The 40 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Saranda, Albania


Welcome to our latest blog post, where today, we’re diving into the beautiful and enchanting world of Saranda and Albania in general. Nestled along the Ionian Sea, Saranda is a gem that has been capturing the hearts of travelers from around the globe. But with its rising popularity come many questions from foreigners eager to explore what this unique destination has to offer.

From its affordability and hospitality to the best times to visit and where to stay, there’s a lot to consider when planning a trip to this Albanian paradise. So, whether you’re in the early stages of planning your trip or just dreaming about your next vacation, let’s embark on this journey together and uncover the secrets that make Saranda, Albania, a must-visit destination for travelers from every corner of the world.

aerial views of saranda albania and ferry

Is Albania Friendly to Tourists?

Yes, Albania is known for its hospitality and friendliness towards tourists. The locals are often eager to welcome visitors and share their culture, traditions, and cuisine. Tourists usually find that Albanians are helpful and hospitable, making their travel experience in the country memorable and enjoyable.

What Part of Albania is Like the Maldives?

Ksamil, located in the southern part of Albania near Saranda, is often compared to the Maldives due to its beautiful sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. The small islands you can swim or boat to, just off the coast, add to the charm and exotic feel reminiscent of the Maldives. Click here to learn more in depth.

What is the Nicest Part of Albania?

This is subjective and depends on what you’re looking for. For historical sites and cultural experiences, cities like Berat and Gjirokastër are unmatched. For natural beauty and beaches, the Albanian Riviera, which stretches from Vlorë to Saranda, is stunning. Saranda itself is often highlighted for its beautiful coastline, vibrant nightlife, and proximity to ancient ruins like Butrint. It is simply the best place in Albania. View more.

Is Albania a Cheap Country to Visit?

Yes, compared to many other European destinations, Albania is relatively cheap for tourists. Accommodation, food, transport, and entertainment tend to be more affordable here than in Western European countries, making it a great destination for travelers on a budget. It is approximately two times or more cheaper than European destinations. Learn more in depth by clicking here.

Is the Albanian Riviera Cheap Also?

The Albanian Riviera is considered to be budget-friendly, offering good value for money in terms of accommodation, dining, and activities.

Is it Worth Going to Albania from Corfu?

Absolutely, it’s worth making the trip from Corfu to Albania, especially to places like Saranda, which is directly across from Corfu. The ferry ride is short, affordable, and offers beautiful views. Visiting Albania from Corfu allows travelers to experience a different culture, scenic landscapes, and historical sites within a short distance.

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Albania?

The best time to visit Albania depends on your preferences. For beach holidays and warm weather, the summer months from June to August are ideal. However, these months can also be the busiest. For better temperatures and fewer tourists, consider the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October. These periods offer pleasant weather and the opportunity to explore the country’s natural and historical sites comfortably.

What is the Most Expensive Part of Albania?

Areas like Tirana (the capital city) and some parts of the Albanian Riviera, especially around Dhermi and certain parts of Saranda during peak tourist season, can be considered more expensive relative to other parts of the country. However, “expensive” is relative and these areas are still generally more affordable compared to many other European destinations.

Is it Better to Stay in Ksamil or Sarande?

Choosing between Ksamil and Sarande depends on what you’re looking for. Ksamil is quieter, with stunning beaches and a more laid-back atmosphere, ideal for a relaxing beach holiday. Sarande is larger, with more dining, nightlife, and accommodation options, and serves as a better base for exploring the wider region, including archaeological sites and other towns along the Riviera.

Which Part of Albania Has the Best Beaches?

The Albanian Riviera is renowned for having the best beaches in Albania. This stretch along the Ionian Sea boasts numerous beautiful beaches, including Saranda, Dhermi, Himare, Jale, and the aforementioned Ksamil. Each beach has its unique charm, from pebble bays to sandy shores and crystal-clear waters, offering something for every beach lover.

saranda albania sunset aerial views

Travelling in Saranda, Albania

How Much is the Ferry from Corfu to Saranda?

