Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things To Do in Saranda, Albania

Saranda Bucket List: Best Places to in Saranda, Albania

Saranda is your ultimate Mediterranean experience. Nestled right across Corfu, Saranda is a beautiful coastal town in Albania whose prime feature is its clear blue waters and pristine beaches. It remains a popular destination for many Albanians and tourists with warm weather and sunny skies for most of the year.

Explore the beaches

View of an empty beach at Sarande, Albania photo via Depositphotos

As a coastal town, Saranda boasts of many gorgeous beaches for tourists to explore. Some resorts will have sandier beaches, while others will have slightly more pebbly shores.

Those near the town center are very popular and attract many people. Beaches further north or further south will have fewer people and maybe more beautiful and secluded.

Visit Butrint

Amphitheater- Remains of the ancient Baptistery from the 6th century at Butrint, Albania. photo via Depositphotos
Amphitheater- Remains of the ancient Baptistery from the 6th century at Butrint, Albania. photo via Depositphotos

Butrint is an archeological park that dates as far back as prehistoric times. It used to be a Greek colony and, at one point, a Roman city. It features well-preserved monuments of the ancient civilizations that once stood there.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ruins that may still be seen include an early Christian Basilica, a Roman theater, and a temple, as well as a Greek agora.

Take a day trip to Ksamil.

Wooden pier on paradise beach in Ksamil in Albania photo via Depositphotos
Wooden pier on paradise beach in Ksamil in Albania photo via Depositphotos

Situated to the south of Saranda, Ksamil is one of the more popular beach destinations for both the locals and tourists. Its highlights are its absolutely pristine waters and white sand – no wondering its called the “Ionian pearl.”

Motorboats are up for hire for those who’d like to explore and visit the small nearby islands scattered along the coast.

Visit Mirror Beach

Mirror Beach in Saranda Albania photo via Depositphotos
Mirror Beach in Saranda Albania photo via Depositphotos

Mirror Beach is another beautiful beach surrounded by white cliffs and limestone outcrops just offshore – making it feel a little more secluded. It’s found midway to Ksamil from Saranda and is a little less accessible than Ksamil or other popular beaches, which means slightly fewer people, and the view simply makes it worth the journey.

Go to the Lëkurësi Castle

Sunset view of courtyard of Lekuresi castle at Sarande, Albania photo via Depositphotos
Sunset view of courtyard of Lekuresi castle at Sarande, Albania photo via Depositphotos

Resting atop the hill that surrounds Saranda, Lëkurësi Castle is a monument dating back to the 1500s. A quick hike or ride up the hill promises breathtaking views overlooking the city. It’s best to catch the view at sunset for the most picturesque scenes in Albania.

Check out the Blue Eye

Turquoise spring Blue Eye in Albania photo via Depositphotos
Turquoise spring Blue Eye in Albania photo via Depositphotos

Named after its mesmerizing turquoise waters, the Blue Eye is actually a natural spring located 20 minutes away from Saranda. This natural phenomenon is a deep pool of water whose depths have yet to be explored or recorded as divers couldn’t go any deeper due to the extreme pressure.

Swimming in the actual eye isn’t allowed though but seeing the Blue Eye is already an adventure on its own!

Tour through Gjirokastër

Gjirokaster Castle and clock tower with Ottoman houses below in Gjirokaster, Albania photo via Depositphotos
Gjirokaster Castle and clock tower with Ottoman houses below in Gjirokaster, Albania photo via Depositphotos

Located about an hour away from Saranda, Gjirokastër is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wandering through the town center will reveal remarkable architecture from the Ottoman-era. This town has a rich history, and one could easily spend hours exploring its streets.

Try the Local Seafood

Fresh mussels in bowl on table in restaurant, Albania photo via Depositphotos
Fresh mussels in a bowl in a restaurant, Albania photo via Depositphotos

Being a coastal city means a steady supply of the freshest seafood possible. Trying the local dishes and sampling the seafood is a must when in Saranda.

Many restaurants along the riviera will serve delicious delicacies using seafood directly from the town’s fishing port.

Go Diving

There is a whole other world hidden in the waters of Saranda. A quick dive or snorkel in the water will reveal strange sea creatures, coral reefs, and even shipwrecks. To fully explore the underwater life of Saranda, it’s best to contact local dive centers.

Spend time at the Forty Saints Monastery

Forty Saints Monastery by Albinfo via Wikipedia CC
Forty Saints Monastery By Albinfo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Also located on the hill overlooking Saranda, the Monastery also presents tourists with another way to view the city and another opportunity to take the best sunset photos.

The monastery is now in ruins, but it still offers an interesting look into the region’s history.

See the Old Synagogue ruins.

Ruins of the ancient synagogue found in Saranda photo by Piotrus via Wikipedia CC
Ruins of the ancient synagogue found in Saranda photo By Piotrus – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

The Old Synagogue ruin in the center of town is the archaeological remains of a synagogue from the 5th century and another testament to Saranda’s rich history. The leftover mosaics on this site’s floor are still visible, extremely intricate, and quite impressive.

Walk along the Bulevardi Hasan Tahsini

The Bulevardi Hasan Tahsini is an esplanade along the seaside in Saranda. Taking even a short walk through the Bulevardi allows anyone to slowly admire and take in the area’s beautiful scenery.

The little cafes and bars dotted along the way mean you can have a little food trip, or you can sit down and relax with a drink and watch the world go by.

Dine-in at the Restaurants

Restaurant with served table in seafront of Ionian sea, Ksamil photo via Depositphotos
Restaurant with served table in the seafront of Ionian sea, Ksamil photo via Depositphotos

Most establishments in Saranda will serve Mediterranean cuisine, and almost all of them will have a great view of the city or the sea. There are many restaurants for any budget and any palate – from the more upscale restaurants to the more relaxed cafes.

A quick chat with the staff is sure to spark up some good recommendations for the more adventurous foodie.

Swim at Pasqyra Beach

Should you find yourself visiting Saranda during the peak season in the summer, chances are, beaches are going to be very crowded. Pasqyra Beach is located in the south of the town and is a little more out of reach from new tourists and is not often overpopulated, like the more popular spots.

Sunset view of seaside of Sarande with Lekuresi castle, Albania photo via Depositphotos
Sunset view of seaside of Sarande with Lekuresi castle, Albania photo via Depositphotos

Experience the Nightlife

If you still have the energy for it, Saranda is also known for its vibrant and busy nightlife. Spread across the city and the seaside are clubs and bars perfect for a relaxing night out. Nightlife in Saranda combines refreshing cocktails, good music, and as usual, spectacular views of the sea.

This was just 15 of the best things one can do in Saranda. A quick visit to this thriving city is sure to present any intrepid traveler with many more opportunities for adventure and sightseeing. Whether you decide to spend more time at the seaside or in the famous landmarks, Saranda is sure to make a trip to Albania a very memorable experience.

Saranda Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your vacation to Kobe, we listed places to visit and other amazing activities in Saranda, Albania. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Saranda hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Saranda, Albania? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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