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 grow to be well-liked is that whereas everybody needs to see what the hype is all about, few really know find out how to get probably the most out of the expertise.

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

umbrellas on a beach in ksamil, saranda, albania

Where to go? What to see? What’s value doing? How to remain protected, on a funds, and sure that you simply’re getting probably the most out of the expertise?

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

So, in case you’re planning on exploring a few of the most beautiful locations on the Albanian Riviera this summer season, that is the one journey information you want.

ksamil coastline, saranda, albania

The Best Things To Do And See In Saranda

While there’s loads to be mentioned in regards to the worth of flexibility and spontaneity in relation to a fantastic journey expertise, when going someplace as undiscovered (and unpredictable) as Albania, having at the least a faint concept of an itinerary will all the time work in your favor.

saranda from above

In Saranda, nevertheless, you is perhaps overwhelmed by the sheer variety of inns, bars, and eating places that appear to have taken over the town, and, as you may’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.

Where To Stay?

There are some actually incredible inns in Saranda (locations like Hotel Bahamas and Santa Quaranta provide excellent value for the $100-something price ticket), however most locals coming to the town go for short-term leases as a substitute.

santa quaranta, saranda hotel

Now, I’ve stayed in lovely flats within the metropolis middle for simply $40 an evening, however these are normally unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered by way of acquaintances, so in case you’re searching for that sort of worth or expertise, you’ll wish to attain out to a neighborhood or one other traveler who’s been to Saranda; Facebook teams are nice for that form of factor.

Alternatively, you possibly can 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 price greater than $50 an evening.

Where 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

Below, I’ll listing a few of 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

Where To Go At Night?

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?

Well, in case you’re searching for the traditional membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your finest bets – throughout summer season there’s a celebration happening each single night time, and except you’re there throughout a very busy time, you received’t want a reservation, both.

people dancing at a nightcub

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

It’s a small, dimly lit place that makes a few of the finest cocktails within the metropolis for below $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 possibly can watch the folks 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 Best Beach In Saranda

The first seashores you’ll see when you set foot in Saranda are those positioned 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 known as “public beaches,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged in case you use the sunbeds right here, although the value shall 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 mentioned, bringing your individual umbrella and towels/chair is completely acceptable (which is greater than what might be mentioned for many personal seashores in Saranda), and clearly free.

However, in case you’re coming all the way in which to Albania, spending your days on such a sub-par and poorly organized seashore is, for my part, 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 lots of bang on your buck for the reason that 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 possibly can lounge round free of charge, however these are fairly small and rocky, so be sure to weigh out the professionals and cons beforehand.

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

ksamil beach

Exploring The Region Beyond The Main City

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 total 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 liked Pasqyra Beach for the reason that 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 wood sunbeds and straw umbrellas, the bottom was pebbly however not uncomfortable, there have been folks there, however it 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 a fantastic worth to pay for what looks 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 reality, this hidden Albanian gem was named the seashore with the bluest waters in the world, abandoning far better-known locations.

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

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

Greek Amphitheatre In Butrint, Albania

How To Stay Safe And Avoid Getting Overcharged

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

I’m completely satisfied to report that Saranda is without doubt one of the most secure locations I’ve vacationed in my life.

Even once I walked house 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 by way of on my manner 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 crucial (particularly in case you’re touring alone), however it goes to point out simply how protected and non-threatening the ambiance is right here.

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

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

euro currency
  • While the euro has misplaced fairly a little bit of energy to the Albanian Lek these previous few months, 1€ remains to be not equal to 100 Lek (that’s the alternate fee most companies quote foreigners), so all the time use the native forex if potential.
  • Stick to greater cash alternate locations positioned within the metropolis middle, in case you can take a look at on-line critiques, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, all the time ask different folks or an worker about how a lot they price BEFORE you really sit down, that manner, you can also make an knowledgeable resolution and keep away from any potential confrontations down the road.
  • Only go to eating places the place the menus have clearly marked-out costs.
  • Only use respected taxi providers like Saranda Taxi 715 (+355 69 669 0142) and attempt to steer away from random drivers attempting to poach vacationers within the streets.

And with that final bit of data, 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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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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

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