How to get to Ksamil Albania?
Ksamil beach is simply the most beautiful beach in Albania. The Albanian Riviera has many lovely beaches. But Ksamil is a paradise with little islands. So, how do you get to Ksamil Albania? I did some research and decided to turn it into a helpful blogpost.
How to get to Ksamil Albania? You can get to Ksamil beach by flying to Tirana airport or to Corfu airport. From Tirana airport, it takes 5.5 hours to travel by bus, taxi or car to Ksamil. If you fly to Corfu airport, you can take a 30 – 70 min ferry boat to Albania. From the port, it takes 10-30 min by bus or by taxi to Ksamil.
Ksamil beach is the highlight of the Albanian Riviera in the south of Albania. But it is not that easy to get to Ksamil beach. There are no train connections. And the airport in Tirana is not close to the beach. So let’s explore the best ways to get to Ksamil beach.
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What airport should you fly to, if you want to go to Ksamil, Albania?
To get to Ksamil beach in Albania, you can fly to two airports:
1. Tirana International Airport
2. Corfu airport
Whether it is better for you to fly to Tirana airport or Corfu airport, depends on your travel plans. Below, I will discuss both airports and the route to Ksamil beach.
Should I fly to Tirana airport, if you want to go to Ksamil, Albania?
Tirana airport is the only airport in Albania. However, it is not that conveniently located, if you want to visit Ksamil. Because the airport is in the center of Albania, whereas Ksamil beach is in the ultimate south of Albania.
It takes 5 hours and 30 minutes to travel from Tirana to Ksamil. Because Tirana airport and Ksamil beach are not close to each other. So after your airplane lands at Tirana airport, you need to spend 5,5 hours in a car, bus or taxi to get to your destination in the south of Albania.
- Tirana airport is quite far from Ksamil beach
So, if you only want to visit Ksamil, it is better to fly to Corfu airport instead.
- There are many touristic attractions and beautiful sights between Tirana airport and Ksamil beach.
- Make a round-trip through Albania. If you take a few day to travel from Tirana to the south, you can visit many beautiful places on your way to Ksamil.
Should I fly to Corfu airport, if you want to go to Ksamil, Albania?
Corfu airport is located on Corfu island. Corfu island is a Greek island, but it is very close to the Albanian coast. Geographically, Ksamil beach is very close to Corfu island. If you stand on the beach in Ksamil, you can actually see Corfu island across the sea.
It takes between 1-2 hours to travel from Corfu airport to Ksamil. Firstly, you travel from Corfu airport to the Ferry Port of Corfu, which takes 10-20 minutes. Then, you take the ferry boat from Corfu to Saranda, which takes 30 – 70 minutes. And finally, you take a bus or a taxi to Ksamil beach, which takes between 10 – 30 minutes.
- There are many budget airlines that fly to Corfu. Therefore, your flight ticket might be cheap.
- The trip from Corfu airport to Ksamil beach is shorter, it takes around 1-2 hours. Whereas travelling from Tirana airport to Ksamil takes 5,5 hours.
- The ferry boat trip from Corfu to Albania is very enjoyable.
- You need to switch transportation a few times. First, the airplane. Second, the bus or the taxi to the ferry port. Thirdly, the ferry boat. And finally, the bus or taxi from the ferry port to Ksamil beach.
How to get from Tirana airport to Ksamil Albania?
Tirana airport is in the center of Albania. From Tirana airport, you can travel to Ksamil beach by bus, by taxi or by car. It will take you around 5 hours and 30 minutes to get to Ksamil beach.
You have three options:
1. Travel from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach by bus
2. Travel from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach by taxi
3. Drive from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach with a rental car
Bus from Tirana airport to Ksamil
There are no direct buses from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach. Instead, the buses to the south of Albania, depart from the Regional Bus Terminal.
From Tirana airport, you must take a taxi to the Regional Bus Terminal. The bus terminal is next to the massive Dogana roundabout.
