Saranda is called the unofficial capital of the beautiful Albanian Riviera and draws hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Whether you are just visiting for a day trip from Corfu or a cruise ship, passing by on a road trip, or staying for two weeks, you definitely don’t want to miss the highlights in and around town. Therefore we have listed The Big 5 of Saranda: the 5 top attractions you must see when visiting Saranda.
1. The Blue Eye
The Blue Eye is a natural phenomenon and a natural water spring of the Bistricë River. The spring is at least 50 meters deep and the water is so clear, that you can see the bubbles rising from deep down to the surface which gives a unique effect.
The Blue Eye is located about 22 kilometers from Saranda in a beautiful forest with walking and hiking trails.
2. The Monastery of 40 Saints
On the hill, just behind the town of Saranda, you can find the remains of the Monastery of 40 Saints. The 6th century Monastery was once an important Byzantine pilgrimage site and gave Saranda its initial name Agi Saranda, which means “Forty Saints”.
The hike up the hill is definitely worth the effort for it’s breathtaking views over the Bay of Saranda from between the mystique ruins of the monastery.
3. Butrint National Park
Being the most visited attraction in the south of Albania, the ancient city of Butrint cannot be left out of any list. Within the surrounding natural beauty of the Butrint National Park you can find the remains of the city that was once inhabited by the Greek, the Romans and the Ottomans.
The Butrint National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts some great historical buildings, including a castle and fortifications, a Roman theatre, a basilica, a sanctuary and a archaeological museum.
4. Lekursi Castle
A short, but steep hike up Lekursi Hill brings you to Lekursi Castle, which overlooks the entire Bay of Saranda. The 16th century castle has been turned into a restaurant and is probably the best place for having a romantic diner or glass of wine while watching the sunset.
To describe Ksamil we need only one word: paradise. The small village has some of the best beaches in the region, beautiful turquoise waters and some small islands that you can swim to.
In Ksamil you can also find everything you need for a relaxing holiday: from hotels and restaurants, to beach bars, water sports and you can even sip a cocktail at one of the island bars.