Flights to Elbasan
Elbasan is a major city in Albania and it’s located right in the centre of the country on the Shkumbin River. Though much of the historical city was destroyed during the Second World War some remnants of Elbasan’s past do still remain.
Flights to Elbasan will have to come to the Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza (airport code: TIA) because that is the only international airport in the country. It’s about an hour’s drive from Tirana to Elbasan. To arrive in Tirana, you can fly with Lufthansa for a stop in Munich, or Turkish Airlines for an Istanbul connection. South African Airways is another choice, and they have a 2-stop route through Cairo and Athens. Most flights to Elbasan (arriving at Tirana) are around 17 to 20 hours long from South Africa.
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The Tourist Attractions of Elbasan:
Officially founded in the 15th century Elbasan has actually been inhabited since Roman times when the Romans built a fairly large fortress here. There was a settlement here in the river valley for several hundred years but it’s then believed that for whatever reason the site was abandoned until 1467 when the Ottomans arrived. The Ottomans made this into a military town and built a large castle which was supposedly named Elbasan by Sultan Mehmet II.
The Ottomans remained here for about 400 years, developing Elbasan into a more substantial town, then for a period in the early 1900s there was a succession of conquests as Elbasan was taken over by Serbs, Bulgarians, Austrians, and then Italians.
Much of the original city was damaged or destroyed during the Second World War, so unfortunately many historical attractions have been lost. Some of Elbasan Castle does still exist though (see below) and there are some churches and other buildings left over from the 1800s plus some from even earlier. After the damage caused during the war much of Elbasan was rebuilt but in a very unsympathetic way, leading to many communist era buildings and rapid growth of the city’s population.
Elbasan Castle is by far the city’s best known landmark and attraction. Built in the 15th century under the eye of Sultan Mehmet II this castle was once far bigger than what you see here today but parts of it were dismantled in the 1800s. You can tell from the very high walls that this was once a force to be reckoned with! Inside the walls of the fortress you’ll find traditional homes and buildings as well as a 19th century built Turkish bath.
Museums and Churches in Elbasan
As well as the Castle, Elbasan has several museums to visit and a number of churches dating from different centuries. There’s a historic house museum as well as a war museum, and the Ethnographic Museum. Of the numerous churches in Elbasan some date back to the 1500s, while others are from the 17th and 18th centuries.
When Should You Visit?:
Elbasan has a fairly temperate climate so it’s not usually too hot or too cold in the city. Generally speaking you’ll find there are warm to hot summers here with average high temperatures getting up around the high 20’s and low 30’s C from June to September. Winters are mild to cool and more rain falls during the winter months.