While being in Albania you can easily combine relaxing, sunbathing, enjoying great food in breath-taking view locations with sightseeing and visiting the most spectacular locations from the UNESCO heritage list.
Sarandë, charming coast Albanian town, is known for its beautiful blue deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea about 14 km east from the Greek island of Corfu. Sarandë typically has over 300 sunny days a year.
The name of the town stems from Ayii Saranda, an early monastery which was dedicated to 40 saints. You can visit the remains of it on the hill above the town.
There are private hotel beaches and town beaches available being part of Pllaka, you can also visit surrounding beaches of Manastiri for example or Ksamil. Ksamil Beach and Albania’s Ionian Coast further north was included in The Guardian’s 20 of the best bargain beach holidays for 2013.
It is also worth mentioning that Sarandë has a large Greek population and is considered one of the two centers of the Greek minority in Albania.
If you love beaches, beautiful landscape and good food you must definitely visit Sarandë, Ksamil and Albanian Riviera that runs from Vlora to Butrint. We have done the route by car and the views were really breakthtaking!
While being in Sarandë you have to visit the remains of the ancient city of Butrint.
Butrint was the first Albanian location which was included on UNESCO heritage list in 1992 and national park in 2000. Butrint, used to be part of Greek and Roman colonies. Later, it experienced a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, which was followed by a short period of Venetian rule and the abandonment of the city in late medieval times. You can find here the baptistery, the theater, the basilica, the public baths, the gymnasium, temple, lion gate and much more, truly impressive and located so beautifully in pure nature.
The most ancient objects found at the archaeological site in Butrint are a stone hammer and a shaft belonging to the second half of the second millennium B.C.
- How to plan your holidays?
We were supported professionally by a young tourist organization: Travelling Albania which specializes in Albania and can support you as well in North Macedonia.
2. How to get there: There is an international airport in Tirana.
Rent a Car: There are many companies renting a car. We rented ours by Tisa Tours& Rent a Car, highly professional and experienced company offering tailored solutions.
They can also take care of arranging the Macedonian green car card for you if you want to combine visiting Albania and North Macedonia.
3. Where to stay: we stayed in an amazing design 5 star hotel and spa resort: Bougainville Bay . It is situated beautifully right at the sea, has a private beach, 4 swimming-pools wit bars, amazing restaurants and extremely child-friendly and professional staff. Definitely a must visit!
4. Where to eat: We recommend restaurants of the Bougainville resort. Additionally we loved:
Haxhi restaurant run by a family and serving delicious Mediterranean food, especially fish is truly recommended. You must try their house wine. And at the end of the dinner you get extra choice of various fruit! Great atmosphere, great staff, located not far from the port of Sarande. Our bets wishes to Emanuel and his family!
Restaurant La Petite: serving delicious Mediterranean food, great choice of wine, nicely situated at the Boulevard in a cosy garden. Great atmosphere, staff. Our best wishes to Kostas!
Mussels House in Ksamil: for fresh salads and mussels .
General info about Albania
Republic of Albania is located in Southeast Europe at the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Meditterranean Sea. It borders with Montenegro to the northwest,Kosovo to the northeast,North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and has a maritime border with Greece and Italy to the west.
Its area covers 28,748 km and population equals 2,876,591 ( 2017). The capital city is Tirana.
Albania is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic. Official language is Albanian. Recognised minority languages are Aromanian, Greek, Macedonian. Currency is Lek (ALL)
Sources: https://travellingalbania.com/nl/, local leaflets, Wikipedia, Albania.al, intoalbania.com
Photos: Communications-Unlimited.nl. © Copyright www.communications-unlimited.nl, 2019. All rights reserved