Foreign Policy – Explore Albania: The City of Saranda

Source: Foreign Policy

Saranda, the beautiful southern city of Albania, is known as one of the most charming towns of Albanian Riviera. What was once a sleepy fishing village is now a thriving and dynamic city, full of tourists, life, lots of activities and joy. During the summer months, it seems like this city goes through a transformation because half of Tirana’s inhabitants and not only, relocate here to enjoy everything this city has to offer, from the beautiful coastline and beach life to the busier nightlife, along its crowd-filled seaside promenade. If you go for a walk through the main boulevard you will see it is pumping with people having a walk, having a drink or even having dinner at the restaurants that are found in the boulevard.

This boulevard is filled with people who, after spending a long day on the beaches of Saranda, gather here to enjoy the activities organized. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, clubs where the nightlife begins. And while Saranda has lost much of its charm in the past two decades, it has retained much of its charisma.

There are several beaches here that are very crowded by people who come to enjoy its shores and they are perfect to relax near the deep blue sea and near the small port. Saranda is a great base for exploring the beaches around. People come to visit beaches such as Pulebardhat, Pasqyrat, Manastiri beaches, etc., and then you can go in Ksamili beach. Each of them different from one another, are wonderful places, like fairy tales that come from our imagination. Perfect for families and youngsters.

Also near Saranda, another place you can find and go visit is Butrint, which is  Unesco’s World Heritage Site. There are a lot of things to see and learn about in Butrint so tourists can take a taxi or public transport to move to nearby attractions.

What’s interesting is that the name of Saranda has its own history. The town’s name comes from Ayii Saranda, an early monastery dedicated to 40 saints. But this is not it. The town was also called Porto Edda for a period in the 1940s during WWII, after Mussolini’s daughter.

What makes another attraction to this city is the castle you find there. The small castle of Lekursi rising on the top of the hill looks directly over Saranda and offers a spectacular view and a good restaurant where to eat too. The castle was initially built to protect the city of Saranda from invaders accessing the coastline by boat. From the castle you have great views of Corfu and Ksamil islands.

Another site to visit is the monastery of Saint George, very well conserved and restored.

During summer it is mostly full of tourists from Nordic or Eastern Europe countries for its climate, food, and beauty.

Saranda and is known for its large selection of delicious and especially fresh fish and seafood dishes.

Visiting from Greece?

Saranda is well connected with cruisers that come from all over the world and from Corfu, the Greek town in front of Saranda. If you are in Corfu, Greece you can reach Saranda in 20 minutes by boat.

To learn more about Albania, you should visit albania.al .

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