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 in the near past develop into well-liked is that whereas everybody needs to see what the hype is all about, few truly 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 considered one of Europe’s trendiest beachy hotspots this summer time 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 just’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 all the things 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 attractive locations on the Albanian Riviera this summer time, 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 concerning the worth of flexibility and spontaneity on the subject of an incredible 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, nevertheless, you could be overwhelmed by the sheer variety of lodges, bars, and eating places that appear to have taken over town, and, as you would possibly’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 determine the place it’s truly value going.

Where To Stay?

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

santa quaranta, saranda hotel

Now, I’ve stayed in stunning residences within the metropolis heart for simply $40 an evening, however these are normally unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered via acquaintances, so should you’re on the lookout for that sort of worth 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 may at all times guide 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 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 record 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 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, should you’re on the lookout for the basic membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your finest bets – throughout summer time there’s a celebration happening each single night time, and until you’re there throughout a very busy time, you gained’t want a reservation, both.

people dancing at a nightcub

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

It’s a small, dimly lit place that makes among the finest cocktails within the metropolis for below $10.

The music is nice however not so loud you can’t hear your self speaking, and it’s proper on the primary promenade so you may watch the folks go by and absorb that summer time sea breeze – it’s at all times 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 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 mentioned, bringing your individual umbrella and towels/chair is completely acceptable (which is greater than what may be mentioned for many non-public seashores in Saranda), and clearly free.

However, should you’re coming all the best way to Albania, spending your days on such a sub-par and poorly organized seashore 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 here are a bit pricier, ranging between $15-$20 a day, however you’ll get loads of bang in 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 may lounge round at no cost, however these are fairly small and rocky, so make certain 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 exterior town, so make certain to funds for some day journeys throughout your Albanian summer time 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 truthfully 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 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, 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 incredible 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, forsaking far better-known locations.

Other seashores you gained’t need to miss out on throughout your travels in Saranda embody Ksamil, Livadi, and Jala, however I’d advise towards going to Dhërmi – it really 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 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 really protected.

I’m comfortable to report that Saranda is likely one of the most secure locations I’ve vacationed in my life.

Even once I walked residence 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 via 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 at all times mandatory (particularly should you’re touring alone), but it surely 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
  • While 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 alternate price most companies quote foreigners), so at all times use the native foreign money if potential.
  • Stick to greater cash alternate locations positioned within the metropolis heart, should you can try on-line evaluations, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, at all times ask different folks or an worker about how a lot they price BEFORE you truly sit down, that manner, 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 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 gained’t be upset!

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Opinions expressed listed here 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, accepted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the publish.

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