Balkan Albania, in southeastern Europe, enjoys a Mediterranean climate. While summers are hot, winters tend to be relatively mild, especially compared to more northern parts of Europe. However, there's quite a lot of variety within the geographically small country, with the climates of the coast and mountains different from each other.
While February temperatures can drop well below freezing in the mountains and at higher altitudes, coastal and lower-lying areas of Albania have relatively mild winters. The capital city, Tirana, is cold in February but not exceptionally so: its average monthly temperature is around 55°F (7°C). Cities farther inland, like Korçë, are a bit colder, averaging 37°F (3°C), while coastal areas are warmer.
In general, Albania receives a lot of rain in winter, which can cause problems in mountainous areas, with landslides common.
Crowds & Costs
Along with the rest of winter, February is the low season for tourism in Albania. However, the country is never as busy as many other countries in the region, even during the busier summer peak season. Albanian ski resort areas (especially those in the country's southeast) are most active between January and mid-March. Most travelers who visit Albania in winter come for the skiing. Still, even the country's ski resorts are less busy than those elsewhere in Europe. Albania has been called one of the most affordable ski destinations in Europe.
While off-season travel can be a great way to experience some places without the crowds, it's worth noting that many resorts and restaurants on the popular Albanian Riviera are seasonal and closed for winter.
Where to Go
To enjoy a mild winter city break in February, check out Albania's underrated capital, Tirana. Its mixture of Ottoman and Soviet-era architecture is quite unlike any other European capital. Don't miss the derelict Piramida, the monuments around Skanderbeg Square, the National History Museum, and Bunk'Art, a museum and gallery in an underground bunker.
Located slightly inland and roughly halfway down the country, Tirana is also a convenient jumping-off point for day and overnight trips elsewhere in Albania. Head to Krujë, north of Tirana, on a day trip to check out the medieval castle and the mountain views. To the south of the capital and a little farther afield is lovely Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well-preserved Ottoman architecture.
What to Do
Albania's ski season runs from January to mid-March, so February is a reliable time to hit the slopes. Head to south-eastern Albania for great ski runs and far fewer people than in the mountains of neighboring European countries. However, the resorts are somewhat less developed than you'd find elsewhere.
The city of Korçë is a good base for snow adventures to ski fields in the Morava Mountains nearby, as well as popular Bigëll/ Dardhë and Voskopojë. Korçë is on a high plateau, and there are cultural attractions to enjoy here too when you need a break from skiing, such as visiting the National Museum of Medieval Art and the Ngjallja e Krishtit Cathedral.