Albania’s Hidden Gems, the 21 best places only locals know!
Albania is still an unknown tourist destination in Europe, so there are many hidden gems in Albania, that tourists & locals do not know about. I have travelled to Albania many times, and the places that intrigue me the most, are those little hidden gems. Let me introduce you to Albania’s secret spots!
The Cape of Rodon
The cape of Rodon is a beautiful rocky peninsula, that points into the sea. The rocky cape is a touristic sight, because of the beautiful nature. Along the sea, you can see the ruins of a castle built by Skanderbeg. He was the national hero of Albania, who fought against the Turkish Ottoman troops.
Why is the Cape of Rodon a hidden gem in Albania?
Although, the Cape of Rodon is only 1 hour and 15 minutes away from the capital city Tirana, there are many locals that do not know about this hidden spot. Moreover, the beauty of the Cape of Rodon is its nature. It is completely unspoiled and pure. You can look out over the cape into the sea, without a single other person present.
How to get to the Cape of Rodon?
You can get to the Cape of Rodon by car or by taxi from Tirana. The cape is to the North of the coastal city Durres. To get to the cape, you must drive along the motorway from Tirana to Durres. However, before you reach Durres, you need to get of the motorway at the Maminas village. Drive along the road through the Maminas village, pass by the Bay of Lalzit, the cape is at the end of the road. It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes by car to drive from Tirana to the Cape of Rodon.
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The Blue Eye of Theth
The Blue Eye of Theth is a beautiful mountain pool in the Albanian Alps. The North of Albania is known for it beautiful nature and stunning mountain range. Adventurous can travel to the remote mountain village of Theth. From the Theth village, you can hike to the Blue Eye of Theth.
Why is the Blue Eye of Theth a hidden gem in Albania?
The Blue Eye Theth is an emerald green pool, which is surrounded by cliffs. A little waterfall fills the pool with ice-cold mountain water. The Blue Eye of Theth is a hidden gem, because of its natural beauty. It is a very photogenic location and something truly unique to Albania.
How to get to the Blue Eye of Theth?
The Blue Eye of Theth is not an easy location to reach. From the capital city Tirana, you need to travel 2 hours to the North to reach Shkodra city. Then from Shkodra, it takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to drive to the mountain village of Theth.
After your trip to Theth, stay overnight in a guest house in the mountains. And the next morning hike from Theth to the Blue Eye, which takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes. If you do not want to hike all the way. You can book a taxi to the Nderlysaj village and hike only 40 minutes to the Blue Eye of Theth.
Rana e Hedhun beach
Rana e Hedhun is a stunning beach in the North of Albania. There is a large sand dune, that runs from the mountain into the sea. You can climb to the top of the sand dune and slide down the hill toward the sea. It is a stunning beach with calming waves that crash to the shore.
Why is Rana e Hedhun beach a hidden gem in Albania?
Many tourists travel to the beaches in the south of Albania, along the Albanian Riviera. Therefore, the beautiful beach of Rana e Hedhun is like a virgin beach. What makes Rana e Hedhun unique is the large sand dune that leads into the sea. Furthermore, Rana e Hedhun is an 8 kilometre long beach, so great for a lazy walk along the sea.
How to get to Rana e Hedhun beach?
Rana e Hedhun beach is about 70 kilometres to the north of Tirana. The beach is close to the coastal city Shengjin. From Tirana, you need to drive to the north in the direction of Lezhe city and Shengjin beach. Once you reach the beach city Shengjin, you need to drive 3-4 kilometres further to reach Rana e Hedhun. You can only reach Rana e Hedhun by car or by taxi.
If you are staying in Tirana, and you are looking for fantastic beaches nearby, check out my full guide!
Bunk Art 1 Museum
Bunk Art 1 is a bunker museum in the capital city Tirana. The museum explains the communism history of Albania. Until 1992, Albania was ruled by a cruel communist dictator, called Enver Hoxha. Enver Hoxha isolated Albania from the rest of the world and was paranoid about a foreign nuclear attack on Albania. Therefore, he constructed 750.000 bunkers all over the country to protect the population. There was never any foreign attack, the communism ended and the bunkers were never used.
