Sarandë, Albania Travel Guide: Must-See Sights, Hidden Gems & Local Tips From An Expert

umbrellas on a beach in ksamil, saranda, albania

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The difficult factor about going someplace that’s only recently change into widespread is that whereas everybody desires to see what the hype is all about, few really know how you can get probably the most out of the expertise.

That’s precisely the case with Sanadë (or Saranda), Albania, a spot that’s set to change into certainly one of Europe’s trendiest beachy hotspots this summer season but stays unknown to most individuals.

umbrellas on a beach in ksamil, saranda, albania

The place to go? What to see? What’s value doing? Methods to keep secure, on a funds, and sure that you simply’re getting probably the most out of the expertise?

Fortunately for you, I’ve already vacationed in Saranda greater than a dozen instances by this level, and I’m right here to share every part I’ve realized throughout my time within the metropolis, answering all of those questions and extra within the course of.

So, should you’re planning on exploring among the most beautiful locations on the Albanian Riviera this summer season, that is the one journey information you want.

ksamil coastline, saranda, albania

The Finest Issues To Do And See In Saranda

Whereas there’s rather a lot to be stated concerning the worth of flexibility and spontaneity in the case of an ideal journey expertise, when going someplace as undiscovered (and unpredictable) as Albania, having not less than a faint thought of an itinerary will all the time work in your favor.

saranda from above

In Saranda, nonetheless, you is perhaps overwhelmed by the sheer variety of resorts, bars, and eating places that appear to have taken over the town, and, as you would possibly’ve guessed, whereas some are genuinely nice locations the place your cash goes a good distance, others are simply vacationer traps not with the time of day.

I’m right here that can assist you work out the place it’s really value going.

The place To Keep?

There are some really incredible resorts in Saranda (locations like Lodge Bahamas and Santa Quaranta supply excellent value for the $100-something price ticket), however most locals coming to the town go for short-term leases as an alternative.

santa quaranta, saranda hotel

Now, I’ve stayed in stunning residences within the metropolis middle for simply $40 an evening, however these are normally unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered via acquaintances, so should you’re searching for that kind of worth or expertise, you’ll wish to attain out to an area or one other traveler who’s been to Saranda; Fb teams are nice for that sort of factor.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to all the time e book Airbnbs, which, usually talking, are far better-managed and decently priced in Europe than they’re within the U.S. – cute little 1-bedrooms within the metropolis middle not often value greater than $50 an evening.

The place To Eat?

One factor about meals in Saranda is that whereas it’s not something groundbreaking, it’s reliably tasty.

Albanian Food Set On The Table At A Restaurant In Albania, Eastern Europe

Beneath, I’ll checklist among the locations I’ve discovered myself turning to time and time once more throughout my time within the metropolis:

  • L’arte Della Pizza
  • Balbi 34
  • Why Not? – Burger Bar
  • Restaurant Pupi
  • Oda e Babës

The place To Go At Evening?

So, you’ve been to the seashore, you had your lunch, and now it’s nighttime and also you’re rested, dressed up, and able to exit – the place do you go?

Nicely, should you’re searching for the basic membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your greatest bets – throughout summer season there’s a celebration occurring each single night time, and until you’re there throughout a very busy time, you received’t want a reservation, both.

people dancing at a nightcub

However, these searching for only a laid-back night time with an excellent drink of their hand can head over to certainly one of my favourite locations within the metropolis – Noname Cocktail Bar.

It’s a small, dimly lit place that makes among the greatest cocktails within the metropolis for underneath $10.

The music is nice however not so loud that you could’t hear your self speaking, and it’s proper on the principle promenade so you’ll be able to watch the individuals go by and soak up that summer season sea breeze – it’s all the time been one of many highlights of my Saranda journeys.

The Finest Seaside In Saranda

The primary seashores you’ll see when you set foot in Saranda are those situated simply beside the promenade.

Aerial View Of Saranda, A City On The Albanian Riviera Facing The Turquoise Colored Adriatic Mediterranean Sea, Albania, Balkan Peninsula, South Eastern Europe

Now, these are referred to as “public seashores,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged should you use the sunbeds right here, although the value might be notably decrease than what you’ll pay in close by personal seashores – between $4 and $5 for a set of two loungers and an umbrella relying on the month.

