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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Lately, IntoAlbania has been sharing the charming videos of Ben Washburn, the American young man who stayed in Albania during the pandemic and really enjoyed it. If you haven’t had the chance to meet him, let us have the pleasure of introducing him. He loves so many things about Albania that he has chosen to [...]
Two months have passed since Albania’s total lockdown due to Coronavirus and, with the opening of various businesses and public services in the last few weeks, it is the turn of the leisure and recreational facilities to slowly and cautiously open their doors. Below, a brief overview of some rules and regulations. Every bar and [...]
With the summer touristic season set to officially begin by the beginning of June, it’s time to become familiar with the main things to know before you visit an Albanian beach in the summer. While Minister of Tourism Blendi Klosi has not announced a specific date for the official opening of the summer season, local [...]
Në një shtëpi të moshuarish në Hollandë, ku ndërkohë kanë hunbur jetën 12 të moshuar dhe 40 rezultojnë të infektuar, Cornelia, 107 vjeç, ka fituar betejën me koronavirusin. Sipas mbesës, Cornelia “nuk bindej se ishte e infektuar, nuk kishte shqetësime”. Cornelia Ras, nga Goeree-Overflakkee, një lokalitet i vogël në Hollandën qëndrore deri më sot, është [...]
Imagjinoni këtë skenë: një kishë e boshatisur në ditën e Pashkëve katolike dhe një zë kumbues tenori, ai i Andrea Bocelli-t. Katedralja e Duomos. Foto nga Web Library “Aty ku nuk mbërrijnë dot fjalët, mbërrin muzika”, është një nga shprehjet e shumta që hasim këto ditë në web, në kërkim të shpresës dhe me gjasë, [...]
In the last three days, Albania entered the increasing list of countries affected by the Coronavirus, now officially a pandemic. The country has taken all the necessary precautions and safety measures in this vital hour in order to limit the spreading of the virus. The situation with tourist who find themselves in Albania during this [...]
The recent cases of Coronavirus in Albania have placed it in the map of countries affected by the global virus. Emergency safety measures have been implemented to prevent any further spreading of the virus within the country and outside of its borders. The Civil Aviation Authority, under the order of the Ministry of Infrastructure and [...]
Kruja is the center of some of the country’s most skilled and passionate handmade clothing masters, like Ndriçim Guni, who is devoted to the preservation of Albanian tradition in his workshop in the Kruja Bazaar. The Kruja Bazaar is one of the most famous bazaars in Albania, where the art, culture and history of the [...]
Did you know that the north of Albania houses an exceptional tulip, a rare species among the 114 that exist worldwide? Referred to as the Kukës Tulip, this particular flower is undoubtedly the most unique plant found in this region. Tulipa Albanica (family: Liliaceae), also known as the Albanian tulip, was discovered relatively recently, in [...]