Albania’s surface area of 28,748 km2 (11,100 square miles). It is situated in the Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe, and shares borders with Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republics of Macedonia and Montenegro and Kosovo. It is separated from Italy by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. The division of these seas is marked by the Bay of Vlora, about 170 km from the southern border with Greece. The Straits of Otranto marks the narrowest point, where only 72 km of water separates Albania from Italy. On average, Albanians enjoy a great deal of sunshine-the country is second only to Spain in average annual sunny days. The overall climate is pleasant and favors outdoor activity.
List of national parks and national forests in Albania:
1. Buthrotum National Park and national forests
Buthrotum (Albanian: Butrint; Ancient Greek: Βουθρωτόν, Bouthrotón; Latin: Buthrōtum) was an ancient Greek and later Roman city in Epirus. In modern times it is an archeological site in Sarandë District, Albania, some 14 kilometres south of Sarandë and close to the Greek border. It was known in antiquity as Βουθρωτόν Bouthroton or Βουθρώτιος Bouthrotios in Ancient Greek and Buthrotum in Latin. It is located on a hill overlooking the Vivari Channel and part of the Butrint National Park. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Buthrotum was a city of the Epirote Greek tribe of the Chaonians, later a Roman colony and a bishopric. It entered into decline in Late Antiquity, before being abandoned during the Middle Ages.
2. Mount Dajt National Park and national forests
Mount Dajt (Albanian: Mali i Dajtit) is a mountain in central Albania, to the east of Tirana. Its highest peak is at 1,613 m (5,292 ft). In winter, the mountain is often covered with snow, and it is a popular retreat to the local population of Tirana that rarely sees snow falls. Its slopes have forests of pines, oak and beech. Dajti Mountain declared “National Park” is today an area of about 3333 ha. It is under the jurisdiction and administration of Tirana Forest Service Department.
3. Karavasta Lagoon National Park and national forests
The Karavasta Lagoon (Albanian: Laguna e Karavastasë) is the largest lagoon in Albania and one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is separated from the Adriatic Sea by a large strip of sand. The lagoon is part of the Divjake-Karavasta National Park. It was elected as an area of international importance, protected by the Ramsar Convention of 29 November 1995.
4. Lura Mountain National Park and national forests
Lura Mountain (Albanian: Mali i Lurës) is a mountain located in Lurë municipality in north-eastern part of Albania. The highest peak of Lura Mountain is Kunora e Lurës which reaches a height of 2,119 m (6,952 ft) above sea level. Lura Mountain has many forests. The most common type of tree is the Beech which is found on altitudes between 900 and 1,000 m (2,953 and 3,281 ft) to 1,900 and 2,000 m (6,234 and 6,562 ft). On altitudes between 1,600 and 1,700 m (5,249 and 5,577 ft) Black Pine are abundant and on altitudes between 1,700 and 2,000 m (5,577 and 6,562 ft) separate Red Pine and White Pine[disambiguation needed] are found on rocky slopes. These forests are home to the rare European Brown Bear, Eurasian Lynx, Eurasian wolf, European Pine Marten, Roe Deer and Capercaillie.
5. Llogara National Park and national forests
Llogara or Llogora National Park (Albanian: Parku Kombëtar i Llogarasë/Llogorasë) is a national park in Albania declared since 1966 by the Albanian Government. The park covers an area of 1,010 hectares (2,500 acres) and protects the forests on the north side of the Llogara Pass between a height from 470 to 2,018 m (1,540 to 6,621 ft) above sea level. In the park can be found many black pine (Pinus nigra) trees, Bosnian Pines (Pinus heldreichii), Bulgarian fir, (Abies borisii-sign) and ash trees (Fraxinus).
6. Prespa Lake National Park and national forests
Prespa is the name of two freshwater lakes in southeast Europe, shared by Albania, Greece, and the Republic of Macedonia. Of the total surface area, 190 km2 (73.36 sq mi) belongs to the Republic of Macedonia, 84.8 km2 (32.74 sq mi) to Greece and 38.8 km2 (14.98 sq mi) to Albania. They are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans, standing at an altitude of 853 m (2,798 ft).
7. Thethi National Park and national forests
Thethi National Park (Albanian:Parku Kombëtar i Thethit) is a national park in extreme northern Albania declared by government decree in 1966. It covers an area of 2,630 hectares and is located along the Theth River. The main attractions in the park are the Grunas Waterfall and the Lock-in Tower. Valbonë Valley National Park is adjacent to it and was declared a national park in 1996. It is proposed that the two parks, along with the areas in Montenegro and Kosovo[a] form a tri-border Bjeshket e Nemuna National Park.
8. Mount Tomorr National Park and national forests
Mount Tomorr is a large mountain in southern Albania. Its highest peak, called Çuka e Partizanit, reaches a height of 2,416 m (7,927 ft). It is located east of the towns of Berat and Poliçan and the river Osum not far from the Canyon of Osum river. In antiquity the region of Tomorr (Greek: Άμυρον Amyron) was inhabited by the Dexari, a tribe of Epirus that belonged to the Chaonian group of the northwestern Greeks.
9. Valbona Valley National Park and national forests
Valbona Valley National Park (Albanian:Parku Kombëtar i Luginës së Valbonës) is a national park in Albania declared by government decree in 1996. It covers an area of 8,000 hectares and is located along the Valbona Valley. A main attraction is the Valbona River flowing in the middle of the valley. The Theth National Park is adjacent to it and was declared a national park in 1966. It is proposed that the two parks, along with the areas in Montenegro and Kosovo[a] form a tri-border Bjeshket e Nemuna National Park.
10. Fir of Hotova National Park and national forests
Fir of Hotova (Albanian: Bredhat e Hotovës) (also known as Bredhat e Hotovës-Dangëlli) is a national park in southern Albania , in the region of Frashër, 35 km north-east of Përmet. The park has an area of 1,200 hectares. It takes its name from the Hotova Fir which is considered one of the most important Mediterranean plant relics of the country.
11. Shebenik – Jabllanice National Park and national forests
Shebenik – Jabllanice National Park is a protected national park located in the northeastern part of the Librazhd District, Elbasan County in central Albania. The park covers an area of 33,927.7 hectares and shares a border with the Republic of Macedonia. Elevations in the park vary from 300m to over 2,200m at the peak of Shebenik mountain, which, along with Jablanica give name to the park. The park is one of Albania’s newest, created in 2008.
Other National Park and national forests in Albania
There’re some other national parks and national forests in Albania, that we don’t have enough time and information to list them here. They are: Fir of Drenova national parks and national forests, Shtam Pass national parks and national forests, Zall-Gjoçaj national parks and national forests, and Korab-Koritnik national parks and national forests.