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 desires to see what the hype is all about, few truly know the 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 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 price range, 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 instances by this level, and I’m right here to share every thing I’ve discovered throughout my time within the metropolis, answering all of those questions and extra within the course of.

So, in the event you’re planning on exploring a few of 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 quite a bit to be mentioned concerning the worth of flexibility and spontaneity in the case of an ideal 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 may be 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 great distance, others are simply vacationer traps not with the time of day.

I’m right here that will help you work out the place it’s truly value going.

Where To Stay?

There are some really unbelievable 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 residences within the metropolis heart for simply $40 an evening, however these are normally unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered via acquaintances, so in the event you’re in search of that sort 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, 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 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 the event you’re in search of the traditional membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your finest bets – throughout summer season there’s a celebration occurring 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 in search of only a laid-back evening 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 beneath $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 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 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 beaches,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged in the event you use the sunbeds right here, although the value can 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 could be mentioned for many personal seashores in Saranda), and clearly free.

However, in the event 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 plenty of bang in your buck because the 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’ll be able to lounge round without spending a dime, however these are fairly small and rocky, so ensure that 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 ensure that to price range 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 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 beloved Pasqyra Beach because the 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 picket sunbeds and straw umbrellas, the bottom was pebbly however not uncomfortable, there have been folks there, nevertheless 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 an ideal value to pay for what seems like your individual 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 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 need to miss out on throughout your travels in Saranda embrace 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 take pleasure in one thing past the each day sunbathing periods, 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 contemplate earlier than going to Albania is whether or not it’s really protected.

I’m completely satisfied to report that Saranda is among 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 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 vital (particularly in the event you’re touring alone), nevertheless 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 a couple of additional bucks from guests, so my prime tricks to all the time get truthful costs embrace:

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 trade fee most companies quote foreigners), so all the time use the native foreign money if doable.
  • Stick to greater cash trade locations situated within the metropolis heart, in the event you can take a look at on-line opinions, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, all the time ask different folks or an worker about how a lot they price BEFORE you truly sit down, that means, you can also make an knowledgeable determination 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 companies 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 upset!

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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, accredited or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the publish.

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