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The last coastal city along the famous Southern Riviera is one of the most ideal places to spend your day
In reality, the legendary coastal city of Saranda would ideally require more time to be fully experienced. However, if you only have 24 hours to spend here, we can suggest the absolute must-sees of this popular spot. Located at the border between Albanian and Greece, Saranda attracts numerous tourists in the summer, when its population of 38,000 triples in size and the city comes alive.
After enjoying your breakfast and coffee at Bar Restaurant Limani or in one of the many wonderful cafes along the seaside promenade, we suggest you head towards Butrint National Park. You may want to reach this site fairly early in the day so as to give yourself enough time to explore it in its entirety. Furthermore, it is most enjoyed in the cooler part of the day. You can take the Bus line Sarandë – Butrint, departing every 30 minutes from Mother Theresa Square, in the center of Saranda. The bus ticket costs only 100 ALL.
This UNESCO site represents some of Albania’s best-preserved ancient ruins. The 3rd century theater and countless other historic monuments surrounded by an idyllic Mediterranean landscape will all make you feel as if you stepped inside of a painting.
If you manage to see Butrint until midday, you can make a quick visit to the Blue Eye, one of the natural wonders of Albania. Take into consideration that the Blue Eye is located about a 30 minute drive away from the coastal city of Saranda, but it is totally worth it.
Butrint National Park and the Blue Eye will leave you mesmerized but also pretty hungry! If you find yourself absolutely famished, you can stop in a popular restaurant along the way to the city called Restorant Harmonia (Harmony Restaurant). If not, head towards the city, where there are many options from which to choose. La Petite is a trendy, foreigners favorite with very healthy and contemporary cuisine, with two different locations in the city. Gërthëla is another one, an excellent choice because of its delicious seafood and affordable prices, very popular among locals. You can find this one right in the end of the main promenade. Close to Gërthëla is located also Mare Nostrum. You cannot go wrong with either of these two as they are among the legendary names around here!
During the summer, the city is famous for its wonderful beaches. Feel free to cut your lunch short and opt out of the afternoon explorations to go to the beach. Here, you can look over our list of Saranda’s top beaches.
Here, you have two options from which to choose according to what interests you most. We highly recommend the ruins of the Forty Saints Monastery. Famous for giving Saranda its name, inside this 6th century monastery, you will find preserved columns as well as intricately decorated tiles and windows while the 15th century church hides more wonderful treasures from the Byzantine period in Albania. Definitely worth seeing!
You may want to make a quick stop at the Synagogue and Basilica of Saranda if you have time. Discovered in the last century, here you will find the traces of a beautiful medieval mosaic!
Lëkurësi Castle looks over the entire city plains and seascape so, form here, you will get the best panoramas of the entire area! Time your trip strategically so you can catch the spectacular Ionian sunset here and stay for dinner, as well. To conclude your day, enjoy a traditional meal at Lëkursi Castle, out in the fresh air and an unforgettable view!
If you would like to go a bit further into this city, we suggest one of the coolest places in town: Andon Lapa Restaurant. This may also give you the chance to explore the city a little more intimately. But visiting this place is a must!
Located on the Adriatic coast and only a 30-minute drive away from the capital of Tirana, the beach of Durrës is the longest and most populated one in Albania. Modern architectural structures, like the Sphinx, the vibrant promenade and delicious seafood restaurants are a serious part of this city’s charm. Durrës is also home to [...]
A city rich in history and spectacular landscapes, in addition to being one of the gastronomic centers of the entire country, Lezha packs a full day of valuable and delicious amusement. After you have enjoyed your morning coffee in one of the many cafés in town, head to Lezha Castle, from where you will get [...]
The City of 1001 Windows is a national cultural and heritage center that reserves beautiful strolls along cobbled alleys in its famous Mangalem, Gorica and Castle neighborhoods and much more. One of the most historic and oldest cities in Albania, Berat will fill your entire day with beautiful landscapes in addition to its rich culture [...]
Tirana has been Albania’s administrative center for almost a century but this city’s history goes even further back in time. While the toponym Tirana was first mentioned in the 15th century as “Plenium Tyrenae” (“Field of Tirana”), the city became an established settlement almost two centuries later, in 1614, with the establishment of a mosque [...]
The vibrant coastal city of Vlora is a requisite stop for every tourist visiting Albania during the summer. Vlora marks the boundary between two seas – the Adriatic and the Ionian – which, in turn, are simultaneously shared between three countries: Albania, Greece, Italy. Boasting an enviably long and beautiful coastline, the ideal exploration of [...]
Pogradec is the quintessential nostalgic city! This particular sensation arises as you cruise down the national road and an image of utter calm and timeless beauty unfolds before you. The smooth, creamy blue surface of Lake Ohrid, punctuated by lively swans and seagulls! This is the lake of a certain delicious fish called koran, found [...]
This southernmost city in Albania is quite the multifaceted place! An ideal destination for your holidays, year-round. A location full of virgin beaches and delicious seafood. Sharing a border with Greece, Saranda is also a gateway to this other significant cultural destination. Last but not least, entry fees in the most wonderful parks and destinations [...]
Most refer to Dibra’s northeastern highlands as Albania’s roof. This region’s highly diverse nature is due to the high peaks and low valleys found along Dibra’s rugged landscape. As one of the largest geographical areas of the entire country, Dibra boasts more than 50 spectacular natural monuments. Countless caves hidden among beautiful mountains, small lakes, [...]
Korça is one of those wonderful towns that are never off-season! During the winter holidays, the snow covers the town and the guesthouses invite you in with their warm atmosphere. In the warmer seasons, the town overflows with energy and festivities of a different kind. The traditional city’s cobbled streets and promenade host multiple celebrations [...]