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I have to admit that Albania was never on my radar. It’s almost never talked about as a holiday destination and so it’s easy to overlook in favour of established spots. This all changed when I started planning a trip with some good friends of mine who are also hardcore travellers. The only rules were that we must visit somewhere in Europe and it had to be somewhere none of us had been.

We spent a long time floating ideas and getting nowhere. Between the three of us it seemed that every country had already been covered! Finally Albania was the only country left staring back at us. A bit of a mystery to us all and to everyone else I knew for that matter.

So it was settled, we were going on an Albania road trip! Fast forward to a few months later and we were all in love with this mysterious country and supremely glad that it was the last one left on the list!

In this guide I’ll give you some tops tips for your trip and show you the perfect itinerary for a one week Southern Albania road trip.

The Ultimate Southern Albania Road Trip Itinerary

albania road trip

A stunning bay along the coastal highway

*Updated in 2024* This blog post was originally written after my first Albania road trip in 2019. I have since been back to Albania several times and have updated this post accordingly. It turns out I loved Albania so much I decided to go back and live there for 3 months in 2023! Check out more of my articles about planning your trip to Albania here.  

Why you should visit Albania

Road trips are all about taking in spectacular scenery from the car window, and Albania certainly provides. Roads will take you through lush inland valleys and along stunning Mediterranean coastline. The coastal mountains make for one of the most beautiful stretches of road I have ever driven.

In Albania, you can complete a mountain hike in the morning and be relaxing at a beach bar in the afternoon with a cocktail in hand. Delicious fresh seafood and the tasty local beverages are so affordable that you’ll actually smile when you get the bill.

Locals were friendly and welcoming, the roads for the most part were in good condition and the accommodation was beautiful and unique. Albania was quickly entered on to our list of favourite destinations!

Ksamil Beach, Saranda, Albania

A beautiful beach in Ksamil, Albania

When to Go?

A southern Albania road trip wouldn’t be the same without the visiting the amazing beaches of the Albanian Riviera. This means that you want as much sunshine as possible. June to August is the perfect time for almost guaranteed sunshine but you can get away with a month on either end.

May and September/October are still nice and warm for the most part, but with a slightly higher chance of cloudy days and a few extra days rain per month on average. Summer will feature daytime temperatures in the 30s and night-time temperatures in the low 20s.

The good thing about visiting Albania during spring or fall is that you can beat the crowds and still get plenty of beautiful sunny beach days!

albania guesthouse

A mountain guesthouse in Albania

Albania Safety

Albania is regarded as a very safe country to travel, with crime and violence against foreigners being extremely rare. Locals are very welcoming and for the most part will go out of their way to help you with no expectation of reward. We also met a number of women travelling solo who reported that they hadn’t experienced any harassment or concerning behaviour.

We only experienced one attempted scam. This was restaurants/bars adding an extra item or adding up the total incorrectly. When questioned about the charge they were very apologetic and corrected it without arguing. The driving can be interesting in Albania but I will cover that in the next section.

The Best Travel Insurance for Road Tripping in Albania

Don’t risk it. Road tripping without travel insurance is never a good idea! The reality of travelling overseas is that unexpected things can happen at anytime so the best thing you can do is be prepared.

For peace of mind while road tripping through Albania, Heymondo is one of the most reliable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you’d like to protect against medical emergencies, lost luggage, or trip cancellations, Heymondo has you covered!

As a reader of The Road Is Life, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance by using the link below!

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The best Albania road trip itinerary

Exploring the seaside town of Himare

Driving in Albania

A quick google will find many articles written on driving in Albania. Most will assure you that death is inevitable and the roads are one giant pothole after another, with a small amount of tarmac between.

This paints a very false picture and is either outdated or based on travels into rural areas and less visited parts of the country. Whilst roads like that do exist, if you follow this Albania road trip itinerary the roads are well maintained, well-marked and a pleasure to drive on.

The main safety issue is with other drivers, but from my experience this was nowhere near as bad as people made out online. It is true that some Albanians can drive a little crazy, but if you are a competent driver and stay alert you will be fine. I never felt nervous or in danger whilst driving through southern Albania.

