Explore the beaches
As a seaside town, Sarande has many beautiful beaches for tourists to explore. Some resorts have sandier beaches, while others have slightly more pebble beaches.
Those near the city centre are very popular and attract many people. Beaches further north or south will be less crowded and may be more beautiful and secluded.
Vouthroto is an archaeological park dating back to prehistoric times. It was formerly a Greek colony and a Roman city. It has well-preserved monuments of the ancient civilizations that once stood there.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins that can be seen include an early Christian basilica, a Roman theatre and temple, as well as a Greek market.
Make a day trip to Ksamil
To the south of Sarande, Ksamil is one of the most popular beach destinations for locals and tourists alike. Its highlights are its absolutely pristine waters and white sand – no wonder it is called the “Pearl of the Ionian”.
Motor boats are available for rent for those who want to explore and visit the small nearby islands scattered along the coast.
Visit Mirror Beach
Mirror Beach is another beautiful beach surrounded by white cliffs and limestone estuaries right on the coast, making it more secluded. It is located halfway to Ksamil from Sarande and is a little less accessible than Ksamil or other popular beaches, which means slightly fewer people. But the views make it worth the drive.
Go to Lëkurësi Castle
At the top of the hill surrounding Sarande, Lëkurësi Castle is a monument dating back to the 1500s. A quick hike or walk up the hill promises stunning views of the city. It is best to see the view at sunset!
See the Blue Eye
Named after its enchanting turquoise waters, Blue Eye is actually a natural spring located 20 minutes away from Sarande. This natural phenomenon is a deep pool of water whose depths have yet to be explored or recorded as divers could not go deeper due to excessive pressure.
Swimming in the eye is not allowed, but seeing the Blue Eye is an adventure in itself!
Tour in Gjirokaster
Gjirokaster, located about an hour away from Sarande, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wandering around the city center will reveal remarkable architecture from the Ottoman era. This city has a rich history and one could easily spend hours exploring its streets.
Try the local seafood
Being in a seaside town means a great supply of the freshest seafood. Sampling the local dishes and tasting the seafood is a must when you are in Sarande.
Many restaurants along the Albanian Riviera will serve you delicious delicacies using fresh seafood directly from the city’s fishing port.
There is another world hidden in the waters of Sarande. A quick dive or with a bottle and snorkel the water will reveal strange sea creatures, coral reefs and even shipwrecks. To fully explore the underwater life of Sarande, it is best to contact local dive centers.
Spend time at the Monastery of Sarande
Located also on the hill overlooking Sarande, the Monastery also offers tourists another way to see the city and another opportunity to take the best sunset photos.
The monastery is now in ruins, but still offers an interesting glimpse into the history of the area.
See the ruins of the Old Synagogue
The ruins of the Old Synagogue in the city center are the archaeological remains of a 5th century synagogue and another proof of the rich history of Sarande. The remaining mosaics on the floor of this site are still visible, incredibly intricate and very impressive.
Sarande, Albania…! Albanian Riviera in your hands ready to explore…!
Walk along the Bulevardi Hasan Tahsini
Bulevardi Hasan Tahsini is a beautiful area along the beach in Sarande. Taking even a short walk in Bulevardi allows anyone to slowly admire and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area.
The small cafes and bars dotted along the route mean you can make a little break for lunch or you can sit back and relax with a drink and watch the world go by.
Food & Restaurants
Most of the shops in Sarande serve Mediterranean cuisine and almost all of them will have a wonderful view of the city or the sea. There are plenty of restaurants to suit every budget and every palate – from the most luxurious restaurants to the most relaxed cafes.
A quick chat with the staff will help you choose what you want! Most of the staff at Sarande speak Greek and will help you! Others, while they do know, do not use them and prefer English!
Swim at Pasqyra beach
If you visit Sarande during the peak summer season, chances are that the beaches will be very crowded. Pasqyra beach is located to the south of the town and is a little more away from new tourists and is often quieter than the more popular spots.
If you still have the energy for it, Sarande is also known for its vibrant and bustling nightlife. Throughout the town and the beach there are clubs and bars ideal for a relaxing night out. Nightlife in Sarande combines refreshing cocktails, good music and as usual, stunning sea views.
A quick visit to this thriving city is sure to provide any traveler with many more opportunities for adventure and sightseeing. Whether you decide to spend more time on the beach or at the famous attractions, Sarande is sure to make your trip to Albania an unforgettable experience.