The Dogana roundabout is also known as “shiponja”, and it is around 5 kilometers from the city center of Tirana. You can take a taxi from the airport to the bus terminal. The taxi ride will cost you between €15 – €20.
There is no direct bus from the Regional Bus Terminal to Ksamil beach. Therefore, you must take the bus to Saranda instead. Saranda is a big coastal city in the south of Albania, which is very close to Ksamil beach.
At the Regional Bus Terminal, you can get on a bus to Saranda. The bus to Saranda departs 7 times a day at: 5:30am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:45am, 12:30pm, 16:00pm and 22:00pm. The bus trip to Saranda takes 4 hours and 55 minutes.
A bus ticket from Tirana to Saranda costs 1300 LEK (€12.00). You can buy the ticket from the bus driver.
Once you arrive in Saranda, you can travel to Ksamil beach by bus or by taxi. By bus, it takes 20-40 minutes to travel from Saranda to Ksamil beach. The bus ticket costs only 100 Leke (less than €1.00).
By taxi, it takes only 10 minutes to travel from Saranda to Ksamil beach. A one-way taxi ride costs 10 euros.
Taxi from Tirana airport to Ksamil
You can also travel from Tirana airport to Ksamil by taxi. The distance is 300 kilometers. The official Tirana airport taxis charge 175 euros (or 22500 Leke) for a one-way trip.
A taxi ride from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach will take around 5-6 hours.
Obviously, a taxi is significantly more expensive than a bus trip. However, you avoid travelling to the regional bus terminal, waiting for the bus to depart and switching buses in Saranda. Moreover, a taxi ride is much more comfortable than a bus trip.
Drive from Tirana airport to Ksamil
The third option is to travel from Tirana airport to Ksamil beach with a rental car.
There are car rental offices at Tirana airport from: Eurocar Rentals, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Avis, Europcar, Sixt and Hertz.
A rental car at Tirana airport costs between €20.00 – €50.00 per day. The prices for a car rental vary depending on the brand, the age, the duration of the rental and the insurance coverage.
By car, it takes between 5 – 6 hours to drive from Tirana to Ksamil beach. The length of the journey depends on the route you take.
Firstly, you must drive from Tirana airport to the coastal city Saranda. The fastest route from Tirana to Saranda leads through the middle of Albania. On this route, it will take you around 5 hours to drive to Saranda. From Tirana airport, drive in the direction of Durres, Kavaje, Fier, Tepelene, Gjirokaster and finally Saranda.
The slower route leads you by the Albanian coastline. This journey along the coast is slightly longer, but also more scenic and beautiful. You can drive from Tirana airport to Durres, Fier and then to Vlore. From Vlore, you can drive along the beautiful coastal road to Saranda.
The coastal road passes by all the beautiful beaches of the Albanian Riviera. This is slightly longer route and will take you around 6 hours. Depending on how many stops you make along the way of course.
Once you reach the large coastal city of Saranda, follow the signage for another 10 – 15 minutes to get to Ksamil beach.
How to get from Corfu airport to Ksamil Albania?
If you fly to Corfu airport, you can take a ferry from Corfu island to the Albanian coast. To take this trip, you need to follow these steps:
1. Fly to Corfu airport
2. Travel from Corfu airport to the Port of Corfu
3. Take a ferry boat from Corfu to Saranda
4. Take a bus or taxi from Saranda to Ksamil beach
How to travel from Corfu airport to the Port of Corfu?
From Corfu airport, you need to travel to the Port of Corfu. Which is where the ferry boats from Corfu to Albania depart. You can travel from Corfu airport to the Port of Corfu by bus or by taxi.
By bus, it takes around 20 minutes to get to the Port of Corfu. At the airport, you can take bus line No 15. This bus line is a direct connection between the airport with the Port of Corfu. A bus ticket costs only €1.20.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to the Port of Corfu. A taxi costs between €15 – €20 and it will take around 12 minutes.
