I was going to undertake Sofia-Tirana (unavoidably passing through FYR Macedonia) in 2005 but didn't find bus neither driver daring to join me for this route.
Skopje-Tirana only appears close but -of what I read and saw on the terrain map- it's not a route allowing "quickly going" through it.
I think I didn't search for trains, but I'm not optimistic that you'll find at least one train (or trains connection) satisfying your desired route&time (while I assume that you checked bahn.de prior posting here)
Sofia-Skopje is pleasant drive by car and relatively acceptable trip by bus (I did it in both ways, twice each).
Sofia-Tirana by airplane is about 1 hour flight (tiny airplane but OK)
I realize the above does not cover your wishes, while you'd like to take the 3 BG, Macedonian and Albanian destinations in one (round?) trip.
But at least provides tiny info to have in mind
Well, thank you for this post, at least it prepared me not to expect a quick rush trough :-)
Borders can take time....
I will ask after arrival in Bulgaria what possibilities they have and if its gonna be a pain in the a** then i just check Veliko Tarnovo or sth....
Thank you again,
A completely different story:
Do you know about Sofia - Istanbul connections? There seems to be one daily overnight train ... what about buses? I would love to go via VT...
I never took this route but never heard positive things about the trains Sofia-Istanbul
End of December 2007 my colleagues from Turkey used Sofia-Istanbul bus and were OK, and one of them took Plovdiv-Istanbul bus by purchasing ticket one night before departure with no problem (he also confirmed after that the trip was OK).
If you'd like to visit VT prior going to Istanbul, it would be better to take bus from Plovdiv then.
Sorry but I'm the one who have the lowest capabilities to advise in buses and especially trains.
So check these:
FYI, Central bus station Sofia site is centralbusstaion.bg or centralnaavtogara.bg (unfortunately does not display he possible connections which do not pass through Sofia),
and Bulgarian railways station site is bdz.bg
Personally to me it seems that you'll find the best solution while on site (i.e. at Sofia)- you seem flexible enough for this
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