Albania has been inhabited since 100,000 years back and over the centuries the Albanian culture has been influenced by the Romans, Greeks, Turks and Italians. The first inhabitants of the present day Albania were Illyrians tribes, a group of Indo-European people. The Albanians still trace their origins to the Illyrians, with their language and traditions still rooted in the Albanians.
The Greeks started arriving in Albania from the beginning of 7th century B.C. they occupied the Illyrian coast and established their colonies in Apollonia, Epidamnos (present-day Durres), Lissus (present-day Durres), Avlona (present-day Vlore) and Buthrotum (present-day Butrint). Even today these cities have remnants of the Greek past, and tourists can visit the archaeological sites and parks in these places.
The expansion of the Illyrian kingdom resulted in the conflict with Rome consequently leading to a long war. By 167 B.C., the Romans had captured the entire Balkan area. Albania fell into East Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire), when it was divided into East and West. During the first decade of Byzantine rule, Albania was invaded by the Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Slavs.Albania was full conquered by the Ottomans by the mid 15th century. The national hero Skanderbeg led the attack against the Ottoman Turks from the Kruje Castle. From 1443 to 1468 Skanderbeg defeated the Turks in the all the twenty-five battles he fought from the castle. The Kruje castle still stands today, and is a major tourist attraction. But after his death, within no time the Ottoman captured the whole region and ruled the country for more than 500 years.
Albania finally gained independence from the Ottoman on 28th November 1912. It was occupied by Italians during the World War II. The Italians were defeated in a long war by the Communist loyalists. The Communists ruled the country till they were finally thrown out of power in 1992.
Albania has a very complicated history and has faced numerous invasions since ancient times. But the history has shaped up the culture of the Albanians what we now see. The historical evidences are still preserved and it is one of biggest attractions of Albanian tourism.