There are several options to get to Saranda and transport in Albania has experienced significant improvements in recent years. The most popular way for tourists to reach Saranda is by flying to Corfu, and then taking a short ferry. Alternatively, you can fly to Tirana and take a bus or rental car from there. Below you’ll find everything you need to know for each option.
Driving To Saranda By Car
The fastest and most convenient way to reach Saranda and explore the surrounding riviera is by car. From Tirana a drive should take around 5 hours, but is well worth with the scenery. Do take care since road conditions are far from optimal with sharp turns and a lack of barriers. Also mind the slow vehicles and don’t be surprised to people riding donkeys or shepherds with their sheep along the roads, but this makes the scenery all the more interesting.
If you are planning to rent a car, you can find more detailed information and a list of car rental companies and pick-up locations here.
From Corfu To Saranda By Ferry Boat
Saranda can easily be reached by ferry from the nearby Greek Island of Corfu. Several daily ferries connect Saranda with the Corfu Port in Corfu town in as fast as 30 minutes. In summer, there are even up to 10 daily departures. Since Saranda doesn’t have an airport it is a popular option to fly into Corfu and take the ferry to enter Albania via the Port of Saranda. Corfu can be reached from many European airports. Be aware though, of the one hour time difference that Corfu is ahead of Albania.
Getting To Saranda By Bus
Plenty of independent companies offer bus services from the major cities in Albania. You can find the schedules on the website of Gjirafa. From July until September, RivieraBus also offers a daily bus from to Tirana via the coastal road, which takes around 5 hours. Direct busses also operate from abroad, like Prishtina (Kosovo), Sofia (Bulgaria), Tetovo (Macedonia), Athens (Greece) and Istanbul (Turkey).
Another way to travel around Albania is by shared passenger vans, which are called furgons. This is an inexpensive way of travel and the driver will make stops along the way based on passenger requests.
Saranda cannot be reached by train, since the southern most train station is in nearby Vlore. Albania has no international train connections, so you can only depart your train journey from with the country.
Flying To Saranda
Since Saranda itself has no nearby airport, most visitors fly in via the country’s main international airport Nënë Tereza in Tirana or via Corfu International Airport as both airports have many direct connections to other European destinations. Another option is to fly to Athens or Ioanina in the north of Greece. Both airports have daily buses to Saranda. The Albanian governement has also announced the planning of a new airport near Vlora, only 150 km from Saranda.
Private Transfers To Saranda
Since there are no direct buses from Tirana Airport to Saranda, you could also opt for the convenience of a private transfer. You can book online and a driver with an air-conditioned vehicle will meet you at the airport and bring you directly to your doorstep in Saranda or Ksamil.
Visitors from most western countries can enter Albania without a visa. Those countries include all EU- and Schengen countries, all of Albania’s neighbours (including Serbia), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the USA and Turkey. A full list of the visa regime per country can be found on the website of the Albanian National Tourism Agency.