→A phone mount for your car is an essential item when road tripping Albania←

This Albania itinerary is full of beautiful natural vistas

Watch out for locals overtaking before blind corners and always prepare to brake after coming around a corner. People will also overtake you on potentially dangerous stretches of road, it’s best to slow a little to let them back in safely.

There are less barriers than you would expect on the high mountain roads. Make sure you take plenty of stops to admire the view so you aren’t distracted while driving!

I used Google maps on my phone to navigate and it was reliable for the entire trip. You can download the map area of Albania before leaving on your trip. I found that it’s best to buy a local sim card on arrival so that you can stay connected at all times while driving. In the case that you pass through areas with no mobile signal, you should pre-load the route on wi-fi each morning before starting the drive.

Berat Albania 1

Beautiful inland river valleys

Sim Cards in Albania

I can highly recommend using an e-sim while road tripping in Albania, Airalo is awesome and I’ve used it all around the world. You just have to download the app, make sure your phone is compatible for installing an e-sim and then follow the instructions to set it up. See more about setting up your Airalo account here.

Alternatively, you can buy a regular sim card on arrival in Albania. Vodafone provides great mobile coverage around the country and there are shops all over Albania. You can get 30gb of data for 2000 lek (€20) and that will be more than enough data to get you through this road trip. 

One Week Albania Road Trip Map

To view the stops listed in order, click the square in the top left hand corner of the map below. To view a larger version of this map, click the square in the top right hand corner to open it in a new window. 

Albania Road Trip Itinerary – Days One and Two

Getting There

The start and end point for this road trip is the town of Saranda. The most convenient way to get there is to fly to Corfu in Greece and get the ferry across. Read on for detailed instructions on how to catch the ferry from Corfu to Saranda as well as how to get there from Tirana.

Getting from Tirana to Saranda

Depending on where you are travelling from, you may find it cheaper to fly into Tirana and start the journey there. You can easily rent a car in Tirana and drive to Saranda or just take the local bus which costs 1700 lek (€17) per person.

Buses to Saranda depart daily from the regional bus terminal and the journey takes 4.5 hours. You should have cash available to buy your ticket at the station and be sure to use the bathroom before you get there, there are no toilets at the bus station (it’s more like a big parking lot) or on the bus! It does however make a short toilet stop half way through the journey.

→Check out this site to find cheap flights to Albania or Corfu←

Best Restaurants in Saranda

Dine by the sea in Saranda

Catching the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda

You have the option to either book a ferry online or buy a ticket in person at the local offices of the various ferry companies. Booking online is the better choice as you can print your ticket in advance and travel straight to the ferry terminal. I personally booked at the office just to do research for this article. The process took longer than expected (30mins or so) and was a bit of a hassle.

→Check out this great search tool to easily browse and book the cheapest/most convenient ticket←

I bought a one way ticket, but you can buy a return ticket if you already have your times set in stone. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure as it’s easy to buy a return ticket at the port in Saranda. There is a café with food and ice-cold beers in the Corfu terminal and you can bring your purchases aboard.

First view of Albania from the ferry

Getting from the airport to ferry terminal by taxi:

The most convenient option is to hail a cab to the ‘new port’ (or ticket offices if you haven’t booked online). This is a lot less hassle and a better option if you have a ferry leaving soon after your flight lands. Depending on whether they wait at the ticket office it will set you back between €10 and €15.

Getting from the airport to ferry terminal by bus:

From Corfu airport there is a well-marked public bus that will take you to the Corfu Port, you want to get the #15 Blue Bus, it is a little less than €2 and you can buy a ticket on the bus. This bus will take you though the city centre and main bus terminal before continuing to the port. There are two stops when you get to the port, the first stop is the ‘old port’ and the second is the ‘new port’.

This is where it got a little confusing and resulted in a lot of walking in the heat! Your ferry will depart from the far end of the new terminal however tickets to Albania have to be purchased from ferry company offices, which are much closer to the old port.

If you booked in advance then get off at the new port. If you need to book a ticket then get off the bus at the old port, buy a ticket, then walk to the new port. See below for a map detailing the location of the ferry company offices and the route to the departure terminal.

