Lukova (Lukovë) is a coastal town on the Albanian Riviera with around 3,000 inhabitants. The village is located on higher grounds, providing spectacular views over the beaches and the Ionian Sea. The surroundings are fascinating and full of olive and orange plantations. The name Lukova was also derived from the green landscape as ‘lluke’ means ‘green landscape’ in the old Slavic language.
Painting of Lukova (Lukovë) by Jani Marko on display at Galeria Art Saranda Albania
How To Get To Lukova
Lukova is located on the Albanian coast between Saranda and Himara, about 20 kilometers north of Saranda. The best way to reach Lukova from abroad is to fly to Corfu first, and then take the ferry to Saranda. From Saranda it’s a 25 minute car drive to Lukova. You can also take any mini-bus (furgon) from Saranda that is going north into the direction of Himara, Dhermi or Vlora. In you’re staying in Saranda, you can also take a tour to Lukova.
Alternatively you can fly to Tirana and take the bus to Saranda that takes the coastal road and be dropped off in Lukova’s upper town.
Lukova’s upper town is not directly located on the beach. From the town you can follow the road that is bending like a snake down the hill for 4 kilometers and you will reach Lukova Beach in about 10 minutes. The road is asphalted and in a good condition.
Lukova Beach is a beautiful and rather quiet beach, without much action like water sports, making it a perfect beach to relax. The environment is gorgeous and since it is away from the town, all you see around are the green hills and rocks and the peaceful turquoise water.
However there are a few restaurants serving delicious Mediterranean food. You can also rent beach beds and umbrellas if you want but it’s also perfectly fine to put your own beach towels down. One of the restaurants is built on top of a rock with a bunker inside. The bunker was built by the communists during the Cold War to protect the coastline.
Restaurant on top of a Cold War bunker on Lukova Beach
Other Things To Do In Lukova
Lukova is a great place to relax and enjoy the nature, but you still have the vibe and facilities of the town nearby with shops, cafes and restaurants. Apart from the beaches the environment is also great for hiking or horseback riding.
A short walk from the town of Lukova, hidden on the hill in the forest, there is an old orthodox church that you can visit. The Church of Saint Friday(Kisha e Shën e Premtes) is thought to be built in the 17th century but is in a deteriorating condition. Close to the basilica there is also a small waterfall.
The upper town of Lukova is also great for its views of the coastline, beaches and the Ionian Sea. There are few great places that are also perfect to watch the sunset. The photo below was taken from the small cafe at the top of the road that is going down to Lukova Beach.
Tours To Lukova
If you’re staying in Saranda you can also go one one of these tours that include Lukova, so you don’t have to arrange your own transportation. For example this tour that shows some of the highlights of the Albanian Riviera, or you can go a camping trip and fulfill your dream to wake up on the beach.
Bar Restorant “Joni”: A cosy family-run taverna next to the main road which has an amazing view over the green hills and the Ionian Sea.
High Beach Lukova: This is the restaurant on top of the rocks at Lukova Beach which offers nice views which makes it also a great place to watch the sunset.
Hotels In Lukova
Lukova is only a small village, but because it’s a popular tourist place there are plenty of hotels and other accommodation options, like guest houses and campings. When it comes to finding a place to stay, it’s good to consider the location and whether you want to stay closer to the beach or rather in the upper-town of Lukova.
Search below for hotels or have a look at our recommendations:
Hotel Itaka: Lovely family-run hotel in the centre of town. It has a swimming pool, rooms with balconies and great views.
Let Rooms Lukova: Let Rooms Lukova is one of the highest rated hotels in Lukova among visitors. The hotel is located in the centre of the village and has spectacular views over the bay.
Hotel Vila Kafe: Hotel Vila Kafa is beautifully located away from the main street of the town with amazing views over the Ionian Sea. There is a swimming pool as well.