Sarandë, Albania Travel Guide: Must-See Sights, Hidden Gems & Local Tips From An Expert

Sarandë, Albania Travel Guide: Must-See Sights, Hidden Gems & Local Tips From An Expert


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The difficult factor about going someplace that’s only recently develop into standard is that whereas everybody needs to see what the hype is all about, few really know how you can 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? Methods to keep secure, on a funds, and sure that you just’re getting probably the most out of the expertise?

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

So, for those who’re planning on exploring a number of 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 quite a bit to be mentioned concerning the worth of flexibility and spontaneity in the case of a terrific journey expertise, when going someplace as undiscovered (and unpredictable) as Albania, having no less than a faint thought of an itinerary will all the time work in your favor.

saranda from above

In Saranda, nonetheless, 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 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 work out the place it’s really price going.

The place To Keep?

There are some actually implausible accommodations in Saranda (locations like Resort Bahamas and Santa Quaranta supply 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 middle for simply $40 an evening, however these are often unlisted on reserving websites and solely discovered by acquaintances, so for those who’re searching for that sort of value or expertise, you’ll wish to attain out to an area or one other traveler who’s been to Saranda; Fb teams are nice for that sort of factor.

Alternatively, you may 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 middle 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 listing a number 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

The place To Go At Evening?

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?

Nicely, for those who’re searching for the traditional membership expertise, Jericho and Vamos are your greatest bets – throughout summer time 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

Then again, these searching for only a laid-back night time 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 a number of 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 may watch the individuals go by and soak up that summer time sea breeze – it’s all the time 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 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 seashores,” however you’ll nonetheless get charged for those who use the sunbeds right here, although the value will likely 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 personal 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.

Nevertheless, for those who’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 a variety of bang on 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 may 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 seashore inside Saranda, it nonetheless doesn’t maintain a candle to the locations you’ll discover outdoors the town, so be certain to funds for some day journeys throughout your Albanian summer time getaway. 

ksamil beach

Exploring The Area Past The Principal 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 liked Pasqyra Seashore 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 individuals 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 value to pay for what looks 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

The truth is, this hidden Albanian gem was named the seashore with the bluest waters in the world, abandoning far better-known locations.

Different seashores you received’t wish to miss out on throughout your travels in Saranda embrace 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 many 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 secure.

I’m pleased to report that Saranda is without doubt 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 by on my approach 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 for those who’re touring alone), however it goes to point out simply how secure and non-threatening the environment is right here.

One danger 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 high tricks to all the time get truthful costs embrace:

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 change fee most companies quote foreigners), so all the time use the native foreign money if attainable.
  • Stick to greater cash change locations positioned within the metropolis middle, for those who can take a look at on-line evaluations, all the higher.
  • When renting a sunbed, all the time ask different individuals or an worker about how a lot they value BEFORE you really sit down, that approach, 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 attempting 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 upset!

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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, accepted or in any other case endorsed by any of the entities included throughout the submit.



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