Albania: Geography

Albania is situated in the south-east of Europe in the western part of Balkan Peninsula. In the north and north-east it borders with Montenegro and Kosovo, and on the east and south with Macedonia and Greece respectively. In the west Albania is washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Albania shares the sea border with Italy. Vlore city is the nearest point in the Balkans to Italy, just 72 kilometers through the Strait of Otranto.

The most part of the country territory is occupied by the mountains. The average height above sea level is 708 meters, and the highest point is Korabi. It is 2,753 meters high and is situated in the north-east of Peshkopia.

Rivers heading in the high mountains flow through Albania and make their way to the sea running down sharp descents to the ground. The most rivers are used to generate electric power.

The coastland of Albania runs about 450 kilometers, from the Adriatic on the southern border with Montenegro and till Vlore bay where the Ionian Sea traces its roots.

Along the coastland of the Ionian Sea there are high rocks, mostly headlong. The highest point is Llogara, more than 1,000 meters. Karst and erosion processes caused formation of many small bays. Some of them were settled in the ancient times.

In the ancient times, settlements were located on the Adriatic coast with its quiet bays, such as Vlore and Durres. In these lowlands the rivers flowing into the Adriatic Sea created fertile lands. Migrating and swimming bird settle on their shores.

There are some lakes in Albania. One of them is Lake Shkodër of 370 square kilometers. It is the largest lake in the Balkans. The border between Albania and Montenegro goes through this lake. The lake is not very deep. It is filled with water from different springs and rivers. Therefore the fish species in this lake often change. There are different kinds of carp and trout in this lake. Thousands of cormorants spend winter here.

Lake Ohrid is divided between Albania and the south-eastern part of Macedonia. There are some tourist areas around the lake, such as Lin, Poyska, Pogradets, Tushemisht and Drilon. It is a very deep lake with is filled with karst springs located on the shores of the lake and at its bottom.

Behind it, there is Lake Prespa distinguished by its calm and beautiful views. There is a sequestered church built on a tiny island called Maligrad. There are Dalmatian and white pelicans on this lake. Lakes Ohrid and Prespa are about 2,000-4,000 years old. There are unique kinds of fish, such as Ohrid trout (salmo letnica) and great sturgeon (Salmothimus ohridanus).