7 Best Places To Take A Dog Around Saranda

If you are visiting Saranda, Albania with your dogs in tow for a holiday or if you are staying a while, you will definitely find something on this list that both you and your dog will love. Part of what is great about this coastal gem is how much it has to offer from the beautiful beaches, historical sites and national parks. Emily from Pets Around the World spent a month in Saranda with her two terriers getting to know all the best places to go with dogs to share them with you.

If you are bringing your pet in from another country, there are regulations to follow related to vaccines and health certificates to get, but it’s worth it to go the extra effort. Saranda has a lot to offer if you visit with your dog.

1. Walking The Promenade

This is the heartbeat of Saranda. It’s the perfect place to stroll while watching the sun set, catch up with new friends or just be completely mesmerized by the clear water sparkling with Corfu in the distance.

Why your dog will enjoy the promenade 

Dogs with good leash skills or ones who will stick close by your side will enjoy walking here. There’s tons to look at, trees to smell and if you don’t mind your dog getting wet, calm and safe water to splash in.  Since this is a busy place with lots of people and dogs, non-reactive dogs will enjoy themselves the most.

Things to note – Saranda does have resident street dogs that live on the promenade. They tend to be calm and friendly if you and your pup are friendly in return.

2. Ksamil Beach

You know that idyllic beach with crystal clear turquoise water and little islands off in the distance? That perfect beach can be found in Albania, not just tropical islands.  In fact, a nearby cove won an award in 2024 for having the clearest water in the world.  With a sandy beach, calm water and natural barriers that would help to contain an off-leash dog, it’s the best dog beach I’ve ever been to!

Why your dog will enjoy Ksamil Beach

If your furry friend enjoys an on or off-leash beach romp, this is a wonderful place to visit.  Dogs can swim, run around, chase balls or sticks. We came here with 8 dogs for a meetup. Every single one of them had the time of their lives. Even reactive dogs can enjoy themselves at this beach if they visit during the quieter hours.

Things to note – During the off-season, this is a free for all, wide open mostly quiet sandy beach. During the summer high season, it’s full of lounge chairs with umbrellas requiring a fee to visit.  It’s bustling with music, jet skis and other water sports. Dogs will not be welcomed during this time of year.

3. Butrint

Butrint is a perfect mix of cool ruins and beautiful nature, making it a standout spot in Saranda. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts an impressive array of ruins, including ancient Greek and Roman structures, medieval architecture, in a stunning natural setting. There is an entry fee year round.

Why your dog will enjoy Butrint

Butrint is great for all kinds of dogs, whether they’re big or small. We brought a mixed group of tiny toys or energetic spaniels and terriers ranging from 2 to 10 years old, and they all had a blast. There’s plenty of room to take it easy and walk around, or if your pup is up for a bit more adventure, you can head up to the castle for an awesome view. The park has lots of trails, so you can stick to the popular spots or venture out further if your dog needs more space.

Things to note – Keep your dog on a leash here, and make sure they’re polite to other visitors. It’s important to respect the site, so no letting dogs pee on the ruins!

4. Lekursi Castle

Lekursi Castle is another gem in Saranda that’s not just about the history – it’s a fantastic place to enjoy some fresh air with your pup. Perched on a hill with sweeping views of the city and the sea, it’s both scenic and serene. This is also one of the best places to watch the sunset.

Why your dog will enjoy Lekursi Castle

Whether you’re just popping into the patio cafe for a coffee or looking for a serious workout, Lekursi Castle has you covered. You can relax around the castle or join local hiking groups for a trek starting all the way from Saranda up to the castle. It’s a popular spot that offers both easy-going and challenging options for you and your dog.

Things to note – There aren’t any clear signs about leash requirements, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. We saw dogs both leashed and off-leash. The area tends to get busier as the season gets warmer, so you might want to leash up your dog in crowded times. Outside the castle , the site has few natural barriers, so if you do go off-leash, make sure your dog has reliable recall skills.

5. Forty Saints Monastery

The Forty Saints Monastery, named after the forty Christian martyrs of Sebaste, is a historic ruin with remnants that whisper tales of its ancient ecclesiastical past. This quiet spot is ideal for those looking to escape the city’s hustle with their four-legged friends.

Why your dog will enjoy the Forty Saints Monastery

This site is great if your dog loves to run free, as they can often be off-leash when it’s not crowded. There’s plenty of open space to explore, and for the more energetic pups, you can hike the trails leading up from Saranda. If you’re driving, there are also nice trails around the monastery to wander at a leisurely pace. It’s particularly quiet during the off-season, making it a suitable spot even for reactive dogs.

Things to Note –  There aren’t specific signs about leash rules or other regulations, so it’s best to use common sense and be considerate of others. Keep an eye on your dog and leash up if the area starts to fill up or if your dog tends to wander.

6. The Blue Eye

The Blue Eye is a natural park known for its striking blue water spring, which is a deep natural pool that’s famously clear and vibrant. It’s a peaceful spot that’s perfect for a day out with your dog. There’s a nominal entry fee to access the park.

Why your dog will enjoy the Blue Eye

Your pup will love this place because there’s so much to sniff and explore. From the parking lot, a paved path leads down to the Blue Eye, making it an easy walk without any car noise or disturbances. While the Blue Eye itself can get a bit busy, you can easily find quieter paths to the left or continue past it for more secluded nature walks. The main walk is accessible for most, but you can also pick more challenging routes. Our dogs had a great time exploring here.

Things to Note –  You might encounter some street dogs in the parking area and near the top of the trail, but they generally don’t venture down towards the Blue Eye. Also, while there are some shady spots, the main paved path is mostly in full sun, so it might get hot during sunny days.

7. Patio Dining in Saranda

One of the best parts about Saranda is its year-round pleasant weather, which makes dining outdoors an absolute delight. Almost every restaurant has stunning sea views, and you’ll find plenty of dining options to suit any taste or budget, from casual eats to upscale meals, all featuring fresh, natural ingredients.

Why your dog will enjoy dining al fresco

If your dog is the type who can sit quietly by your side, patio dining in Saranda is perfect. It’s a chance for them to join you instead of staying behind, enjoying the bustling atmosphere right along with you.

Things to Note – Dogs are typically welcome on restaurant patios but not inside the establishments. While restaurant staff are generally dog-friendly, don’t expect amenities like dog menus or water bowls, so it might be a good idea to bring your own.

How To Get To Saranda With A Dog

Getting to Saranda does take a bit of effort since there aren’t any major airports nearby. You can fly with your dog into Tirana and drive or into Corfu (during high season) and ferry over. From Italy, you can take an overnight ferry to Durres, Vlore or Corfu.

Small dogs might be accepted on public transportation such as buses, but large dogs are typically not.  If you need to get from one of the other major towns with your dog, private transfer, while expensive, might be your best option.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Miss The 7 Best Places For Dogs Near Saranda

Saranda is a fantastic spot for pet owners looking to explore new places with their furry friends. With its pleasant weather year-round, stunning landscapes, and dog-friendly spots, it’s ideal for both short visits and longer stays.

Consider visiting in the off-season when it’s quieter – this way, you and your pup can enjoy everything Saranda has to offer without the heat and crowds. Head to Saranda for an unforgettable adventure with your dog!

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