Ionian is the company I used but all the other offices are in the same place. Also note that where it lists the ‘Port’ on the map is not where the terminal is, you have to walk an additional 5 mins to the terminal for Albania. 

Saranda

Saranda is the largest town on the Albanian Riviera. It has a large beachfront promenade filled with shops, beach bars, restaurants and a nice public beach for swimming. The car rental shops are located near the ferry terminal so you have the option to explore the town or get straight on the road.

You may choose to spend the night in a hotel in Saranda before heading to Ksamil the following day or drive straight there after picking up your rental car. Ksamil is only a 20 minute drive from Saranda so either way works fine for this itinerary. 

Saranda is a much larger town with more restaurant choices and some cool sunset bars to check out. Be sure to see my guide to the best restaurants in Saranda if that’s where you choose to spend your first night in Albania. However, Ksamil is where you will find the most stunning beaches on the Albanian Rivera, so don’t linger too long in Saranda!

Whilst in Saranda you can easily buy your return ferry tickets from offices on the road outside the port. Depending on the season you plan to visit, you can typically buy your tickets the day before travel. This may not be the case during peak summer season so it’s best to pick them up when you first arrive in Saranda.

Saranda Promenade

Beachfront promenade in Saranda

Renting a Car in Saranda

Saranda has plenty of car rental shops in the near vicinity of the port as well as the town center. When it comes to renting a car, you could either book your car online before arrival or check out a few different shops when you get there. 

I have personally used and can recommend Leka Car Rentals as well as Iris Car Rentals, both are local shops within walking distance from the Port of Saranda. My experience picking up and dropping off my car was smooth and hassle-free. You can expect to pay around 25 – 35 euros per day for a car rental in Albania.

When I first travelled to Albania back in 2019, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now when it comes to renting a car. I also heard several stories of car rental companies that try to scam tourists by making them pay extra for scratches that were already there. Just be cautious and do your research about the company and read reviews online before booking.

If you are planning to road trip through Albania during high season (June – August) I would highly recommend that you book your car rental online before you get there. If you visit during shoulder season (Sept/Oct) then it’s no problem to show up and arrange your car rental once you’re already there.

Albania road trip 2

Plenty of stunning viewpoints along this drive

If you’d prefer to avoid going with a local rental car company, then I would suggest booking a car with Enterprise or Avis. You can easily book a rental car through these international companies via this website

You can expect to get good customer service and peace of mind that you won’t run into any scams along the way. It may cost slightly more to do it this way however the price of the car rental is more than made up for by the cheap prices of everything else in Albania.

I always use Rentalcars.com no matter where in the world I travel as their excess free insurance is affordable and a good thing to have. Use the form below or click here to compare prices on car rental options in Saranda.

When searching online, just be sure to double check the pick-up location. When I used Rentalcars.com in Saranda, for some reason it also showed me many options located in Greece!

Ksamil

Arriving into Ksamil is when Albania will start blowing your mind! It’s a picture-perfect bay with the most amazing turquoise water and beach bars perched invitingly over it. The drive from Saranda is also impressive, the road weaves through the hills with views of beautiful mountain valleys and rivers.

Ksamil is one of the most popular destinations in Southern Albania so it won’t be quiet but is still 100% worth it. I recommend to stay two nights in Ksamil as you will be arriving fairly late and will definitely want a full day of relaxation and fun here.

Ksamil main beach

The main beach of Ksamil

What to do in Ksamil

Beach Bars

There are beach bars everywhere in Ksamil, offering beach beds on the sand or on decks over the water. Patience is the key to finding the perfect place to spend your day. The guys running the bars will approach you and try to tempt you in but the main entrance from town is not the best area.

You want to make sure you are near the tip of the peninsula sticking out towards the 3 outlying islands, this area has the nicest bars and best views. A beach chair at one of the nicer places will set you back about 1000 – 2500 lek (10-25 euros) for the entire day! Tre Ishujt Restaurant & Lounge is one of the most popular places in this area.

I personally liked Blue Diamond Bar on Lori Beach or anywhere on the main Ksamil Beach (as seen in the photo below) which is surrounded by beach bars/restaurants. The cocktails and beers, whilst being more expensive than most other places in Albania, are still fairly cheap.

