September is the start of fall in Albania. While the climate of the Mediterranean country varies from the coast to the mountainous areas, you can expect average highs of around 73-83°F (23-28°C) in September. The conditions are suitable for getting outside, including to the beach, without being overbearingly hot.
Rainfall is typically higher in fall than in the summer, so pack an umbrella or raincoat, and have some rainy day activities up your sleeve, just in case.
Crowds & Costs
September is the shoulder season for travel to Albania, after the peak of July and August. Many Albanian vacationers will have gone back to work after their summer break, meaning prices are lower and availability higher at the most popular resorts on the coast. However, Albania is much less busy than most of its Mediterranean neighbors, so even shoulder season here is quieter than you might expect if you've been to neighboring Greece or Croatia.
Where to Go
If you've been dreaming of a Mediterranean beach summer break and can't quite make it between June and August, consider hitting the beaches in September instead. The conditions along the coast remain ideal for swimming and water sports this month; in fact, water temperatures stay warm well into October while air temperatures cool down a bit.
Common wisdom will tell you to avoid the city of Sarandë on the Albanian Riviera in the summer (because of the heat and the crowds), but there's no reason to neglect a visit in September. Sarandë is within easy reach of many great beaches, and it's an attractive spot in its own right, with cultural and historical sights. Stroll along the sea-front promenade, check out archeological remains from centuries ago, walk amid olive groves in the surrounding hills, and visit the 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle.
An alternative to the southern coast is to head north to Albania's Adriatic Sea coast. Albania's northern stretch of coastline is calm and ideal for family travelers. Velipojë Beach is Albania's northernmost beach, near the artistic city of Shkodër and a short trip to beautiful mountain villages like Theth, in the Albanian Alps.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
To enjoy a cycling trip that avoids the summer heat, sign up for a guided or self-guided tour on two wheels in September. You'll benefit from the slightly cooler temperatures while still having good conditions for pedaling along mountain roads, between villages, and along coastlines. Plus, most great cycling tours include plenty of downhill stretches for coasting and enjoying the views.
Pick a cycle route like this one that crisscrosses the border area shared by Northern Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro for a truly epic adventure. You'll see a variety of landscapes and a fantastic breadth of cultural variety in a relatively small geographic area.
Events in September
Festa n'Shesh, Shesh. Albanian wine might not be as well-known internationally as it should be, but you can get in on the (ancient) secret by attending this wine festival near Tirana. As well as wine tasting and harvesting, you can enjoy concerts and displays of folk culture.
Gjirokastër Folk Festival, Gjirokastër. A UNESCO-recognized event that occurs every four years, offers music, dance, performances, and art from the Balkan region.
Tomato Festival, Shëngjergj. A popular annual event taking place in the village of Shëngjergj, just outside of Tirana offers a beautiful drive through the Priska Pass. Enjoy local traditions and cultural performances, including folk dance and music, as well as plenty of locally grown food.
Traveling to Albania in September? Check out these great itineraries
Southern Albania Bike Tour - 11 Days. Bike through Albania's rugged mountains and thickly forested Leskovik region and see country life in small mountain villages like Përmet. Explore its Ottoman past at Gjorokastra and the Butrint archeological site. End your trip on the shores of the Ionian Sea.
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.