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 develop into fashionable is that whereas everybody desires to see what the hype is all about, few really know the best way 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 develop into one in every of Europe’s trendiest beachy hotspots this summer time but stays unknown to most individuals.

umbrellas on a beach in ksamil, saranda, albania

The place to go? What to see? What’s price doing? How one can keep protected, on a finances, and sure that you simply’re getting probably the most out of the expertise?

Fortunately for you, I’ve already vacationed in Saranda greater than a dozen instances 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, should you’re planning on exploring among the most beautiful locations on the Albanian Riviera this summer time, that is the one journey information you want.

ksamil coastline, saranda, albania

The Finest Issues To Do And See In Saranda

Whereas there’s loads to be stated in regards to the worth of flexibility and spontaneity relating to a terrific journey expertise, when going someplace as undiscovered (and unpredictable) as Albania, having at the least a faint thought of an itinerary will at all times work in your favor.

saranda from above

In Saranda, nonetheless, you is likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of inns, bars, and eating places that appear to have taken over 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 will help you determine the place it’s really price going.

The place To Keep?

There are some actually implausible inns in Saranda (locations like Resort Bahamas and Santa Quaranta supply excellent value for the $100-something price ticket), however most locals coming to town go for short-term leases as an alternative.

santa quaranta, saranda hotel

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

Alternatively, you possibly can at all times 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 heart hardly ever value greater than $50 an evening.

The place 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

Beneath, I’ll checklist among 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

The place To Go At Night time?

So, you’ve been to the seaside, 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?

Properly, should you’re searching for the traditional membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your greatest bets – throughout summer time there’s a celebration happening each single evening, and except you’re there throughout a very busy time, you received’t want a reservation, both.

people dancing at a nightcub

However, these searching for only a laid-back evening with a very good 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 among the greatest cocktails within the metropolis for beneath $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 time sea breeze – it’s at all times been one of many highlights of my Saranda journeys.

The Finest Seashore In Saranda

The primary seashores you’ll see when you set foot in Saranda are those situated 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 referred to as “public seashores,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged should you use the sunbeds right here, although the worth shall be notably decrease than what you’ll pay in close by non-public seashores – between $4 and $5 for a set of two loungers and an umbrella relying on the month.

With that stated, bringing your individual umbrella and towels/chair is completely acceptable (which is greater than what could be stated for many non-public seashores in Saranda), and clearly free.

Nevertheless, should you’re coming all the way in which to Albania, spending your days on such a sub-par and poorly organized seaside 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 quite a lot of bang to your buck for the reason that seaside 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 certain to weigh out the professionals and cons beforehand.

However whereas that is my favourite seaside inside Saranda, it nonetheless doesn’t maintain a candle to the locations you’ll discover exterior town, so be certain to finances for some day journeys throughout your Albanian summer time getaway. 

ksamil beach

Exploring The Area Past The Predominant Metropolis

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 complete vacation within the metropolis would actually be a waste of alternative.

Let’s begin with seashores since that’s in all probability what you’re right here to see within the first place.

I’ve cherished Pasqyra Seashore for the reason that first day I set foot in it.

pasqyra (mirror) beach, saranda, albania

It was 2013, and this was the primary seaside 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 terrific worth to pay for what appears 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 actual fact, this hidden Albanian gem was named the seaside with the bluest waters in the world, forsaking far better-known locations.

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

For individuals who wish to get pleasure from one thing past the every day sunbathing classes, Syri i Kaltër and Butrint Nationwide Archaeological Park are to not be missed.

Greek Amphitheatre In Butrint, Albania

How To Keep Protected And Keep away from Getting Overcharged

What most vacationers take into account earlier than going to Albania is whether or not it’s actually protected.

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

Even once I walked dwelling 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 means of on my method again.

aerial view of Saranda, Albania

Now, I’m not saying what I did was a good suggestion since regular security precautions are at all times needed (particularly should 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 making an attempt to squeeze a number of additional bucks from guests, so my high tricks to at all times get honest costs embody:

euro currency
  • Whereas the euro has misplaced fairly a little bit of energy to the Albanian Lek these previous few months, 1€ continues to be not equal to 100 Lek (that’s the trade price most companies quote foreigners), so at all times use the native forex if attainable.
  • Stick to greater cash trade locations situated within the metropolis heart, should you can take a look at on-line evaluations, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, at all times ask different folks or an worker about how a lot they value BEFORE you really sit down, that method, you can also make an knowledgeable choice and keep away from any potential confrontations down the road.
  • Solely go to eating places the place the menus have clearly marked-out costs.
  • Solely use respected taxi companies like Saranda Taxi 715 (+355 69 669 0142) and attempt to steer away from random drivers making an attempt to poach vacationers within the streets.

And with that final bit of knowledge, 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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Opinions expressed listed here are the writer’s alone, not these of any financial institution, bank card issuer, resort, airline, or different entity. This content material has not been reviewed, permitted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the publish.

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