Albania enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and this means August is generally sweltering, especially on the coast. Conditions are ideal for swimming and lounging on beaches, although many travelers may find the heat a bit too hot as temperatures above 100°F (38°C) are not uncommon (although average highs are more like 82°F/28°C). Towns at higher altitudes are a bit more comfortable. Rainfall is low in summer, so expect clear skies for all kinds of outdoor activities.
Crowds & Costs
August is one of the busiest times of year in popular tourist destinations in Albania, along with July. Many Albanians take summer vacations at the coast, particularly the south coast, known as the Albanian Riviera. Beach resorts here and around the city of Sarandë get booked up, and accommodation and food prices might be double what they are at other times of the year.
The good news, though, is that it's all relative. Albania is much less busy in August than some of its neighboring Mediterranean countries offering similar experiences, such as Croatia, Greece, and Italy. You definitely won't have Albanian beaches all to yourself in August, but you also won't experience the same high prices or congestion as in some other parts of Europe.
Where to Go
If you'd rather avoid the crowds of the Albanian Riviera and even farther north along the coast, head to the mountains in August. Conditions are suitable for outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Korçë is an especially appealing destination in August, thanks to its annual beer festival (see more below).
Korçë is popular for its nearby ski fields in winter, but in summer, it offers great hiking in the Prespa National Park (shared with Greece and North Macedonia) and the Drenovë National Park, renowned for its fir trees. A little farther afield is the lovely Fir of Hotovë-Dangëlli National Park, too, with thermal springs.
Pretty Lake Bovilla, northeast of Tirana, is a popular place to swim, hike to mountain viewpoints, and take a picnic. It provides most of Tirana's drinking water (technically a reservoir) and is a dramatic shade of turquoise. It's around an hour's drive from central Tirana, so a good destination for a day trip from the capital.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
August is an excellent time to go on a road trip through the Albanian mountains. Snow on the road passes won't be an issue as it would be in the off-season or shoulder seasons. Spend the nights in small mountain villages learning about traditional culture. To take a break from driving, choose a couple of spots for day hikes or even overnight hikes for a more extended trip. An itinerary that loops inland from Tirana to the mountains in the south and then ends at the Albanian Riviera combines the best of summer activities.
Swimming is also an appealing activity in August, given the summer temperatures. As well as the Ionian and the Adriatic Sea coasts, Albania has plenty of lakes to cool off in. Lake Bovilla (see above) is one option near Tirana, while Lake Koman is another in northern Albania, which may leave you wondering whether you're in Southeast Asia rather than Southeast Europe. Forested hills and deep gorges surround it, and although it's a constructed reservoir, it's home to various birdlife and animals.
Events in August
Korçë Beer Festival, Korçë. Korçë beer is one of Albania's most popular, and the town from which the beer gets its name hosts an annual beer festival in August. It lasts for around four days in mid-August. Expect music, food, and of course, beer.
Za Fest, Theth. "Za" means voice or sound in Albanian, and the Za Fest celebrates Albanian songs and music. It's held annually in Theth, a beautiful town in the northern Albanian Alps region. The festival is sometimes held in July.
Traveling to Albania in August? Check out these great itineraries
Highlights of Albania - 8 Days. See the best of Albania with a tour from modern Tirana to the Ionian Sea. This itinerary can be enjoyed in spring and covers Greek and Byzantine ruins, a boat ride over Lake Prespa, and tours covering historic sites like Apolloni and Berat.
Albania Mountain Road Trip - 14 Days. Discover rugged mountain terrain and small traditional villages in this two-week road trip through rural Albania. Start in Tirana, then head to the ancient city of Kruja, and continue to Southern Albania to explore the relaxed Riviera coast.