The Albanian Riviera Travel Guide
Holidays on the Albanian Riviera! That sounds good … The beautiful Albanian Riviera is located on the coast in the south of Albania. It starts from the municipality of Sarandë in the extreme south of Albania at the places of Ksamil and the archaeological site and natural park of Butrint (near the Greek border) and ends at the mountain pass and national park of Llogara.
About the Albanian Riviera
The Albanian Riviera is located in southwestern Albania on the Ionian Sea and is separated in the hinterland by the Keraunian Mountains. In general, tourism on the Albanian Riviera is still relatively small-scale, tourism development has only started since the year 2000 and the coastal road and roads to the beaches were reconstructed around 2008 and 2011. Most tourists on this coast are Albanians from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and emigrants on holiday in their own country. The most visited coastal towns by foreigners are probably Ksamil with the islands, Himare and Sarande.
Best time to travel to Albanian Riviera
The best time to travel to Albania is from May to September. Are you a sun lover? Then you will enjoy yourself in Albania. Although Albania has hot dry summers, the breeze from the Adriatic Sea makes for a wonderful refreshment. In winter it can be very cold especially in the interior. The area has a wonderful Mediterranean climate, also known as the Mediterranean climate.
How to get there?
The Albanian Riviera is often compared to the Amalfi coast in Italy or Greece before mass tourism. There are few ways to get to the Albanian Riviera. One option is to fly to Tirana and take a taxi or bus to the coast. A bus trip takes about 3 to 5 hours but is quite inexpensive. Another option is to fly to Corfu airport and take the ferry to the Albanian Riviera. This takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
Places to visit
A beautiful landscape with extensive beaches, where you can relax as a visitor. The city itself has a vibrant nightlife, which attracts many young Albanians. The city is located on a mountain slope by the sea. This way you can enjoy beautiful sunsets from the city. The beach has a cozy atmosphere, partly due to the lively beach bars. The beach also has quiet places where you can enjoy the beautiful Albanian Riviera.
Read more: Dhermi Albania
A beautifully situated city on the Ionian Sea, where the weather is warm every season, who wouldn’t want that? That is why Sarande also has a completely relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately, the coast is overdeveloped, due to the development of atmospheric apartment buildings. Yet Sarande also has beautiful parts. There are many bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops, which are worth a visit. In the area of Sarande, in addition to ancient ruins, there are many other historical sites. The city is fun to visit in combination with a trip through the beautiful, natural surroundings that surround the city.
Read also: Things to do in Saranda
Sun, sea, and beach. All can be found in Himare, a town located on the Albanian Riviera, by the water, and on a hilly coastline. The beaches and the quiet boulevard by the sea are the most visited places. The historic old town is also worth a visit. The atmospheric tavernas are full of Mediterranean charm and serve delicious, local seafood. This city also has a beautiful castle with a view of the sea. The mountains near the city contain hiking trails that overlook the countryside, where spectacular churches and monasteries such as the Monastery of the Cross and Athaliotissa can be seen.
This is the first accessible beach in the Riviera after the steep descent through the zigzagging Llogaraja pass. A new motorway leads from the main road straight to the beach, which consists of nothing more than a strip of white sand and rocks, apart from a nightclub that draws large crowds in the summer. In addition to the nightclub, there are several cafes, a pizzeria, and a handful of camping pitches. Perfect for beach lovers who want to avoid the crowds, camp alone and swim undisturbed.
South of Saranda, the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, lies Ksamil: a perfect location just steps from the Greek border. The three small islands, surrounded by a turquoise bay, are easy to reach by swimming or boating and it is always less crowded than on the busy city beach. Ksamil is an important place for the locals, because of the many travelers who stay here in the summer, but even during that period, the islands offer some form of tranquility. Corfu can be seen from a distance (this part of Albania is the closest to the island) and the ancient city of Butrint, Unesco World Heritage, is a little further than Saranda, which makes it easy to combine beach and culture.
This charming cove is often overlooked by travelers passing directly to Saranda just down the road. Bunec is peaceful and somewhat unconventional, with a white pebble beach divided by a river flowing from the mountains. The sunset here is nothing short of beautiful and a beach is a good option for those looking for a little more comfort, but still want to stay in an unspoiled place.
Borsh is the longest stretch of beach in Albania. Seven kilometers of breathtaking nature, with an impressive road that leads to the open plain where the village of the same name looms from afar. Strangely enough, Borsch is not very touristy, despite its community and bustling olive oil industry. There is nothing more than a few makeshift restaurants and bars on the beach.
What to eat
You can order delicious fish on the coast. One of the best places you find is in the port city of Vlora. The bay is full of good fish restaurants and often you will also find a beautiful view. A great place to eat is the restaurant, Kuzum Baba. This restaurant is located at the highest point in the city. Nice view, good food, good wine. What more could you wish for?
Read also: Albanian traditional food and The best restaurants in Albania