Top 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in Albania

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The coastline of Albania is a little-known treasure for many people. The affordable pricing, the welcoming natives, and the spectacular beaches are all ... read more...

  1. Top 1


    Spille is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Albania. It has a nice beach full of sunbeds to rent. The beach is lined with hotels and restaurants where you can retreat during the hottest hours to eat and recharge. That is if you don’t want to be in crystal clear water during the hot parts of the day. When choosing Spille you are signing up for a relaxing beach town in Albania. It’s everything you need to wind down from the busy working days.

    On the other hand, Spille is not very good at exploring Albania itself. If that is your main goal you should choose a more frequented location or rent a car. This town is located south of Durrës and it’s perfect for those who want to be close to Durrës but want to skip the bustling city. It shares the same stretch of beach that extends south from Durrës. You can find many great shopping areas on the shores of Spille right next to major roads which makes it easy to access the other parts of Albania. With balmy sea breezes and beautiful scenery, charming coastal towns offer a winning formula for a relaxing getaway. And they beckon visitors from around the world, from the stunning Mediterranean shoreline to quaint small towns right here in Albania.

    Location: Tirana County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0/5 (160 reviews)

  2. Gjirokastër is a city in the Republic of Albania and the seat of Gjirokastër County and Gjirokastër Municipality. It is located in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, at 300 meters above sea level. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, described as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of the large estate". The city is overlooked by Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years.

    The city is built on the slope surrounding the citadel, located on a dominating plateau. Although the city's walls were built in the third century and the city itself was first mentioned in the 12th century, the majority of the existing buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries. Typical houses consist of a tall stone block structure that can be up to five stories high. There are external and internal staircases that surround the house. It is thought that such design stems from fortified country houses typical in southern Albania. Many houses in Gjirokastër have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname "City of Stone" because most of the old houses have roofs covered with flat-dressed stones. A very similar style can be seen in the Pelion district of Greece.

    Location: Gjirokastër County, Albania

    TripAdvisor Review: 4.0/5 (208 reviews)

  3. At the north end of Dhërmi beach, a natural archway in the rocky cliff face leads to a smaller, pebbly shore. There’s rarely more than a handful of people this far down. For lodging, Dhërmi offers up rustic seafront campgrounds and hillside boutique hotels. There are a handful of food trucks and restaurants to enjoy, but overall the vibe is super chilled out. Fruit vendors hock succulent bounties, speaking enthusiastically and loquaciously whether or not you understand Albanian. This is a place for fresh mussels and octopus, vibrant sunsets, and homemade wines.

    The town of Dhërmi is an old village located on the mountainous coastline of Albania. As tourism started to pick up in the county, the village slowly expanded towards the sea creating the Dhërmi you know and love today. The old village center is still pretty much in its original state while the beaches are amazing and the hotels offer a wide selection of options. From camping to luxury hotels you get everything in one place. The beaches of Dhërmi are of superb quality and have amazing scenery. As you make your way into the water and turn around you’ll see the dramatic backdrop provided by the mountains nearby. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the Albanian coastline.

    Location: Vlorë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.0/5 (274 reviews)
  4. Top 4


    Gjipe Beach is not only considered one of the best beaches in Albania, it even tops many of these ‘favorite beaches’ lists. You’ll stop at beaches without official names, like Bird Cave or Aquarium Cove, and find little more than a haphazardly constructed wooden bar selling Tirana Beer and a few tiny tables placed just beyond the water’s edge. Inaccessibility is one of the best aspects of Albanian beaches; many are only reachable by boat.

    You can’t miss Gjipe beach, backed by a massive canyon. This is the crown jewel for wild beach lovers and something of a backpacker legend in Albania. If you were to access Gjipe by car rather than boat, you’d be in for a 45-minute walk down a steep dirt path. Two shanty, open-air restaurants on either side of the beach serve straight-from-the-water seafood, salads, and fries. You can camp in the canyon with your own gear or in pre-pitched tents in the valley behind the beach. Here, the salty sea breeze mixes with the incredible scent of the shrubbed canyon floor. Hammocks are strung between trees, rock climbers make ready use of the surrounding cliffs, and nights are full of guitar music, cannabis smoke, and a sky bursting with stars.

    Location: Vlorë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.0/5 (332 reviews)

  5. Saranda is a city in the Republic of Albania and the seat of Sarandë Municipality. Stretching along the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast, it has a Mediterranean climate with over 300 sunny days a year. Nestled down near the Greek border, Saranda is the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, a constantly developing city full of highrise apartments with panoramic balcony views of the sea. The bustling promenade that curves around the bay is home to leisurely seafood dining followed by Rakia shots and fireworks show from the waterfront nightclubs after dark.

    The main beach might be surrounded by city life, but the waters are just as clear and breathtakingly blue as everywhere else along the coast. A tiny marina sits on one side of the bay where the small ferry boats pull in from Corfu, Greece, 30 minutes offshore. You have many choices for Saranda beaches. Restaurants and bars line most of them and provide umbrellas, chairs, hammocks, or beach beds to rent. Thirty minutes south, Ksamil's tiny islands and white sand beaches are conveniently close to the 2,500-year-old UNESCO ruins of the ancient city of Butrint.