Why is Bunk Art 1 a hidden gem in Albania?
At the Bunk Art Museum, you can walk through a massive bunker. Each of the rooms in the bunker explain some of Albania’s history. You enter through a massive concrete door. And enter a room, where you can wash the nuclear waste of your clothing. Moreover, there is the dictator’s room, a display about the borders that isolated the country and much more.
Bunk Art is a hidden gem, because it really takes you into a bunker, you feel the history around you. It does not only explain you the history, it takes you inside the history of Albania. It is a little creepy, but that is part of what makes it so impressive. Are you ready to enter this creepy bunker museum, then check out my full guide here!
How to get to the Bunk Art 1 Museum?
The Bunk Art 1 Museum is in Tirana. The museum is about 20 minutes from the city centre. You can take a bus from Skanderbeg Square in the centre of Tirana. The bus leaves from outside the Palace of Culture on Skanderbeg Square. Take the bus in the direction of Lezha and ask the drive to let you out at Bunk Art.
The Bunk Art Museum is very close to the Dajti Cable Car, so you can combine the two attractions in a day. Spend the morning at the bunker museum and in the afternoon take the cable car up the mountain to enjoy the amazing view over Tirana.
Dajti Ekspres Cable Car
One of the best things to do in Tirana is to take the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car. From the centre of Tirana, you must travel to the foot of the Dajti mountain. Buy a ticket at the lower station, and get on the cable car. It costs 800 lek (6.50 euro) for a return ticket.
Why is the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car a hidden gem in Albania?
The journey with the cable car is a unique experience. From the cable car, you have a breathtaking view. Below the cable car, you will see the impressive cliffs, the three tops of the pine trees, mountain cabins and little farms. More in the distance, you will see Tirana city. The 15 minute journey is very relaxing, you will be quiet just staring at the stunning views.
Moreover, when you get to the top station. You can have lunch in the restaurant on the top of the cliff. The restaurant has a traditional wooden décor, a lovely wine collection and impressive views of Tirana city and the Adriatic Sea in the distance. Furthermore, you can undertake some outdoor activities, like horse riding and target shooting.
How to get to the Dajti Ekspres Cable Car ?
You can get to the Dajti Ekspres Cable car by bus or by taxi. If you want to travel by bus, you can get on the bus at the clock tower on Skanderbeg Square in the city centre. The bus is blue coloured and its direction is Porcelan.
The bus departs every 5-10 minutes depending on the time of day. And it operates between 5:30 am and 24:00 pm. However, bear in mind that the cable car is open from 9:00 am until 22:00 pm, with its last entry at 21:00pm. The bus stops at its final station, which is “Teleferiku”. From Teleferiku bus station, you must walk 5 minutes uphill to the lower station of the Dajti Ekspress. A bus ticket costs 40 lek (0.30 Euro) for a one-way trip.
You can also take a taxi to the Dajti Express Cable Car. Simply flag down a yellow cab in the city centre. The price varies between 700 – 1000 lek (6 – 9 Euro) for a one-way trip. Either ask the driver to switch on the meter or negotiate the price before getting in.
Mirror Beach Albania
Mirror Beach is one of the hidden beaches of Albania. The most beautiful beaches of Albania are in the Albanian Riviera. The coastline between Vlore and Saranda has many pretty beaches. However, some of the larger places, like Saranda city, can be busy in July and August. Therefore, a hidden beach, like Mirror Beach, is the perfect place.
Why is Mirror Beach a hidden gem in Albania?
Mirror beach is a little beach between Saranda and Ksamil in the south of Albania. You walk down the hill and see a beach completely surrounded by cliffs. There is perfect blue water and an endless view to the ocean. Mirror beach is very pretty, the sun reflects on the water of the sea and makes it look like a gigantic mirror. It is one of those hidden coves, where you can forget about the rest of the world and just enjoy the moment.
How to get to Mirror Beach in Albania?
