Guide: Things To Do In Saranda

September 27th 2023 in Explore
Guide: Things To Do In Saranda

A stone’s throw from Corfu lies Saranda, a gem of the Albanian Riviera with stunning beaches and a lively nightlife for all to enjoy. Discover what Saranda is known for and all the things to do in the beautiful corner of Albania.

What Is Saranda Known For?

Saranda is known for being a small port city with outstanding views of the Ionian Sea. However, the view is just as awe-inspiring behind it as it’s placed beneath the Ceraunian mountains, making its location very beautiful and very unique.

Whilst it offers everything you’re looking for in a relaxing holiday where you can enjoy a cocktail or two, there is more to the Saranda beaches than meets the eye. Not far from Butrint, the city is close to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, meaning there is plenty of opportunity for a day trip to discover Albania’s interesting past.

Saranda is also known for its scenic locations wherever the eye meets. From the turquoise seas, grass-covered peaks and nature reserves, you can’t ask for much more from this dreamy destination.

The Saranda Nightlife Is Waiting For You

Sarandayl lit up at night from the ocean

Being the largest city in the south of Albania, Saranda has an impressive nightlife to keep you entertained throughout the evening. Especially in the summer, the bars and restaurants stretch out onto the boulevards and their open roofs mean you can dine in the last of the day’s sun.

If you’ve been lounging and relaxing all day, then get your exercise in when the nightclubs open, not closing until the early hours.

Be warned that many places work on tourism so only open during the summer. However, some bars remain open all year round.

Things To Do In Saranda

There are many draws to Saranda, but let's take a look at our recommended things to do when in the area.

Saranda Beaches

One of the most popular locations in Saranda is Ksamil, found in the south of the city. Turquoise waters are lapping onto hot white sands, with plenty of sun loungers to fight over in the mornings.

A short walk from Ksamil is a selection of restaurants and bars to enjoy some authentic Albanian cuisine whilst taking in the sun. Known as the Ionian Pearl, it’s globally renowned for its gorgeous beaches.

You can also visit Mirror Beach on your way to Ksamil which is quieter than the latter but has some fantastic opportunities for activities such as snorkelling.

Dhermi is also home to some amazing beaches and the village is well worth a visit too!

Visit the Forty Saints Monastery

One of the highlights of visiting Saranda is visiting the Forty Saints Monastery. Dating back to the 6th Century, the building is how the city got its name, with Saranda meaning forty in Greek.

Though it has been heavily renovated and refurbished since then, it is still a wonder to behold.

The monastery was supposedly built to honour the forty Roman martyrs who were banished after refusing to renounce Christianity.

Though it’s not in the best condition now, you can still go into the crypt if you get permission from city hall. If not, it still offers some breathtaking views of Saranda.

Lekuresi Castle

Found on a small hill, Lekuresi Castle will give you some picturesque views of the landscape, whilst offering a taste of history and cuisine at the same time.

And you’ll want a bite to eat as the castle is only accessible by hiking 40 minutes up the winding path or by driving, but the road is in good condition. If you do decide to take on the trek, it is well worth it once you get to the top.

The restaurant has a large outdoor terrace for enjoying a drink or Albanian food in the sun, but be warned it is very busy in the summer months.

The castle has been standing since the 1500s and was built during the Ottoman Empire. Once used as a fortress for 200 soldiers, it also used to be home to a small village before it was raided in 1878 and abandoned.

Now, visitors can walk around its historic grounds and take in the marvellous view. Just remember to get a reservation if you think you’ll be peckish!

Saranda is an absolute must if you’re visiting Albania, whether you’re going down the Riviera or not. Fit it into your 2-week itinerary to ensure you’ve captured all the country has to offer. If you were asking 'Is Saranda worth a visit?', then we hope we've answered your query and more!

Make your booking with Finalrentals today to make your holiday even smoother.