    Location: Vlorë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.5/5 (608 reviews)

  6. Elbasan is the fourth most populous city of Albania and the seat of Elbasan County and Elbasan Municipality. It lies to the north of the river Shkumbin between the Skanderbeg Mountains and the Myzeqe Plain in central Albania. Its central location is the reason it is sometimes referred to as "Kërthiza e Shqipërisë". This town is a key city for visitors to Korca, Pogradec, and North Macedonia. All the travelers from Tirana or other parts of Albania must pass through Elbasan to arrive in North Macedonia through the Qafë-Thana border.

    Saint Mary Orthodox Church
    was built in 1830 on the foundations of an older church, which had partially burned in 1819. Paintings and frescoes of Onufri, restored by David Selenicasi and Kostadin Shelcani can still be seen. The church has been an important religious and cultural center for the Albanian language. Teodor Haxhifilipi, Kostandin Kristoforidhi, and Aleksandër Xhuvani have served in the church. They are the authors of translations into Albanian of many psalms. The church building served as the first Albanian school of Elbasan in modern times, which opened in 1909.

    Location: Elbasan County, Albania

    TripAdvisor Review: 4/5 (1013 reviews)

  7. The town of Sarandë is one of the most famous resort towns in the country. It’s only natural to include it as one of the best beach towns in Albania. This town is probably among the best when it comes to restaurants, hotels, and local amenities. You’ll get a lot of choices when traveling to Sarandë from cheap to expensive. It’s located in the south of the country, pretty close to Corfu. You can easily find boat excursions that will take you towards Corfu and you can explore the Blue Caves as well.

    Sarandë is a solid choice among the beach towns in Albania but it might be a little too big for some people. It’s a full-blown resort town. Almost everything exists for tourism here. This is both good and bad. It’s good because your experience will be great and pretty universal. On the other hand, it loses some local charm that smaller destinations can possess. As the crown jewel of the Albanian Riviera, Sarandë has crystal clear waters that amaze you with the most beautiful shades of blue you’ve seen. The beaches are amazing and if you want to venture out of town there are even more great beaches to explore nearby.

    Location: Vlorë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.5/5 (1024 reviews)

  8. Pogradec is on a narrow plain, between two mountain chains, along the southwestern banks of the Lake of Ohrid. Its climate is profoundly influenced by a seasonal Mediterranean and Continental climate. Pogradec and its surroundings were listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site as part of the natural and cultural heritage of the region of Ohrid. Nevertheless, the Illyrian Royal Tombs in the adjacent unit of Proptisht are on the Albanian tentative list for becoming a World Heritage Site.

    The last pick is a little different from everything on this list as it’s not actually a seaside town. It’s still a beach town in its own right but Pogradec is on the shores of Ohrid Lake. Rather than your classic beach towns in Albania, Pogradec is more similar to a lake town in the Alps. You get clear mountain lake water, dramatic mountain backdrops, and a well-built-up beach. It’s a unique place to visit and it should definitely be on your radar when you are looking for the best beach towns in Albania. Even better, Pogradec is probably the most authentic of all towns on this list. As it’s not a highly popular seaside destination the city is mostly built for locals and not for tourists.

    Location: Korçë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.5/5 (1097 reviews)
  9. Top 9


    Himarë is another old town atop a nearby hill to the seashore. The old village is in stark contrast to Himarë’s beach which is lined with hotels, restaurants, and shops. Tourism is in full swing when it comes to this coastal town. The shore is well built up with a nice promenade where you can walk around in the sunset and enjoy many of the local seafood restaurants.

    Himarë’s beachfront boardwalk is lined with pizza joints, upscale seafood bistros, and grab-and-go gyro spots. Bumper cars crash in the children’s area at the end of the seaside promenade. Albanian family vacations, hostels full of backpackers, and romantic getaways all have a place in quirky Himara. Hiking along the seaside cliffs, you'll find Livadh beach just north of town; the view from above is a tri-colored flag of the turquoise sea, bright white stones, and olive groves stretching far beyond. Leaving Himarë and heading south on the coastal highway, you’ll pass Albania’s longest beach, Borsch, a local favorite. A short way further you’ll hit Buneci, where mountain springs trickle into the ocean. Throughout this region, wandering is its own reward.

    Location: Vlorë County, Albania
    TripAdvisor Review: 4.5/5 (1280 reviews)
  10. Top 10


    Ksamil is one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Albania. It is a village and a former municipality in the riviera of Southern Albania, and part of Butrint National Park. In the 2015 local government reform, it became a subdivision of the municipality Sarandë. This town is one of the most frequented coastal resorts by both domestic and foreign tourists. Ksamil Beach and Albania's Ionian Coast further north were included in the Guardian's 20 of the best bargain beach holidays for 2013.

    In case you are looking for something smaller than Sarandë, you might want to consider Ksamil. It’s just south of Sarandë, located directly in a national park. This backdrop alone makes Ksamil a unique destination among the beach towns in Albania. The whole town is nestled in a small patch of land surrounded by water on both sides. You get an excellent choice of beaches, small islands, and paid excursions when choosing Ksamil. This town is a great choice for a relaxing vacation with some of the best beaches in Albania. Even better, if you ever get bored on the beach you can start exploring the local national park which has monuments like Ali Pasha’s Castle or The Lion Gate.

    Location: Vlorë, Albania.

    TripAdvisor Rating: 5/5 (10,227 reviews)

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