What is the best beach in North Albania?
There is very little information about the beach in North Albania online. Last week, I visited a few beaches in the North of Albania, and they were stunning. So, I decided to write a blog post about it.
What is the best beach in North Albania? The best beach in North Albania is Rana e Hedhun beach. The beach has a large sand dune, which runs down the mountain into the sea. Rana e Hedhun is located 70 kilometres north of Tirana and close to the coastal city Shengjin. The only way to visit Rana e Hedhun is by car or by taxi.
Many tourists are focussed on the beaches in the South of Albania, however, there are a lot of beautiful beaches in the North of Albania as well. Moreover, many tourists fly to Tirana airport and therefore the beaches in the North of Albania are much easier to visit.
Why is Rana e Hedhun the best beach in the North of Albania?
The thing that makes Rana e Hedhun beach unique is the large sand dune. None of the other beaches in Albania, have a sand dune which runs from the mountain into the sea. One of the best things to do in Rana e Hedhun is climbing to the top of the sand dune. And then sliding down the hill toward the sea. Therefore, Rana e Hedhun is a great place to visit with children.
If you translate “Rana e Hedhun” into English, it means “thrown sand”. Which is literally, what you will find when you visit. It looks like white sand was thrown onto the mountain side to create a beach.
Furthermore, Rana e Hedhun is a virgin beach. Many tourists plan to visit the south of Albania, and therefore never visit any beaches in the North. Moreover, Rana e Hedhun is unexplored. But it has a lot to offer, like perfect white sand and clean sea water. The beach itself is 8 kilometres long and it is surrounded by a pine tree forest. Which makes it a great place for a long walk.
There is a little fish restaurant at the beach. But Rana e Hedhun is also a great location for a picnic lunch.
To visit Rana e Hedhun, you need to drive to the north from Tirana in the direction of Lezhe. Rana e Hedhun is close to Shengjin beach, therefore you can follow the directions to Shengjin. One you are in Shengjin, you need to drive 3 – 4 kilometres more to reach Rana e Hedhun. The distance between Tirana and Rana e Hedhun is roughly 70 kilometres.
The only way to visit Rana e Hedhun is by car or by taxi. It is possible to travel by public transport from Tirana to Lezha. And then with a local bus from Lezha to Shengjin. However, the last part of the journey to Rana e Hedhun can only be done with a car or a taxi.
What are the best beaches in the North of Albania?
Apart from Rana e Hedhun, there are several other nice beaches in the North of Albania. Some of those beaches are closer to Tirana and therefore easier to visit.
Here is a list of the best beaches in the North of Albania:
- Rana e Hedhun
- Durres beach and Golem beach
- The cape of Rodon
- The bay of Lalzit
- Spille beach
- The general’s beach
- Velipoje beach
- Shengjin beach
- Tale beach
Durres beach and Golem beach
The beach of Durres is one of the most famous beaches in the North of Albania. At this beach, you can expect full facilities. Along the coast, you will find numerous hotels, restaurants, apartment buildings and bars.
If you enjoy a vibrant atmosphere and you like going to a party on the beach, then you will enjoy visiting Durres. However, as you can imagine Durres can be a very busy and crowdy place in the summer months. If you prefer a clean, small and quite beach, you will not like Durres. If you enjoy quiet and uncrowded, skip by Durres and read about the smaller beaches below.
The reason why Durres is so popular, has a lot to do with its convenient location. Durres is only 37 kilometres from Tirana. Therefore, it is very easy to travel from the capital city to Durres. The journey will take you 45 minutes by car, by bus or by taxi. The bus journey will cost you 130 LEK (€1) or a taxi will cost you 2000 – 2500 LEK (€17 – €21).
The cape of Rodon
One of the quieter beaches in the North of Albania is the cape of Rodon. At Rodon, there is a rocky peninsula which points into the sea.
On the peninsula, you can visit the ruins of a castle built by Skanderbeg. In case you are not familiar, Skanderbeg is Albania’s national hero, who fought against the Turkish army. The castle is mostly underwater, and it is possible to explore it further by snorkelling. You can also visit the Saint Anthony church, which is next to the beach.
The cape of Rodon to the north of Durres. Therefore, to get to the cape of Rodon, you need to drive along the highway from Tirana to Durres. Before you reach Durres, you will need to leave the motorway at Maminas. You need to follow the road all the way until the end to reach the cape of Rodon. It will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive from Tirana to the cape of Rodon. Unfortunately, there is no public transport available. So, your only options are renting a car or taking a taxi.
The cape is a quiet place for sightseeing. It is possible to swim, but there are steep cliffs. I recommend that you visit the Cape of Rodon first. And later in the day, you can go swimming at the Bay of Lalzit, which is along the same road.
