Need a price range seashore vacation in Europe? Travel to Albanian Riviera with this guide and also you’ll be all set, as a result of Albanian seashores are superb. And I do know simply the place to find the perfect beaches Albania has to supply. I promise.
Edited Might 2019
Completely empty white beaches with crystal clear turquoise water, recent seafood, baklava and native wine, and prices so low they make Thailand look costly – isn’t southern Europe just fantastic?
It doesn’t really appear potential that an undiscovered seashore paradise could possibly be present in Europe today, much much less that it will be so reasonably priced. But that’s precisely what the Albanian Riviera is.
Okay, perhaps it’s not totally undiscovered, however while there in early June Dan and I had a lot of the seashores we visited just about to ourselves.
After falling for the Albanian Riviera last yr, I couldn’t wait to return once more – this time with a automotive! After solely spending time on Saranda, Ksamil, Himara and Vlora’s essential seashores (and Lazarat, however that’s another story…), this time I was determined to explore every nook and cranny of the Riviera and discover one of the best secret seashore spots.
And that’s exactly what we did!
To properly explore Albania’s greatest seashores, you’ll undoubtedly want a automotive. Or at the very least, you will if you would like to see all the perfect, hidden beaches in Albania! During my first journey to Albania I hitchhiked and took the bus all over the place, however this time I needed to have the ability to cease at all the hidden spots I noticed from the street, so we rented a automotive in Tirana for every week.
Automotive rental in Albania isn’t too costly, however it’s SO value it. You possibly can see so much extra with a automotive, plus renting a automotive in Albania meant that we might get to completely abandoned beaches as an alternative of sticking to the extra common (and crowded) seashore spots like Ksamil and Vlora.
Driving in Albania
Lots of people have asked me about driving in Albania, and while Dan was truly the one doing the driving, I might say it actually isn’t so dangerous. A lot of the roads of little visitors, and for probably the most half the roads are very large and properly paved. And I felt like Albanian drivers have been very affordable – it definitely wasn’t a scary place to be driving.
Properly, it was advantageous except for the time we drove down Albania’s Dying Street – but that’s distant from the Albanian seashores, so that you in all probability gained’t be headed there.
I might advocate renting a automotive via a worldwide chain as their costs are lower and the businesses are reliable – I often use Sixt because it’s the most cost effective, but in addition has good customer service. Actually you can save 10% on automotive rental in Albania with this hyperlink
Saranda (Sarandë) is the primary city along the Albanian Riviera, though with around 30,000 inhabitants it’s not precisely large. While this is in all probability the primary vacation spot for vacationers on the Riviera, it’s not truly one of the best for beaches – nevertheless it’s a nice base from which to discover some nearby beaches, in addition to Butrint, the ruins of an historic metropolis nestled in a dense forest.
Whereas there are higher Albanian seashore spots alongside the coast, Saranda is properly value a stop to get a really feel for Albania’s seashore towns. You should purchase low cost seafood and produce (attempt the cherries!!) at an area market, take a look at the outlets and restaurants alongside the primary seashore promenade, and walk up to Lekursi Citadel for some unreal views.
Don’t overlook to wave smugly at the throngs of tourists throughout the bay in Corfu, paying 3 times as much to swim in these similar waters. I imply, for those who’re the type of individual to do one thing like that, which in fact you aren’t. Me neither.
The Greatest Saranda Inns and Hostels
DEMI HOTEL // for those wanting a luxurious lodge in Saranda
This four star lodge is true on the seashore, and it’s absolutely value upgrading to a sea view room for a balcony overlooking the water! This can be a family-run lodge so it has much more character than an enormous chain, and the employees are super candy and useful right here.
Click right here for current rates and availability at Demi Lodge
BED & BREAKFAST AHMETI // for these in search of a mid-range lodge in Saranda
This B&B is run by a really good household and I really like that it’s within straightforward strolling distance of the town middle whereas nonetheless being tucked away from the noise downtown (it’s a few 10 minute stroll uphill from the middle). Additionally they have parking spaces out there right here, so that you gained’t need to stress over finding a spot on the road, which once more is a large plus in Saranda.
