In Albania the climate is Mediterranean on the coast (with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers), while it becomes slightly more continental in the interior, though it becomes really cold only in mountain areas.
In the capital Tirana, which is located about 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the coast, the climate is similar to that of Rome, Italy, even though the rains are more abundant in the period from October to June. Winter is mild and rainy, but sometimes at night it can get cold, while summer is hot and sunny, with some very hot days. The average daily temperature in January is 6.5 °C (44 °F), while in July and August it is about 24.5 °C (76 °F).
Here are the average temperatures of Tirana.
Average temperatures - Tirana
Min (°C)223712151717141073
Max (°C)111213182227313227221613
Min (°F)363637455459636357504537
Max (°F)525455647281889081726155

Along the coast, the climate is milder, with less chance of cold nights in winter, and more effective afternoon breezes in summer.
In the cities located in the plains, but further from the sea, or those sheltered by mountain ranges (such as Shkodër), the climate becomes slightly more continental, that is, a bit colder in winter, with January averages around 5 °C (41 °F), and hotter in summer, with highs often around 35 °C (95 °F).
Moving inland, and with increasing altitude, the climate becomes much harsher, with cold and snowy winters, and progressively cooler summers. For instance, in Korçë, located in the east, 900 metres (2,950 feet) above sea level, the average temperature goes from 0.5 °C (33 °F) in January, to 21 °C (70 °F) in August.
Average temperatures - Korçë
Min (°C)-3-314812141411740
Max (°C)45914192327282417127
Min (°F)272734394654575752453932
Max (°F)394148576673818275635445

The rainfall is plentiful along the coast, and even heavier in hilly and mountainous slopes facing west and south, so that it often exceeds 2,000 millimetres (78 inches) per year. Along the coast and in the plain, the rainfall regime is Mediterranean-like, with a maximum amount between autumn and winter, and a minimum in summer, when it seldom rains, while in mountainous areas during summer there can be some thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Here is the average precipitation in Tirana.
Average precipitation - Tirana
Prec. (mm)135150130115120853030601052101751345

The only sheltered areas, where it does not rain that much, are the inland valleys, such as that of Korçë, where 805 millimetres (32 inches) of rain fall each year on average. Here is the average precipitation in Korçë.
Average precipitation - Korçë
Prec. (mm)70805560804525254080145100805


In Albania, the sun shines regularly in summer, especially in the plain and along the coast, while in the other seasons there may be sunny days, but also cloudy and rainy days.
Sunshine - Tirana
Sun (hours)445681011119743

The temperature of the sea is still a little cool for swimming in June, while it becomes acceptable or pleasant from July to September.
Here is the average water temperature in Durrës.
Sea temperature - Durrës
Sea (°C)141414151821232523201815
Sea (°F)575757596470737773686459

When to go

The best time to visit the Albanian coast, for swimming and sunbathing, is summer: in July and August the sun always shines and the Adriatic sea is warm.
To visit the cities in the plains, such as Tirana or Shkodër, considering that they can be hot in summer, you can choose the months of May, June and September. October has pleasant temperatures too, but it can be quite rainy, especially in the second part.
September, a month in which the sea is slightly warmer than in June, may therefore be an interesting choice, to visit all of the country and at the same time take some rest at the beach.

What to pack in the suitcase

In winter: warm clothes, coat, raincoat or umbrella. In mountainous areas: warm clothes, down jacket, hat, gloves, scarf.
In summer: light clothes, a sweatshirt or sweater for the evening or for the mountains.