Finalrentals Blog

Published in Driving Tips Category.

Are you planning a road trip through the Balkans and starting in Albania? Renting a car is a fantastic way to explore the stunning scenery and rich history of this region. In this guide, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about renting a car in Albania and crossing the border to neighboring countries, including Dubrovnik, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.

Renting a Car in Albania

To rent a car in Albania, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver's license from your home country. Some car rental companies may require you to be 25 years old for certain car types. You will also need a credit card to make the rental deposit.

There are many international and local car rental companies operating in Albania, with offices in major cities such as Tirana, Durres, and Vlora. You can compare prices and rental conditions online, or you can visit one of the rental offices in person. Keep in mind that renting a car in Albania is generally affordable, and the prices are lower than in other European countries.

Necessary Documents to Travel out of Albania's Territory

To travel out of Albania's territory in a rental car, you will need to have the following documents:

A valid driver's license from your home country.

An International Driving Permit (IDP) - required in Albania if your driver's license is not in English or Albanian.

Your passport or national ID card.

Authorization in English from Finalrentals Albania

Mandatory full insurance (available at the counter.)

Green Card insurance 45 Euro ( 1-15 days ) . 65 Euro ( 1-60 days )

To apply for a Green Card Insurance, you will need to contact your car rental company and provide them with the following information. 1) Your rental car details, including the make, model, and registration number. 2) Your personal information, including your name, address, and driver's license number. 3) The countries you plan to visit and the duration of your stay in each country.

It's important to note that Albania is not a member of the European Union, so you will need to go through border controls when crossing into Montenegro or North Macedonia and Serbia. You should also check if you need a visa to enter Serbia or any other country you plan to visit.

It's essential to research the specific requirements for each country you plan to visit and make sure you have all the necessary documents before crossing the border.

Cross Border Fees

Apart from the documents needed above, cross border fees apply. Refer to the table below so you are prepared once you get to the counter:

Tips for Renting a Car and Crossing the Border

Book your car rental in advance to get the best rates and availability.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents, including insurance and registration papers, before starting your journey.

Familiarize yourself with the driving laws and regulations in both Albania and Serbia to avoid any issues while on the road.

Be aware of potential road tolls or taxes when crossing borders.

Plan your route in advance and make sure you have a reliable GPS system or map to navigate the roads.

Crossing the Border to Serbia

To cross the border from Albania to Serbia by car, you will need to pass through Montenegro or North Macedonia. The journey from Albania to Serbia takes around 8 hours, depending on traffic and border crossing times.

Before you start your journey, make sure you check the latest travel advisories and border crossing requirements. You should also ensure that your rental car has all the necessary documents, including insurance and registration papers.

Best Travel Spots Along the Way

Lake Skadar - located on the border between Albania and Montenegro, this stunning lake is one of the largest in Europe and offers amazing views and a chance to explore the local culture.

Kotor - a charming fortified town located in Montenegro, Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.

Tara River Canyon - located in Montenegro, this is the deepest canyon in Europe and offers thrilling outdoor activities such as rafting and zip-lining.

Belgrade - the capital of Serbia, Belgrade is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Explore the famous Kalemegdan Fortress and enjoy the local cuisine and nightlife.

Novi Sad - located in the northern part of Serbia, this charming city is known for its beautiful architecture, museums, and festivals.

Crossing the Border to Croatia Dubrovnik

First and foremost, you will need a valid passport to travel out of Albania's territory and into Croatia. Additionally, you may need a visa, depending on your nationality. It's essential to check the visa requirements for Croatia well in advance of your trip.

In addition to a passport and visa (if necessary), you will also need a Green Card Insurance. This insurance is mandatory for driving in Europe and is required by law in both Albania and Croatia. It provides coverage for damages to your rental car, as well as liability coverage in the event of an accident. Be sure to obtain this insurance before you hit the road.

Now that you have the necessary documents, let's explore the best travel spots on your road trip from Albania to Croatia.

Dubrovnik, Croatia - Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is a stunning coastal city with a rich history dating back to the 7th century. Explore the medieval Old Town, walk along the ancient city walls, and take in the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea.

