May is late spring in Albania and a delightful time to visit, with warm but not-too-hot weather. Spend time on the beaches of the Albanian Riviera, hike in the mountains, or check out UNESCO-listed archeological sites. Find out where to go and what to do in Albania in May.

Weather

May is late spring in Albania. The country has a Mediterranean climate, so May is generally warm without being exceptionally hot and is relatively dry. In the mountains, the snow has thawed after the winter by May, but the temperatures are cooler at altitude, so this is an excellent time to head outdoors.

The average temperature in capital city Tirana and coastal Sarandë in May is a comfortable 64°F (18°C), although daytime highs are much warmer. Cities further inland and at higher altitudes, such as Korçë, are a few degrees cooler but still quite pleasant.

Crowds & Costs

May is shoulder season for travel in Albania, before the relatively busy summer when vacationing Albanians flock to the Albanian Riviera. However, Albania doesn't experience the same influx of travelers as many neighboring countries, even in the high season. May is ideal for visiting places that get a bit crowded in midsummer (such as Sarandë) but without the crowds. Costs will also be lower than in summer, and most resorts and restaurants will reopen in anticipation of the busy season.

Orthodox Easter sometimes falls in early May (Catholic Easter, which is also observed by some in Albania, is a couple of weeks earlier). Some Albanians take vacations over Easter, so local transport might be more crowded and hotels at capacity in popular places. Make bookings in advance if you're traveling over Easter.

Where to Go

May is a great time to travel to Albania because the weather will be fine, everything is accessible and open, yet the crowds and costs are relatively low. This is a perfect month to spend wandering around archeological sites and pretty little towns with engaging architecture. You probably won't get rained on, and the heat won't be overbearing.

Berat is often considered one of Albania's most beautiful cities. Founded around 2,500 years ago, the ancient place is known for its architecture and history. Check out Berat Castle, the Ottoman-era houses perched on the hillside, Byzantine churches, mosques, and fascinating museums.

Alternatively, head to the coast for some beach time before the crowds arrive in summer. The Albanian Riviera and area around Sarandë in the south are popular. If you'd rather head north to the Adriatic Sea coast, head to the coastal town of Shëngjin or Velipoja Beach (the northernmost beach in Albania), or the lakeside town of Shkodër. It shares Shkodër Lake with Macedonia and is an easy base for trips into the Albanian Alps.

What to Do

Outdoors enthusiasts will enjoy hiking in Albania, which offers beautiful landscapes, a lot of variety, and yet uncrowded trails. May is a great time to get outdoors in the mountains, between the cold of winter and the heat of summer. A few places with great hiking trails of varying difficulty levels are the memorably named Accursed Mountains (or the Albanian Alps), Thethi National Park in the north, and the Ceraunian Mountains and Llogara National Park in the south. 

Another option for active travelers is to join a cycle tour, either guided or self-guided. With mountains, coastline, and many beautiful small villages, there are a variety of landscapes and experiences for cycle tourists to enjoy. One option to consider is this 11-day bike tour across southern Albania.

Events in May

Orthodox Easter. Although Catholic Easter is in April or March, Orthodox Easter is sometimes in the first few days of May. Observant Orthodox Albanians tend to celebrate this festival by attending church and eating special foods with their families. Orthodox churches will be especially lively at this time.

South Outdoor FestivalBorsh. The five-day festival celebrates everything about the outdoors, including sports, nature, and food.

UNUM Festival, Shëngjin. An open-air electronic music festival that runs from the end of May into June (or early June) every year, offering local and international music.

Traveling to Albania in May? Check out these great itineraries

Highlights of Northern Albania - 7 Days. In one week, you'll explore mountainous terrain and small villages through the remote regions of northern Albania and Kosovo. Start near Lake Skadar and see the ancient Rozafa Castle; continue through the Albanian Alps to the scenic Rugova Valley and much more.

Classic Albania - 8 Days. Get a snapshot of beautiful Albania with a tour from modern Tirana to the Ionian Sea. Take in many of the country's highlights: see ancient ruins in Butrint National Park, stroll the seaside promenade of charming Sarandë, and tour multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

More Helpful Information

Albania in April
Albania in June