General Information



Albania, the land of the eagles and the gate to the East, located in the western coast of the Balkan Peninsula, offers to every visitor new experience, rich archaeological and historical sites and virgin natural places.
Land of one of the most ancient civilizations in Europe, whose history is fascinating...
A country where the cultures were blended and their signs, from Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman time, are quite visible... Its population preserved with fanaticism the culture and language, bringing these unchanged till today.
It is characterized by an extreme variety of the landscape, from the southern rocky beache to the sandy one in northern coast, from the high Alps in the north to the valleys in the south, from the mountainous rivers to the beautiful karst-tectonic lakes, from rural landscapes to the virgin and not yet touched remote areas, combined so harmonically with the pure Mediterranean climate and its characteristics.



Tirana, the capital of Albania, like all other European metropolises has a never-ending movement and energy. Your own journey might begin by visiting the museums and the key spots such as ‘’Scanderbeg Square’’ where you will be able to see the Mosque of Et’hem Beut (built during 1798 – 1812) and the 35-meter high Kulla e Sahatit (the Watch Tower) built in 1822 with a San Marco – style cupola.



Next, you can visit the famous Mosaic uncovered on the floor of an old Roman lodge. Its center configures the walls of the castle of the Roman emperor Justinian (520 B.C). The monumental Tomb of Kapllan Pasha and the Ura e Tabakeve (a bridge constructed in the beginning of the 19th century) in Bulevardi ’’Zhan D’Ark’’ are other interesting places to visit. As a capital, Tirana has the country’s finest museums, theatres and galleries representing the national arts. The visit to the National History Museum, the Archeological Museum and the National Gallery of the Arts will leave wonderful memories. You can also pass a pleasant evening in the National Theatre of the Opera and Ballet Theatre.
For dinning, Tirana will be glad to offer you both a rich traditional cuisine and different foreign ones, from Chinese to Italian restaurants.



The Congress will take place at Tirana International Hotel which is located in the Center of Tirana, between the central Skanderbeg Square and the Zogu I Boulevard.



Accommodation in one of its 166 rooms and suites is a unique experience. Most of the rooms offer a magnificent view over Tirana Center. Wireless internet access is provided for free in the Hotel rooms and also in the whole building.
Spa Center offers the largest and the most complete range of equipment in the city combined in a very nice and welcoming quiet environment. Everything for a complete relaxation: Gym, Sauna, Swimming pool, Turkish bath and a variety of massages services from professional physiotherapist.
Terrace Bar Restaurant serves traditional Albanian foods, as well as international specialties. Breakfast is served on the same Restaurant, whose terrace gives to the guest the unique chance to enjoy breakfast with a breathtaking and fabulous views over Tirana main Square.
Tirana International Hotel & Conference Center, is the largest Conference & Banqueting Center in the Country, by offering the finest facilities, from 40-400 participants with a variety of meeting rooms. The modern comfort is combined with the very latest in the technology.




By Air

Tirana is connected by air to important destinations in Europe. It has one international airport, the Mother Theresa International Airport, known also as Rinasi airport, which is located 17 km northwest of the city. Both domestic and international flights, as well as chartered flights, land and take off from this airport. The Mother Theresa International Airport ranks among the safest of European airports. Mother Theresa airport is easily accessible from the city center. Connection with the city is provided through a shuttle bus service, the Tirana Rinas Express, running between Skanderbeg Square and Mother Theresa Airport. Shuttle buses depart every hour, with an approximate cost of 2 euros. Taxi service is available at all times.



By Sea

Albania can be accessed by sea through its main ports:



By Car

There are highways connecting Tirana with Athens, Skopje, Pristina and Podgorica.





