Saranda is open for visitors but during the pandemic, traveling can be a struggle with travel restrictions in many countries. So here is some advise about visiting Saranda and how to get there.
A Word Of Caution
Before we explain more about how to get to Saranda while lockdowns and travel restrictions are in place, first a word of caution.
While the world is waiting to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, the virus keeps spreading rapidly and causing serious illness and deaths amongst the world’s population. This is why many governments strongly advise against non-essential travel and are many countries in some form of a lockdown and have imposed restrictions to traveling.
So we strongly advise to be mindful and always check your own government’s travel advise and liaise with your travel insurance before making any travel plans to Albania.
The Situation In Saranda During Corona
That being said, despite the impact of the pandemic on tourism in Saranda, we see a growing number of expats and so-called digital nomads coming to Saranda, to spend some months or even years living in our city, or simply to ride out the storm that’s called COVID-19.
Saranda is now in its yearly ‘winter sleep’ as many bars and restaurants and even hotels close during winter, but there are still plenty of options for drinks and food in the downtown area. There is also a warm and welcoming expat community and many people experience life as pretty much normal.
Before coming to Saranda, it’s first of all, good to know a few things about the local restrictions in Albania:
- There are currently no restrictions on entering Albania (except for the UK), but the sea border between Greece and Albania is closed, which means no ferries currently operate between Corfu and Saranda.
- No mandatory quarantine when entering Albania (except for the UK).
- Wearing a face mask is mandatory anywhere outside of your own home, but compliance and enforcement is sometimes lacking.
- There is currently a curfew in place between the hours of 22.00h and 06.00h which means you can’t be outside of your home or hotel between these hours.
How To Get To Albania During Corona?
During normal times, the easiest way to get to Saranda from most countries is to fly to Corfu (Greece) and then take the ferry. But since the ferries don’t operate, the best option is to fly via Tirana.
Tirana International Airport is open and has many international connections, but currently flight schedules have been reduced by most airlines. Also be prepared that some scheduled flights could be cancelled or rebooked due to the uncertainty we live in.
How To Get From Tirana Airport To Saranda During Corona?
The curfew also applies to traveling, so you can’t travel between 10pm and 6am, unless for essential reasons. But other than that there are no travel restrictions within Albania. Here are the options to get from the airport to Saranda.
This is the cheapest option but there are no direct busses from Tirana Airport to Saranda. You would first have to take a bus or taxi to Tirana, from where you can take a bus to Saranda. Check the bus times here.
If you want to avoid public transport, you have a lot of luggage or you don’t want to drive yourself, a private transfer is your best option. We have listed some options on our website that you can book online to avoid any stress and negotiations at the airport.
Rent A Car
Car rental is generally cheap in Albania, but did you also know you can book a one-way rental? This means you can pick up a car at the airport and drop it off in Saranda. You can find one-way rentals for as cheap as 25 euros for a small car for a day. We have a full list of car rental companies on our website, or you can directly search for available cars and prices here.
If you are unfamiliar with the traffic rules and Albanian traffic in general, you can check out these tips for driving a car in Albania.
Anyone is more than welcome to Saranda and there are no major restrictions. So despite the fact that there are a limited number of flights and no ferries you can still make your way down to Saranda. Use your own judgement and common sense when planning your trip.
As a final important note, it’s good to understand that the above details were checked at the moment of writing, but can change at any moment. We don’t take responsibility for any accidental misinformation so we strongly recommend checking any travel advice and restrictions with the official government institutions.
We wish you safe travels!