Best known for its beaches’ incredible beauty, Dhermi is a small village on the southern coast of Albanian Riviera, located between the two Himare and Vlora towns. It is a village of absolutely unique charm, characterized by a beautiful stone architecture typical of the South and surrounded by the lush vegetation of citrus and green olive trees, now a popular tourist destination for many years. You will surely be impressed by the appearance of this village perched on a mountain, with small houses all close together and stone alleys that climb up to the top. Below, clearly visible from above, the wonderful white pebble beaches that attract tourists from all over the world.
Little is actually known about the origins of Dhermi, except that the area where it is located belonged to a Kaonian tribe before being almost completely devastated by King Philip of Macedonia and then passed under Roman control. It was right around the village, on the beach of Palase, that Julius Caesar had his troops landed in the battle against Pompey. The territory then passed under Bulgarian rule and was attacked several times by pirates, as some of the area’s historical evidence shows. Beyond this, Dhermi is known for its scenic beauty and tourist attractions, especially at night, making it a top-rated destination, especially for younger tourists.
Things to do in Dhermi
More than 5 km long, the beaches of Dhermi are distinguished by the marvelous white sand that plunges into clear and deep waters, the ideal environment for snorkelers, who will find here incredible rocky bottoms inhabited by fish of all sizes. There are three of the most famous seaside resorts of this part of the southern coast, where tourists flock to enjoy whole days of relaxation in bays surrounded by wild nature: Dhermi, Drymades, and Palase.
Just below the village, the beach of Dhermi is certainly the best equipped of all, especially in its northernmost part, where some many kiosks and restaurants offer the possibility to rent not only deckchairs and umbrellas but also pedal boats and canoes to reach the nearby Pirates’ Cave or some small bay hidden behind the rocks.
The beach of Drymades is quieter, imposing, and very white, surrounded by wild and uncontaminated nature, and not well served by tourist facilities of any kind. This is the ideal destination for tourists searching for tranquility and small views hidden among the area’s bays.
But even wilder is the beautiful beach of Palace, just 8 kilometers north of the village of Dhermi, characterized by incredible tranquility and wonderful turquoise waters.
Unlike the village above, where small restaurants offer traditional dishes, the beaches are full of bars and clubs that liven up the nights on the southern coast with theme parties, DJ sets, live music, and much more. A fixed stop for younger tourists, who come here to spend the evening after a day at the beach.
Visiting Churches and Monasteries in Dhermi
Although it is not a large village, Dhermi and its surroundings are home to more than thirty churches, some of which are really worth visiting. For example, in the old quarter of the village, you can’t miss the opportunity to stop and admire the Monastery of Santa Maria, also known as the “White Monastery” for its walls’ characteristic color. Equally fascinating and well preserved is the Monastery of San Teodoro, located right on the hill of the village, the Monastery of Stavridhi, and the Virgin Mary’s Monastery on the hill Drymades. Characteristic buildings that can attract the attention of the most attentive tourists to the history of the territory they are visiting will also fascinate those who have come here to enjoy the area’s crystal clear waters.
How to get to Dhermi
The beach is located 1.5 km below the main road connecting Vlora – Saranda, so if you want to reach it by bus, ask the driver to stop on the Llogara Pass at the detour to the village. Once stopped, to reach the beach, you have to go down the main road, called Rruga Perivolo, which starts at the top of the highway, SH8, and goes to the beach.
In theory, most of the places we have described before are no more than 15-30 minutes away by car. But the Albanian Riviera is a long stretch of winding roads in the mountains, so a trip to a nearby beach or town that shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes by car ends up taking more than 30-40 minutes by bus. The only flaw is that buses are not very frequent on this stretch of road.
You can also take a taxi, but you may pay a high fare for a 10-minute trip (you may also be charged 25-30 euros one way). So in our opinion, the best way to visit this wonderful stretch of coast is to rent a car.
Where to stay in Dhermi
The beauty of this resort is that, in a small area, you can find facilities of all kinds and at any price.
5-star hotel with all comforts and private beach like the Morina Palace at 150/180 euros the double room in August, more modest hotels with comfortable rooms and mini-apartments like the Ionian Hotel, a quadruple at 126 euros per night with breakfast included, always in August.
An excellent choice for the location, for the quality of service and the price, is the Hotel Summer Dream, located on the beach’s far-right, the quietest and most peaceful area. The 3-star hotel offers a unique view over the whole gulf and a private beach in the most beautiful sea corner, perhaps the most beautiful part of this portion of the coast. Price: double room at the end of August with breakfast, 63 euros per night.
If you prefer wood and green spaces to walls, the Altea Beach Lodges is for you. White wooden bungalows can accommodate up to 4 people, located among olive trees and green lawns, where you can relax in a hammock or on deck chairs. The bungalows have a bathroom, air conditioning, wifi in the common areas of the resort. There is no kitchen but don’t worry; the resort has an excellent restaurant! Prices: 110 euros for two people in August.
The last solution is the one I prefer, the camping but the real one, with few tents in the middle of the trees, the current in the common area, the bar that becomes a meeting point to meet new people and other nationalities, the beach at 3 meters. No animation, swimming pool, or muscular awakening, here the contact with nature is guaranteed and the respect of silence in the evening and early afternoon. Cost: 10 euros per night per person, including tent, in the sense that if you do not have your own tent, or do not want to leave loaded, here all campsites are equipped with tents for 2/3 people with foam mattress, pillows, pillowcases, sheets, and blankets. In Drymades, there are several, the best located on the right side of the beach.
My favorite is the Eco Camping next to the Altea Beach Lodges; extreme simplicity, background of cicadas, sea always at sight, bar, young and welcoming management, and excellent coffee!
If you have a motorhome, you will also find space for your vehicle or in the campsites or directly on the beach, and then you can lean against the campsite for bathroom and supplies.
Last, extreme solution: free camping on the beach. Albania is one of the last places where it is allowed; obviously, you have to find a space that does not interfere with the facilities. You have to be respectful of the environment and the people who are welcoming you.
Nightlife in Dhermi
Drymades nightlife is mainly concentrated on the left-hand side of the roundabout. The clubs are all outdoors and close to the beach.” Country” club will draw your attention first; colorful lights, loud music, and lots of people chatting and moving to the rhythm of the hits of the moment with a glass in hand, a little further on will be the rhythm and a setting reminiscent of Cuba to call you, you have arrived at Noli’s, a very nice soft-club, with comfortable seating and suitable for a cocktail in good company. You can find two other very nice and fashionable places for a beer with friends near the roundabout.
On the beach instead is Pepperon, the beach the most famous and popular club that this year will be the Turtle Fest location, the three-day electronic music festival with international DJs, held on August’s first weekend. A festival is an event awaited by many young people who will arrive in the hundreds from all over Europe and the Balkans.