With that stated, bringing your individual umbrella and towels/chair is completely acceptable (which is greater than what may be stated for many personal seashores in Saranda), and clearly free.

Nonetheless, should you’re coming all the way in which to Albania, spending your days on such a sub-par and poorly organized seashore is, in my view, a waste of time, particularly when there are such a lot of higher choices.

Pulebardha Beach Between Ksamil And Saranda In Albania, South Eastern Europe

Sunbeds listed here are a bit pricier, ranging between $15-$20 a day, however you’ll get plenty of bang to your buck because the seashore is clear and well-maintained, the service is nice, and the water is simply to die for.

There are even small, unoccupied areas the place you’ll be able to lounge round totally free, however these are fairly small and rocky, so make certain to weigh out the professionals and cons beforehand.

However whereas that is my favourite seashore inside Saranda, it nonetheless doesn’t maintain a candle to the locations you’ll discover exterior the town, so make certain to funds for some day journeys throughout your Albanian summer season getaway. 

ksamil beach

Exploring The Area Past The Fundamental Metropolis

Saranda is the kind of metropolis that by no means leaves you bored, however there’s simply a lot to see and do in close by villages that spending your complete vacation within the metropolis would truthfully be a waste of alternative.

Let’s begin with seashores since that’s most likely what you’re right here to see within the first place.

I’ve cherished Pasqyra Seaside because the first day I set foot in it.

pasqyra (mirror) beach, saranda, albania

It was 2013, and this was the primary seashore I noticed that checked each single field – it had padded picket sunbeds and straw umbrellas, the bottom was pebbly however not uncomfortable, there have been individuals there, but it surely wasn’t too crowded, the ocean was as crystal-clear as they arrive, and I solely paid about $7 for a pair of loungers – that’s an ideal worth to pay for what seems like your individual tropical paradise.

Granted, that worth has gone as much as ~$20 now, however not a lot else has modified.

people in pasqyra (mirror) beach, saranda, albania

In truth, this hidden Albanian gem was named the seashore with the bluest waters in the world, abandoning far better-known locations.

Different seashores you received’t wish to miss out on throughout your travels in Saranda embody Ksamil, Livadi, and Jala, however I’d advise in opposition to going to Dhërmi – it really is beautiful, however over-tourism has sadly turned it right into a mismanaged, overpriced mess.

For individuals who wish to take pleasure in one thing past the day by day sunbathing classes, Syri i Kaltër and Butrint Nationwide Archaeological Park are to not be missed.

Greek Amphitheatre In Butrint, Albania

How To Keep Protected And Keep away from Getting Overcharged

What most vacationers think about earlier than going to Albania is whether or not it’s really secure.

I’m comfortable to report that Saranda is likely one of the most secure locations I’ve vacationed in my life.

Even after I walked residence at 3 A.M. from the membership, I by no means felt unsafe, not within the promenade (which was nonetheless comparatively busy even at that hour), nor within the extra quiet neighborhoods I needed to stroll via on my means again.

aerial view of Saranda, Albania

Now, I’m not saying what I did was a good suggestion since regular security precautions are all the time needed (particularly should you’re touring alone), but it surely goes to point out simply how secure and non-threatening the ambiance is right here.

One danger you do run, although, is that of getting overcharged.

Locals are infamous for making an attempt to squeeze just a few additional bucks from guests, so my prime tricks to all the time get truthful costs embody:

euro currency
  • Whereas the euro has misplaced fairly a little bit of energy to the Albanian Lek these previous few months, 1€ continues to be not equal to 100 Lek (that’s the alternate charge most companies quote foreigners), so all the time use the native foreign money if potential.
  • Stick to larger cash alternate locations situated within the metropolis middle, should you can try on-line opinions, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, all the time ask different individuals or an worker about how a lot they value BEFORE you really sit down, that means, you may make an knowledgeable resolution and keep away from any potential confrontations down the road.
  • Solely go to eating places the place the menus have clearly marked-out costs.
  • Solely use respected taxi providers like Saranda Taxi 715 (+355 69 669 0142) and attempt to steer away from random drivers making an attempt to poach vacationers within the streets.

And with that final bit of knowledge, you’re now 100% able to take advantage of out of your Saranda trip – I assure you received’t be disenchanted!

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Opinions expressed listed here are the writer’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, authorised or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included inside the put up.


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