The road from Tirana to Gjirokastra is a well-maintained national highway, that continues to the Greek border. The distance is 232 km and takes 3-4 hours by car, depending on traffic. Rental cars are readily available at the airport and in Tirana, but you should have an International Drivers Permit. Door-to-door car service and taxis are also options. A taxi from Tirana to Gjirokastra should cost about 15,000 leke ($150). There are also frequent buses, costing only 1,000 leke ($10)/person. Buses make frequent stops, so the trip from Tirana to Gjirokastra takes 4-5 hours. Of the several bus stations in Tirana; the one at Sheshi Shqiponja offers bus service to Gjirokastra.
You can reach Albania by boat or ferry through the Albanian port cities of Durres, Vlora or Saranda. If you arrive in Durres, the national road provides easy access to Gjirokastra by car, taxi or bus. If you arrive in Vlora, you must travel north to Levan, and then take the national road south to Gjirokaster. If you arrive in Saranda, you must cross a mountain pass (“Qafa e Muzines”), and then travel north to Gjirokastra. The trip takes 1 hour by car or taxi, and a little longer by bus.
Tirana’s Mother Teresa Airport (aka Rinas Airport) is by far the largest in Albania, with direct flights from many European cities. You can also fly to the Greek island of Corfu, and take a ferry to the Albanian city of Saranda, which is about 1-1.5 hours by car or bus from Gjirokastra. Alternatively, you can fly to the northern Greek city of Ioannina, which is about 1.5-2 hours by car or bus from Gjirokastra.