Kotor, Montenegro - Located just a short drive from the Albanian border, Kotor is a hidden gem in the Balkans. This charming town is nestled in a stunning bay surrounded by mountains and offers a beautiful old town with winding streets and historic architecture.

Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia - As one of Europe's oldest and deepest lakes, Lake Ohrid is a must-see destination on your road trip. Take a boat ride on the crystal-clear water, explore the charming lakeside towns, and visit the ancient monasteries and churches

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina - This vibrant city is a melting pot of cultures and is known for its rich history and beautiful architecture. Explore the cobbled streets of the old town, visit the famous Baščaršija bazaar, and take in the stunning views from the Yellow Fortress.

Theth National Park, Albania - If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, Theth National Park is a must-see destination. This remote area offers hiking trails through rugged mountains, crystal-clear streams, and stunning waterfalls. It's the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Crossing the Border to Bulgaria

A road trip from Albania to Bulgaria can be an excellent adventure. Renting a car in Albania and crossing the border to Bulgaria is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty, historic sites, and unique cultures of the Balkans. Here's everything you need to know to plan a successful and enjoyable road trip from Albania to Bulgaria.

Best Travel Spots Along the Way

The road trip from Albania to Bulgaria takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Balkans. Here are some of the best travel spots to explore along the way:

Ohrid, North Macedonia: This charming town on the shores of Lake Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning Orthodox churches and historic architecture.

Sofia, Bulgaria: The capital of Bulgaria is a vibrant city that blends ancient history with modern-day culture. Don't miss the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the National Palace of Culture.

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria: This stunning monastery in the Rila Mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Bulgaria's most popular tourist attractions.

Theth National Park, Albania: This remote and rugged national park is home to some of Albania's most breathtaking scenery, including waterfalls, mountain peaks, and deep gorges.

Crossing the Border to Bosnia and Herzegovina

When driving from Albania to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you'll need to cross the border at one of the two official border crossings. The main border crossing is at the town of Hani i Hotit, while the other crossing is at the town of Vermosh. The border crossing process can be lengthy, so it's recommended to cross during off-peak hours to avoid traffic and long wait times.

Best Travel Spots Along the Way

Driving from Albania to Bosnia and Herzegovina offers an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful places in both countries. Here are some of the best travel spots to check out along the way:

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro: Located just a short detour off the main route, Durmitor National Park is a stunning mountain range with glacial lakes, hiking trails, and a unique landscape.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mostar is a beautiful city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a world-famous bridge. Be sure to check out the Old Town and Stari Most bridge.

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Blagaj is a small village located just outside Mostar. It's known for its beautiful natural setting and the historic Blagaj Tekke, a Sufi monastery built into a cliff.

Berat, Albania: Known as the "city of a thousand windows," Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning Ottoman-era architecture and a beautiful hilltop fortress.

Saranda, Albania: Located on the Albanian Riviera, Saranda is a charming coastal town with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a lively atmosphere.

Crossing the Border to Greece

Greece is a beautiful country to visit and crossing the border from Albania is an exciting adventure. Renting a car in Albania is a great way to explore the country and its neighboring countries. However, before crossing the border into Greece, it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary documents.

Best Travel Spots in Greece

Athens - The capital city of Greece is home to the famous Acropolis, Parthenon, and other ancient ruins. Visit the vibrant neighborhoods of Plaka and Monastiraki for shopping and dining.

Santorini - The iconic Greek island is famous for its stunning sunsets, blue domed churches, and white-washed houses. Take a boat tour to explore the island's volcanic beaches and hot springs.

Mykonos - The cosmopolitan island is known for its nightlife, luxurious resorts, and picturesque villages. Visit the beaches of Paradise and Super Paradise for beach parties and water sports.

Crete - The largest island in Greece offers a mix of stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and traditional villages. Explore the Palace of Knossos and hike through the Samaria Gorge.

Meteora - The UNESCO World Heritage Site features stunning monasteries perched on top of towering rock formations. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of these unique structures.

Crossing the Border to Kosovo

Albania and Kosovo are two neighboring countries that offer unique and diverse travel experiences. If you're planning a road trip from Albania to Kosovo, renting a car is the best way to explore the breathtaking natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of these Balkan countries.