The cost of the ferry from Corfu to Saranda can vary depending on the season, the type of service (standard or fast ferry), and the company you choose to travel with. Prices typically range from about €19 to €30 one-way per person. It’s always a good idea to check current prices and book tickets in advance, especially during the peak summer months.

What Level of Travel Advisory is Albania?

Travel advisories can change based on current events, so it’s important to check the latest advice from your country’s foreign affairs or state department before traveling. As of last update, Albania was generally considered safe for travel, but like any destination, travelers are advised to exercise normal precautions.

How Do I Get from Corfu to Saranda?

The most direct way to get from Corfu to Saranda is by ferry. The journey takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on which ferry service you choose. Ferries depart from the port of Corfu and arrive in Saranda, offering a convenient and scenic route between Greece and Albania.

south albania ksamil saranda albania

Do You Need a Visa to Fly to Albania?

For many nationalities, including EU, UK, and US citizens, a visa is not required for short stays in Albania (up to 90 days within a 180-day period). However, visa requirements can vary by nationality, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements for your country before planning your trip.

How Far is Sarande from the Airport?

Saranda does not have its own airport. The closest international airports are Corfu International Airport in Greece, which is a short ferry ride away, and Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza in Albania, which is about 270 kilometers (approximately 3 to 5 hours by road) away from Saranda.

How Do I Get to Saranda, Albania from the UK?

The most common way to get to Saranda from the UK is to fly to Corfu, Greece, and then take a ferry to Saranda. Alternatively, you can fly directly to Tirana, Albania, and then travel by bus or rent a car to reach Saranda. Direct flights from the UK to Tirana are available from several major airports.

Can You Get a Ferry from Corfu to Albania?

Yes, you can get a ferry from Corfu to Albania, specifically to the port of Saranda. This is one of the most popular and convenient ways for travelers to reach Saranda from Greece.

corfu island

Do You Need Schengen to Visit Albania?

No, you do not need a Schengen visa to visit Albania. Albania is not a member of the Schengen Zone. However, it has agreements that allow Schengen visa holders to enter Albania without an additional visa for short stays, under certain conditions. It’s still important to verify the latest visa requirements before your trip.

How to Get from Sarande to Tirana?

To get from Sarande to Tirana, you have several options:

  • Bus: There are regular bus services connecting Saranda with Tirana. The journey can take around 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and the route.
  • Car Rental: Renting a car provides flexibility and the opportunity to enjoy scenic views along the way. The drive takes approximately 4 to 5 hours.
  • Private Transfer: For convenience, you might consider booking a private transfer, although this option is more expensive.

These answers should provide a comprehensive overview for travelers planning to visit Saranda, Albania, from the UK or via Corfu, addressing key logistical considerations for their journey.

How Much is a Taxi from Tirana to Saranda?

The cost of a taxi from Tirana to Saranda can be quite high due to the distance (about 270 kilometers). Prices can vary, but you should expect to pay between €180 and €250 for a one-way trip. It’s often more economical to consider alternative forms of transport such as buses or rental cars.

Is Saranda Walkable?

Yes, Saranda is relatively walkable, especially the downtown area along the waterfront and main tourist spots. Many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, and beaches can be easily accessed on foot. However, if you wish to explore further afield, such as visiting ancient ruins or more secluded beaches, you will need transportation. Learn more here about it’s top locations.

saranda albania promenade

Is it Worth Staying in Sarande?

Yes, staying in Sarande is worth it, especially for visitors interested in exploring the Albanian Riviera, historical sites like Butrint, and enjoying the vibrant local culture and cuisine. Saranda serves as a great base for day trips to nearby attractions. Learn more here.

How Long is the Bus from Tirana to Saranda?

The bus journey from Tirana to Saranda typically takes around 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken. It’s a scenic route that offers beautiful views of the countryside and coast.

How Do I Spend a Day in Sarande?

A day in Sarande could start with a visit to the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, followed by a leisurely lunch at a seaside restaurant. In the afternoon, enjoy swimming and relaxing at one of Saranda’s beaches, such as Mirror Beach. End your day with a stroll along the promenade and dinner at a local eatery, trying traditional Albanian dishes and fresh seafood.