How to take the ferry from Corfu to Saranda?
At the Port of Corfu, you must take the ferry boat to Albania. The ferries depart at the Port of Corfu and arrive at the Port of Saranda. There are no ferry boats that travel directly to Ksamil beach. Therefore, you must travel by ferry to the coastal city Saranda. And then take a bus or taxi to Ksamil beach.
The boat trip to Albania takes 30 minutes by speed boat or 70 minutes by ferry boat. A ferry ticket costs between €18.00 – €23.80 for one adult for a one-way ticket.
The boat departs between 2 – 13 times a day, depending on the season. There are four companies that operate a boat between Corfu and Albania. These are: Ionian Seaways, Finikas Lines, Sarris Lines & Cruises and Joy Lines.
However, Ionian Seaways and Finikas Lines cooperate, so their prices and timetable are identical. Below I have added the timetables for the ferry boat from Corfu to Saranda.
|Ionian Seaways / Finikas Lines||Corfu to Albania ferry time|
|1 January – 14 April||9:00|
|15 April – 15 May||9:00, 18:30|
|16 May – 30 June||9:00, 13:30, 19:00|
|1 July – 31 August||7:30, 9:00, 11:45, 13:30, 17:15, 19:00|
|1 September – 25 October||9:00, 13:00, 19:00|
|26 October – 31 December||9:00|
|Sarris Cruises and Lines||Corfu to Saranda ferry timetable|
|1 June – 30 September||Monday: 9:00, 14:00, 18:00|
Tuesday: 10:00, 16:00
Wed – Fri: 9:00, 14:00
Saturday: 10:00, 16:00
Sunday: 14:00, 17:30, 23:45
|Joy Lines||Corfu to Albania ferry time|
|1 January – 1 May||8:30|
|2 May – 30 May||Only Monday: 9:00, 16:30|
Other days: 9:00, 9:30, 13:30
|1 June – 30 June||Only Monday: 9:00, 16:00|
Other days: 9:00, 9:30, 13:30, 17:00
|1 July – 10 September||Only Monday: 9:00, 13:30, 19:30|
Other days: 9:00, 9:30, 13:30, 17:15, 19:30
|11 September – 20 October||Only Monday: 9:00, 16:30|
Other days: 9:00, 9:30, 13:30
|21 October – 31 December||8:30|
How to get from Saranda to Ksamil?
Once your ferry boat arrives in the Port of Saranda, it is easy to travel to Ksamil each. Ksamil beach is only 12 kilometers from Saranda. You can travel from Saranda to Ksamil by bus, by taxi or by car.
The first option is taking the bus from Saranda to Ksamil. You must take the bus from Saranda to Butrint, via Ksamil. You can ask the bus driver to stop in Ksamil. A one-way ticket for the bus to Ksamil costs 100 Leke (less than €1.00). Depending on how busy traffic is, it takes between 20 – 40 minutes to reach Ksamil beach.
You can get on the bus in the center of Saranda at Nene Theresa Square. However, it is best to get on the bus at the start of the route, because the bus can be busy. Especially, in the summer season.
To get on the bus at the beginning of the route, go to the intersection of Rruga Jonianet and Rruga Mitat Hoxha, which is near the Port of Saranda. There is a large tree at the intersection.
The easiest way to get from Saranda to Ksamil is to take a taxi. The taxi ride will cost you only 10 euros and it takes just 10 minutes to reach Ksamil beach.
And finally, you can drive from Saranda to Ksamil. Ksamil beach is on the road between Saranda and Butrint. So, from Saranda, follow the signage in the direction of Butrint and Ksamil beach. It will only take you 10-15 minutes to drive to Ksamil. Ksamil beach is a popular tourist destination, so you will find signage along the road everywhere.
Where is Ksamil located exactly?
Ksamil beach is located in the absolute south of Albania. In fact, it is so far in the south, that it is very close to the Greek border.
