When you hear Riviera, the first thing comes in our minds is probably the French one. But in the south of Albania there is another seaside all way more beautiful, scenic and virgin than other Mediterranean shores.
The Albanian Riviera is a place where the sun stretches across the deep sea, where there are splendid configurations of rocky and isolated small beaches, and the mountains and hillsides are covered in Mediterranean vegetation with charming villages constructed between the mountains and sea.
Our selection encompasses the entire region, from the Llogara National Park in the north to Saranda in the south. Enjoy!
It is the first village the travelers see on their way down from Llogara Pass, and the first thing that catches their eye is its typical Mediterranean architecture. White small houses, one above another, with red tiles, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation and olive trees. This little Albanian village looks like Amalfi coast on Italy but all way less crowded. Dhermi is also famous for its amazing beaches, with white sand and crystal clear water. Dhermi beaches are very popular during summer as they are home of youth beach festivals. Famous DJs from all over the world come every year to play electronic music and parties.
Himara is the largest town between Saranda and Vlora, with a high school, district hospital, ATMs and so forth. Years after fall of communist regime, Himara is now an attractive little resort with good hotels and restaurants. If you find Saranda overdeveloped, this is is the place to come. The standard of service is better than at some other resorts on the Riviera and the local people are friendly and helpful. The swimming in Himara is excellent with clear blue water that stays warm until late in year.
Vuno is a small village on a hillside near the Riviera with about 80 inhabitants all year round. During summertime the number of population increases up to 500. There is no school in Vuno anymore, so the children have to go elsewhere for education. Known for its Mediterranean architecture and climate, Vuno is a must visited village on your journey along Albanian Riviera.
According to 19th century topographer William Martin Leake, the original name of the village was Kiepero or Kiparos, which derives from the Greek word kipos, meaning garden. In antiquity, Greek tribe of the Chaonians inhibited the area of Qeparo. The village has an Orthodox Church dedicated to Saint Demetrius, dated 1760, one of the nine churches in Albania dedicated to that saint.
The old village is situated in a 450m slope of the mountain with a great view over the Ionian sea and Corfu Island. You can take a walk in the narrow paths in the old village and after a bit you will feel like the time has stopped. This narrow paths are often busy with donkeys or old women wearing black dress and scarf. This little old village is a paradise for most discerning travelers seeking for a quiet and authentic place.
Just before the village of Borshi, just over one hour from Saranda, a minor road up to the right leads up to Borshi Castle. Sometimes referred to as Sopoti Castle. The first written reference to it is in 1258. The hill on which it stands was fortified by the 4th century BC. The whole castle is rather neglected and overgrown, but the views from it are spectacular, out across the Ionian Sea to Corfu in one direction. In the other, towards the mountains that run the length of the Riviera.
First evidences of this little village dates back at Ottoman time. After an attack of the army some Albanian speaking Orthodox Christians flee abroad to southern Italy where they founded the village of Villa Badessa. Piqeras is known for its terraces of olive trees and small red tile houses on the hills over Ionian Sea. You can find some nice small restaurants or coffee bar on the national road. You can enjoy the view while rest and have a beer.
Lukova is positioned between the cities of Saranda and Himara, no more than 30 minutes from these two points. The village lies on two hills covered with olive and orange plantations at an altitude of 150 m from the sea shore. On its broad coastline houses a large number of beaches of various sizes; ranging from small, intimate to the well-known popular beaches for International vacationers, such as Cave and Bunec Beach. Intact nature, Ionian crystal water with its distinctive color, the village with its characteristic cobblestone. Also its typical homes with flower-covered walls, golden beaches, rich marine flora and fauna are just some of the secrets you need definitely discover on your visit to Albanian Riviera.