Albania covers a total area of 28,748 km2. It is located in the south-western part of Balkan Peninsula, and shares borders with Montenegro in the north, with Kosovo in the north-east, with Macedonia in the east and south, and with Greece in the south-east. Albania s coastline extends on the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea.
Albania is divided into four topographical areas (Albanian Alps, Central Mountain Region, Southern Mountain Region and Western lowlands). The remainder of the country is mostly mountainous. Mountains and hills occupy 2/3 of the surface. The highest point of the country is Korab 2763 m, in the district of Dibra in the north - east of the country. One-third of the country consists of lowlands. These are located primarily in the west and extend along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts, and in the area of Korca in the south - east of the country.
Albania climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and relatively mild and wet winters. In the mountainous parts, in the interior of the country especially in the north, winter is harsh and snowy, while summers are cool and the temperature is pleasant. The main rivers are: Drini, Vjosa, Shkumbini, Semani, Mati, Buna. Only Buna lower flow is navigable. Forests occupy more than a third of Albania s surface. One third (1/3) are pastures and only about one fifth is cultivated. Albania has a very convenient geographical position to develop the tourism industry with a very convenient access to the major European markets, with a potentially favorable climate, with a variety of beaches still clean, and with high mountains and numerous large and small lakes.
Capital City: Tirana is the center of economic and cultural life of the country. It has approximately 700.000 inhabitants.
Minorities: Ethnic: Greek, Macedonian, Vlachs, Romani People ( Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian)
Religion: Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, Bektashij
Language: Albanian is an Indoeuropean language and comprises a separate branch in the family of Indoeuropean languages.
The Greek geographer, Ptholemeous, has proved the existence of Albanians and Albanian language in the second century AD. The name "Albania" replaced the old name "Arber "(or Arbani) in the late seventeenth century, because of the new historical conditions created in this period. This name was intended to provide the important link between country s name and language. The first written document of the Albanian language belongs to the year 1462. The first literary work "Meshari" (Gjon Buzuku) was published in 1555, and since that time the Albanian language is developed in two main dialects, especially during the period of the Albanian National Renaissance "Geg", the language spoken in northern Albania, and "Tosk", the language spoken in southern Albania. Albanian literary language alphabet is comprised of 36 letters and it is used the Latin alphabet, approved by the National Congress of Monastery in 1908. Albanian language (spoken and written) is also used in Kosovo, by the Albanian population of Macedonia, Montenegro, Preschevo valley in southern Serbia and in the South Epirus, by the Arvanites in Greece , and by the Italian Arberesh in the regions of Calabria, Sicily and Molisa.
Political System: Albania is a parliamentary republic with 140 deputies elected by free vote, every four years by general elections. The main powers are legislative, executive and judiciary.
Head of Parliament: Jozefina Topalli Çoba is the first woman Speaker of the Albanian Parliament in all the parliamentary history of the country, and the sixth Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Albania in the pluralistic parliamentary history since 1991.She assumed duty in September 2005, and was re-elected as Speaker of Parliament for a second four-year mandate in September 2009
Republic President: Mr. Bujar Nishani, elected by the Assembly of the Republic of Albania on 24 July 2012, with a five-year mandate.
Prime minister: Mr. Sali Berisha (Democratic Party), with a four-year mandate.
Government: It consists of the coalition between PD, PR, LSI, NDP, PDI and PA.
The Constitution: The new Constitution of the Republic of Albania was approved by a popular referendum on November 28, 1998.
Flag: The national flag of the Republic of Albania represents a black double-headed eagle and outstretched arms, placed in the center of a red background.
Economy: Approximately 60% of Albania s workforce is engaged in agriculture. Agriculture was formerly in a collective form and farms, but by 1992 most of the agricultural land was privatized. Livestock is currently the main branch of agricultural economy. The country is very rich in medicinal plants. Until World War II, Albania was the first country in the world in the export of sage. The country is rich in raw materials and mineral resources, such as chrome, copper, iron, nickel, (the reserves per person rank it the 17-th in the world), oil, natural gas, coal, etc. Agricultural processing, oil, mineral exploitation and textiles production, clothing, lumber, cement and chemicals are the main industries. Albania exports confections, textiles, shoes, chrome, foodstuffs, tobacco, artisan products, medicinal plants, etc. and imports mostly machinery, other industrial products and consumer goods. Main trading partners are : Italy and Greece. Albania is vigorously trying to attract foreign investments and promote domestic investment. Close cooperation with international organizations as : World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the European Union, BERZH , etc. are the guarantees for a sustainable economic development.
Since the fall of Communism, the development of the Albanian economy has been fueled primarily by the service and construction industries. Tourism, lately has played an increasing role in the Albanian economy, and is growing rapidly. Many people are curious to explore a country whose borders were closed for travelling for many years. Given the continued development of both summer and winter resorts, people all over the world have begun to think of Albania as a touristic destination. Agriculture comprises over half of Albania s GDP. It has experienced recent growth due to the diversification of production. Albania is rich in natural resources, including chromium, copper, coal, ferry, nickel, oil and natural gas.
Albanian tourism: Albania offers a significant potential for developing tourism industry because of its geographical position, climate, natural beauty and rich, historical and cultural heritage. Mild and favorable climate makes the country a touristic destination in 12 months of the year. During recent years Albanian tourism is having a continuous increase by focusing on the provision of various tourist products such as the tourism of "sun and sea", "cultural tourism", etc. Coastal tourism is mostly developed in the cities of Durres, Vlora, Saranda and Divjaka. More than 200,000 tourists visit the waters of the Adriatic Sea in Durres and Vlora during the summer and provide hotel services and various entertainment centers. Durres is an interesting destination for historical tourism. The beautiful city of Saranda is an important touristic center not only for the beaches but also for the great cultural heritage of history. Saranda is visited by international tourists, a part of them come from the Greek island of Corfu. Mountain tourism is concentrated mostly in the South East and Northern Albania. Voskopoja village is located 21 km from the city of Korca, with clean air and curative water. Other points of tourism are Albanian Alps in the north (Thethi Vermoshi, Valbona etc.).