Top Exclusive Beaches and Caves of the Southern Riviera - Into Albania

Top Exclusive Beaches and Caves of the Southern Riviera

The Ionian Coast is the perfect escape with its idyllic beaches, rugged nature, and sheer variety of destinations to explore. While there are plenty of very popular beaches around the Riviera, there are some lesser known ones which only a select group of locals and tourists venture out to. With plenty of ancient caves, intimate bays, hiking trails and villages, there is much to explore and discover along the treasure-filled Ionian coast. Because the choice can be overwhelming, we have taken the liberty to select some of the most exclusive destinations that you absolutely must visit!

Filikur Beach (Himarë)

Located between Potam and Llaman, the two most popular beaches of Himarë, this small bay can only be reached by boat. You will find no shops, cafes, or restaurants here so you have to take food and refreshment along. But, it is this kind of hard-to-find intimacy that makes Filikur worth experiencing. Here, it’s only you, the turquoise sea, the generous sun and gleaming cliffs.

Filikur Beach

Filikur Beach, Himara, Source: mapio.net

Gjipe Beach and Canyon (Himarë)

Gjipe is known as the most coveted summer spot of the entire coast! There is an unspoken competition among locals as to who will be the first to reach this heavenly bay. Surrounded by white cliffs reaching a height of about 70 meters, the water here is as clear and invigorating as it gets. You can either reach this bay by boat (which you can take from the bay of Jala) or hike along a forest trail up on the cliffs. An ideal spot for camping, take everything you may need with you and enjoy the virgin shores of this paradisiacal bay.

Gjipe Beach and Canyon

Gjipe Beach and Canyon, Himara, Courtesy of Egzon Bytyqi instagram.com/egzonbytyqiphoto/

Pirates’ Cave (Dhërmi)

Exactly as its name suggests, this particular cave feels like you are entering another world. Famous for its mysterious appeal and legends, the famous Albanian writer Petro Marko has written an entire book on this beauty. A must-see of the Riviera, this cave can be reached by taking a boat from Dhërmi.  Be prepared as the grand entrance of the cave inspires strong emotions! Truly spectacular and awe-inspiring, the cave’s teal, cobalt and emerald waters are warm enough to swim in and the beautiful perpendicular cliffs surrounding it appear mythological.

Pirates’ Cave

Pirates’ Cave, Dhërmi, Source: sq.wikipedia.org Albinfo

Karaburun Peninsula

For a major part of the 20th century, this former military base was prohibited to the public. Fortunately, this allowed the area to be left untouched, making it into one of the most stunning virgin beaches in the entire country. Off the coast of Vlorë, this is where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. The peninsula cannot be reached by car but there are many boats that regularly take tourists to the site. Keep in mind that the Karaburun Peninsula is the only national marine park of Albania, with a lot of hiking opportunities among the rich and lush wildlife.

Karaburun Penisola, Vlora. Photo Courtesy of Altin Serani

Gulf of Gramë

It is one of the most beautiful and exotic beaches of Karaburun, with turquoise waters and spectacular surrounding landscape. On the cliff sides surrounding the beach, you will find over 1500 ancient Greek and Latin inscriptions which were placed there throughout the centuries by seamen who found shelter from the stormy seas.  For a small taste of this amazing place, view this video here.

Gulf of Gramë

Gulf of Gramë, Karaburun, Source: pinterest.com Rim Prela

St. Andrew’s Bay (Karaburun)

St. Andrew’s Bay (Gjiri i Shën Andreut) is a small but intense bay! It is perfectly isolated by the steep cliffs surrounding it, which not only emphasize the deep cobalt colors of the crystal waters but make this area perfectly peaceful and secluded. If we could pick the one place along the Riviera that will make you feel like a true explorer, this is it!

St. Andrew’s Bay, Karaburun, Source: youtube.com

Cave of Haxhi Ali (Karaburun)

Known as the highest cave along the Albanian coast, this cave has a height of 60 meters. This majestic site is positioned on the westernmost point of Albania, at the edge of the Cape of Gjuhëz. The Cave of Haxhi Ali is known as the “home” of pirate Ali, who is thought to have used the cape as a strategic point of attraction during sea battles. Within the cave, you will want to dive into the clear, refreshing waters of an elliptically shaped lake.

Cave of Haxhi Ali (Karaburun)

Cave of Haxhi Ali, Karaburun, Photo Credits: blonde-gypsy.com

Dafina Cave (Karaburun)

A truly unique beach rests within this gorgeous cave! This one is for the hottest summer days where you would like to swim in fresh waters, away from the intense heat of the southern Albanian sun. The waters are as crystal clear as they get and the surrounding scenery mesmerizing. For an idea of what the cave looks like, check out the snorkelers in this video.

Dafina Cave, Karaburun, Photo Credits: Fation Plaku

Brisani Bay

Of the countless untouched beaches of the Karaburun Peninsula, this one is definitely worth adding to your list of destinations. Perfectly exclusive, this wonderful secluded area is perfect for camping and some alone time with the sea and the beauty of nature. Watch this small preview of the turqoise waters of Brisani Bay.

Brisani Bay

Brisani Bay, Karaburun, Source: pinterest.com

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