Moreover, Ksamil beach is also very close to the Greek Corfu island. From the beach, you can see Corfu island across the sea.
Ksamil beach is a part of the Albanian Riviera. The Albanian Riviera is the coastline in the south of Albania. It is known for the area of Albania with the most beautiful beaches in the country.
The Albanian Riviera is the coastline between the cities Vlore and Saranda. These are large coastal cities and touristic hot-spots in the summer season. However, the Albanian Riviera is mostly known for its unspoiled, hidden and secret beaches. Whereas the rest of Europe can be extremely busy in July and August, Albania’s coastline is still off-the-beaten-path and more quiet.
Ksamil beach is known as “the pearl of the Albanian Riviera”. Although, there are many pretty beaches, Ksamil is the most stunning beach. It has all the ingredients of paradise. Turquoise blue water, clean white sand and tropical plants.
Moreover, there are four little Ksamil islands across the main beach. These islands are so close that you can visit them by swimming, by canoe or by boat. It gives you the opportunity to visit an uninhibited island. And enjoy some true privacy.
How far is Ksamil from Saranda?
Ksamil is very close to Saranda. The beach of Ksamil is only 12 kilometers to the south of Saranda.
By taxi, it takes only 10 minutes to drive from Saranda to Ksamil beach. The taxi ride will only cost you 10 euros.
Alternatively, you can take the bus from Saranda to Butrint. This bus stops along the way at Ksamil beach. By bus, it will take you between 20 – 40 minutes to get to Ksamil beach, depending on the traffic. A bus ticket costs 100 Leke (less than €1.00).
Things to do in Ksamil
The best things to do in Ksamil are:
Butrint is the most impressive UNESCO sight in Albania. You can see the ruins of an ancient city. Throughout history, the site was occupied by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine empire and the Venetians. You can see remains from each of these periods.
Butrint is a very impressive sight, because the ruins are surrounded by calming nature and water. The sight is only 10 minutes away from Ksamil beach.
2. Visit the Ksamil islands
There are four little Ksamil islands in front of the beach. You can swim to some of the nearer islands. Or you can rent a boat or canoe to peddle to the islands. The islands are completely natural. And they are uninhabited, so if you have always dreamed of visiting a deserted islands, this is your chance.
3. The Blue Eye Albania
The Blue Eye is a fresh water spring, close to Ksamil and Saranda. And underwater cave pumps water to the surface. The spring has become a famous touristic attraction, because it is such a beautiful sight.
The spring is an extremely bright blue color. You won’t believe it is all natural! It is something truly unique to Albania.
Gjirokastra is a historical city and a UNESCO heritage site. The city is famous for its stone houses from the Ottoman period. Moreover, there is an impressive castle on the top of the hill, which overlooks the entire city. There is also a lovely Bazaar market with handicrafts and souvenirs.
5. Nightlife in Saranda
Saranda is known as “the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera”. Because it is a large and vibrant city. At this city, you can expect a large variety of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs. The city is build around a massive horseshoe bay.
The city comes alive at night. Which is when all the buildings around the bay light up, which is a beautiful sight. There are some lovely seafood restaurants around the water, which offer you a lovely view towards the sea.
6. Monastery beach & Mirror beach
Monastery beach and Mirror beach are smaller beaches between Saranda and Ksamil. During July and August, the main beach of Ksamil can get busy. Therefore, these little beaches are a great option.
Monastery beach and Mirror beach are very idyllic. The beaches are surrounded by mountains and cliffs, which makes it feel very intimate and private. You can see the little waves of the seawater coming towards the shore. And the water is clean and bright blue.
How do I get to Blue Eyes Albania?
You can get to the Blue Eye Albania by bus, by taxi or by car from Saranda. From Saranda, it takes around 30 minutes to get to the Blue Eye of Albania.