Plazhi Ksamilit, Albanian Riviera

The stunning white sand and turquoise water of Ksamil Beach

Clifftop Restaurants

Whilst you can easily order lunch from the comfort of your beach chair, I would recommend hiking uphill for lunch with a view. There are restaurants perched along the cliffs overlooking the bay with amazing views. You may struggle to eat your meal as your jaw will be hanging wide open the entire time!

Seriously though, the seafood is top notch as well as a large number of other Mediterranean dishes served in a beautiful atmosphere. I can recommend Bar Restorant Korali Ksamil as this is where we ate and it was delicious. Guvat Restaurant (which is located right next door) is also an amazing restaurant with stunning views. 

At various locations around the bay you can hire all sorts of water sports equipment. You can either go to where the equipment is tied up near a jetty or just ask your waiter/waitress, as most beach bars will be able to arrange it for you. You can hire paddle boats, paddle boards, kayaks, snorkelling gear and take speedboat or jet ski rides around the islands.

The ultimate Albania road trip itinerary

A gorgeous view from Guvat Restaurant in Ksamil

Butrint Archaeological Park

The ruins of Butrint are a short drive or bus trip from Ksamil and are well worth a quick visit during your stay. This UNESCO World Heritage site has evidence of being occupied since 50,000 BC and today you can see the ruins of both Greek and Roman settlements.

The rich history of this site also includes Byzantine and Venetian occupations. The site sits within a pleasant natural surrounds and makes for a nice walking route. You can complete this in about an hour.

Entry Ticket: 1000 lek/person

Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm daily

Albania itinerary - one week

Butrint is full of well-preserved ancient ruins 

Where to Stay in Ksamil

When looking for accommodation you want to make sure you are an easy walk to the beach as there is quite a hill leading up to the places on the main road. Albania has a lot of places with very few reliable ratings so it is best to do your research. Below I have recommended a couple of great Ksamil hotels to consider.

Mustafaraj Apartments offers a whole apartment, right on the beach, with amazing views from your deck. This budget option gives you massive bang for your buck and is in a more quiet part of town.

Blue Eye Hotel is perfectly positioned to access the best part of Ksamil in only a few minutes walk and is right in town. This modern hotel has clean and comfortable rooms, as well as a swimming pool and onsite bar/restaurant. A little slice of luxury for a very reasonable price!

An aerial view looking down at Ksamil Islands in Albania

A bird’s eye view of Ksamil Beach and islands

Albania Road Trip Itinerary – Days Three and Four

Day three is the biggest day of the trip so you will want to get an early start. There is about four hours driving in total but split up by a couple of stops so you don’t get too tired.

The Blue Eye of Albania

The Blue Eye, otherwise known as Syri i Kaltër in Albania, is a beautiful natural water spring outside of Saranda. It comprises a natural pool with a stunning range of hues and a pit that goes down at least 50m.

You have to pay a small fee to enter the national park so make sure you have some lek on you. It was 50 lek entry per person at the time of writing and 200 lek for parking your car.

From the main road you will turn onto a gravel road and after a short time you will see a booth where they collect payment. You will then cross a one lane bridge and follow the road for about 10 mins or so until you reach an area with a few buildings and a parking lot.

The Blue Eye is also one of the most popular day trips from Saranda so aim to get there early in the day to avoid the big crowds and tour buses. 

The pristine water at the Blue Eye is incredibly inviting and may be enticing to hop in for a swim, but keep in mind that it is very cold (10o C to be exact!)

Visit the Blue Eye of Albania on a one week Albania road trip

The mysterious Blue Eye of Albania

Gjirokaster

The next stop after the Blue Eye is the ancient town of Gjirokaster. The old town area of Gjirokaster is a UNESCO site and dates back to Greek times. There are a few really old buildings but most of what you see today is Ottoman era construction. The houses in the old town are built with a very distinctive character and have roofs covered with flat stones.

When you enter Gjirokaster you should walk through the old town first and admire the interesting architecture. You can then start ascending towards the fortress for a brilliant view from above.

