Sarande is the most well known and busiest beach resort in Albania. Near to the Greek border, it has an enviable position on the Ionian coast. Unfortunately, there are areas of unfinished developments which don’t help its visual appeal, but that aside Sarande makes a great base in the south of the country. The surrounding area is full of secluded coves and nice beaches, while history is close by with the Butrint World Heritage site. In the resort itself, there are plenty of bars and cafes to pass the time and plot your next move.
Basic street food is unlikely to be more than €1. As Sarande is more tourist driven than the rest of Albania, some restaurants have inflated prices… so browse the menus before you go in.
Buses go to Tirana and other main Abanian cities on a daily basis. Most tend to leave from the main square, near the old Jewish Synagogue ruins. There is a regular bus to Athens, while boats leave the port to Corfu each day.
• Visit Roman ruins – History is also near to the town in the form of the Butrint World Heritage Site. A short bus trip away, it is one of the better preserved Roman settlements in the region. There’s a temple, an amphitheatre, and it’s situated in the scenic Butrint National Park.
• Unwind on Ksamilli beaches – another bus trip will get you to the region of Ksamilli. The peaceful beaches with clean water are a great way to chill out in the afternoon sunshine. These bays are one of the best parts of the Albanian coast.
• Catch the boat to Corfu – The Greek island is only a short distance away and visible from the Sarande coast. One of the prettiest Greek destinations, it makes a good day trip or for longer term travellers a convenient entry point for Greece island hopping.
• Go to the Blue Eye spring – deep in a forest is a collection of springs where locals go to bathe and admire the beauty. There is also a cafe to grab some food, and it’s possible to stay overnight in an old wood cabin for around 20 Euros. Blue Eye is 25 km from Sarande so a bus is necessary to make the trip.
• Explore Gijirokaster – a UNESCO heritage town, the old part is full of history and very much like it would have been during the Ottoman empire. About an hour and a half away by bus and close to the Greek border, both Albanians and a large Greek population live here. The surrounding countryside is dramatic and beautiful too.
ALBANIA DESTINATION GUIDES :
RECENT BALKAN BLOGS
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