Once you've rented a car in Albania, it's time to cross the border to Kosovo. Albania and Kosovo share a border that is open to both EU and non-EU citizens. To cross the border, you'll need to have your passport or ID card, car registration documents, and car insurance documents.

Best Travel Spots

Once you've crossed the border to Kosovo, you'll have the opportunity to explore the country's stunning natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Here are some of the best routes and travel spots to check out on your road trip from Albania to Kosovo:

Prizren - Prizren is a charming, historic city located in southern Kosovo, just a short drive from the Albanian border. The city is known for its Ottoman-era architecture, picturesque cobblestone streets, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Rugova Canyon - Rugova Canyon is a natural wonder located in western Kosovo. The canyon is carved by the Rugova River and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife.

Brezovica Ski Resort - If you're visiting Kosovo in the winter, Brezovica Ski Resort is a must-visit destination. Located in southern Kosovo, Brezovica offers world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities for all skill levels.

Gadime Cave - Gadime Cave, also known as Marble Cave, is a unique geological formation located in southern Kosovo. The cave is known for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites and offers guided tours for visitors.

Crossing the Border to Montenegro

Albania and Montenegro are neighboring countries located in the Balkans, making it an ideal road trip destination. Renting a car in Albania is a great way to explore the country and make your way to Montenegro. In this blog, we’ll provide you with all the necessary information you need to know before renting a car and crossing the border to Montenegro. When crossing the border, be prepared for a thorough inspection of your car. Customs officers may ask you to open the trunk and check your belongings. It's also important to note that the border crossing can be busy, especially during peak travel times, so it's best to be patient and plan accordingly.

Best Routes and Travel Spots

The journey from Albania to Montenegro offers plenty of stunning scenery and picturesque towns to explore. Here are some of the best routes and travel spots to check out along the way:

Shkodra: Located in the north of Albania, Shkodra is a picturesque town with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do. Highlights include the historic Rozafa Castle and the beautiful Lake Skadar.

Kotor: A must-visit destination in Montenegro, Kotor is a stunning coastal town with a well-preserved medieval old town and breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor.

Budva: Another popular coastal town in Montenegro, Budva is known for its beautiful beaches, charming old town, and vibrant nightlife.

Lake Skadar National Park: Straddling the border between Albania and Montenegro, Lake Skadar National Park is a beautiful nature reserve with hiking trails, picturesque villages, and plenty of wildlife to spot.

Durres: Located on the coast of Albania, Durres is a historic city with a beautiful beach and plenty of Roman ruins to explore.

Crossing the Border to North Macedonia

To cross the border from Albania to North Macedonia, you will need a valid passport or ID card and a Green Card Insurance. The Green Card is an international insurance document that proves you have the necessary third-party liability insurance to drive your rental car in North Macedonia. You can purchase this insurance at the border or from your car rental company before you cross the border.

The most popular route from Albania to North Macedonia is through the town of Struga, located on the shore of Lake Ohrid. The journey takes around 3 hours, and the road is relatively easy to navigate.

Best Travel Spots along the Way

Lake Ohrid: One of the most beautiful and historic lakes in Europe, Lake Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for travelers. The lake is located on the border between Albania and North Macedonia, with the town of Ohrid on the Macedonian side and the town of Pogradec on the Albanian side.

Berat: Known as the "City of a Thousand Windows," Berat is a historic town in central Albania that dates back to the 4th century BC. The town is located on the slopes of Mount Tomorr and is home to several well-preserved Ottoman-era buildings.

Korca: A lively university town in southeastern Albania, Korca is known for its vibrant nightlife, traditional architecture, and rich cultural heritage. The town is also home to several museums, galleries, and restaurants, offering a unique blend of modern and traditional Albanian culture.

Struga: A small town located on the shore of Lake Ohrid, Struga is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing. The town is also known for its traditional architecture and local cuisine, with many restaurants serving fresh fish from the lake.

Final Thoughts

Renting a car in Albania and exploring the neighboring countries can be an unforgettable experience. Make sure you have all the necessary documents, including Green Card Insurance and an International Driving Permit if required. And don't forget to visit some of the best travel spots, including Dubrovnik, Sofia, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Athens, Pristina, Kotor, and Skopje. Happy travels!