The bay of Lalzit
The bay of Lalzit is one of the most beautiful beaches close to Tirana. Lalzit beach is a quiet and uncrowded beach. The beach is surrounded by pine trees and mountains that run into the sea. The only buildings at the beach are two little cabin restaurants.
The beauty of the bay of Lalzit is that it is so natural. The sand on the beach is clean and perfectly white. Moreover, you can hear the waves of the sea, because it is so quiet.
The bay of Lalzit is to the north of Durres. From Tirana, it will take you between 45 minutes and 60 minutes to drive to the bay of Lalzit. You will need to drive along the road from Tirana to Durres. Along the road, you need to follow the signage for Maminas. And then follow the new road until you reach the beach.
At Spille, you will find a perfect white sand beach, that is 6 kilometres long. Therefore, there is plenty of space for the visitors to spread out. Moreover, Spille beach is popular amongst families with young children, because the waves are very calm.
The beach of Spille is a bit further away from Tirana than Durres, however, it is worth the drive if you are looking for a quieter beach. There are a few facilities like a promenade and a fresh fish restaurant at the beach but compared to Durres it is very quiet.
From Tirana, it will take you 1 hour and 30 minutes to visit Spille beach. The distance is roughly 75 kilometres. Drive along the SH2 highway from Tirana to Durres. Then from Durres drive to the south and pass the city Kavaje. After Kavaje, you will see a sign indicating Spille.
The general’s beach
The general’s beach or Generali beach is a small stretch of beach just north of Spille. This beach is nice, clean and it has clear water. There is a small promenade and a few restaurants, but mostly this is a quiet beach away from the crowds. It is perfect for a family weekend.
To reach Generali beach, you must first drive from Tirana to Durres. And then from Durres, follow the road to the south. You must exit the highway between Kavaje and Lushnja. After the highway, you will drive 15 kilometres along a narrow road to reach the beach.
Velipoje is one of the most northern beaches in Albania. The beach is located to the north of Shkodra and it is close to the Montenegrin border.
It makes sense to visit this beach if you are travelling from Montenegro to Albania or the other way around. Because the drive from Tirana, is at least two hours. Velipoje is one of the smaller beaches in Albania. There are some smaller coffee and restaurant facilities at the beach.
Shengjin beach is a well-known beach in the North of Albania. When you visit Shengjin, you can expect a large coastal city. There are numerous hotels, apartment complexes and bars. At this beach you have a choice of restaurants, varying from Albanian, to seafood and Italian style cuisine.
One of the main activities at Shengjin is to walk along the bay from start to finish, as the beach is very long.
Shengjin is a beach that you can travel to with public transport. From Tirana, you can take the bus to Lezha, which departs every half hour between 9am and 7pm. It will take the bus 1.5 hour to bring you to Lezha. And then from Lezha, you can get on a bus to Shengjin, which only takes 15 minutes.
Furthermore, the close by Shkodra city has many touristic attractions like Rozafa castle, the lake Koman ferry and a famous photography museum. Therefore, Shengjin is a convenient beach to visit, if you plan to go to Shkodra during your trip.
Tale beach is a wild and untouched beach close to Lezha. It has only very recently become a destination for tourists. Therefore, it is uncrowded. The beach is a virgin beach and it is picture perfect. The sandy beach is 3 kilometres in length and very clean. The beach is located 7 kilometres from the Lac-Lezha road.
Where is the Albanian Riviera? The Albanian Riviera is a 120-kilometre-long stretch of coastline in the south of Albania. The riviera includes all the beaches between the cities Vlora and Saranda. To visit the Albanian Riviera, you can drive along the coastal road between Vlora and Saranda.
What sea is Albania on? Albania has beaches along the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea. The beaches in the north of Albania are along the Adriatic Sea and the beaches in the south are along the Ionian Sea. The Bay of Vlore is the separation point of the two seas.
What are the best beaches in Albania? The best beaches in the south of Albania are Ksamil beach, Dhermi beach, Mirror beach, Jale beach and Drymades beach. The best beaches in the north of Albania are Rana e Hedhun and the bay of Lalzi.
Rodoni Castle | Pastztilla aka Attila Terbocs | WikiCommons
Shengjin, Albania | Trip & Travel Blog via Tom Perdhiku | Flickr
Rodoni Castle | Pastztilla aka Atilla Terbocs | WikiCommons
Cape of Rodon (Cape of Skanderbeg) | Nikol Likja | WikiCommons
Gjiri I Lalzit Panoramio | Landi 61 | WikiCommons
Beach, Sea, Sand at General’s beach | Pixabay