Albania’s beautiful beaches and dramatic landscapes serve as a picturesque setting for an array of top-tier festivals, from folk music to dance music – offering something for everyone in Albania’s vibrant event scene. Below you can see the very best festivals in Albania.
ION Festival in Dhermi offers an intensive celebration of cutting-edge dance music, while its emphasis on sustainability makes it stand out among European festivals.
Gjirokaster Folk Festival
Gjirokaster Folk Festival is Albania’s biggest celebration of traditional Albanian culture, one of the true best festivals in Albania. Held every four years in September, this festival includes music, dances, and other performances that strive to preserve iso-polyphony style Albanian folk singing which was designated an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Since 1968, this festival has attracted performers from throughout Albania as well as neighboring countries – Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia are often represented. Visitors can expect bands and singers from their region as well as traditional clothing and folk art displays at this year’s festival – it provides visitors an excellent chance to learn more about Albanian life while watching how people celebrate national holidays!
On New Year’s Eve, nearly everything comes to a stop by midafternoon as parties and fireworks displays take place throughout the country. National Liberation Day, celebrated annually on November 28, is another important occasion that commemorates when Albania gained independence from Ottoman rule in 1912.
Experience the culture of Albania on a small group or tailor-made tour in its ancient and historic towns and cities. The guides who lead our tours truly love this country and want to share its rich history and culture with you – they’re extremely knowledgeable, showing you places few tourists get to see; also introducing you to people and their ways of life; plus teaching you how to make raki like an expert!
If you’re not quite ready to travel as part of a group, there are still ways to experience all that Albania has to offer by attending some of the festivals and events held throughout the year. Notable festivals include Sofra Dardane in June at Bajram Curri; Oda Dibrane held in July in Peshkopi; Logu i Bjeshkeve held in August in Kelmend; and Cham Dance Festival which can be found in both Saranda and Konispol.
Tirana International Film Festival
Tirana International Film Festival began in 2003 and is one of the key cinematic events in Albania. Open to both professional filmmakers and students from around the globe, this competition program includes feature and short films of all formats and genres including fiction, documentary, animation experimental video art. Furthermore, master classes with industry professionals provide workshops tailored specifically toward Albanian filmmakers.
This festival hosts an extensive photo contest featuring categories ranging from landscapes and city life, underwater world, natural beauty, culture, history, expeditions/routes/food, etc. To be displayed near cinemas for evaluation by a jury of photographers before being announced as winners at the end of the festival.
TIFF provides workshops and seminars on topics related to film production and writing, script development, acting, photography, and video editing – an invaluable opportunity for emerging filmmakers looking to learn from industry veterans while forging connections within their craft.
TIFF on Tour serves as an ambassador for festival submissions and travels throughout the year bringing European films from its Open Air Cinema selection. Furthermore, this festival promotes cultural exchange by hosting other local festivals with similar themes or topics.
TIFF hosts public debates and thematic discussions that engage new audiences while emphasizing Film Literacy. Since 2014, it has also organized CreativeMornings Tirana; an international project to share creative experiences based on monthly themes.
TIFF also stands out with its educational activities, including an internship program, film school, and outreach workshops for schools and community centers. Furthermore, conferences and panel discussions take place regularly on such issues as how social media affects children’s mental health; film education’s role in fostering peace and understanding; women in the film industry, etc.
Anjunadeep Explorations will combine music festival culture and beachfront living into one unique destination festival experience from June 20-25th in Dhermi, Albania as one of the best festivals in Albania. Slated for this inaugural multi-day Anjunadeep destination festival are headliners Lane 8, Dusky, and Yotto as well as rising talent as well as live acts.
Established by Above & Beyond’s manager James Grant in 2005, London-based independent imprint Resound Recordings has grown into one of dance music’s premier independent labels. Over its lifetime it has played an instrumental role in helping launch artists like Dusky, Yotto, and Lane 8 as well as shining light on some of its most exciting forces in progressive, deep, melodic house and beyond.
Over the past 15 years, Anjunadeep has evolved beyond Above & Beyond’s club-oriented sound into the more melodic and atmospheric territory – while remaining true to their mission: discovering and sharing timeless soulful electronic music.
Reflections are the 12th installment from this year’s label and boast an anthemic selection of tracks that showcase its best. Starting off, Hosini from Stockholm brings his dreamlike productions with “The Discovery.” His epic strings-led melody and intense buildup create an emotionally charged composition that transports listeners to another world.
“Hot Minute,” an upbeat piano anthem on this album’s second track, combines driving synths with emotive female vocals to produce an upbeat dance floor hit that has already received support from some of the biggest names in dance music. Next is “Oracle,” featuring breakbeat drums and striking strings – rounding off this impressive collection.
Last year’s inaugural event drew in over 2,000 music lovers from 50 countries for five nights of music, connection, and discovery at Dhermi on the coast of Norway. The success of last year’s inaugural event has inspired this year’s event which promises an even greater musical experience as more sonic explorers gather for an unforgettable weekend of community and wellbeing. Alongside carefully curated lineups there will also be exclusive b2bs, intimate Gjipe beach parties, extended sunrise performances as well as special features!
The KALA Festival takes place annually at Dhermi Beach on the Albanian Riviera and is one of the best festivals in Albania. Since 2018, this boutique festival has quickly established itself as an exciting hotspot for music fans across Europe. Alongside offering an incredible line-up of electronic music performances, this festival also provides yoga, meditation, and gong bath sessions as well as excursions designed to explore this stunning beach location.
Experience nature while relaxing at some of the finest beaches. This festival lasts three days and three nights, featuring 50 local and international acts performing live on stage, luxurious campsites offering all amenities necessary for comfort, and of course great music performances by over 50 acts from both sides of the spectrum.
This festival offers an excellent way to discover more about local culture and traditions. Spread across four days, visitors will experience performances by music and dance artists as well as sample some delectable local foods and drinks – it’s a wonderful opportunity to experience local life while making new friends!
Tomato Festival is another memorable, vibrant festival held each September and featuring local tomatoes in all their glory. Traditional activities such as folk dancing and music as well as trinkets and souvenirs galore can also be found here; you may even discover some highly sought-after products, like Albanian coffee!
This annual festival marks an important celebration for the entire Albanian community. Events take place all across Albania with most festivities held in cities and towns, giving everyone an opportunity to come together in friendship and commemorate Albania’s glorious past.
If you’re searching for something different this year, why not take part in one of Albania’s festival events? These celebrations provide an amazing way to honor its diverse heritage and culture while discovering some of its stunning natural landscapes.