As you walk uphill towards the fortress, you will hit an intersection where you turn left to see the fortress or right up another road. If you turn right and walk a short distance up the road you will find a great viewpoint of the old town.

Streets of Gjirokaster

The fortress itself is definitely worth a visit, even if only for the views of the surrounding mountains and valley. There are plaques with historical information and you can walk around the whole place in about half an hour.

You should add on extra time however for finding a quiet spot to sit and look out over the beautiful countryside.

*NOTE* Your GPS will try to take you up a crazy mountain road if you enter Gjirokaster as your destination. I can tell you from experience that this is not a good idea! If you set your destination as Cerciz Topulli Square it will take you down the correct road. See the map below for reference.

Albania road trip Gjirokaster Fortress

Great views from the Gjirokaster fortress

Berat

The drive to Berat is the longest of the trip, but the roads are almost all main roads/highways and easy to drive. We made a stop for lunch in a city called Fier, which you will pass through along the way. Alternatively you can have lunch in Gjirokaster or bring some food and find a nice place to stop.

You will likely arrive in Berat in the late afternoon or evening. You should drive straight to your accommodation so you can enjoy the amazing sunset views here. I recommend staying for 2 nights as there are a lot of great things to do in Berat.

*NOTE* Google maps plots the best route even though it looks like there is a shorter route. Don’t be tempted to take a short-cut as they are some pretty dicey mountain roads.

Berat Albania Road Trip

The town of Berat

What to do in Berat

Stay in a 13th century fortress

The pretty town of Berat that you may have seen in photos is down on the river bank. What many people don’t know before visiting is that high up above Berat is a 13th century fortress and you can stay in it!

This is an absolute highlight of the trip. The guesthouses are quaint and cosy and have amazing mountain views. I recommend two different guest-houses below and you should try to book early. While Albania is certainly not busy like Western Europe, the guest-houses can book out due to a limited number of rooms.

Amazing views from Guest House Iljesa

Walk around the fortress

Within the fortress you can walk around the walls to find some impressive viewpoints and some nice places to enjoy a drink with a view. You will also find the 13th century Holy Trinity Church, which is a beautiful building set into the side of the fortress.

Make sure to locate the panoramic viewpoint above Berat. If you circumnavigate the fortress you will come across it but your guest-house can also point you in the right direction.

Berat Old Town

The town of Berat lies on the bank of the Osum River and is yet another UNESCO notch in Albania’s belt. The old town comprises many beautiful churches, mosques and murals. Like many parts of Albania it is a blend of many civilizations across history.

The town of Berat is actually made up of three parts. The fortress town ‘Kalaja’, the main town called ‘Mangalem’ and a final area across the river named ‘Gorica’. The bridge across to Gorica gives you a great view back of main part of town and we found a great photo op by walking down into the almost dry river basin.

From the fortress a walking path can take you down to the old town. The path is very steep so if you are not confident going down or coming back up then you can always drive down into town. There is plenty of free parking along the river.

The road to the fortress is one way so you have to do a little loop down through the countryside and back into town which takes around 10mins.

Driving into the fortress

Museums

Within the main town there are a couple of interesting museums to visit.

The National Iconographic Museum Onufri is housed inside one of the old churches. It has an amazing collection of religious paintings and murals. The unique style of the paintings and the beautiful gilding of the church make it well worth the 200 lek entry fee.

The National Ethnographic Museum Berat is found within an old Ottoman era house and gives you a view into how people lived in those times. You can walk around the house and get a great feeling for the rigours of life in antiquity, as well as some information about the history of Berat.

Berat Fortress Albania

Views from the top of the castle

Wineries

Touring an Albanian winery is definitely a unique experience and there are a couple you could visit in proximity to Berat.

The Cobo Winery is conveniently situated along the road you will take after you leave Berat. You can tour the vineyard and have a tasting session before purchasing a bottle to enjoy on the riviera later that day. Have your guesthouse give them a call so they can expect you as it is a family run business.

Nurellari Winery is in a beautiful location, the views adding great ambiance to your tasting. They offer a selection of vintage wines paired with homemade jams and a selection of cheeses. It’s in the opposite direction from where you’ll be driving so it is better to visit as a day-trip for a couple of hours.