You can get to Mirror Beach by bus or by taxi. From Saranda city, you can take the bus to Butrint and ask the bus driver to stop at Mirror Beach (in Albanian: Pasqyra beach). Alternatively, you can take a taxi. For a round trip from Saranda to Mirror beach, you will be charged 20 euros.
The Blue Eye Albania
The Blue Eye Albania is a natural spring with a magical blue colour. Because of its extremely bright colour and its beauty, the spring has become a touristic attraction in Albania. The spring is near Saranda in the south of Albania.
Why is the Blue Eye a hidden gem in Albania?
The Blue Eye of Albania is a hidden gem, because it is such a beautiful place in nature. The Lonely Planet describes the Blue Eye as “magical and hypnotic”. And Atlas Obscura calls it “breath-taking and mesmerizing”.
The Blue Eye is an underwater spring. The spring pumps water from an underwater cave to the surface with an enormous pressure. It is a mystery, how deep the Blue Eye spring really is. Because divers have not been able to reach the bottom of the spring.
The blue pool looks like a human eye. The black underwater cave is the pupil of the eye. And the bright blue water is the iris of the human eye. You have to see this place for yourself. Because the Blue Eye is something truly unique to Albania. Click here for my full guide on the magical Blue Eye of Albania!
How to get to Blue Eye in Albania?
You can get to the Blue Eye from the coastal city Saranda by bus, by taxi or by car. There is no special bus for the Blue Eye spring. Instead, you can take the bus from Saranda to Gjirokastra and ask the bus driver to stop at the Blue Eye (in Albanian: Syri i Kalter). The bus departs from Saranda’s city centre next to the ruins. And it takes 30 minutes to reach the Blue Eye.
By taxi, you can expect to pay around €30.00 for a round trip from Saranda to the Blue Eye (and back). The taxi driver will wait for 2 hours at the Blue Eye spring, so that you can explore the location.
Visit the Ksamil islands
Ksamil beach is the most beautiful beach in Albania. It has perfect white sand, turquoise blue water and it is set on a little peninsula. However, the most idyllic part of Ksamil are the four little islands in front of the beach. From the main beach, you can swim to the nearest island. Or you can rent a kayak to peddle to the further islands.
Why are the Ksamil islands a hidden gem in Albania?
You know that saying about: “what would you take with you to an uninhabited island?” Well, if you visit the Ksamil islands on your itinerary, you can actually make visiting an uninhabited island a reality. Although the main beach of Ksamil is popular, you can avoid the busyness by visiting the little islands. Forget the rest of the world and disappear for a day. And the most beautiful part is watching the sun go down from the islands, so be sure to plan for that as well.
How to get to the Ksamil islands in Albania?
The nearest airport to Ksamil beach and its islands, is Corfu airport. Corfu is a Greek island, which is located right in front of the Albanian coast. From Corfu island, you can take a ferry boat to Albania. The ferry boat trip takes between 30 – 70 minutes. The ferry arrives in the large coastal city Saranda. From there, you can take a 10-minute taxi trip or a 30-minute bus ride to Ksamil beach and the Ksamil islands.
Porto Palermo Castle
Right in the middle of the Albanian Riviera, you can visit the Bay of Porto Palermo. If you drive along the coastal road between Vlora and Saranda, you will be very impressed by the Bay of Porto Palermo. It is a massive deep-blue bay. In the middle of the bay there is a little peninsula with the Castle of Porto Palermo. Many guide books say the castle was built by the local governor Ali Pasha of Tepelena, but it was actually built by the Venetians.
Why is Porto Palermo Castle a hidden gem in Albania?
The Huffington Post called Porto Palermo one of the top 15 undiscovered European destinations. The castle is pitch dark inside, because it does not have windows or a courtyard. However, you can climb on the top of the castle, which gives you a stunning view across the Bay. It is not crowded, so you can explore the castle by yourself. It is really one of the hidden gems, because it is underrated, but very memorable to visit.
How to get to the Porto Palermo Castle in Albania?
