You would not think of Albania as having spectacular beaches, but Albania beaches are Europe's cheapest beach paradise. The Albanian Riviera has wonderful pebble beaches, secluded beaches and island beaches, and all are very pristine. Southern Albania has spectacular scenery and beaches that rival the beaches of Greece and Croatia for half the price. Find empty white beaches with crystal clear turquoise water, fresh seafood, baklava and local wine, with prices so low you’ll be amazed! Lets head to the best Albanian Riviera beaches now:
Ksamil is a small town located about 9 miles south of Saranda and is known for having some of the only sandy beaches in the area and small islands within swimming distance. With the breath-taking scenery and the abundance of fresh seafood at very cheap prices, it is noted as one of the best places to visit while you are in Saranda. The waters in Ksamil are crystal clear and full of sea-life which makes it excellent for snorkeling. There are 4 small islands in Ksamil. Two of them are within swimming distance and are very close. The other two “twin-islands” are a little further out and normally require a jet ski, paddle board or normal taxi-boat to be reached. The benefit of going to the further away islands is that you’ll likely have them to yourselves and avoid the crowds. There are a number of small cafés and restaurants on the Twin Islands too which offer good food, drinks and service. And believe it or not, there is WiFi on the beach! In August the beaches are crowded by tourists but at the end of the month there are less people and in September the beaches are nearly empty.
Jale Beach is Albania's absolutely most beautiful beach and definitely one of Europe's untouched paradise. Visit Vlora and take the ride to Jala Beach which is located approximately 55km to the south of the city and just before the village of Himara. The waters are so clean that you will never want to leave that place. Lots of tourists visit Jale Beach in the summer for parties and camping. If you want to relax, then go swimming on the clean water, lay your towel on the soft white sand or walk around and enjoy the amazing view. Check out a video of Jale Beach here
Dhermi Beach is one of the most famous of Albania beaches. On Dhermi beach you will find various pebbles, some nearly like sand. The water is clean and deep with a very nice blue color. There are plenty of restaurants, and the beach has umbrellas and chairs to relax on. Outside peak season, it’s very quiet, and while the summer months get very busy, the beach is long enough for those who want to find a quiet spot away from the crowds even in mid-August. For explorers, there are lots of coves and smaller bays further along the beach, where excellent budget accommodations can be found, and a number hotels are right on the beach.
Himara Beach in the Albanian Riviera, is a well known attraction for lots of tourists. Along with having multiple stunning and secluded beaches, Himara is unusual in that the majority of the population is of Greek origin. Despite its growth in the past decade it hasn’t lost its charm. During the summer the beach is full of life. The clean fresh water with white sand and the mountains close to the beach, provide a relaxing view. This is what makes this place so attractive. The town has a variety of hotels, bars and restaurants close to the beach for a variety of prices.
The massive stretch of beach at Borsh is surrounded by olive groves, grazing goats and high mountain peaks. It’s one of the least developed of Albania’s main Riviera beaches. Borsh beach is the place to go if you are looking for a quiet natural but still breathtaking place to relax. The place is so pristine and beautiful that creates the illusion of an amazing beach that was discovered yesterday. With the mountains surrounding the long beach, it makes the beach looks like it will never end. Most of hotels and restaurants here are from local residents that provides traditional foods.
Lukova Beach is just north of Saranda, which is a great option for a coastal beach holiday. Lukova is a quiet beach, but the town is a good size with lots of conveniences, which means that you’ve got shopping and nightlife on hand to spice things up. Like most Albanian beaches, it can get very busy in summer but for rest of the year you could go days without seeing other swimmers. The combination of the crystal blue Ionian Sea and the green natural surroundings make you feel like you’ve found a little piece of paradise.
Pasqyrat beach is the hidden gem of the Albanian Riviera. Well, maybe not that hidden, especially during August, but its a quite place to relax and enjoy the beautiful sand and the warm, clear water. It’s a pebbled beach set a little way off from the village, hotels, and restaurants, which means you’ll feel like you’re further out in nature than you are. How would Pasqyrat Beach be described? Its secluded, peaceful, and gorgeous.
Hundreds of thousands visit Golem beach each year, making it the most popular of the Albanian beaches. It’s one of the preferred beach travel destinations for Albanians themselves. It has a very long coastline that stretches along the national highway, so everything is easy to access. There is tons of great restaurants and drinking establishments to be had. It’s also close to the capital city of Tirana and because of that, the services and amenities available are top-notch.
Orikum is the second largest port in Albania, and the preferred destination for holiday yachters. Orikum Beach is known as the beach of yachts. Located between Saranda and Vlora, this is the beach people return to year after year. It’s clean with fine pebbles, and the restaurants are widely known for the fabulous traditional food that they serve. Sail to the nearby caves on the Karaburum peninsula for a great day excursion.
GJipe beach is a beautiful small beach hidden behind the mountains. It is close to the highway, but a little bit far from hotels and restaurants. Is the perfect place to go if you prefer to enjoy the nature and don’t want to fight the crowds. To reach the beach requires a nice 30-minute trek through the forest that offers fabulous views of the coast. There’s rarely a crowd here. The beach itself is at the end of Gjipe Canyon, which also offers lots of great hiking. Despite the seclusion, there are a few amenities like a snack vendor and some straw huts, but you’ll definitely feel like you’re in a personal paradise.
Speaking of personal paradise, Zvernec beach has beautiful landscape, clear blue water, and a small island which can provide you with the perfect beach vacation experience. The island includes an 18th century monastery in the middle of a pine forest, accessible only by a wooden bridge. You can camp and hike here, as well as just lounge and swim here. It’s a quick 15 minutes from Vlora, but it feels like you're in another world!
The Llogaraja Pass is a beautiful zigzag through the mountains. For those who experience it, they are rewarded with Palasa beach, which is the first stop on the other side of the pass. Here you will find a combination of white sand and rock on the beach. There is very little development here. There are a few restaurants and cafes, and one nightclub that often draws a crowd, but Palasa is the beach for those whose want to avoid the crowd. The beach offers pristine waters, camping options, and a quaint village to visit. Llogara National Park is also nearby.
Bunec Beach is close to Saranda and a beautiful beach often overlooked by travelers. It’s a quiet beach, charming and unspoiled. Stay here for some pretty incredible sunsets. Accommodations are good, with camping being a popular option. This is the beach for those seeking the peaceful quiet with the lull of the waves hitting the shore.
The Blue Eye (Syri Kalter)
Okay, technically this is not a beach – it’s a natural spring. But since it’s discovery many travelers have been visiting The Blue Eye. Water bubbles up to the surface at a surprising rate. No one actually knows how deep it is, as divers have only descended to 50 meters. The Blue Eye is gorgeously, brilliantly blue. Locals call it Syri I kalter and love to tell you the legends and origin myths surrounding the spring. The area around the spring is a nature reserve full of old oak and sycamore trees. This is a place for slowing down and enjoying Mother Nature to the fullest.