The dog days of summer are real in Tirana, Albania. For a cool (literally) escape out of the city and into nature, take a ride on the gondola to Dajti Mountain! Not only is the weather more pleasant up there on an extremely hot day, but there are plenty of things to do for everyone. Even in winter you’ll find plenty of locals at the top having a great time. In this post, we tell you how to reach Dajti, what to do, and of course, what to eat!
How to Get to the Gondola
Taxi is the quickest option for getting you to Dajti’s gondola ride. Depending on your starting location within Tirana, it will run you 500-800 lek (around $5-8 USD). While that’s cheap (not the cheapest!) and quick, it’s not the route we chose.
Pro Tip: Be cautious with taxis in Tirana. Most drivers never turned on the meter and just threw out a number. It was never outrageous but we’re sure it was more than what the meter would’ve calculated.
Figuring out the bus system in Tirana was a puzzle, to say the least. After scrounging the net for info we found that bus numbers aren’t a thing and Google maps didn’t show bus stops. Instead, you need to look for colors. There are two bus lines that will get you to the gondola: blue and orange.
Dajti Ekspres has an awesome website that details these bus lines, including all the stops, in their “Getting Here” section. Be aware some of the bus stops named are just general areas so search for the bus stop sign. Buses seemed very frequent – about 20 minutes. As Dajti Ekspres says, save some money by taking a bus (less than $1 per person!) and help cut down on emissions! It’s a win-win.
If you still desire a taxi ride then be sure and check out Dajti Ekspres’ deal with Merr Taxi. It’s a fixed rate from the city center to the gondola. You’ll find more info on their website.
The Dajti Mountain Gondola Ride
Kick back and relax for about 20 minutes as you slowly climb your way up to Dajti Mountain. But before you start your upward journey, be sure to take a look at the ticket prices and deals! We only purchased the gondola ride there and back. Had we taken a closer look then we would have saved some money!
There’s a combined ticket package for minigolf and the gondola so if you plan on putting around then buy the combined ticket!
Now let’s see what there is to do atop Dajti Mountain!
Tower Hotel and Rotating Bar
The first building to catch your eye as your arrive is the Dajti Tower Belvedere Hotel. If you wish, you can book a room and stay the night. It seems that it’s more popular in the winter due to snow sports and locals taking holiday. The best part is the rotating bar which gives you a 360 degree view of the area and Tirana below.
It was very relaxing but if you plan on making a full circle, be prepared to spend some time! We were just over halfway round after an hour. We decided to end our Dajti adventure here with a couple cocktails before descending.
This is the restaurant you want to visit! Dine on the edge of the mountain and indulge in Albanian classics while taking in the views. The waitstaff was kind and the service fast. Whether it’s stuffed eggplant, meat stew, cottage cheese and honey, or fried cheese covered in jam (yes, we tried them all), you’re in for a treat!
Stay for a coffee or head back in the direction of the hotel and lounge on a covered sofa chair to digest. Maybe even have some ice cream too!
If you didn’t buy the combined ticket no worries, you can still purchase one in the little hut near hole 1. This minigolf course was actually pretty difficult, granted this was the first time we had been since leaving the States. It’s a great way to enjoy the mountain air and have some fun with your fellow adventurers.
Want to ride a noble steed across the green mountainside? There are lots of horses to choose from and they’re freely grazing on the acreage just behind the hotel. If you don’t want to ride and just want to look then feel free to take a walk. Locals even set up picnic blankets near the horses and just relaxed.
Dajti Ekspres recommends taking a guide to the summit, as trails aren’t very defined and maps don’t have much detail, but if you’re a hiking veteran then feel free to start the trek on your own. If you’d like a guide then you can contact Dajti Ekspres on their website!
If you’re still not satisfied then take a look around Adventure Park! Go-karts, paragliding, mountain biking, zip-lining, rollerblading, it’s all there. No wonder locals like to visit here. You can purchase tickets when you buy your gondola ride.
Views of Albania
Of course, no trip up Dajti is complete without soaking in some of the views. Mountains stand in the distance while Tirana bustles below. Since it was so hot during our visit, the haze and some pollution were somewhat overbearing. But it was unique in its own way and we still loved it. Maybe you’ll have clearer skies when you visit!
Summary of Dajti Mountain
Having spent many days in the Albanian capital, we can say that Dajti was one of our favorite things to do! But if you’re looking for other fun things to fill your day then why not try a day trip to Durres from Tirana? It’s historical, beautiful, cheap and you can hit the beach!