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Is Sarandë Worth Visiting? A Detailed Guide

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Is Sarandë Worth Visiting? A Detailed Guide

Sarandë is a charming coastal town located in southern Albania that has become increasingly popular among tourists in recent years. With its crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, and rich historical heritage, Sarandë is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a laid-back vacation. However, like any other tourist destination, there are some factors to consider before deciding whether it’s worth visiting or not. In this article, we will take a closer look at the reasons why Sarandë is worth visiting and some of the drawbacks you should consider.

Why Sarandë is Worth Visiting

The Scenic Beauty of the Place

One of the major draws of Sarandë is its stunning natural beauty. Located along the Albanian Riviera, the town boasts of picturesque beaches with clear, turquoise waters and stunning mountain ranges in the background. The most popular beaches in Sarandë include the Mirror Beach, Ksamil Beach, and Pasqyra Beach, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying various water sports. You’ll also love walking along the promenade by the sea with the views of the island of Corfu in the distance.

Rich Historical and Cultural Heritage

Sarandë has a deep and interesting history, which is evident in the many historical sites such as the Synagogue, the Castle of Lekuresi, and the Monastery of 40 Saints. The Butrint Archaeological Site, which is located just outside the town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that you don’t want to miss. Here, you can explore the remains of an ancient Greek city, a Roman colony and later a Byzantine bastion with a strategic location on the coast of the Adriatic.

Friendly Locals and Delicious Food

Another reason to visit Sarandë is the hospitality and warmth of the locals. You will find that the people of Sarandë are friendly and welcoming, always willing to share their culture and traditions with visitors. You can also indulge in delicious Albanian cuisine, which draws inspiration from Mediterranean and Balkan cultures. Some of the Albanian specialties that you should try include Tirana’s Tave Kosi (yogurt stew with lamb), Fërgesë (pepper and cottage cheese stew) from Gjirokastra, and Baklava, a sweet dessert that you can find throughout Albania.

The Drawbacks of Visiting Sarandë

Crowds and Tourist Traps

While Sarandë is a beautiful and charming town, it has become increasingly popular among tourists, which means that it can get overcrowded during the peak season. As is the case in most tourist destinations, prices for goods and services are generally higher, and you should watch out for tourist traps that may lure you into paying more.

Infrastructure and Accessibility Issues

Sarandë is a small town, so don’t expect a lot of modern infrastructure like large malls and chain stores. Additionally, while Albania has made significant strides in improving its transportation systems, public transportation in Sarandë is limited, so you may need to hire a taxi or rent a car to get around.

Cultural Differences and Language Barriers

Visitors should be mindful of cultural differences and language barriers when traveling to Sarandë. While many of the locals speak English, you may encounter communication problems, especially when venturing off the beaten path.


So, is Sarandë worth visiting? The answer is a resounding yes. Despite the drawbacks, the beautiful natural scenery, rich history, friendly locals, and delicious cuisine will make your time in Sarandë an unforgettable experience. With a good planning, you can anticipate and even overcome the challenges that come with visiting a new place. So pack your bags, and head to Sarandë for an exciting and unforgettable adventure.

An Insider’s Guide to Sarandë, Albania

Sarandë is a picturesque coastal city located along the Albanian Riviera. With its turquoise waters, charming streets, and historic landmarks, it’s no wonder travelers are considering visiting Sarandë for an unforgettable vacation. In this insider’s guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know before planning your trip to Sarandë, including local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Things to See and Do

Sarandë is a city with plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the attractions you shouldn’t miss during your visit:

Butrint National Park

One of the top reasons travelers visit Sarandë is to explore the Butrint National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an ancient city that has been inhabited since prehistoric times and has various archaeological treasures, including the notable Greek and Roman ruins. You can explore the site on your own, or join a guided tour to get a deeper understanding of the many ruins, churches, and fortresses present within the park.

Ksamil Islands

Located about 11 kilometers south of Sarandë, the Ksamil Islands are an absolutely stunning collection of small islands scattered off the Albanian coastline. The islands can be reached by boat or kayak, making for a perfect day trip. Crystal clear waters, tranquil beaches, and lovely hidden coves make it the perfect spot for those seeking adventure and relaxation.

Lëkurësi Castle

For an incredible view of Sarandë’s coastline, head over to Lëkurësi Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the city. The castle dates back to the 16th century, and the panoramic views from the top are truly breathtaking. Get a table on the terrace at the popular restaurant located at the top for a relaxing sunset dinner with a view that is unforgettable.

Best Dining Spots

Foodies looking for delicious local cuisine won’t be disappointed that Sarandë is teeming with excellent restaurants, serving fresh seafood, traditional Albanian dishes, and international cuisine. Here are some recommendations for dining in Sarandë:

Taverna Greka

Taverna Greka serves up traditional Albanian dishes that are both fresh and authentic. Don’t miss their homemade cheese pie, or the lamb cooked with mountain herbs, and tomatoes, stuffed peppers and roasted eggplant moussakas.


If you’re in the mood for seafood, head over to Pensjonati. They offer a selection of dishes made from the freshest catch of the day which is sourced right from the sea that it overlooks, ensuring it’s the highest quality possible.

Cultural Experiences

Sarandë has an extensive history and cultural heritage, and the city offers many opportunities to explore it on a deeper level. Here are some of the cultural experiences to explore:

Sarandë Archaeological Museum

For an insight into the city’s rich history, head over to the Sarandë Archaeological Museum. This museum features exhibits dating back to ancient times and is an excellent place to learn more about the region.

Syri Kalter’s Blue Eye

A lesser-known attraction located near Sarandë is Syri Kalter’s Blue Eye. A freshwater spring located in a lush forest, It’s called the Blue Eye because of the strikingly blue and crystal-clear color of the water. You can take a dip in the chilly water, or just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Local History

Step back in time and explore the local history of Sarandë. Here are some of the must-see historic sites:

Buthrotum (Butrint)

Located just south of Sarandë, Butrint, an ancient city with many structures that date back to the Greek and Roman empires, is a highlight of the city’s history. The ruins of Buthrotum have seen many artifacts and treasures discovered over the years, making it an attraction that you won’t want to miss.

Saranda Castle

For a glimpse into the city’s past, visit the Saranda Castle that dates back to the 16th century. The castle was built during the Ottoman period and is a perfect spot to learn more about the city’s Ottoman rule.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you’re looking to explore beyond the touristy spots in the city, here are a few off-the-beaten-path suggestions:

Blue Lagoon Beach

Located a little over 10 kilometers from Sarandë, Blue Lagoon Beach is a peaceful cove area that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling or discovering secluded coves. Get there early to explore it before the daily crowds arrive!


Gjirokastra is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is located about an hour’s drive from Sarandë. It is a city full of Medieval architecture and plenty of historical buildings that embody several periods in Albanian history, making it an incredible hidden gem that is both culturally and historically rich.

In summary, Sarandë is worth visiting for its beaches, history, and incredible allure of the Albanian Riviera. Hopefully, this insider’s guide has given you all the information you need to have an unforgettable time exploring this stunning city.

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Is Sarandë Worth Visiting? A Detailed Guide

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!