In August I went to Albania for the first time. We went to Saranda, a coastal town surrounded by beautiful beaches. For most of the time, we just relaxed on the beach, but there were also a few other things to do in the area.
Ksamil is a village located near Saranda, and the beaches here are absolutely stunning. It takes around 20 minutes to get to Ksamil from Saranda, and we went to the beach Guvat. It costs around 25 NOK (300-400 lek) to rent a sun-bed, and there are quite a few nearby restaurants that are perfect for lunch.
The Blue Eye (Suri i Kalter) is a colorful natural phenomenon worth a visit. The river itself is stunning, and the Blue Eye is a more than 50-metre-deep pool with crystal-clear water. Be aware that this is a very popular tourist attraction, and I recommend to go there early in the morning to avoid the herds of tourists. It’s located a 30-minute drive from Saranda, and is best reached by taxi (ask the taxi driver to wait for you to go back).
The ancient town of Butrint is also a tourist attraction located close to Saranda. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the site, you will find an old castle and a Greek theatre. The location makes it perfect to visit on your way back from Ksamil Beach.
So, back to Saranda itself. Saranda is built for tourism, and most buildings in the area are hotels and tourist apartments. There are restaurants on every corner. Saranda isn’t a very beautiful town, but it’s a nice place to stay if you want to visit the above-mentioned places. It’s very cheap to travel in Albania. You can easily get a good restaurant meal with drinks for less than 50 NOK. I didn’t get to see much of Albania on this trip, but I will go back in the future to explore more of the country!