The bay of Porto Palermo and the castle are easily visited by car. If you drive along the coastal from Vlora to Saranda, you can park the car and make an hour long stop at the castle. Alternatively, you can take public transportation to Himare and stay in the beach village overnight. The Bay of Porto Palermo is close to Himare, so you can take a taxi from the village.
The castle of Preza is almost never mentioned on blogs and in travel guides about Albania, but it is an absolute hidden gem. Preza is a little village on a hill close to the capital city Tirana. The castle of Preza is on the top of the hill. The castle itself is mostly in ruins, only a part of the walls remain. However, from the top of the hill, you have the most amazing panoramic view.
Why is Preza Castle a hidden gem in Albania?
The castle of Preza has an impressive panoramic view of the surrounding area. From the parking area, you can see the hillside city of Kruja and Tirana city in the far distance. Then when you walk inside the castle, you can see mountains, hill top houses and a glittering lake. Preza castle is one of Albania’s best kept secrets. It is only known to the locals, so it is always quiet. Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or a soft drink in the café on side and just enjoy the amazing views.
How to get to Preza Castle in Albania?
Preze castle can be visited by car or by taxi from Tirana. The village of Preza is located close to the highway between Tirana and Durres. If you drive from Tirana in the direction of Durres, you need to get off the highway at Vora. If you travel by taxi from Tirana to Preza it will cost roughly 20 euros for a one-way trip.
Lake Koman ferry
One of the highlights of Albania is the Lake Koman ferry. From the city Shkodra, you can take a minibus to the lake Koman ferry port. There is a daily ferry boat that travels in roughly 3 hours from Koman to Fierze. Interestingly enough, you do not take the ferry boat to get to Fierze. But rather, you get on the ferry boat to enjoy the beautiful journey. The ferry journey itself is the attraction.
Why is the Lake Koman Ferry a hidden gem in Albania?
Bradt Travel Guide ranked the Lake Koman ferry as “one of the world’s great boat trips”. The ferry sails over the beautiful Lake Koman. The water is blue-green and very clear in colour. The lake is surrounded by many mountains and hills. The boat sails by the endless mountains and cliffs. It is absolutely stunning and a touristic highlight.
How to get to the Lake Koman Ferry in Albania?
From the capital city Tirana, you must drive two hours to the city Shkodra in the North of Albania. You can travel to Shkodra by minibus, by taxi or with a rental car. From Shkodra, you can take a minibus or a taxi to the lake Koman ferry port. It takes another 2 hours to reach the ferry port. And there you can get on the ferry.
You can either take the ferry boat for a one-way trip to Fierza and take another minibus to the mountain village Valbona. Or you can take a return trip and travel back to Shkodra. You must wake up early to get on the ferry boat, because it departs at 9 am in the morning.
If you visit the coastal city of Vlore, you should make a stop at Zvernec island. Zvernec island is a tiny island, that is connected to the mainland via a 100 metre wooden bridge. When you cross the bridge, you can visit the little monastery on the island. The little monastery dates back to the 13th-14th century. The remainder of the island is completely covered in pine trees.
Why is Zvernec island a hidden gem in Albania?
Zvernec island is a very picturesque location. From the coastline, you can make stunning pictures of the bridge, the water and the island in the distance. If you are travelling along the Albanian Riviera, you can make a 30-60 minute stop at this location. Walk across the bridge and visit the little monastery. Have some food and drinks, and continue onwards with your journey.
How to get to Zvernec island in Albania?
Zvernec island is only 14 kilometres away from the coastal city Vlore. You can travel to Zvernec by car or by taxi from the city. There is signage in the city Vlore, that indicates the street for Zvernec island. Keep following the road for about 20 minutes until you see the island.
Venice Art Mask Factory
In the North Albanian city of Shkoder, you can visit the Venice Art Mask Factory. At the art factory, you can see a collection of Venetian Art Masks. The masks are designed by Edmond Angoni. Mr. Angoni is originally from Albania, but he spend a long time abroad in Venice. The factory supplies eight mask shops in Venice and one in Las Vegas.