Click on right here for present costs and availability at B&B Ahmeti
DOLPHIN HOSTEL // for these traveling to Saranda on a price range
Dan and I stayed at Dolphin Hostel while in Saranda, which I couldn’t advocate extra highly! Even once we arrived exhausted from a harrowing drive from Tirana we someway ended up staying up late into the night time talking with the hostel’s manager.
Breakfast is included (and superb!) and on our second night time he cooked everybody a delicious meal of fish and recent clams, which mysteriously solely value us every 1 euro. The greatest!
Click right here for present costs and availability at Dolphin Hostel
A 15-minute automotive or bus journey away from Saranda, Ksamil is where everyone goes to see the perfect Albanian beaches. These are a few of the only really sandy seashores on the Albanian Riviera (most have clean white stones).
The only downside to Ksamil is that its seashores are fairly small and sometimes privately owned, so that you’ll have to pay a couple of dollars for a seashore chair or drink/snack to use the seashore, and there are extra individuals here. I mean, by Albanian requirements, which actually simply means you’ll see 4 or 5 different individuals on the seashore.
Ksamil is perfect if you need a reasonably seashore with out touring removed from the middle of things. You possibly can even keep in a stunning house right by the seashore there. Actually in the event you’re in search of a very laidback Albanian seashore holiday, that’s precisely what I’d advocate you do. There are such a lot of good places to stay in Ksamil, and like I stated, this is likely one of the solely places with really sandy seashores in Albania.
The Greatest Inns and Flats in Ksamil
HOTEL CASTLE // mid-range to luxurious lodge accommodation in Ksamil
There truly isn’t actually any true luxurious lodge accommodation in Ksamil, but Lodge Citadel continues to be quite luxurious, especially with its beautiful views out over the Albanian Riviera. It’s right by the seashore and close to town and the design is kind of hilarious Albanian kitsch in a constructing meant to appear to be a fort!
Verify present rates and availability here
VILLA MARKU SOANNA // mid-range condo accommodation in Ksamil
Villa Marku is run by a very pretty family who converse good English, and the flats are right by the ocean and close to the town middle. The house owners will fortunately offer you ideas and advice for exploring the world, although you might additionally simply loosen up close to the lodge because it’s close by all the things.
Verify present rates and availability here
KSAMIL APARTMENTS // finances condominium accommodation in Ksamil
The Ksamil Flats are a short stroll each to the seashore and the town middle, however still in a quiet space. The flats are spacious with balconies and actually for the worth they are such a very good discount.
Verify current charges and availability right here
Okay, this can be a spring, not an Albanian seashore, but you may want to overlook the seaside and simply spend your complete Albanian vacation gazing into it.
Water in The Blue Eye bubbles up from more than 50 meters deep at a kind of alarming price. Significantly, where is all of it coming from, and the way can it’s that blue? Is Albania’s tourism board secretly dumping dye into this thing each morning?
The Blue Eye spring is a few 25 minute drive inland from Saranda (on the best way to Girokaster) and I’ve heard that it will probably get crowded in the summer with individuals swimming, however in early June it was empty – and freezing!
And before heading back to Saranda drive farther up into the mountains for some pretty beautiful views! I imply, Albania has loads of beautiful views, but this was one among my favorites.
The drive alongside the seaside from Saranda to Himara is beautiful, and filled with turn-offs into little abandoned seashores. We simply turned down each small street we handed that seemed like it was heading in the direction of the water, and not once have been we dissatisfied.
I’d offer you more particular instructions, but turning down random roads to discover hidden beaches in Albania was a part of the fun! Plus it’s good to maintain the beaches hidden so only the extra adventurous seashore hunters find them, proper? However let me simply say, will probably be properly well worth the effort.
The solely dwelling souls we encountered on this Albanian seashore:
One in every of my favorite spots was a teeny tiny strip of seashore proper after Porto Palermo – the view of the little islands from the street wasn’t terrible either!
Smaller and quieter than Saranda and Ksamil, Himara (Himarë) is just good.
Locals in Himarë are predominantly Greek, which undoubtedly comes throughout in the feel of the place. I feel I gained five kilos from all the scrumptious food here, whereas Dan gained at the least 5 new Fb buddies. Individuals in Himara are so friendly!
