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Republika e Shqipërisë

Albania


Albania is locally called Shqipëria, which means land of eagles. The Capital is Tirana, other big cities are Durrës, Elbasan, Shkodra, and Vlorë. It is a small country with less than 30,000km² and about 3 million inhabitants. The country is located at the Mediterranean Sea, between Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.

The political situation in the Balkans and especially in Albania, make tourism and caving trips extremely difficult at present. It is reported to be difficult and dangerous to get there and to travel in the country. Caving expeditions report major problems with theft, clothes and equipment being stolen from sleepers, cars or caves. Visitors should travel in completely self-sufficient groups and guard their belongings very careful.

Because of its political history, almost no cave exploration happened at Albania. Thats a shame, as the country is well supplied with underexplored limestone karst. Unfortunately the whole concept is alien to the locals, and thus treated with suspicion and disbelief.


Albanian for Cavers

Shpella cave
Pusi pothole
Vrima shaft



Literature

  • Farudin Krutaj, Elda Frasheri (1998): The peculiarities of the karst morphology in Albania, Supplementi di Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria, III, T. 4, 75-81, 1998.
    The karst morphology of Albania is analysed from the point of view of its peculiarity, variability, age and morphoclimatic evolution. The studies performed up to present evidenced that the principal epigean and hypogean forms are always controlled by tectonic, structural and lithological factors. The Albanian karst morphologies are recent, normally being post-Plio-Quaternary, even if some traces of older karst cycles can also be seen.
  • Jack Baer (1977): Caving in Albania, The British Caver (68) pp12-14 1977.
  • S. Shanov (1996): Young tectonics and karst formation in the Albanian Alps, Geologika Balkanica, v. 26 No. 3 pp 44-53.