Why is the Venice Art Mask Factory a hidden gem in Albania?
At the Venice Art Mask Factory, you can see a very diverse range of masks. Each of the masks is a unique piece of art. When Edmond Angoni is asked how long it takes to complete a mask, he says: “It takes me 20 years”. Which is a joke of course, but it took him long years of hard work and experience to get to perfect his art.
At the Venice Art Mask Factory, you can see more than 1700 models of masks at the factory. The factory produces 30.000 masks a year. There is also a little tour about the mask production process.
How to get to the Venice Art Mask Factory in Albania?
The Venice Art Mask Factory is about 2 kilometres away from the centre of Shkoder. If you are travelling from the capital city Tirana, it will take you roughly 2 hours to get to Shkoder. You can walk from the city centre to the Venice Art Mask Factory in about 20 minutes. Or you can take a 5 minute taxi ride. Biking is also very popular in Shkoder, so renting a bike is a good option to explore the city.
The Llogara Pass
The Llogara Pass is the highest point on the coastal road between Vlore and Saranda. This coastal road is a very popular destination for tourists, because it leads by all the beautiful beaches of the Albanian Riviera. When you drive from Vlore city to the south, you will pass over the 1027 metre high Llogara Pass. You can stop at the highest point and have a beautiful view.
Why is the Llogara Pass a hidden gem in Albania?
The Llogara Pass has the most amazing view of the Ionian Sea. From the pass, you look down towards the beaches of the Albanian Riviera. You will see the beach villages of Palase and Dhermi right below the pass.
Moreover, you can see the endless blue Ionian Sea until the horizon. There is a lovely restaurant with a parking place at the top of the Llogara Pass, make a stop for some pictures and lunch, before travelling further to the south of Albania.
How to get to the Llogara Pass in Albania?
The Llogara Pass is the highest point on the coastal road. So you can only reach it by car, by bus or by taxi. If you plan on travelling to the Albanian Riviera, it is best to rent a car. With a rental car, you have the freedom to stop at the Llogara Pass and many of the beaches along the coastal road.
Of course, it is also possible to travel by minibus. You can take a bus from the Dogana roundabout in Tirana to Vlore. Then, stay the night in Vlore and the next day take a bus from Vlore to Himare, which passes over the Llogara Pass.
Mussel Tour in Ksamil
One of the best things to do in south of Albania is taking a Mussel Tour. The area near Ksamil and Butrint is famous for its mussels. The mussel tour departs from the Ksamil village. You will get on a traditional boat, which takes you to the mussel beds. You will be shown how mussels are cultivated, collected and cleaned.
Why is a mussel tour a hidden gem in Albania?
A mussel tour is a unique experience. You will get on board a traditional boat and you can enjoy the views of the sea and shores. Then, you will see a mussel bed and learn about the mussel cultivation. And finally, you will go to the shore and the mussels will be cooked for you! You can try two kinds of mussel dishes, in combination with locally produced white wine and homemade bread.
How to get to the Mussel Tour in Ksamil, Albania?
The mussel tour departs from the Ksamil village. You can walk or take a taxi to the departure point. A google map to the departure point can be found here: location
If you are staying in Saranda, you can travel to the Ksamil village by bus or by taxi. A bus trip will take you about 30 minutes and it costs only 100 LEK (less than 1 euro). By taxi, it will cost you around 10 euros to travel from Saranda to Ksamil. It takes only 10 minutes to travel from Saranda to Ksamil by taxi.
Benja thermal springs
If you enjoy going to the spa, you will really enjoy the Thermal Springs of Benja. There are natural hot springs in the south of Albania near the village Permet. The naturally warm water flows down the river and is diverted into some man-made pools. The temperature of the water is 29 – 30 degrees Celsius year-round. Moreover, the water is said the have healing capacities, it allegedly cures rheumatic, skin and kidney issues.
Why are the Thermal springs of Benja a hidden gem in Albania?
