Saranda or Sarandë is a town and municipality in Vlorë County, southern Albania. It is one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera.
Butrint is one of several places in Albania which was kept off-limits to the general public during the Communist Era. The city was made into a tourist destination for foreigners to
visit, but Albanian citizens were not allowed due to fears that they would try to escape by swimming the short distance to Greece.
40 Saints Monastery:
The 40 Saints Monastery refers to the same story where modern
“Saranda” got it’s name from (Saranda means “40” in Greek). This monastery was built in the 6th century, then was modified over a period of several hundred years. It is comprised of two levels, but the upper one was destroyed
in WWII. The monastery was built in honor of 40 Christian martyrs (Roman Soldiers) who were sent to their death in Siberia when they wouldn’t renounce their religion. Visitors can enter the crypt with permission from the town hall in Sarande.
5 Synagogue Complex:
Located near to the City Hall in Saranda, these ruins show that there was a large wealthy Jewish community in Oncheasmos ancient name for Saranda) during the 5th century AD. There was a community center and school
in addition to religious activities. The floors have many different mosaics, including animals and also a menorah and other Jewish symbols, which proves that this was a synagogue. The buildings were destroyed either by an earthquake or by Slavic invasion.
The synagogue had been converted into a basilica during the 6th century.
2 The Blue Eye:
This natural, deep spring embodies the clear, vibrant blue color which is seen in many of Albania’s water bodies. The way in which the water bubbles
up to the surface helps create the illusion of an eye, with the dark-colored center as the pupil, and the surrounding blue water appearing as the iris. The spring is reported to be about 45 meters deep, but some say it goes even further.
During Albania’s communist days, the Blue Eye was one of several places reserved only for the communist elite to visit, and was kept off-limits
to the general public. The Blue Eye or “Syri i Kalter” as it is known in Albania, is located just off the road between Saranda and Ghiorgnzzati.
In order to really enjoy swimming and sunbathing while in Sarandë, it is really
necessary to spend at least a day in Ksamil. There are a few beaches from which it is even possible to swim to one of the nearby islands. also we will provide with a boat to take you to one of the islands which are a little further away. There are nearby
restaurants which have freshly caught fish, and mussels from lake Butrint. You can get to Ksamil by following the road towards Butrint.
Lukove is a beautiful seaside village, with an old road that leads down the hillside to "Lukove beach" best way is walking
down). During the summertime it is a peaceful escape from the more crowded beaches of Saranda and Ksamil. The beach is characterized by course sand and smooth pebbles, and the water is an aquamarine color like you'd expect to see only in the tropics.
As with many coastal locations in Albania you can see lots of abandoned cement bunkers, which were used as lookouts during the days of Albanian isolation. The village is very small
but is a beautiy. The hillsides of Lukove are full of olive and citrus trees that were planted by communist work parties. For an interesting account written by an Albanian woman who participated in this work party.
Located in the Northern part
of Sarande District, the beach at Borshi is known as “the Pearl of Southern Albania”. It contains a castle, a mosque and a madrasa (an Islamic school).
changed hands several times throughout the years, being at one time a part of Ancient Epirus, another time part of the Roman Empire, and also was held by the Turks.
km, Borshi has the longest beach in the Ionian Sea.
Although technically located in the District of Vlorë, Himarë is not too far from the city of Sarandë and would make a nice day trip or else a nice place to stop if travelling
up the coast. There are beautiful white sandy beaches, and majestic mountains which slope down towards the sea. Himarë is bilingual, with many of the residents speaking an archaic dialect of Greek.