamb and seal meat at reasonable prices.
In the town of Himara supermarkets are typically open every day from 08:00 – 21:00, during the summer season. In many villages, however, there are corner shops and grocery shops that have longer opening hours and which are also open on Sundays.
Albania is a country rich in water resources, with a coastline of 362 km. The fisheries sector is still in transition despite significant development and processing capacities inherited from the past. Marine fisheries are divided into professional industrial fisheries and professional artisanal fisheries.
Artisanal fishery covers all forms of fishing activities by means of fixed and selective gear such as hooks, fixed nets, trammel nets, and gill nets.
For fishing in a traditionally way as mentioned above there is no need for a special licence except for the vessel or boat that you use.
SAFE FARE IN HIMARAS’S NATURE - SUMMER
The majority of Himara’s nature is actual wilderness, with many paths, numerous mountains, a lot of small water streams. The terrain’s degree of difficulty varies from the very easy to the very challenging. It means there are options available for hiking tourists of all abilities. Both the laid-back pedestrian day-tripper and the experienced, well-trained hiker will find endless possibilities to explore the Himariot nature.
Paths by towns and villages
There are paths close to most villages and settlements that lead out in the mountains. Some of these are marked as hiking routes, but many of the paths disappear once you move slightly away from built-up areas. It is therefore important to always keep track of where you are, and a map is essential, although it is very easy to find your way back mostly because of visibility and close proximities.
Camping is recommended only on organised areas and not in open land as almost every piece of land is private, not that there will be any conflict but to avoid any misunderstanding prefer organized camping grounds.
It can be a benefit that mobile phone coverage is mostly available even in mountainous areas. The advantage is that help is further away, which means you need to keep your wits about you so that you are always ready to handle any emergency situation.
SAFE SAILING IN HIMARA
The sea in Himara connects towns and villages to one another. As a tourist in Himara, you should always, without exception, only use passenger-approved boats – defined as those which are intended for use by tourist passengers. Passenger-approved boats meet the Albania’s Maritime Authority’s strictest requirements possible for: safety equipment on board, boat type, maximum number of passengers on board, where to sail, and when to sail.
A LIST OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN ALBANIA
1 & 2 Jan New Year’s Day.
14 Mars Womens Day
1 April Catholic Easter)
8 April Orthodox Easter)
1 May Labor Day
15 August Day of Saint Mary
29 November Day of Independence
8 December National Day of Youth.
25 December Christmas.
On entry to Albania, travelers can purchase goods to the following extent:
Duty Regulations entering Albania valid from 1.1.2016:
- Cigarettes 200 pcs.
or Cigarillos 100 pcs.
or Cigars 50 pcs.
or rolling tobacco 250 grams
- Cigarettes papaer or cigarette tubes 200 pcs.
- 1 litres of spirits (over 22%) or 2 litres of dessert wine (under 22%)
- 2,25 litres of table wine (under 15%)
- 2 litres of beer
- 2 litres of soft drinks (sodas)
- Perfume 50 ml.
- Eau de toilette 250 ml.
HUNTING & FISHING RULES
Any kind of hunting (amateur fishing is allowed) is prohibited in Albania by the law.
HOSPITALS & MEDICINE
There is a general hospital in the town of Himara, and in the villages, there is usually a nursing clinic. It is recommended that visitors bring their own medicine and any other medication that is used regularly, as special products are not always available.