There is no direct bus from Saranda to the Blue Eye Albania. Therefore, you must take the bus from Saranda to Gjirokastra and ask the bus driver to stop at “Syri i Kalter” (the Blue Eye). The bus departs hourly, next to the ruins in the city center of Saranda. A bus ticket costs 300 LEK (€2.50). Once you will get off the bus, you need to walk 2 kilometers to reach the Blue Eye.
A taxi to the Blue Eye will cost you around €30.00 for a round trip. The taxi driver will drip you off and wait for 2 hours, while you explore the attraction.
Driving from Saranda to the Blue Eye of Albania is easy. In the city center of Saranda, follow the signage towards Gjirokastra. Continue following the road towards Gjirokastra for around 30 minutes, until you see a signage at the side of the road, which indicates the Blue Eye spring.
You will be charged an entrance fee of 100 LEK (€0.80) per car and 50 LEK (€0.40) per person
How do you get to Butrint from Saranda?
You can get to Butrint from Saranda by bus, by taxi or by car.
You can get on the bus to Butrint, in the center of Saranda at:
1. Nene Theresa Square
2. In front of Hotel Butrinti
3. At the intersection of Rruga Jonianet and Rruga Mitat Hoxha, which is near the Port of Saranda. There is a large tree at the intersection.
By bus, it takes 45 minutes to travel from Saranda to Butrint. A bus ticket will cost you 100 Leke (or 1 euro). Ksamil beach is is between Saranda and Butrint on the same bus route, so you can ask the bus driver to stop for you. So, that you can visit both attractions in one day.
A taxi trip from Saranda to Butrint costs 1400 Leke (or 10 euros). By taxi, it will take only 30 minutes to reach Butrint. It is best to negotiate a return trip with the same taxi driver, because it can be difficult to find a taxi at Butrint.
By car, it takes 30 minutes to drive from Saranda to Butrint. There is clear signage in the Saranda that indicates Butrint.
How to get to Ksamil islands?
There are four little islands in front of the beach of Ksamil. You can swim to the closest island. But most people rent a canoe or a boat for the day, so they can peddle to each of the islands.
The most famous islands are the twin islands, which are connected to each other by a narrow strip of land.
The islands are very small, together the four islands add up to only 8.9 hectares. The islands are grown with green plants, which gives them a very tropical feeling.
The islands are uninhabited, so they are deserted islands. Because building on the islands is not allowed by the Albanian Government.
How to get from Corfu to Ksamil? You can get from Corfu to Ksamil by taking a ferry boat to Saranda. The ferry from Corfu to Saranda takes 30 – 70 minutes and costs between €18.00 – €23.80 for a one-way ticket. Then, take a taxi from Saranda to Ksamil, which takes 10 minutes and costs only €10.
How to get from Tirana to Ksamil? You can get from Tirana to Ksamil by car, by taxi or by bus. It takes 5,5 hours to drive from Tirana to Ksamil. A taxi costs 175 euros for a one-way trip. You can take a bus from the Dogana roundabout in Tirana to Saranda. From Saranda, it takes only 10 minutes by taxi to reach Ksamil.
Is there an Albanian Riviera airport? There is no Albanian Riviera airport. The only airport in Albania is Tirana International Airport (TIA). From Tirana airport, you can travel to Vlore in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly to Corfu airport and take the ferry boat to Saranda, which takes 30 -70 mins.
How do you get to Saranda Albania? You can get to Saranda Albania from Tirana airport or from Corfu airport. From Tirana airport, it takes around 5 hours to get to Saranda. By bus, it costs €12 or by taxi it costs €165. If you fly to Corfu, you can take a 30 – 70 minute ferry boat to Saranda.
Ksamil: Wyspy | Piotr Rokita | Flickr
IMGP4141, Ksamil, Albania | Artur Malinowski | Flickr
IMGP3881, around Ksamil, Albania | Artur Malinowski | Flickr
IMGP3475, Ksamil, Albania | Artur Malinowski | Flickr
IMGP3459, Ksamil, Albania | Artur Malinowski | Flickr