The coastal road between Vlora and Saranda is one of the most scenic and spectacular drives in the Balkans. Sit back and be swept away by the colorful vistas of the Albanian Riviera and enjoy this unspoiled stretch of Mediterranean. There are plenty of small hidden beaches and caves to discover, especially in proximity of the Dhermi, Jal and Himara villages.
While driving or cycling along the coast you will often meet locals coming down from the mountains with a fully packed donkey and shepherds busy with grazing large herds of goats. In the village centers there are terraces where the elderly play dominoes or chess and sip raki and freshly brewed ‘kafe turke’, under the shade of secular plane trees. What a great way to relax, and have a local beer admiring the sunset over the Ionian Sea!
A must see attraction is the Butrint Archeological Park. As the Bradt Travel Guide describes it: “Butrint is undeniably a beautiful place. Close to modern civilization yet with its monuments in thick woodland. With remains dating from so many different periods covering two and a half thousand years. Set in a marshy landscape besides the busy straits separating Corfu from Albania, it is also an environmental haven rich in bird life”.
The city of Saranda is a key location in the Albanian Coast. Surrounded by many hot spots of the Albanian Riviera and located right in front of Corfu Island, it has one of the most visited waterfronts of the country.
On the way from Saranda to Butrint and very near the coast, one finds the three small Islands of KsamiI. The picturesque spot offers a good opportunity for a refreshing swim or a satisfying lunch in local fisherman restaurants, after visiting Butrint.