The Blue Eye (Syri i Kaltër in Albanian) is a water spring and initial water source of the Bistricë, a 25 km long river which ends in the Ionian Seat just south of Saranda. The source is a natural phenomenon with a depth of at least 50 meters, the deepest any diver has been able to go, so the actual depth is even unknown.
How To Get To The Blue Eye
From Saranda you can take any bus (furgon) in the direction of Gjirokastra. There is a direct bus to Gjirokastra that leaves every hour between 6am and 5pm from the central bus stop next to the ruins of the synagogue. You have to get off at Syri I Kalter (Blue Eye) after about 30 minutes and from there you can just follow the signs for 2 km until you reach the Blue Eye.
Taxis will also take you there and wait while you walk around but be sure to agree a price upfront. Alternatively you can also rent a car or book a tour that includes the Blue Eye.
Prepare Your Visit
Inside the park there are a few souvenir shops and there is a restaurant that serves food. Do take in mind that it can get rather busy in the summer season. However, by going early you might avoid the biggest crowds. Another option is to bring your lunch and have a picnic in the forest while enjoying the surroundings.
What To See & Do
The Blue Eye itself is obviously the big eye catcher. From the parking lot you can reach it in about 30 meters by crossing a small footbridge across the river.
The Blue Eye is famous for its stunning beauty and clear turquoise water. The water is so clear that you can see al the way through to the bottom and observe the light blue bubbles rising to the surface.
There is a small platform from which you can observe the phenomenon from above. The video below shows how the bubbles reach the surface and create small waves in the water.
Officially, as the signs indicate, it’s not allowed to swim, but you might still see people jumping into water. That’s actually very brave as the temperature of the water is only about 10 degrees all year round. Even in summer this is pretty cold!
The area around the Blue Eye is a protected area which is considered a natural monument where you can enjoy the beauty of the forest with oak and sycamore trees. There are some information panels explaining more about the flora and founa in the area. There are also walking and hiking trails and camping is allowed.
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