With so many accommodation options and things to consider while prices can fluctuate a lot, planning your stay can sometimes feel like a struggle. To help you get the most out of your holiday in Saranda, we help you with some tips to find the best accommodation that fits your needs and budget: from hostels and campings, to apartments and luxury hotels and resorts.
Plan The Timing Of Your Stay
Although Saranda has over 300 sunny days a year, the town sees most of its visitors coming in during the summer period. Demand for hotels and apartments in Saranda rapidly grows during June and July and peaks in August with prices skyrocketing compared to otherwise relatively cheap accommodation prices.
Daily rates for a moderate hotel room or apartment in Saranda can be as high as 80 to 100 euros during August, but as low as 30 to 40 euros during the off-season. During the pre- and post season you can also still scoop up some great deals.
Be also aware that Saranda is very very quiet during the winter and many restaurants and hotels are even fully closed during the off-season. You can read more about visiting Saranda in the winter in this article.
Determine Your Location Preferences
Saranda is a relatively compact town with most of the things pretty much at a walkable distance. Nevertheless, location is still an important factor when searching for your accommodation. Especially when you travel all the way from abroad, you want to stay in a location where you feel comfortable and can find the things you value the most nearby.
To help you navigate the different parts of Saranda, we give you a brief overview of the different areas:
Saranda Town Center
The center of Saranda stretches alongside the beachfront promenade, where you can also find the marina. Sandwiched between the beach and the hills, the center is partly built on the slopes of the hills, with each road a bit higher up like the rings in an amphitheatre.
The center is not necessarily always more expensive, but accommodations usually have less space so you won’t find many options with a big outdoor area or a swimming pool. None of the hotels have a private beach but you have the public beach alongside the promenade.
The area to the southeast of the center stretches along one long road that reaches all the way to Butrint: Rruga Butrinti. Due to the location alongside the coastline with many beaches, this is the main tourist area. Alongside Rruga Butrinti are many hotels, apartment complexes and restaurants. Many hotels have their own private beach, and if you like some music and (beach) parties, this is also definitely the area to stay. Although the area has some nice and quiet spots and beaches, the main road can be very busy during the main tourist season.
Since many hotels and restaurants close during the winter period, this area becomes pretty much dead during the off-season. This is especially the case the further down the road you get.
In terms of prices it really depends on the level of luxury you’re looking for, but as a general rule of thumb the prices get cheaper the further down south you get. You can also find some campsites around the Çuka’s Channel (Kanali i Çukës).
Kodrra is the area to the west of the town center, where you can also find the Port of Saranda. Kodrra is the more local area of Saranda and combines everyday Albania with all necessary tourist amenities. Since the area is squeezed in between the mountains and the sea, with no busy thru road, it feels more like a quiet cul de sac.
Alongside the coast you find many private beaches in front of the hotels and outside guests are usually also welcome if they buy a drink or rent a beach bed. There are plenty of options for food and you can enjoy the beach bars until the early hours.
About 12 kilometers south of Saranda lies the village of Ksamil, which is officially part of the municipality of Saranda. Ksamil is very touristic and popular for a good reason: magnificent sand beaches with amazing turquoise waters and some beautiful uninhabited islands. It’s a true paradise and part of the protected Butrint National Park.
Ksamil has a tranquille village vibe with lots of family owned hotels and guest houses and some campsites. You won’t find any huge resort complexes or bustling nightlife like in Saranda. It’s rather family friendly and great for couples.
Prices tend to be higher closer to the main beaches but everything is pretty much at a walkable distance in Ksamil. During winter months hotels and restaurants are all closed and since there is not much life otherwise, the town is completely dead.
Saranda is called the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera for a reason: it’s a busy beach town with plenty of life and a bustling nightlife during the summer months. With many visitors arriving at the Port of Saranda from Corfu or from cruise ships, accommodation prices are a bit higher than elswhere in Albania.
If you’re looking for a less crowded town, more quiet beaches and cheaper prices, you can also opt for the many smaller towns on the Albanian Riviera.
Proximity To The Beach
Being a beach town, proximity to the beach is a major factor when choosing an accommodation in Saranda or any other beach town in the Albanian Riviera. Some people definitely want to jump right into the sea in front of their hotel, while other don’t mind a bit of a walk. Although you’re never really far from a beach in Saranda, prices tend to be higher for hotels and apartments located directly at the beach.
