Saranda, Albania: Your Ultimate Guide to a Mediterranean diamond in the rough that’s just being discovered

by Oct 3, 2023Destinations, Living in Albania, Tirana

Discover the Best Things to Do in the Albanian Riviera: Restaurants, Hotels, Nightlife, and More!

 

Saranda is a small coastal city in Albania, located on the Ionian Sea. It is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and charming Mediterranean atmosphere. If you are planning to visit Saranda, Albania, then you have made a great decision. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about Saranda, including the best things to do, top restaurants and hotels, food, nightlife, climate, and much more.

 

 

 

Best Time to Visit Saranda

The best time to visit Saranda is from May to September, when the weather is warm and dry. During these months, the average temperature ranges from 25°C to 30°C, making it the perfect time to enjoy the beaches and explore the city. However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect larger crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, then consider visiting Saranda during the off-season (October to April).

 

 

Top Things to Do in Saranda

Saranda is a beautiful coastal city in Albania that offers a range of attractions and activities for travelers of all interests. From exploring historic sites to enjoying the beach and the sea, there’s no shortage of things to do in Saranda. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or an adventure seeker, Saranda has something to offer. So we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Saranda to help you make the most of your visit to this Mediterranean paradise.

  • Explore Butrint National Park: Butrint is an ancient city located in the south of Saranda, which dates back to the 7th century BC. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Albania. The park is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including wild boar, jackals, and eagles.

 

  • Visit Ksamil Beach: Ksamil Beach is a must-visit destination in Saranda. It is located just a few kilometers from the city center and offers stunning views of the Ionian Sea. The beach is surrounded by small islands, which you can visit by taking a boat tour.

 

 

 

 

  • Take a Cruise to Blue Eye: Blue Eye is a natural spring located in the heart of a forest. Its crystal clear waters are so blue that it seems like you are looking into an eye. You can take a boat tour from Saranda to Blue Eye and explore the surrounding area.

 

  • Walk Along the Saranda Promenade: The Saranda promenade is a pedestrian walkway that runs along the coastline of the city. It is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy the view.

 

  • Visit Lekuresi Castle: Lekuresi Castle is a 15th-century castle located on a hill above Saranda. It offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. You can also enjoy a meal or a drink at the castle’s restaurant, which serves traditional Albanian cuisine.

 

 

 

  • Explore the Blue Flag Beaches: Saranda has several Blue Flag beaches, which means they meet high environmental and water quality standards. Some of the most popular Blue Flag beaches in Saranda include Mango Beach, Santa Quaranta Beach, and Pasqyra Beach.

 

  • Visit the Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum of Saranda is a small museum that displays artifacts from Butrint and the surrounding area. It is a great place to learn about the city’s history and culture.

 

  • Try Local Cuisine: Saranda is known for its delicious seafood and traditional Albanian dishes. Some of the most popular dishes include tavë kosi (baked lamb with yogurt), fërgesë (a vegetable and meat stew), and burek (a savory pastry).

 

Best Restaurants in Saranda

Saranda offers a range of dining options for foodies and casual diners alike. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a family-friendly restaurant, Saranda has something to suit every taste and budget. So, we’ve compiled a list of the top restaurants in Saranda to help you experience the best of Albanian cuisine.

 

  • Limani: Limani is a seafood restaurant located on the Saranda promenade. It offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including grilled octopus, calamari, and sea bass.

 

  • Taverna Eleni: Taverna Eleni is a traditional Albanian restaurant located in the old town of Saranda. It serves a variety of Albanian dishes, including stuffed peppers, roasted lamb, and baklava.

 

 

 

 

  • Delight: Delight is a modern restaurant located on the Saranda promenade. It offers a fusion of Albanian and Mediterranean cuisine, including seafood, salads, and pasta.

 

  • The Factory: The Factory is a trendy bar and restaurant located in the city center of Saranda. It serves a variety of international dishes, including burgers, pizza, and tacos.

 

  • Bar Restaurant Pulebardha: Bar Restaurant Pulebardha is located on the Saranda promenade and offers a variety of seafood dishes, as well as traditional Albanian cuisine.

 

  • Liku, Pllakat:  Very relaxed atmosphere in this small family run restaurant, in operation for 30 years. If you are looking for authenticity and a hidden gem where only locals go, check this delicious and simple seafood restaurant. Ask for the mix catch of the day and have a feast for a very good price.

 

 

Best Hotels in Saranda

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious beachfront resort or a cozy guesthouse in the city center, Saranda has something for everyone. Here are some of the top hotels in Saranda that offer exceptional service, beautiful views, and comfortable rooms.

 

  • Bougainville Bay Hotel: Bougainville Bay Hotel is a modern hotel located on the Saranda promenade. It offers spacious rooms with sea views, a private beach, and a rooftop swimming pool.

 

  • Hotel Brilant: Hotel Brilant is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Saranda. It offers comfortable rooms, a rooftop bar with panoramic views, and a restaurant serving Albanian and Mediterranean cuisine.

 

 

 

 

  • Hotel Kaonia: Hotel Kaonia is a budget-friendly hotel located in the city center of Saranda. It offers clean and comfortable rooms, as well as a restaurant serving Albanian and Italian cuisine.

 

  • Hotel Blue Sky: Hotel Blue Sky is a family-run hotel located just a few meters from the beach. It offers simple and comfortable rooms, as well as a restaurant serving Albanian and Mediterranean cuisine.

 

  • Hotel Maestral: This beachfront hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from the city center and offers stunning views of the Ionian Sea. With its spacious rooms, private beach, and rooftop pool, Hotel Maestral is the perfect place to relax and unwind in Saranda. Guests can also enjoy a range of dining options, including a restaurant, bar, and cafe, all with sea views.

 

 

 

Nightlife in Saranda

Saranda is a lively city with a vibrant nightlife scene. The Saranda promenade is lined with bars and clubs, where you can enjoy a drink and dance the night away. Here are some of our top picks!

 

  • Mango Beach Bar: This beachfront bar is a popular spot for sunset drinks and evening cocktails. With its lively atmosphere and stunning views, Mango Beach Bar is a must-visit for any night out in Saranda.

 

  • Guvat: Located in the heart of the city, Guvat is a trendy lounge bar that offers a range of cocktails, wines, and beers. With its chic decor and cozy atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic night out.

 

 

 

  • La Vela: La Vela is a beachfront club that hosts live music events and DJ sets throughout the summer season. With its open-air dance floor and panoramic views of the sea, it’s the perfect spot for a night of dancing under the stars.

 

  • Bar Aperitivo: This stylish cocktail bar is located in the historic center of Saranda and offers a range of creative cocktails and bar snacks. With its sophisticated atmosphere and attentive service, Bar Aperitivo is a great spot for a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap.

 

  • Havana Beach Bar: Located on the outskirts of Saranda, Havana Beach Bar is a popular spot for late-night partying. With its lively music, dance floor, and beachfront location, it’s a great place to let loose and dance the night away.

 

 

Conclusion

Saranda is a beautiful coastal city in Albania, with stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and a charming Mediterranean atmosphere. If you are planning to visit Saranda, be sure to explore Butrint National Park, visit Ksamil Beach, take a cruise to Blue Eye, and try local cuisine. You can also stay at one of the best hotels in Saranda, such as Bougainville Bay Hotel or Hotel Brilant, and enjoy the city’s lively nightlife scene. With its warm climate and beautiful scenery, Saranda is the perfect destination for a summer vacation.