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Nestled within the lush Albanian countryside, the Blue Eye (Syri i Kaltër) is a unique natural phenomenon that will captivate you with its beauty. Taking a day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda will be one of the highlights of your holiday in Albania.

The spring is located near the village of Muzinë, about 35 minutes inland from Saranda. It’s one of the best places to visit in the south of Albania and one of the most popular day trips from Saranda

The Blue Eye of Albania is a freshwater spring that reaches a depth of over 50 metres. The swirling turquoise water bubbles up from the depths of the earth creating a mesmerizing sight that will take your breathe away.

During my stay in Saranda, I visited the Blue Eye several times and was in total awe of the mystical spring and the scenery that surrounds it. There is really something special and mysterious about this place!

This article covers all of the important info to help you plan your day trip to the Blue Eye in Albania. You’ll find everything you need to know such as how to get there, all costs involved, the best tours to book and more.

Day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda

The Blue Eye of Albania 

Day Trip to The Blue Eye from Saranda, Albania – Complete Guide

How to Get to the Blue Eye from Saranda

Getting from Saranda to the Blue Eye is easily done by renting a car and driving there yourself, taking the local bus or joining an organised day trip that includes a visit to the Blue Eye on the itinerary.

Car – If you want more flexibility on your day trip to the Blue Eye, renting a car is the best way to go. This will allow you to take your time and stop at some of the sights on the way there and back. 

The drive to the Blue Eye follows a scenic country road that winds through the rolling hills of southern Albania. It takes around 35 minutes, click here for directions on Google Maps

The Blue Eye is also an iconic stop on any Albania road trip itinerary, be sure to read my complete one week itinerary before you go!

Bus – You can catch the public bus to the Blue Eye from the main bus station in Saranda. It costs 300 lek per person and tickets can be purchased at the station on the day before your journey.

You will find the bus station next to the old Synagogue with a sign at the front of the building that reads “Tirane, Gjirokaster, Blue Eye”. View the location here.

There are several bus departures everyday that stop at the Blue Eye on the way to Tirana or Gjirokaster. Bus times change throughout the year with more available buses through the summer months. Be sure to confirm the current bus schedule when you buy your ticket. 

Organised Tour – Taking an organised day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda is the best way to go if you don’t feel like driving or taking the bus. Allow a tour guide to plan every detail of the day for you so you can relax and enjoy the sights. See the next section for the top rated Blue Eye tours. 

Visit the Blue Eye of Albania on a day trip from Saranda

The mysterious Blue Eye

The Best Tours to the Blue Eye from Saranda

Butrint, Blue Eye, Lekuresi Castle: This full day tour picks you up at your Saranda hotel and brings you to 3 top attractions: Butrint National Park, Lekuresi Castle and the Blue Eye. This is great if you’re short on time and hoping to see several highlights of Albania in a day. View tour prices and availability here. 

Blue Eye & Lekuresi Castle: An easy 3 hr tour that picks you up from the center of Saranda and takes you to the Blue Eye and Lekuresi Castle. Transportation, entry tickets and a tour guide is included in the day trip. View tour prices and availability here.

Half Day Trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda: If you’d like a tour that only stops at the Blue Eye, look no further! This half day trip departs from the port of Saranda at 9am before beginning the drive to the Blue Eye. The duration of the day trip lasts for 3 hrs. View tour prices and availability here.

Gjirokaster & Blue Eye: Check out this tour that combines a visit to the UNESCO listed town of Gjirokaster with your day trip to the Blue Eye. The tour includes a 3 hour stop in Gjirokaster followed by a 1 hour guided tour of the Blue Eye on the way back to Saranda. View tour prices and availability here.

 

Important Facts and Info for Visiting the Blue Eye of Albania

• The Blue Eye is officially known as Syri i Kaltër in Albanian. The natural phenomenon has mystified locals and visitors for many years making it a very popular attraction for anyone visiting Saranda. The enchanting spring has even been the inspiration behind myths and legends in Albanian folklore. 

• Be sure to visit an ATM in Saranda so that you have enough cash for the day. You will need cash to pay for the bus, parking and entry to the Blue Eye, as well as food and drinks for the day.

• A day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda will take around 4 hours total. Driving time there and back is around one hour and you should allow for 2-3 hours to explore the park and have some lunch. 

• The Blue Eye is open daily from 8am – 8pm. Your experience may differ a lot depending on the time of year you visit. Aim to get there early in the day to avoid large crowds and tour buses. 

• If you go during high season from June – August, you can expect heavy crowds of other tourists. If you visit in May or Sept/Oct, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time.

Day Trip to Blue Eye Albania from Saranda• If you have chosen to drive there, parking will cost 200 lek per vehicle. Once you have parked, continue by foot following signs for the Blue Eye for around 2km. Along the way, you will come across a booth selling entry tickets to the Blue Eye at 50 lek per person.

• One thing I wasn’t aware of during my visit is that it takes around 20-30 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the Blue Eye. Make sure to wear comfy walking shoes. Electric scooters are available for rent if you’re not up for the walk. 

• If you’re hoping to swim in the crystal clear water of the Blue Eye, don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and a fast-drying towel. It is icy cold though, be warned! 

• You will notice a sign advising visitors not to swim however this is not monitored and there are almost always people swimming in the spring. 

• There are facilities at the Blue Eye such as toilets and restaurants however you are free to pack your own food and drinks in a day bag if you wish. 