Taxis in Berat will take you out there and even wait for you for a very reasonable price. The other option is to take a day trip from Berat, you will likely have a better experience when arranged by a local. This wine tasting tour is an easy way to sample the wines and history of this region. It lasts for 7 hours and also includes a visit to Berat Castle as well as a traditional lunch.

Tours in Berat

There is a lot to see within Berat and also in the surrounding countryside. A walking tour of Berat is a great way to delve a little deeper into the history of Berat through the eyes and experience of a local. There are also beautiful waterfalls, a huge canyon and one of the largest caves in Albania. See below for my recommended tours and to explore times/prices.

 

Where to stay in Berat

I cannot stress enough how amazing it was staying in the 13th century fortress high above Berat. Many people don’t realize you are able to stay up there and so miss out.

We stayed at Guest House Iljesa. They have a terrace right on the edge of the wall with sweeping views over the mountains and countryside. The guesthouse itself has a beautiful rustic charm and the staff were super friendly. A bartender is present at almost all hours to serve you on the terrace. They also do an amazing breakfast every morning.

Hotel Klea is another great option. We ate most meals here as they have a beautiful garden dining area. You can watch the chef collecting fresh veggies and herbs to create your meal. We had great conversations with the friendly family who run the place and the food was top notch. I will definitely try staying here next time I’m in town!

→Browse more accommodation options in Berat←

The garden restaurant at Hotel Klea

Albania Road Trip Itinerary – Days Five and Six

Today will see you driving one of the most stunning roads I have ever seen. There are a couple of optional stops to visit along the way. After this you will wind your way up into verdant mountain landscapes, with towering peaks on one side and spectacular ocean views on the other.

I have suggested several possible overnight stops along the riviera, depending on how far your wish to drive today. They are listed in the order that you come across them. If following this itinerary you will have 2 nights to stay along the coast. You could choose to stay at a different beach each night if you want to explore more of the riviera. Otherwise you can spend two nights in the same place and maximise that relaxation time!

If you are spending two nights in the same place I would recommend driving at least to Himare. This way you will have less worry about making it back to Saranda on time.

Southern Albania Road Trip

An amazing viewpoint on Llogara Pass

Optional Stops

The first optional stop is Ardenica Monastery, built in 1282 by a Byzantine emperor. It features some beautiful and unique wooden construction, including the altar piece as well as frescos from numerous centuries. The ticket is cheap and must be purchased in cash at the door.

The second optional stop is the ruins of Apollonia. Here you can find the frontage of a temple dating back to Greek times, around the 6th Century BC. You can also find a Byzantine Christian complex dating to the 13th century and an archaeological museum.

The Llogara Pass

This mountain pass is the final hurdle you must cross before descending down to the world class beaches of the Albanian Riviera. Driving this stretch of road was one of the most enjoyable experiences of any road trip I have done. The views are simply sublime.

When you reach the top of the pass there are three restaurants where you can stop for a well-earned lunch. All the restaurants have decks with incredible panoramic views. They all have good ratings so if you can’t get a table on the deck at one, then move along to the next one. This is not a place to be eating inside!

Plenty of photo ops along the way

Beaches and Accommodation Along the Riviera

Drymades Beach

Drymades Beach will be the first major beach area that you come across as you leave the Llogara Pass. Depending on how long it has taken you to drive and how you are feeling it can make a decent overnight stop for your first night. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are so tired that you can’t drive a little further. I preferred both the beaches and accommodation options further down the coast.

This beach is close to the busy town of Dhermi but it is separate from Dhermi Beach. It is found closer to Gjileke and is quieter than Dhermi beach, which is covered in beach chairs. Drymades beach has a sandy part to give you a break from all the pebbles and some lovely rock formations which make for great pictures.

Visit the stunning Drymades Beach while driving through Albania

Visit the stunning Drymades Beach while driving through Albania

Where to Stay in Drymades Beach

If you do decide to overnight at Drymades Beach, you should stay at Guest House Four Seasons. It is a little ways up the hill from Drymades Beach, meaning you will have to drive a few minutes to get there. In exchange you get sweeping views across the ocean and mountains from your balcony.

