Geographical position-Albania officially known as the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeastern Europe. Albania is situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, with Montenegro and Serbia to the north, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. Slightly larger than Maryland, Albania is composed of two major regions: a mountainous highland region (north, east, and south) constituting 70% of the land area, and a western coastal lowland region that contains nearly all of the country's agricultural land and is the most densely populated part of Albania.
The capital of Albania is Tirana which is also the largest city. It occupies an area of 16 sq miles and has a population of about 1,000,000. It is situated 110 m above sea level. It is bound by the Dajti Mountain to the east and the Tirana River runs through the city.
The climate of Albania is predominantly mild. The lowlands have a Mediterranean climate with cool summers and rainy winters. The highlands however are cold and experience snowfall from November until March.
The currency of Albania is called Leke and is issued by the Bank of Albania. Frequently used are coins with denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Leke. Similarly, most frequently used banknotes are of 200, 500, 1000 mark.
1€ = 138 Leke (approx.)
Tosk, the southern Albanian dialect is the official language of Albania. The northern Albanian dialect is Gheg. There are seven other spoken languages which
include Greek, Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Aromanian and Serbo-Croatian. Vlach is a variant of Latin. Macedonian is the language of eastern Albania whereas Aromanian is mostly spoken in Southern Albania. Besides, people are proficient in Italian and English as well.
Ethnic groups-Albanians constitute 97% of the population, followed by 1% Greeks. The remaining 2% is comprised of Vlachs, Roma, Serbs, Macedonians, Balkan Egyptians, and Bulgarians.
The major religions of Albania are Islam and Christianity. In Albania 70% are Muslims, 20% are Albanian Orthodox Christians, and the remaining 10% are Roman Catholics.
The cuisine of Albania is Mediterranean, influenced by many including Italian and Turkish cooking. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of spices such as black pepper and Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, mint, basil, rosemary and more in cooking meat and fish, but also chilli pepper and garlic.
Vegetables are used in almost every dish.
The main meal of the Albanians is lunch, which usually consists of gjellë (stew), the main dish of slowly cooked meat with various vegetables, and a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and olives. The salad is dressed with salt, olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice.
Seafood specialties are common in the coastal cities such as Durrës, Vlorë, and Sarandë.