If I had to select I might say Himara was my second favourite cease along the Albanian Riviera, and that’s largely due to the fantastic individuals we met there. And the views weren’t terrible both.
Wondering what my favorite stop was? Learn on!
Greatest Inns and Flats in Himara
HIMARA RIVIERA ROOMS // mid-range to finances accommodation in Himara
We stayed at Himara Riviera Rooms, where we had a stunning little house with a balcony overlooking the sea. The house owners have been SO pretty and this is actually my #1 suggestion for a lodge in Himara. It truly is just good.
Examine present costs and availability at Himara Riviera Rooms
CAMPING KRANEA // finances accommodation in Himara
Our first night time we camped at Camping Kranea on a seashore in the north of town, and it was so, so pretty to get up proper on the seashore. In the event you’re on a very tight price range this is a wonderful choice.
Verify current charges and availability
RAPOS RESORT HOTEL // luxurious lodge in Himara
That is the only real resort in Himara, and it has superb sea views from its rooms, a swimming pool, and a seashore right in entrance of the lodge. The fantastic thing a few seashore vacation in Albania is that a lodge like this isn’t even expensive – if you need to escape to a seashore resort I might extremely advocate heading right here!
Examine present prices and availability at Rapos Resort Lodge
The Greatest Albanian Beaches near Himara
One among my favourite beaches within the space wasn’t truly in Himara, but 10 kilometers north in Jala. Jali Seashore wasn’t as empty as other beaches we went to, but I loved burning sunning myself with the locals and taking within the enjoyable environment of the small beachside village.
Dhermi (Dhërmi) was my favourite place we stayed in Albania! Dhermi Seashore is the longest I noticed in Albania and seems to cater to more upscale tourists. The village itself lies up a hill from the water and has lovely previous stone houses constructed into the aspect of a mountain.
If you’d like one of the best Albanian seashore experience, I might undoubtedly advocate heading to Dhermi (actually I have beneficial a seashore holiday in Dhermi to so lots of my buddies!).
Greatest Inns in Dhermi
GUEST HOUSE FOUR SEASONS // finances to mid-range lodge in Dhermi
We stayed in a double room at Visitor House Four Seasons, which had a balcony overlooking the ocean and was surprisingly low cost. It felt like being on a luxury vacation, however on a backpacker’s price range.
Click here for present prices and availability at the Guest House Four Seasons
SARAJET E PASHAIT // mid-range to luxurious lodge in Dhermi
I had dinner right here one night time and it was SO good. The meals was superb, the restaurant has a view over the water, and it’s actually shut to a sandy seashore. If you need a luxurious Albanian seashore escape, I’d undoubtedly come right here!
Click on here for current rates and availability at Sarajet e Pashait
The Greatest Beaches close to Dhermi
Dhermi can also be just eight kilometers from what could be Albania’s most lovely seashore: Gjipe Seashore.
You’ll have to walk the final couple of kilometers, but I promise it’s value it! This was undoubtedly my completely satisfied place on the Albanian Riviera, and I plan on returning to Gjipe Seashore repeatedly.
In truth I’m super curious if it’s still as hidden now as it was once I visited – should you’ve been just lately let me know in the comments!
No Photoshop essential!
And, in case you’re heading north from Dhermi you’re in for a critical treat – nicely, until you’re susceptible to carsickness. The hairpin curves on the street climbing the mountain in the direction of Vlora are brutal, but they’ll take you to a heavenly view of the coastline.
A bit of too heavenly in our case though, as we drove right up right into a cloud. A minimum of I keep in mind lovely views from final yr’s go to!
And eventually, if you’re planning your journey to Albania you undoubtedly need to keep in mind journey insurance.
I by no means, ever travel with out travel insurance (particularly in a place like Albania the place you’ll be swimming and in the mountains!) and it has saved me on a number of events – like that point I used to be bedridden in Beijing. My private decide for journey insurance is World Nomads, and I’ve achieved a ton of research on totally different suppliers.
World Nomads is extremely reasonably priced, and when I’ve had to use them I simply despatched my hospital receipts and had a examine within the mail within a couple of weeks. So easy, and totally value it. You will get a quote right here:
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