It’s getting ever easier to fly into Albania, with a growing number of international connections. Low-cost carriers provide connections from all over Europe and direct British Airways flights from London can be quite reasonable. You can also fly cheaply to Corfu then get a ferry to Saranda. Visas are not required for citizens of most nations; South Africa is a notable exception.
Greece offers by far the simplest international bus connections – there are daily services to Tirana from Athens and Thessaloniki (from €25), and it’s also possible to get direct buses to a number of other Albanian cities. From Macedonia there are direct services from Skopje to Tirana, via Struga and Elbasan. It is still not straightforward to get here from Montenegro – there are no services from the capital Podgorica, though there is a twice-weekly bus from Budva to Tirana and some unofficial minivans linking Shkodra and Ulcinj.
The most interesting form of arrival is by ferry. Several operators make overnight sailings to Durrës from Bari in Italy, including Ventouris Ferries (from €40; www.ventouris.gr); there are hourly bus connections between Durrës and the capital. It’s also possible to get to Saranda by ferry from Corfu (from €19; www.ionian-cruises.com), with at least two ferries per day making the forty-minute hop.