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“My favorite in Albania” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Saranda

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wien
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
“My favorite in Albania”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2010

It is a very nice city in the south of Albania. The beaches near Saranda are very nice. Just 10 minutes drive from Saranda, an antient old city called Butrint is located. The people in Saranda were very kind and the food was terrific.

Helpful?
Thank albtrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bucharest
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 helpful votes
“clean water, great swimming, nice beach, no tourists”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2010

About 40 minutes south of Sarande by local bus, on the way to Butrinti you find Ksamili. A nice place with lots of small (pebble) beaches. Lots of them have matrasses, but very few to no foreign tourists. in the sea some nice islands at swimmable distance. But locals will also take you there by boat.

Helpful?
Thank daniellaroumanesc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hawaii
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem Worth Getting to Know -- One Day in Sarande”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2010

Sarande is off the beaten path but worth taking the time to get to know. We spent one day there on a cruise through the Med and absolutely loved everything about it. The area is still in turmoil, quite poor and recovering from it's turbulent past, but the people are eager to welcome visitors and share their land. Just out of Sarande are some magnificent sights, including the Blue Eye, Butrint, and breathtaking vistas across the med.

The Blue Eye is simply breathtaking, perhaps one of the prettiest natural wonders we've ever seen. It's a spring fed lake, with the water bubbling up in the most magnificent hues of blue. The lush wilderness surrounding it is beautiful and begs to be hiked and explored. Once the "Camp David" of the communist regime, it's not a natural park with restaurant and limited lodging.

Butrint is a UNESCO sight with ancient ruins rivaling those we've visited throughout the region. Huge and sprawling, nestled within another lush landscape, it can easily take hours to wander and explore it all. The small museum on sight was locked when we arrived, but when he noticed our interest, the caretaker quickly opened it up for a private tour for our small group.

We hired a cab driver just at the pier who was fabulous. He shared stories of the country's history, the local sights, and got to know us on our day exploring the region. He even brought his wife and children back to meet us before we got on the ship. (Durim Fezga -- look for him and his Mercedes mini van!)

Don't let the first impressions of Sarande be off-putting. It's well worth a bit of exploration to get out of town and explore the countryside. It's not high on the travel circuit yet, but is clearly on it's way. See it before the rest of the world descends upon this beautiful land.

Helpful?
2 Thank FamilyVagabonding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
usa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 helpful votes
“cruise port”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2009

This might be a great place in a few years but as of now it has a ways to go. Getting off the tender from the ship there are a few kids selling beads. The fruit and vegatable market that is near the ship is interesting and lots of local color. Found the ruins of ancient buildings and there was a sign describing it, but the mosaics were locked up in a little shed that looked like they have been forgotten for a long time. There did not seem to be any shopping, museums, etc. We usually wander through the grocery marts just to get an idea of the local foods and cultures, but we couldn't find any. Found a church (greek orthodox I think) that had some beautiful ikons, but that was the only thing of that sort that we found. The museum was locked up tight and not available. The waterfront seemed beautiful but the city would do well to have some basic tourist info and facilities. Most of the ship passengers would have been happy to spend some money at this port but couldn't find anything other than a few postcards.

Helpful?
4 Thank travelbubUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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