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Albanian Geography

Climate in Albania

Albania’s climate is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.
Summers along the coast are moderated by sea breezes.

Around 40% of the rain falls during the winter months.

Population

In 2001 Albania’s population estimate was 3,510,484, resulting in an average density of 122 persons per sq km (316 per sq mi).
Albania has had one of the highest birth rates in Europe since the end of WWII, while the death rate has been one of the continent’s lowest.

There are an estimated seven million ethnic Albanians in the world, but fewer than half of them live within the boundaries of the Albanian state. The largest concentrations of Albanian-speaking people are found in Yugoslavia and Macedonia, and during the last decades many Albanians have emigrated to Europe and the US.

No country in Europe has a more homogeneous population than Albania, where non-Albanians account for only 2 percent of the total population. Greeks, concentrated mainly in the southeast, and Slavs, almost all of them Macedonians, constitute the largest minorities.

Plants and Animals

Albanian LandscapeAlbania has six National Forests, 24 nature reserves and 2000 natural monuments.

Albanian flora is rather rich beginning with evergreen Mediterranean plants and ending with Alpine fir.

36 percent of Albania is forested with mixed stands of willow, poplar, elm, pine, oak, and white beech trees.

Albania claims distinction for a rich and varied fauna, which is linked with the diversity of geographical landscape and its location on the roads of emigration of birds.

With its many remote and unspoiled landscapes, Albania has a remarkable variety of plants and also some of the last refuges of rare mammals and birds that have disappeared from other regions of the Balkans.

sThe extensive oak, conifer and beach forests provide a home for the wolf, the fox, the jackal and the ferret, while the higher pine forest contains the brown bear wolf, the pine marten, two kinds of wild cat , the lynx and the weasel. Today there are about 400 wolves living in Albania. Roe deer, chamois and wild boar are common in some areas.

In both cases, distribution is largely affected by the division of the country into the lowland and highland regions with climatic conditions that are dominated by Mediterranean and continental influences, in each case.

Mountains

Albania has a mountainous geography.
About three-quarters of its territory consists of mountains and hills with elevations of more than 650 feet (200 meters) above sea level; the remainder consists of coastal and alluvial lowlands.

The North Albanian Alps, an extension of the Dinaric mountain system, cover the northern part of the country. With elevations approaching 8,900 feet, this is the most rugged part of the country.
It is heavily forested and sparsely populated, and most people there make a living at forestry or livestock raising.

In contrast to the Alps, the central mountain region, extending north to south from the Drin River to the central Devoll and lower Osum rivers, is more densely populated and has a generally less rugged terrain.

Coast

The coastline stretches for over 450 km.

The Adriatic coast, about 300 km long has shallow water and long sandy beaches.

The Ionian coast about 150 km is rugged and dramatic, with steep backdrops to fine white sandy beaches.

Albania’s coasts are a part of the Albanian Riviera where the attraction from the deep, clean, blue Ioanian sea is combined with the clear and healthy air of the Alpet, the Albanian Alps.