There are a lot of hotels around the center of Tirana, all in walking distance from the Congress venue, Tirana International Hotel. Detailed information about the hotels will be given in the second circular (Early summer, 2013). The Organizing Committee will provide you the list of hotels that will apply reduced prices for the CBGA 2014 participants




Citizens of European countries and a few non-European countries may enter the Republic of Albania without a visa. The citizens from some countries who hold a diplomatic or service passport can enter the Republic of Albania without a visa, too. All the other foreigners must be issued with a visa, before entering the Republic of Albania at the missions of the Republic of Albania that cover the country of residence. These missions can also provide them with the necessary information about Albania. Detailed info. on the criteria, procedures and documentation for issuance of visas can be found here or by visiting the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:




Tirana has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and moderately dry summers, and cool and wet winters. Albania has a Mediterranean climate, too, but due to its mountainous and broken relief, its climate varies throughout the country. Albania is characterized by hot dry summers with bright sunny days, and generally mild winters with abundant rainfall. Generally, the weather is sunny and hot from June to September, and cool and wet from October to May. Visitors can enjoy the wonderful Albanian sights throughout the year.




The Albanian LEK is the local currency. Most of transactions are in the local currency, but in some cases the foreign (EUR or USD) currency can be used. Foreign exchange can be done in some hotels, exchange offices, banks, Western Union offices. All the above exchange facilities can be found around the Congress venue. The CBGA2014 participants are strongly encouraged to avoid the informal places for money exchange.




ALBANIA is a rich country in mineral resources. Exploration, exploitation and processing of mineral ores constituted a significant activity during the socialist economy of Albania. The production of several mineral ores during the past years is summarized in the table below:


Type of Minerals Quantities
Chromium ore, 1948-2007: 26.8 million tons
Copper ore, 1938-2007: 24.4 million tons
Ferrochrome from 1976, about: 720.000 tons
Coal, 1938-2007: 38.7 million tons
Iron-Nickel ore, 1962-2007: 15.26 million tons
Nickel-Silicate ore till 2007: 1.3 million tons
Gold: 0.5 tons
Silver: 2.4 tons
Olivinite: 0.4 million tons
Dolomite: 0.1 million tons
Gips: 0.3 million tons
Salt: 1.4 million tons
Phosphoric: 1.2 million tons
Volcanic glass: 0.3 million tons
Refined natural asphalt: 0.2 million tons




Thanks to an intensified geological exploration executed during the communism era, the following geological reserves of different minerals were discovered: 436 million ton oil, 13.76 milliard m3 gas. 800 million ton coal, 158 million ton turf, 413 million ton bituminous sandstone, 57 million ton chromite ore, 70 million ton copper ore, 300 million ton iron-nickel ore, 111 million ton nickel-silicate ore, 133 million ton titan-magnetite, 2.5 million ton nickel-sulfur, 500 kg platinum. 3.7 million ton irons magnetite, 29.000 ton uranium, 3.6 million sulfur, 13 million ton bauxite, 309. 000 ton manganese, 1.1 million magnesite, 600 million ton salt, 108 million ton olivinite, 180 million ton dolomite, 54 million ton phosphorous, 23 million ton volcanic glass, 62 million ton quartz, quartzite and quartz sandstone, 3.4 million ton volcanic tuffs, 3.3 million ton Tripoli, 7 million ton Karoline, 76.000 ton fluorite, 60.000 ton barite, 168 million ton placers. There are also discovered a lot of reserves of limestone, decorative stone, clays, travertine’s, basalt, aggregates, gypsum, chalk, albitophire, dausonite, pirophylite, asbestos.




Many oil and gas accumulations, asphalt veins, oil-stained rocks, and gas seeps exist in Albania. They are part of a broader belt of scattered hydrocarbon fields and seepages on both sides of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea. In Albania, the oil deposits are concentrated in the thrust belt's Ionian Zone and in the Pre-Adriatic Depression. Within the Ionian Zone most of the commercial oil fields occur in the Kurveleshi Belt. In addition, commercial gas fields have been discovered in the Pre-Adriatic Depression.
Different foreign oil and gas companies have demonstrated interest to develop their exploration and production activities in Albania.