Himara (Himarë) is a coastal town on the Albanian Riviera between Saranda and Vlora. It is one of the larger towns in the region and is located directly at the beach. What was once a sleepy fishing village has now become a popular holiday destination. Himara has all the advantages of a beach town, but still has that charm of a small town with beautiful surroundings all around. Here is everything you need for a day trip or longer.
How To Get To Himara
From abroad you can best get to Himara by flying to Corfu first, and then take the ferry to Albania. During the summer months you can take a direct ferry from Corfu to Himara and all year round there are ferries from Corfu to Saranda. From Saranda it’s a 55 kilometer drive, which takes approximately 70 minutes. We do however, recommend to make some stops on the way, as the coastal route is absolutely stunning. You can rent a car directy from the Ferry Terminal in Saranda or take any minibus (Furgon) in the direction of Vlora.
Alternatively, you can fly to Tirana and rent a car from the airport, or take any bus to Saranda that is following the coastal route.
What To See And Do In Himara
Himara is a laid-back beach town, but there are plenty of things to do. There are several beaches in and near the town, you can enjoy a walk on the promenade, visit Himara Castle and some of the churches in the old town or go on a hike.
Himara Beach is the main beach in front of the town and has a large pier from which you can jump into the crystal clear water. Alongside the beach is a promenade with restaurants and bars for a refreshment with a view.
Maraçit Beach (Plazhi i Maraçit) is a smaller beach just right next to the main Himara Beach in the center of town. It’s separated by a rock formation on both sides, with Prinos Beach just right next to it on the other side.
Prinos Beach is just south of the other beaches next to the centre of Himara. It is a bit more quiet but it’s next to the main coastal road with a few cosy cafe’s.
Potami Beach is directly next to Prinos Beach and is also separated by rocks. It is a longer stretch and more quiet since it’s on the outskirts of the town. There are a few hotels and restaurants as well.
Livadi Beach is not located in the centre of Himara town, but a bit noth and right below the hill of Himara Castle. It’s a very large beach, but due to it’s location very quiet. Livadi Beach is perfect to get away from the crowds and still has some very nice restaurants, a supermarket a few guest houses, and a campaing.
Livadi Beach is perfectly reachable by car, but if you like to hike, you can also get there via a path through the forest in about 20 minutes from Himara town.
From Livadi Beach, there is also a beautiful hiking path to the north that brings you all the way to Jala Beach in about 40 minutes. On the way you’ll also pass by Aquarium Beach which is otherwise only accessible by boat.
Himara Fshat is the old town on top of the hill, about 3 kilometers north of Himara. It’s already worth a visit to get lost wandering around the narrow cobbled streets but you can also find the ruins of Himara Castle and some churches. And the spectacular views are definitely the icing on the cake.
On top of the hill in Himara Fshat (about 3 km north of Himara) you can find the ruins of Himara Castle. The castle was built in the 5th century BC to protect the village and was occupied until the 16th century AD. Inside the complex you can find multiple houses and post-Byzantine churches. The Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus has a great view over Himara and the coastline as well.
All Saints Church
The All Saints’ Church is an orthodox church with a beautiful bell tower. It is right next to Himara Castle in Himara Fshat from which the church paints a picturesque view against the mountains in the background. On the walls of the church are some paintings showing the everyday life in the old town.
Monastery Of Saint Mary Athaliotisa
The Monastery of Saint Mary Athaliotisa is located on a hill about 10 kilometers from Himara. It was built in 1975, so during the communist regime which didn’t support religion. Twice a year hundreds of people make their way to the monastery: on the Friday after Easter and on August 15th. It’s worth a visit and you will have spectacular panoramic views over Himara and the Ionian Sea as well.
Things To Do Around Himara
Being located in the middle of the Albanian Riviera, there many amazing places to visit from Himara.
Just a short drive to the north of Himara is one of the best beaches in Albania: Gjipe Beach. It is located in the Gjipe Canyon so you need to hike down a path to get there, but your efforts will be rewarded with the stunning views at the canyon, rock formations and beautiful calm water.
Porto Palermo Castle
To the south there is the bay of Porto Palermo where you can find the Porto Palermo Castle of Ali Pasha. The famous castle is located on a small island in the bay with superb views all around.
Borsh has the largest beach in the south of Albania, stretching for about 7 kilometers. The remains of Borsh Castle are also worth a visit and from there you have a great view over the coastline.
Tours To Himara
Are you staying in Saranda and don’t have your own transportation? Then you can easily visit Borsh on a tour from Saranda. There are several tours showing the highlights of the riviera that include Himara in their itinerary.
Hotels in Himara
Himara is perfectly doable for a day trip from Saranda, but why not stay longer and discover more of the amazing Albanian Riviera?
There are plenty of different accommodation options in Himara, from luxury hotels to budget hotels and nearby campings. Since summer can be very busy, we recommend to search and book your accommodation well in advance during the peak season.
Search below or have a look at our recommendations:
- Lido Apartments: These modern apartments in the town centre are fully equipped and have great views over the town and the beaches of Himara.
- Ionian Terrace: Ionian Terrace has modern rooms with balconies facing the Ionian Sea and is just a few steps from the beach.
- Kokkas Rooms: Stay in the old town of Himara Fshat where Himara Castle is located to experience the true Albanian village life. Kokkas Rooms is located in a picturesque old stone, but renovated house so the rooms are modern.
- Geo & Art Boutique Hotel Himara: This boutique hotel is a popular pick with modern rooms and balconies with a beach view. The location is great and centrally with everything around.
- Agrotourism Himara: If you like agrotourism, or just want to experience rural Albanian life, this is the perfect place for you. Agrotourism Himara has family rooms, a nice garden and some animals making it great for a family vacation with kids. There is also a bar and restaurant serving delicious and fresh farm food.
- The Sea Cave Camping: If you like camping, the Sea Cave Camping offers ready to move in tents and all necessary facilities. It’s located a bit more secluded from the busy town and you can jump right into the sea from the rocks.
Other Practical Info About Himara
Himara has a hospital and a police station which are both located in the center of the town, just off the main road SH8. For emergencies you can always call the following numbers:
General Emergencies – 112
Ambulance – 127
Fire – 128
Police – 129
You can also read more about staying safe in Albania on our Health & Safety page.
Banks And ATMs
The only bank in Himara is the Alpha Bank, located on the beachfront promenade, but there are also a few ATMs across the town.
The post office in Himara is located close to the beachfront, on the road that leads to the pier.
Shopping In Himara
There are several small and larger grocery stores, bakeries and other shops in Himara. The largest supermarkets are Big Market and Supermarket Alfa.
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1 Review on “Himara”
Dear Albanian friends, I write travel guides for Hungarian travelers, currently from the Albanian coast. I would like to draw the attention of the beaches to some details that are part of the Albanian culture, the are not a common tourist venue anyway. Your website is very informative, but I would be very pleased if you could help with practical details. For example: how can Panagia Kastanoitisa and Monastery of St Mary Athaloitiosa be approached near Himare? What is the way? From SH8, or Pilur? 4×4 or normal car is enough? Thanks: Andras