The Albanian Riviera stretches between Vlora and Saranda in the south-west Albania.
This is one of the most beautiful coasts in the whole Ionian Sea and most probably one of the finest ones in Europe. The coast is still virgin and not so very built up out side the city centers, which is mainly thanks to country’s previous communism regime.
This fact alone makes it a perfect vacation destination for those who like to experience a little bit of something different than tourist crowded beaches. Despite the fact of being untouched from the tourist waves the Albanian Riviera has still a lot to provide for different type of tourists. Those interested in archaeology will find the visit to ancient city of Butrint really rewarding. Butrinti richly deserves its status as the country’s best known archaeological site, but there are many other interesting ancient remains in those areas.
Those who love spending their time outdoors should be pleased in any part of the Riviera. Apart from obvious sea related activities, the mountains of Riviera also offer fantastic hiking or cycling opportunities.
Vlora the biggest city in the Albanian Riviera
Vlora is the biggest city in the Albanian Riviera and it lies in strategical location and its the meeting point for the Adriatic and Ionian sea. As you’d anticipate the city has a Mediterranean look, as the streets are filled with palm trees and the access to beach is virtually from the main street.
Vlora’s geographical position – almost exactly in the middle between capital Tirana and Saranda, and 3 hours by ferry from nearest port of Brindisi in Italy, makes it a advantageous gate point into Albania.
Saranda, on the other hand is probably the most usual entry point into the country du to its distance from the island of Corfu, Greece. Many visitors enters the country from that port as it is easier for them while visiting the Greek Ionian islands to also visit Albania. Usually they love it so much in Albania that they plan their next holidays to either Vlora and its vilagges or Saranda.
The climate in Albanian Riviera
The climate in Albanian Riviera is excellent, with typically hot and dry summers and modest and often rainy winters. Some places in parts are averaging around 290 sunny days a year with pleasant summer temperatures, which rarely and usually only during July or August months are exceeding 30 degrees C.
Vlora and Saranda are connected by newly upgraded and well surfaced main road. The route in places is however really steep and narrow (in particular throughout the Llogara Pass) and this makes the whole travel at least 4 or 5 hours long. The road goes through an amazing scenery, with steep mountains rising up from the coast and the deep blue sea shimmering in the sunlight.
The coastline here is very rugged, with stony coves along the tight coastal strip and steep mountains rising almost straight up along most of its length.
The sea along the coast
The sea along the coast has clear blue water and it is excellent for swimmers as it is warm enough to swim from May to October. Non-swimmers should note that land slopes very sharply into the sea, unlike gentle Adriatic coast further north and after the city of Vlora.
The many beaches on the coast are normally made of small pebbles, but there are also some sandy ones, mainly in the south. Beaches in Dhermi, Himara and Ksamili are the best known in the Riviera, but there are also lots of others, however unknown to most tourists as they are likely less accessible.
For any informations or questions that you might have, do not hesitate to contact us.