Visiting Albania's Blue Eye - The Ultimate Guide

The Blue Eye of Albania in October

Things to See and Do at the Blue Eye of Albania

Visit the Blue Eye

Once you arrive at the Blue Eye, make your way over to the viewing platform for the best vantage point of the spring’s crystal clear water. From there you can take in the lush greenery and beautiful landscapes that surround the Blue Eye.

Marvel at the spring as it bubbles to the surface from the depths of an underground cave, feeding into the Bistrice River. The river winds its way through the rugged terrain of southern Albania, cutting through valleys and gorges as it flows toward the Ioanian Sea.

Swim at the Blue Eye

The striking turquoise water of the Blue Eye is incredibly clear and pristine which draws visitors in for a dip on a scorching hot day. No matter how warm the temperature is outside, the water of the spring is consistently around 10-12°C year-round. In other words, it’s very cold!

You’ll still see people jumping in for a swim, there’s always someone willing to brave the cold. So you can decide whether you’ll be adventurous enough for a cold plunge at the Blue Eye of Albania, I tried but didn’t make it very far!

Have lunch

There are several local restaurants near the Blue Eye where you can stop for a bite to eat in a picturesque location. The menu at these restaurants feature plenty of traditional Albanian foods such as salads, pastas, meat and seafood dishes. 

Restaurant near the Blue Eye of Albania

Have lunch in a scenic spot near the Blue Eye

The Perfect Itinerary for a Day Trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda

Here is an ideal itinerary for those planning to rent a car and drive to the Blue Eye of Albania. Start your morning with a nice breakfast and coffee at Marini or Lulu Cafe, the best brunch restaurants in Saranda

After breakfast, begin the 35 min drive to the Blue Eye from Saranda. Plan to spend a few hours exploring the area, taking photos and admiring the stunning scenery.

Once you’ve seen the Blue Eye and had lunch, make your way to the Mesopotam Monastery. This 11th century church is an easy and quick stop to make on the way back to Saranda in the afternoon. It’s surrounded by rolling hills in a pretty countryside setting and makes a nice addition to your Blue Eye day trip.

Mesopotam Monastery, Saranda

Mesopotam Monastery

If you time your day trip right, you can make it back to Saranda in time to catch an epic sunset from my favourite wine bar in the hills. Kristiano’s Wine Bar is a hidden gem where you can see a breathtaking view over Saranda and the Greek island of Corfu while sipping a nice glass of wine.

I really loved this place, and the fact that it’s still fairly off the beaten path makes it even more special!

Wine Bar Kristiano, Saranda

Incredible views at Wine Bar Kristiano

Where to Rent a Car in Saranda

Renting a car in Albania is affordable and easy to do. You can expect to pay around 25 – 35 euros per day for a small car. There are many local shops offering rental cars in Saranda however they can be pretty busy during the summer months.

If you’d like the option to book a rental car online before you get there, check out this website for more details. If you’re travelling outside of the busy months, you won’t have any issues going with a local company. 

I have used Leka Car Rentals which I found to be an easy and seamless experience. The shop is a 12 minute walk from the Port of Saranda and you can send them a message on WhatsApp or contact them by email before you go. 

Day Trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda

Explore Albania on a road trip

What to Pack for Your Blue Eye Day Trip

Day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda, AlbaniaWhere to Stay in Saranda

Below are a few of the top rated hotels in Saranda for every budget. For more detailed info on the best areas to stay in town, check out my complete guide to choosing the best hotels in Saranda.

Budget

Eleana’s ApartamentThis affordable and centrally located apartment is perfectly situated for those looking to take day trips from Saranda. This fully equipped apartment includes a kitchen, private bathroom, and balcony facing the sea. Free parking is also available.

Mid-Range

Hotel ManoThis lovely hotel is located near the waterfront, only steps from the Port of Saranda. With ocean views, comfy rooms, free parking and a tasty breakfast included, Hotel Mano is a great choice for those arriving or departing by ferry to Corfu. 

Luxury

Andon Lapa Hotel & Spa Tucked away in the quiet Kodrra neighbourhood, this gorgeous 4-star hotel has all the amenities for a luxurious stay in Saranda. With an outdoor pool, gym, amazing breakfast and private beach access, look no further than the Andon Lapa Hotel!

→Browse more accommodation options in Saranda on Booking.com←

The Best Day Trips from Saranda, AlbaniaThe Best Travel Insurance for Albania

Do you have your travel insurance yet? You’ll definitely need it for your trip to Albania. 

The last thing you want is to have an unexpected medical emergency occur while you’re in a different country with no insurance to cover the costs!

Even if you don’t end up using it, getting travel insurance is a small investment to make for peace of mind. This allows you to focus on having a memorable, relaxing vacation instead of worrying about what could go wrong. 

I always go with Heymondo. They’re one of the most reliable 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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Day trip to the Blue Eye from Saranda

Incredible scenery around the Blue Eye, Albania

Final Thoughts on Taking a Day Trip to the Blue Eye

The Blue Eye of Albania is a unique attraction that lives up to its popular reputation. Even if it is busy when you go, it is still well worth a visit. It makes for an easy and memorable day trip from Saranda and its beauty will leave a lasting impression long after your holiday in Albania!

Let me know your thoughts about the Blue Eye in the comments below and don’t forget to read my one week Albania road trip itinerary before you go. Happy travels😊

Read More Albania Travel Guides


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blue eye in albania Day trip to the Blue Eye in Albania

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