Albania is a country with so much to offer, with not only incredible variation in its history and architecture, but its wide open spaces officially offer the most eclectic selection of animals and fauna in Europe.
One of the most startling examples of the seemingly incompatible build of urban and rural life in the country can be found on the border of the capital, Tirana, and the Dajti Mountain.
The view up Dajti mountain from the cable car
Tirana, for context, is one of Europe’s primary examples of urban and metropolitan chaos. From the seemingly unregulated traffic on the roads among the heavily populated capital, it’s very much the metropolitan hub of Albania. This then makes the fact that a 5 minute drive (or 25 minute, depending on the unpredictable traffic) from the central Skanderbeg Square is a cable car.
The Dajti cable car, which opened in 2005, offers a surprisingly long journey (an extremely enjoyable 10 to 15 minutes) directly away from the thinning urban chaos and packed city streets, up into the clouds, to the serenity of the Dajti mountain and national park range. What awaits at the top, which is around two thirds of the way up the 5,000 plus feet mountain, is a surreal plateau offering a diverse selection of attractions. These attractions range from agricultural features like bee hives and caged turkey within range of crazy golf, archery and pony trekking.
Looking down through the clouds, past the cable cars, towards Tirana
As with most places in Europe, the most impressive elements are the restaurants, which offer great food second only to the incredible views on offer. The view steals any show up here, framing the sprawling city of Tirana feeding into the super-rural Albanian countryside, the mountains of Montenegro on one side, and the mountains of Greece on the other, with the Adriatic coastline and beaches linking the two. At best a sublime view on a clear day, and at very least a much needed dose of fresh mountain air on any other.
The cable car itself is contextually pricey by Albanian standards, costing the equivalent of over €10 per person (check the Dajti website for exact prices as seasonal rates, concessions and exchange rates may vary!), but worth every penny for what’s on offer once you get up there. Furthermore, for those who aren’t looking to stay in downtown Tirana, there may be multiple days worth of activities here for individuals, couples and families alike. If you’re in Tirana, the cable car really is a must see.
Time-lapsed footage of the cable car going back down towards Tirana
Read about Tirana:
- Pyramids in Europe: Albania’s concrete Giza
- Europe’s forgotten Mediterranean paradise: Albania at Christmas
- BunkArt: A Historical Tour of Albania’s Communist Past Under the Streets of Tirana
Where is the Dajti Ekspres cable car?
If you are interested in learning more about Tirana and Albania, our friends at Inspire Me World Travel provide more information on their website, as well as flexible and customisable day or package tours, transfers and everything else you might need for a simple and fascinating stay in one of Europe’s hidden gems. Click here to find out more!
Article and images by Tom McBeth & Natasha Bryan
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