ALBANIA

Unexpected Beauty

Albanian Riviera

Albania’s coastline, with its lovely traditional hamlets, cobblestoned streets and small Orthodox churches, has plenty of beautiful beaches lapped by pristine waters, rivalling nearby Greece for half the price. And if you get your fill of coastal bays, you can head for the natural springs near Saranda or the lake shores near the Macedonian border – Albania has plenty of surprises. To name all of the beautiful beaches would be impossible, but here’s a list of the eleven most stunning beaches in Albania.

The coastal town of Saranda is considered the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera. It is one of the most frequented spots of the country, for many reasons: the town is near the border with Greece, in front of the island of Corfu, and has plenty of gorgeous beaches, such as Pulebardha, a pebbly beach surrounded only by nature and fabulous water.

South of Saranda, there is Ksamil, one of the best beach destinations in Albania. Ksamil is also called “the Ionian pearl” because of its beauty. It is located in a dramatic setting, a bay with three small islands reachable by swim or a boat ride, and surrounded by turquoise waters. We suggest that you avoid Ksamil in August, because it is very crowded.

The village of Himara is one of the most frequented of the Albanian Riviera, but it still hasn’t lost its charm. There are several beautiful beaches near the town, such as Livadhi, a white stone bay surrounded by olive trees, or Potami, located in a dramatic setting between the sea and a river.

The largest beach of Albania is Borsh, an untouched seven-kilometer-long stretch of sand located along the Albanian Riviera. It is surrounded by olive groves and high mountain peaks, and despite its beauty, is one of the least visited beaches in the country.

Albania doesn’t have only stunning coastal beaches, but is also home to one of the oldest and most beautiful lakes of Europe, Lake Ohrid. Near Pogradec, the main town located on the Albanian side of the lake, there are several gorgeous beaches crowded in the summer months, but perfect in spring or at the end of summer.

ust 15 minutes by car from Vlora, there is Narta, a beautiful sandy lagoon with blue waters, perfect for families. A plus here is the small island of Zvernec with an 18th-century Orthodox monastery hidden in the middle of a forest, accessible only by a wooden bridge.

Hidden by the mountains, Gjipe is the perfect beach for those who are looking for quiet and relaxation. Why? Because the bay is far from the road and to reach it requires a 30-minute trek through nature that offers spectacular views of the coast.

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