Photo: Alexander Waltner.
Ever heard of Saranda? Probably not, it’s one of the upcoming destinations in Europé. In recent years the tourism here has exploded, and more and more people find this hidden gem in Albania. Despite that more tourists are arriving, you will still find a secluded beach to enjoy for yourself. It’s not just Saranda that one could explore, actually the whole Albanian Riviera is absolutely stunning and it’s easy to go on a day trip. In this article, you will find the best tips for day trips to the surrounding villages, at least if you ask the Swedish travel blogger Alien Chris.
Ksamili or Ksamil is the place where most tourists are going. It’s here you will find the paradise beaches that has caught the attention. The Albanians have come here for many years during summer season, and now it’s finally getting discovered by other tourists as well. Ksamil is a small village, but there are plenty of beaches to enjoy. The beaches in Ksamil almost seem to pop up around every corner, so you will never get bored by the same beach. You could also choose if you would like to stay at a more secluded beach, or if you want to spend the day at a more crowded and lively beach. Other than beaches, here’s also plenty of restaurants that serves Albanian dishes along with Italian and Greek dishes. From Saranda, it’s easy to get here, just take the bus and pay 0.20 cents or a cab for about 10 euros.
If you’re more interested in history, you should head to Butrint. This is an ancient city that was founded by Julius Ceasar himself. The ruins of Butrint are well kept, and it’s both fun and cheap to explore the area. Wander around in the ancient amphitheater or take a stroll along the fortress wall and enjoy the views.
Another historic city in Albania, which is about 1,5 hour away from Saranda. It’s easy to get here by a local furgon, which departs every morning from the center in Saranda. The cost is about 3 euros one way. On the top of Gjirokaster stands an ancient castle, which dates back several hundred years.
Dürres is very similar to Saranda and Ksamil. It’s a resort town with beaches and restaurants along the coast. The most amazing about Dürres is the way to get there, though. The way to Dürres is scenic and a little scary, at least if you’re afraid of heights, but it’s well worth it. At the highest point on the road, you will see clouds and the eagles flying below you.