The Thermal springs of Benja are still off-the-beaten path, so you won’t see many tourists at this place. It is lovely and very relaxing to sit in the pool and soak up the heat. Moreover, the hot pools are set in a beautiful environment. There is a bright blue river that runs towards the pools.
Moreover, an original medieval bridge that dates back to the Ottoman period crosses over the river. In the distance, you can see the impressive mountains and the landscape. And some little waterfalls rush along the river.
How to get to the Thermal springs of Benja in Albania?
The Thermal springs of Benja are located 13 kilometres from the village of Permet in the south of Albania. So you can either drive by car from the nearby village. There is a parking on site which costs 200 LEK. Moreover, it is also possible to hike to the hot springs from Permet.
Culture in Shkoder city
The city Shkoder (or Shkodra) is one of the largest and most interesting cities in the North of Albania. The city is known for its cultural heritage. In the past many famous artists, musicians, painters, singers, photographers and poets lived in the city. So it is the cultural capital of Albania. Moreover, the city has many historical buildings, so it is a very pretty place to visit.
Why is Shkoder city a hidden gem in Albania?
Shkoder is a very artsy, hip and vibrant place to visit. However, it is not mentioned in many of the blogs and travel guides. So many travellers do not know about this amazing cultural city.
One of the best things to do is to go to the large boulevard in the centre of Shkoder. The promenade has a very Italian feel. The boulevard was designed by Kole Idromeno, who studied in Venice and mixed the Italian-style design with the traditional elements of Shkoder. Have a seat on one of the terraces on the boulevard and simply enjoy a relaxing afternoon in beautiful place. Or visit the Marubi Photography Gallery which displays a history of Albanian photographs.
How to get to Shkoder in Albania?
It is very easy to travel from the capital city Tirana to Shkoder city. To reach Shkoder, you need to drive 2 hours from Tirana via Lezha to Shkoder. You can also travel by bus to Shkoder. A bus ticket costs 400 LEK (3.20 euro) for a one-way trip. The bus departs from the Dritan Hoxha Street, which is close to the Ring Shopping Centre in Tirana.
Gjipe Beach is the most hidden beach in Albania. The beach at Gjipe is completely enclosed by cliffs. Therefore, the beach is quite difficult to reach. As a result, the beach is very private and hidden. The beach is everything you would expect from a perfect beach, like perfect white sand and turquoise blue water.
Why is Gjipe Beach a hidden gem in Albania?
Gjipe beach is a hidden gem, because visiting the beach feels like visiting a deserted island. Since the beach is completely enclosed by cliffs, it can only be reached by boat or by a 35 minute walk. So you will most likely have the beach completely to yourself!
Moreover, the beach is completely natural. There are massive white cliffs around the beach. And there are little caves around the beach and in the sea. So, you can swim into the caves and explore the wild! Be sure to bring some supplies, like water, food and sunscreen with you though, because there are no facilities here.
How to get to Gjipe beach in Albania?
The best way to get to Gjipe is by boat or by kayak from the nearby Jale beach. Moreover, it is also a very pretty route. From the kayak or boat, you will have a beautiful view of the coast.
Alternatively, you can travel to Gjipe by car and walk the last part. The paved road finishes before the beach, so you will park the car and walk around 35 minutes along a trail to the beach. If you are looking for an active day, you can hike a trail from Vuno, Himare, Jale or Dhermi beach.
Nurellari Winery in Berat
Nurellari is a family-run winery near Berat. You can visit the winery for a tour of the vineyard. During the tour, they explain you about the wine making and the family business. Afterwards, you can sample some of the products during a wine tasting. You can sample the wines, raki, olives, olive oil, homemade jam and some cheese.
Why is the Nurellari Winery a hidden gem in Albania?
The Nurellari Winery is a family business. So the tour of the winery has a very genuine feel. The family members lead you around themselves and tell their story. The wine tasting is very authentic. The wines are lovely. And you get to try olives and olive oil from the yard. And some homemade products like cherry jam. The Nurellari Winery is a hidden gem, because it is an authentic, small, family-owned and genuine experience.
How to get to the Nurellari Winery in Albania?
