Opportunity to visit an additional country within a cruise or charter. The resort city of Albania, its mini Riviera. Lengthy seaside streets bustling with nightlife and northern Corfu straits on the horizon.

Dance and sing all night at the town of Saranda, biggest summer resort and the party town of Albania. The whole coastline of the area is filled with beaches.  

Remember to visit Lekursi castle within Saranda for the views of the town and the area, and then continue around the sea with many delightful bays and then move inland for the best nature reserves of the country. 

Climb up to the remnants of the Monastery of 40 Saints, or Agios Saranda, from which the town got its name, to overview the strait between Albania and Greek island of Corfu. 

Admire the variety of legacy in Butrint, Vutrint or Vutrintit or Vouthroto, south of Saranda, the most important archaeological site in Albania. 

Butrint features findings from Prehistoric, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods. 

Sites include: 

  • ancient Acropolis, 
  • fortification walls and Venitian castle, and an ancient theater, which originally was built from donations faithful to the god Asclepius, 
  • Sanctuary of Asclepius next to the ancient theater,
  • ruins of a private Roman villa with impressive mosaics and frescoes,
  • Roman Baths, 
  • Roman Forum, 
  • And Great Basilica and Baptistry, with columns and amazing mosaics. 

Acknowledge what you saw or prepare yourself in the Archaeological Museum housed in the space of the Castle in the Ancient Acropolis.

Appreciate the bay of Porto Palermo with a Venitian castle north of Saranda and Llameni Beach.

Look all around you at Llogara Pass. This is the highest point on the coastal road between the cities of Vlore and Saranda with views of all the mountains and all the beaches of the southern coast of Albania. 

Choose between many amenities around Gjirokastra town

Visit Gjirokastra Old Town, with cobbled streets and perfectly preserved Ottoman architecture. 

Climb up a well preserved Gjirokastra castle at the very top, once you’ve walked through endless stone tunnels. 

Go deep into an amazing vast Gjirokastra forest for hiking. 

Hop on a boat to reach hidden rocky beaches on the Karaburun peninsula.  

Imagine yourself like a Robin Hood on an adventure in the Haxhi Ali cave

Observe the inscriptions carved by sailors on the rocks of Grama bay. Some of them were done by Ancient Greeks.

Get a dream vacation in the paradise that is The Blue Eye water spring near the village Muzinë. Scuba divers that reach the depth of 20 meters can sign their names in an underwater notebook. 

Throw a stone into the spring, it will climb back to the surface after a while. This geological phenomenon is due to tectonic reasons.

Enjoy the remote Benje spring a bit further inland with mountain views and a waterfall, if you want fewer tourists around. Walk to the original medieval bridge above the spring.

Try famous mussels in the area between Ksamil and Butrint.

Saranda is said to get its name from the Byzantine monastery of the Agios Saranda, meaning the "Forty Saints", in honor of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.

According to Greek mythology, Butrint, now a national park and heritage site near the border, was founded by the son of King Priam of Troy, Helenus. The prince took a trip with the aim to invade western lands and after a while he landed in Corfu Island and there he decided to sacrifice a bull to honor Apollo. The bull got injured and ran away. At the place where it stopped Helenus built a small city in miniature, similar to Troyes and named it “Vouthrotos” which in the ancient Greek means “wounded bull”.

Once upon a time a sudden burst of wind, never seen before, hit the coast of nowadays Saranda and a giant snake came out of the sea. The snake slithered around the era devouring animals, farmers and destroyed their crops.

But one old man took a donkey and loaded sacks of straw on it and went near to a cave where the snake found shelter. The old man set fire to the straw as soon as he noticed the snake approaching. The beast swallowed the donkey that continued to burn inside his body. The snake in agony crossed the mountain where he left his trace and upon reaching the place where the Blue Eye spring is now found, his big eye fell and water overflowed the land surface and still today, the giant snake’s blue eye continues to cry. The serpent was an important symbol of the ancient Illyrians. Other versions of the legend mention a dragon. Engravings of dragons, eagles, lions and other mythological creatures are still preserved in the walls of Mesopotam Monastery.

Butrint hosts a tomb of Medea, Jason’s wife. Butrint holds also the rare fame of being the city where various kings of the ancient civilizations met their defeat. Butrint is where King Philip V of Macedonia met his defeat at the hands of the Romans during the famous Roma –Macedonia War in 168 BC. Butrint was the theater of civil wars involving Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus and Pompey.

Legend has it that the inhabitants of the ancient Saranda were the descendants of the Greek hero, Achilles.

Haxhi Ali cave holds a more modern story. It is said that a prominent warrior and seaman named Haxhi Ali fled with his son in this cave. From there they attacked the pirates of the sea and cooperating with the shepherds defended merchants and travelers crossing them.