The further away from the beach, the cheaper it is, but in most cases you’re also higher up the hill which means a better view as well.
Determine Your Preferred Amenities And Level Of Luxury
Before determining what type of accommodation you want to stay in, it’s good to consider what type of holiday you are planning for and how much time you are going to spend at your accommodation. Will you be out and about all day every day, or will you spend a lot of time at your accommodation? This will obviously play a role when it comes to your preferred level of luxury and number of amenities that you need. Most booking sites offer options to specify specific needs in your search.
Do you prefer a swimming pool or direct access to a private beach, or both?
Do you want an onsite restaurant or do you prefer to have breakfast on your own private balcony? Obviously, the more amenities, the more expensive it gets.
When it comes to room amenities, ensuite bathrooms are pretty much the standard everywhere, unless you are looking for a shared room in a hostel. Most of the time rooms also come with a small refrigerator and a tv as these are pretty much the standard in Saranda.
In the end it might be good to make a list of true necessities and ‘nice to haves’.
Determine Your Preferred Accommodation Type
In Saranda you can find almost any type of accommodation from campings and hostels, to apartments and luxury resort hotels. The only thing you won’t find are the typical all-inclusive mega resorts like in other Meditarranean destinations.
For European standards hotel prices are relatively low which is why you only find a few hostels for travelers on a true shoestring budget. Hotels and guest houses are available from small-scale to mid-size and there are a few larger resort hotels.
If you like to have more space, want to cook your own meals or staying with a larger group, then an apartment would be ideal. Saranda has many apartment complexes and you find a lot of individually owned apartments offered on the short-term rental market. Privately owned apartments usually don’t have any amenities like a reception, swimming pool or private beach but are usually cheaper for what you get in terms of space and luxury. Alternatively you can also look for an aparthotel which combines the best of both.
If you like camping, there are some campsites south of Saranda and in Ksamil. The facilities at campaigns in Albania are generally very basic compared to other European countries.
Determine Your Accommodation Budget
You can find accommodations for almost any budget in Saranda. Most booking sites offer the option to search within your price range per night, so you can narrow down your search results to the best matching accommodations.
Compare Prices, Ratings And Reviews
Visit Saranda Website
On the accommodations page of our website you can find a list or do an advanced search for accommodations that tailor your needs. For each accommodation you can find more info and also read or leave your own reviews. You can find the link to book the accommodation on the Booking.com website. By using our affiliate link you would also support this website which we would greatly appreciate.
Many private apartment owners offer their accommodation on Airbnb so this is a great place to search for apartments by private hosts.
Real Estate Agents
Since many apartments in Saranda are owned by foreign investors or by Albanians who don’t speak much English, a lot of apartments are being managed for them by local real estate agents. Apart from the usual booking sites they usually also list them with a daily, weekly or monthly rates on their own websites or in the Real Estate section of Visit Saranda, where you can contact them directly.
Book In Advance
With peak prices in August, the summer months are much more expensive than the rest of the year, driven by the demand from people having their summer holidays. Last minute, options are diminishing and prices tend to only go up. So we strongly advise to book your accommodation in Saranda as much upfront as possible. In many accommodations also offer flexible options in case your plans change. Always check the cancellation policies when booking your stay, so there are no surprises.
If you are looking for a long-term stay for a few months or longer, you can best avoid booking anything online. It would be much cheaper to negotiate a monthly rate when contacting the owner directly. You can also book something online for the first few days and look for something long-term upon arrival. The chances are big that you run into someone who knows someone with a better offer and you can see it with your own eyes before committing to anything.
Properties Listed On Visit Saranda
In the real estate section of our website, you can find apartments and other properties for long-term rentals. You can search based on your criteria, like price, number of bedrooms, sea view etc. and contact the owner or managing agent directly, without the need to pay any additional fees like on other booking platforms, which makes this option a lot cheaper.
Search For Apartments On Social Media
There are several Facebook groups for people traveling to Albania and expats living there. Many apartment owners advertise their accommodation there or they have their own Facebook page or Instagram account where you can contact them directly so you can negotiate as the host avoids the fees on booking pages. Be aware though, that we’ve been made aware of some scams going around so be extra careful with offers on social media. It’s best to do some research about prices, compare offers and agree about all details and costs upfront.