The Nurellari Winery is located 10 kilometres from Berat. So you can drive or taka a taxi for about 30 minutes. Some of the taxi drivers are willing to wait at the premises, to take you back to the city afterwards.
The Karaburun Peninsula is a rocky peninsula, that points into the Adriatic Sea. Alongside the peninsula there are hidden beaches, which can only be reached by boat or by a long hike. The peninsula is located between Vlore and Dhermi, so you can take a boat trip from either side.
Why is the Karaburun Peninsula a hidden gem in Albania?
The Karaburun Peninsula has hidden, pristine beaches. Moreover, some of the beaches and caves have a mysterious history.
You can take a boat from Vlore harbour to explore the Haxhi Ali Cave and some beaches on the eastern side of the peninsula. The Haxhi Ali Cave is a massive cave, which can hold several speedboats at the time. In the past, this mysterious cave was used by pirates to seek shelter and hide.
Or you can take a boat from the Dhermi Village to visit the other side of the peninsula. From Dheremi, you can visit the Blue Cave and Gramata Bay. Gramata Bay is the highlight of the peninsula.
Gramata Bay means “the bay of scriptures”. The sea water can be rough around the Karaburun Peninsula. And Gramata Bay is one of the few places, which offered ships shelter from the rough sea. Therefore, many sailors carved inscriptions and symbols in the rocks of the bay, to thank their god for the shelter of the bay. Some of the scriptures were written by the ancient Greeks.
How to get to the Karaburun Peninsula in Albania?
The best way to get to the Karaburun Peninsula is by boat. A boat trip from Vlore to the Haxhi Ali Cave and a few beaches on the eastern side costs 2500 LEK (20 euros) per person. A boat trip from Dhermi to Gramata Bay and the Blue Cave costs 150 euros for 6-7 persons. By foot, it will take six hours to reach the beaches of the Karaburun Peninsula.
Butrint UNESCO sight
Butrint is a very impressive UNESCO heritage site and the best historical place to visit in Albania. In the 6th century BC, the Greeks from Corfu built a trading city on the hill of Butrint. Then in 167 BC, the Romans ruled the city and expanded it further. And finally, the Byzantines turned it into a centre with Christian churches and buildings. The city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages.
Why is Butrint a hidden gem in Albania?
Butrint is worth travelling a long way for, because it is such a spectacular UNESCO sight. You can explore the ruins, which represent each period of the cities history. Moreover, Butrint has a very romantic and idyllic setting.
The archaeological ruins are surrounded by beautiful plans. Moreover, the ruins are set on a hillside, which is surrounded by water from Lake Butrint and the Vivari Channel.
In other words, even if you are not that into history, you will still really enjoy the beauty and nature of this fantastic sight. It really feels like a sanctuary!
How to get to Butrint in Albania?
You can get to Butrint by car, by bus or by taxi from Saranda. Butrint is about 18 kilometres to the south of Saranda. By car, you can simply follow the signage from the city Saranda. By bus, it takes about 20 minutes to get to Butrint. The bus ticket costs only 100 LEK and it departs from outside the ZIT Information Centre every hour. A taxi from Saranda to Butrint costs 1400 LEK (10 Euros) for a one-way trip.
Kepi Rodonit | Granit Temaj | WikiCommons
Tethi Blue Eye | Ivan Koev | WikiCommons
Trip & Travel Blog, Shengjin, Albania | Tom Perdhiku | Flickr
Tirana, Bunkart 1 | Philippe Hemmel | Flickr
Plazhi “Pasqyrat” Sarande | Kristian’s Werkstatt | Youtube
Syri i Kalter | Timon 91 | Flickr
IMGP4151 Ksamil – Albania | Artur Malinowski | Flickr
Porto Palermo, Albanian Riviera | Mario Gjashta | WikiCommons
The monastery of Zvernec | Flladina Zilja | WikiCommons
Benje Permet | Albinfo | WikiCommons
Street in Shkoder | NH53 | Flickr
Gjiri Grames. Karaburun | Fation Plaku | WikiCommons