Albania (c-enaudio=en-us-Albania, officially known as the Republic of Albania ( pronounced -sqɾɛpuˈblika ɛ ʃcipəˈɾiːs; Gheg Albanian: Republika e Shqipnísë), is a country in Southeast Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (44.7 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.
Albania is a member of the UN, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a potential candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009. Albania has the distinction of being the largest Muslim-majority sovereign country wholly within Europe.
Albania is a parliamentary democracy with a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to approximately 600,000 of the country's 3,000,000 people. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania was chosen as the top country in Lonely Planet's list of ten top countries to visit for 2011.