Albanian Riviera

The Albanian Riviera (Albanian: Bregu) lies along the southwestern coast of Albania, from the village of Palasë and ending in Lukovë.

Cities

Himara is the only city, but there are a lot of small, picturesque villages mostly located on the overlooking mountain passes like Palasë, Dhermi, Ilias, Vuno, Potam, Llaman, Jal, Bunec, Borsh, Qeparo, Pilur, Spille, Sasaj, Piqeras, Nivice, and Shen Vasil, each with several excellent beach areas.

Other destinations

Talk

Most of the villagers of this region are bilingual and speak both Albanian and Greek. In village of Palasa, Greek is spoken as a mother language. The natives also speak Italian very well. A lot of young people speak English, but old ones don't. However, since the beaches are full of educated people from Tirana, just ask help from them (search for young people) and they are very willing to help you understand the steward or someone else, that doesn't speak your language.

Get in

By car

The best way to quickly get to the Riviera and thoroughly explore it is by car.

From Tirana, enter the SH2 highway to Durrës, turn into SH85 Durres Bypass at Shkozet or enter in the city proper through Rruga Pavaresia/SH4. Continue down south onto SH4 by passing several towns like Kavaje, Rrogozhine and Lushnje. Some portions of the SH4 are being widened to double carriageway standards (as of 2011). It goes without saying in Albania to keep a close eye on slow moving vehicles, pedestrians, undisciplined drivers, and road signs. At Fier, exit the highway to enter the city center as the Fier Bypass in under construction (as of 2014). Enter the new A2 Highway at Levan linking Fier with Vlore. After exiting Vlore, continue onto the main SH8 road passing Orikum and Llogara Pass. The latter can be quite dangerous as the road is narrow at spots, high elevation means constant braking or frequent gear changes, tight turns and lack of barriers at some places. The typical Mediterranean coastal road that follows will prove very satisfying. However, don't be surprised to see old aged ladies dressed in black and carrying heavy loads of wood for the winter, people riding on donkeys, shepherds walking undisturbed with their flocks of sheep, or just cows chilling for the sake of it - all along the main road! Once arriving at your destination, congratulate yourself for becoming a true Albanian driver!

By train

No international train connections exist in Albania. The railway's southern most and closest train station to the riviera is at Vlore.

By boat

From Corfu with the daily ferry to Saranda, or from the big port of Vlore.

By yacht

Yachts can be anchored at Albania's only marina in Orikum, south of Vlore. Contact Orikum Marina and Sail Albania Charter.

By plane

You could fly to Corfu, and then take the daily ferry to Saranda. Otherwise, fly to Tirana International Airport.

Get around

Many prefer to tour around with camper vans, rented cars or simply by foot. Most of the roads going down to the beaches have been paved. Others cycle through the winding coastal road. Note that most religious sites are located in strategic locations uphill from villages or beaches.

See

Do

Generally, one should immerse in the turquoise waters, visit the numerous churches and fortresses, venture in the flower decorated footpaths of the uphill villages by meeting the hospitable elderly inhabitants, try local organic specialties, and ultimately enjoy the surrounding mountains and overall natural beauty of this coastal stretch.

Eat

Drink

Go next

Corfu, Greece

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.