What to Do in Albania for 4 Days?

With 4 days in Albania, you could:

  1. Day 1: Explore Tirana, visiting the National History Museum and the vibrant Blloku district.
  2. Day 2: Head to Berat, known as the “City of a Thousand Windows,” and explore its historic castle and neighborhoods.
  3. Day 3: Travel to the Albanian Riviera, stopping in Dhermi or Himare for beaches and relaxation.
  4. Day 4: Visit Saranda, including the ancient ruins of Butrint and possibly a day trip to Ksamil ( Albanian maldives ) for beach time.

berat albania architecture

Is 4 Days Enough in Albania?

Four days in Albania allows for a brief exploration of several key areas, but given the country’s rich history, diverse landscapes, and cultural offerings, more time would enable a deeper experience. Consider focusing on specific regions to make the most of your time.

Is Saranda Worth Visiting in Winter?

While Saranda is a popular summer destination, it can also be pleasant in winter, offering mild weather compared to much of Europe. The off-season means fewer tourists, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of the area. However, note that some tourist services and accommodations may have limited hours or be closed during this time.

Why is Albania So Famous?

Albania is famous for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture. The country boasts beautiful coastlines along the Ionian and Adriatic seas, rugged mountains, and numerous archaeological sites reflecting its ancient past. Its unique blend of cultures and traditions, influenced by its history of occupation and its geographical position, adds to its allure.

What is the Most Famous Thing in Albania?

One of the most famous things in Albania is its Riviera with stunning beaches like Ksamil, Dhermi and Saranda. The Blue eye, the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also renowned for its archaeological significance and well-preserved ruins.

What is the Most Beautiful Island in Albania?

Albania is not known for its islands like Greece, but Sazan Island is notable for its natural beauty and military history. The Karaburun Peninsula, while not an island, offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Albania and is often mentioned alongside discussions of the country’s beautiful and isolated beaches.

What is the Most Known Albanian Food?

One of the most known Albanian foods is Byrek, a savory pie made with layers of filo pastry, filled with cheese, spinach, or meat. It’s a staple in Albanian cuisine and widely enjoyed across the Balkans.

What is Albania’s National Dish?

Tavë Kosi is considered Albania’s national dish. It’s a simple yet flavorful dish of baked lamb and rice, seasoned with oregano and served with a yogurt-egg sauce. This dish reflects the simplicity and richness of Albanian cuisine.

What are Albanian Men Known for?

Albanian men are often known for their strong sense of honor and pride in their country and heritage. They are also recognized for their hospitality and the importance they place on family and traditional values.

What is the Most Traditional Drink in Albania?

Raki is the most traditional drink in Albania. It is a strong distilled spirit made from grapes or other fruits, similar to other Balkan countries’ spirits. Raki is often homemade and is a key part of social and family gatherings.

What Animal is Albania Known For?

The golden eagle is not only the national symbol of Albania but also an animal the country is known for. It represents freedom and heroism, deeply rooted in Albanian culture and history.

What Does Saranda Mean in Greek?

Saranda derives its name from the Byzantine monastery of the Agioi Saranta, meaning “Forty Saints” in Greek, reflecting the city’s early Christian heritage.

Is Albania Known for Coffee?

Yes, Albania is known for its coffee culture, with traditional coffee shops (kafeneja) serving as social hubs in cities and towns. Turkish-style coffee is particularly popular, reflecting the country’s historical connections to the Ottoman Empire.

Why is Albania So Called?

The name “Albania” is believed to derive from the Illyrian tribe of the Albani, mentioned in Ptolemy’s Geography. The term may have been used by the locals to describe their country, and it was adopted by others over time. The Albanian people call their country “Shqipëria,” which translates to “Land of the Eagles,” referring to the two-headed eagle on the national flag.

We hope you enjoyed the most frequently asked questions about Saranda and Albania in general.

If you want to learn even more and explore each question in depth, then you can click here to visit our blogs section.