If you want a little more action and some good restaurant options you might want to continue on to Dhermi. The beach is more busy, but you won’t be able to beat the absolute beachfront access offered by Vela E Bardhe. They have cute cottage style rooms right on the ocean with an onsite restaurant and bar.

Browse more accommodation options in Drymades Beach

Gjipe Beach

The next beach of note is Gjipe beach, a hidden gem tucked away down a trail which is inaccessible by vehicles. This is not ideal to stay on as you will have to carry all your stuff down but is a nice beach for a visit.

If you make the 30min trek down to this beach you are rewarded by a beautiful little cove which you can have almost to yourself! There is a small campground at the bottom that sells drinks and that you can stay in if you wish.

The stunning seafront of Himare in Albania

The seafront of Himare

Himare

Himare is the perfect area to base yourself if you wish to spend two nights in the same place. The seafront of Himare is nicely developed and the beach is beautiful. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants set back from the water.

The beach of Himare can be a little busy in the summer months so you could try staying at one of the nearby beaches if you want a quieter experience (keep in mind that no beach in Albania comes close to being as busy as a typical European beach!).

Livadhi Beach is a few kilometres to the north of Himare and has some beautiful accommodation options.

Lamani Beach is about the same distance in the opposite direction. It’s a small beach with limited accommodation options but is a stunning place to spend a day or even a morning before returning to Himare.

Visit the beautiful town of Himare on this epic Albania road trip itinerary

Himare offers some great dining and drinking options

Where to Stay in Himare

Hotel ARXONTIKO will allow you to take advantage of Himare’s many bar and restaurant options. The beautiful and modern 4 star hotel has a prime location right on the beach. A great place to stay if basing yourself in Himare for 2 nights. You can’t beat having stunning ocean views from the comfort of your bed.

Calliope Apartments offers equally beautiful scenery but added space and tranquility. Located on Livadhi beach, they have self-contained apartments with everything you need.

→Browse more accommodation options in Himare←

Borsh Beach

Borsh beach is the perfect place to spend your second night, or to have somewhere quiet both nights. This is the longest beach of the Albanian Riviera and also one of the least busy. We were there in the middle of the day in summer and had almost the entire beach to ourselves.

The views from Borsh beach are also stunning. The mountains are set a little farther back from the beach in this area and they cradle a valley full of olive and fruit trees.

Rent a cheap beach chair for the day at Borsh beach in Albania

Rent a cheap beach chair for the day at Borsh Beach

Where to Stay in Borsh Beach

I’m going to recommend two very different options to spend what is potentially your last night in Albania.

If you want to go out with a bang and in proper resort style then spend a night at the Sole Luna Hotel. This recently built hotel has luxurious rooms and a high quality onsite beach bar and restaurant. You have free use of their beach furniture and great views no matter which way your room is facing!

On the other end of the spectrum, and the beach, is the beautiful Guest House Luiza. It is set back from the beach amongst the orchards and the building resembles a cozy log cabin. The rooms are simple yet comfortable and offer a kitchenette and fridge.

→Browse more accommodation options in Borsh←

Albania Road Trip Itinerary – Day Seven

Saranda and Home

The final day of the trip will see you returning to Saranda and doing the first day in reverse. Depending on where you have chosen to spend the last night you will have to allow differing amounts of time to get back to Saranda.

This stretch of road is winding and mountainous so you should allow at least half an hour above what the GPS suggests. There are some beautiful viewpoints along the road so if you are planning to stop for photos you might want to allow even more time.

It’s best to book an evening flight so you can get away with a morning at the beach. Check out some of the beautiful beaches in Saranda if your schedule allows for it. 

Also keep in mind that returning a car in Albania can take longer than you expect. The offices are small and there are not so many staff. The good part is that after returning the car, you are already at the port. If you haven’t already booked your ferry ticket then there are ferry company offices all along the street outside the port.

Berat albania

We hope you enjoy your amazing Albania Road Trip!

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Explore the beauty of Albania on this epic 10 day Albania road trip itinerary Explore the beauty of Albania on this epic 10 day Albania road trip itinerary

Explore the beauty of Albania on this epic 10 day Albania road trip itinerary

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