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 tough factor about going someplace that’s only in the near past develop into in style is that whereas everybody desires to see what the hype is all about, few truly know the right way to get essentially 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 among 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 secure, on a finances, and sure that you just’re getting essentially 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 the whole lot I’ve realized throughout my time within the metropolis, answering all of those questions and extra within the course of.

So, if you happen to’re planning on exploring among the most attractive 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 lots to be mentioned concerning the worth of flexibility and spontaneity in relation to an awesome journey expertise, when going someplace as undiscovered (and unpredictable) as Albania, having at the very least a faint thought of an itinerary will all the time work in your favor.

saranda from above

In Saranda, nevertheless, you could be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of accommodations, 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 great distance, others are simply vacationer traps not with the time of day.

I’m right here that can assist you determine the place it’s truly value going.

Where To Stay?

There are some actually incredible accommodations 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 an alternative.

santa quaranta, saranda hotel

Now, I’ve stayed in stunning residences within the metropolis heart for simply $40 an evening, however these are often unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered by means of acquaintances, so if you happen to’re searching for that kind of value or expertise, you’ll need 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’ll be able to all the time e book Airbnbs, which, typically 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.

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 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

Where To Go At Night?

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?

Well, if you happen to’re searching for the traditional membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your greatest bets – throughout summer season there’s a celebration happening each single evening, and until 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 evening with an excellent drink of their hand can head over to one among 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 below $10.

The music is nice however not so loud which you could’t hear your self speaking, and it’s proper on the principle promenade so you’ll be able to watch the individuals 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 referred to as “public beaches,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged if you happen to use the sunbeds right here, although the value might 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 personal 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, if you happen to’re coming all the best way to Albania, spending your days on such a sub-par and poorly organized seaside is, in my view, 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 below are a bit pricier, ranging between $15-$20 a day, however you’ll get loads of bang in 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’ll be able to lounge round without spending a dime, however these are fairly small and rocky, so be certain that to weigh out the professionals and cons beforehand.

But whereas that is my favourite seaside inside Saranda, it nonetheless doesn’t maintain a candle to the locations you’ll discover outdoors the town, so be certain that to finances 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 whole vacation within the metropolis would actually 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 beloved 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 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 individuals there, but it surely 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 an awesome value to pay for what seems like your personal tropical paradise.

Granted, that value has gone as much as ~$20 now, however not a lot else has modified.

people in pasqyra (mirror) beach, saranda, albania

In truth, this hidden Albanian gem was named the seaside with the bluest waters in the world, forsaking far better-known locations.

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

For those that need to get pleasure from one thing past the every 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 take into account earlier than going to Albania is whether or not it’s actually secure.

I’m blissful to report that Saranda is among 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 means of on my means 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 obligatory (particularly if you happen to’re touring alone), but it surely goes to point out simply how secure and non-threatening the environment is right here.

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

Locals are infamous for attempting to squeeze a couple of additional bucks from guests, so my prime tricks to all the time get honest costs embrace:

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 foreign money if attainable.
  • Stick to greater cash alternate locations positioned within the metropolis heart, if you happen to can take a look at on-line critiques, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, all the time ask different individuals or an worker about how a lot they value BEFORE you truly sit down, that means, you may make an knowledgeable choice 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 disillusioned!

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

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