Sarandë, the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town of about 33.000 inhabitants, situated on a beautiful horseshoe bay between the mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Agioi Saranta (Forty Saints). In antiquity, Saranda was known as Onchesmus. Located opposite the Greek island of Corfu, Saranda is characterized by a Mediterranean climate and warm sea waters. Saranda typically has over 300 sunny days a year. Due to its location and warm weather Saranda is one of the most attractive tourist towns on the Albanian Riviera, where honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays. Fronting the sea and along the main promenade there are some hotels and restaurants which offer you catering facilities and accommodation.

Nearby Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Get in

By boat

To the nearby Greek island of Corfu (New Port). The daily ferryboats are at 10:30; 13:00 and 16:30 (fewer out of season - check with the ticket office at the port). The 10:30 passage is a hydrofoil which takes about 25-45 minutes. The 16:30 is a car ferry. Corfu is one hour ahead of Albania. One way: 19€/Return: 38€.

By bus

Buses to/from Tirana can be travelled with the bus lines, taxi vans or taxies. There are two itineraries: Tirana-Durres-Fieri-Vlora-Dhermi-Saranda or Tirana-Durresi-Fieri-Mallakastra-Tepelena-Gjirokastra-Saranda. If you travel through Riviera (the first) you should pay more attention as the way is narrow.- Also there are lines to/from Vlore it goes through Riviera or "Bregu" (a line of picturesque, gorgeous Mediterranean beaches and villages; Bregu is the summer hostel of the country Prime Minister and President). The line from Gjirokaster to Tepelene, Fier and Tirana also passed Sarandë. - From Ioannina to Kakavi takes around 40 minutes by bus or taxi. When you reach Kakavi, you follow this itinerary: Kakavi-Gjirokaster-Jergucat-Qafe e Muzines-Sarande.

By car

From Kosovo and Macedonia follow this itinerary to reach Saranda: Strufe-Qafe Thana-Librazhd-Elbasani-Rrogozhina-Fier and so on. It is connected with Greece by land: (i) By the border of Qafe Bota with Gumenitsa; (ii) By the border of Kakavi with Ioannina The tourists, who come here from Greece, reach the border of Kakavi in two ways: from Ioannina and Gumenitsa. From Ioannina to Kakavi takes around 40 min. When you reach Kakavi, you follow this itinerary: Kakavi-Gjirokaster-Jergucat-Qafe e Muzines-Sarande. Though Qafe-Bota, the itinerary is Igoumenitsa-Qafe Bote-Sarande, but the roadway is narrower.

By air

The idea of an airport in the village of Viron is of great interest, because it is only 5 km far from Saranda. A facility is the urban service offered nowadays.


Beautiful and quiet beach at Ksamili

Further afield

Dhermi a gem of the Albanian Riviera
Greco-Roman amphitheatre in Butrint




Sarandë is bustling with restaurants, cafes and bars. Fast food places offer a surprisingly cheap and tasty variety of options: 1 euro will usually get you a good souvlaki (usually pork) or a very nice crepe. Look out for yoghurt flavoured ice cream on the boardwalk, near the tourist info office.

The Mare Nostrum Cuisine is a nice restaurant on the sea-front of Saranda, in the center. It has the reputation as one of the best places to eat in Saranda . Great food and service but known to be a little more expensive than other restaurants.

Fresh fish is abundant in Sarandë and available at most restaurants. Establishments next to the sea and fishing ports provide the freshest fish but generally speaking good seafood can be had all around.


There are a few places you can eat in Ksamil. At least 4 restaurants in Ksamil are open year-round, but in the summer there are a lot more options and many are just seconds from the beach.


Albanian Raki, the local firewater.





Go next

Gjirokastër an UNESCO city
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