Albania covers a total of 28,000 squared kilometres (11,000 squared miles) and its population is 3.3 million.
Tirana is the capital of Albania, with the population of approximately 800.000 people.
The official language is Albanian. The official alphabet is the Latin alphabet. In large cities a lot of people especially the young, speak English as a foreign language although French, Russian and German are also used.
There are 3 main religions in Albania: Muslim, Christian Orthodox and Catholic. According to some old statistics, Albanians are 70% Muslims, 20% Christian Orthodox and 10% Roman Catholics, but in most cases this is merely nominal. Albania does not have a history of religious extremism and takes pride in the harmony that exists across religious traditions and practices. Religious pragmatism continues as a distinctive trait of Albanian society and interreligious marriage has been very common throughout the centuries, in some places even the rule. There is a strong unifying cultural identity, where Muslims and Christians see themselves as Albanian before anything else.
The official currency in Albania is the LEK. You will have no difficulty changing pounds/euro/dollars to LEK. There are exchange offices in hotels and at the airport and at numerous reliable banks and kiosks (keep your receipt in case customs ask for it).
Use of credit and debit cards is common in Albania as Diners, Visa and MasterCard are accepted by most of the hotels and restaurants. It's easy to find a bank machine/cash point that will pay out money from foreign accounts.
Tirana has moderate, wet winters and hot, dry summers. June and July in particular can be very hot, with day temperatures well over 30ºC and warm nights and winter December-February is a cool 1-10 °C.
Useful websites http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/5day.shtml?world=4997
Albania is one hour ahead of UK time in both winter and summer. +1 GMT
Voltage is 220 volts two-pin (European Continent standard). Appliances generally use standard 2-pin circle plugs.