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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.
Every population of the world, even counting the variety in individual personalities, has its quirky characteristics that make it unique. These often comical traits make people nod their heads in approval and laugh out loud. As you think of all the Albanians you have known or will get to know, keep these five things in [...]
The quieter beaches of Albania often get less of the limelight but they are where we find the tranquility and intimacy we crave without sacrificing any beauty or fun. We understand that many of you would like some peace and quiet this summer. That’s why IntoAlbania has traveled from the north of the country to [...]
A new gem has been added to the already beautiful and quickly-expanding chain of services in Petrela, the lovely village right outside the capital of Tirana. Once you visit, you will agree that this place will lend a fresh new flavor to your Saturday, spent pampering yourself with delicious food and fresh air in the [...]
The largest bookstore chain in Albania handpicks the must-reads of summer 2020. Compiling a summer reading list is one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to vacation preparation. Up there with picking the right destination and booking the room with a view, selecting which books to take with you, or upload to your [...]
Vacationing has definitely changed this year so IntoAlbania pitches in to offer some inspiration for a fun and safe summer in the country. All we can think about in the warm summer months is how to best spend them before they end. Some of us may have already planned our vacations while others are more [...]
Its stunning mountains and beautiful landscape guarantee that you will find an amazing variety of plants in Kukës. Besnik Hallaçi, a biologist and the director of the Administration of Protected Areas in Kukës, has selected 10 of the oldest and most unique plants of the area for IntoAlbania. This perennial herbaceous plant, is found in [...]
Entrance nr. 18 on Him Kolli St. in Tirana will be, from now on, not only the newest publishing house for Albanian up-and-coming authors but an ideal workspace where everything is about books. Let’s begin with the name of this new cultural hotspot: Berk. If it sounds a lot like “book,” that’s because it coincidentally [...]
Hailed as the Thailand of Albania, the pristine Shala River and its surroundings are a spectacular summer alternative to the Riviera and other coastline favorites. Known for its clear aquamarine waters, Shala River’s popularity has sky rocketed in the last few years with more locals looking to the north for their summer fun. Perfect for [...]
With the looks and climate of Scandinavian fjords, Lake Koman is a nearly otherworldly retreat, nestled among green-covered hills in the northern part of the country. The north of Albania has been enjoying well-deserved accolades from international and local tourists in the last few years. It is slowly but surely claiming its rightful place at [...]