The best beaches in Albania are located all along the Albanian Riviera, locally called Bregu. Not all of the coast of Albania belongs to the Riviera. The name includes the southern part of the coastline, starting from the city of Vlorë at the Ionian Sea, and all the way to the Ksamil archipelago on the south, close to the border with Greece.
What Makes the Albanian Riviera Worth a Visit?
- Spectacular landscapes: high wild mountains just behind the shore
- Postcard-like perfect clear turquoise water
- Probably the lowest prices by the Mediterranean Sea – you get really great value (of beaches & fun) for money :)
- Delicious cuisine, which definitely adds up to the holiday pleasures
- Sense of adventure of being in a non-obvious, off-the-beaten track country!
Below an interactive map with all the best beaches in Albania that you shouldn’t miss!
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The Best Beaches in Albania
In this guide to the best beaches of Albania we list the best seaside locations along the Albanian Riviera.
1. Ksamil Islands (Ksamili) – paradise
Ksamil archipelago and the small town of the same name are according to us the best place to spend beach holidays in Albania. It is the located southernmost part of the country, close to the border with Greece. Ksamil islands are four tiny uninhabited islets located so close to the opposite shore that you can reach them swimming or on a pedalo.
Along Ksamil you will find some of the best beaches of Albania, with perfectly turquoise shallow water.
One of the highlights of the place are beautiful sunsets behind the islands, which you watch lazily from your beach deckchair or with a drink in your hand from a bar.
There are many beautiful and lively bars and restaurants along the beach.
In August, Ksamil gets very crowded. It’s one of the main holidays destinations fro Albanians themselves and beaches are many, but quite small. Most of them are paid (umbrella & deckchairs). If you want to have more space for yourself, it’s best to go there in June, July or early September.
The Best Beaches in Ksamil:
- Bora Bora Beach in Ksamil
- Lori Beach
- Pasqyra Beach
- Pulebardha Beach
- Manastiri Beach
2. Saranda (Sarandë) – main seaside resort of Albania
Saranda is the No. 1 holiday destination in Albania. It lies close to the Greek border, by the Ionian Sea. The free town beach is covered with gravel, but it’s comfortable. It is not wide, but long.
Water is quite shallow and warm, and the view across the see at the Greek island of Corfu is really beautiful.
All along the beach in Saranda there is a pretty promenade with flowers and palm trees, plenty of restaurants and bars with a great sea view.
Many hotels have their own small private beaches or terraces with deckchairs, umbrellas and stairs leading to the sea.
Saranda a comfortable, vibrant seaside resort, bustling with life both day and night. It has a wide range of good hotels to choose from. Lively nightlife and a big choice of restaurants and bars make it a nice place for holidays.
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3. Gjipe Canyon – hidden gem
A hidden beach close to the Gjipe Canyon is one of the most scenic beaches of Albania. It is not visible from any road above, as it is well hidden behind the steep mountain slopes.
It is not easy to get there, and it’s only possible by car + walking. Follow Google maps route, be prepared for a dirt road and park in the huge parking lot under pine trees (you will see signs for it). Take comfortable shoes rather than flip-flops.
From the parking lot, follow an indicated path for approximately 30 mins’ walk in absolutely spectacular scenery. The view over the sea and faraway mountains by the shore is just breathtaking! You will also spot a few bunkers holding on to the slope right next to the path.
The beach itself is wonderful, with bright sand and splendid clear shallow water. It has a lot of free area, but there is also an option of taking an umbrella. There are a couple of bars, so you can eat and drink something simple.
There is also a camping site behind the beach.
The town closest to the Gjipe Canyon is Dhërmi.
4. Dhërmi – pretty beach town
Little coastal town of Dhërmi is a pleasant resort. The town beach is long, wide and pretty, with fine gravel.
It has a nice promenade and some restaurants and bars terraced directly over the sea – the view from them is just great!
The town itself (its high part, at the level of the main road) is pretty, with nice views down at the sea.
There are not many hotels, so book in advance (and avoid by all cost these 2 hotels: Vila Greccia Dhërmi and Drymades Resort Dhërmi – they overbook and overcharge).
5. Jal (Jala) – small hidden beach town
Arriving to Jal from the road makes you fall in love instantly. It’s a very tiny town with just a handful of holiday houses and nice, beautiful sandy beach. There is another little beach hidden behind the rocks.
There are both free parts of the beach and paid ones with deckchairs or beds and umbrellas. You will find there several nice bars and restaurants around. There is a huge parking lot behind the beach.
It’s a very nice place, with a more upscale, “exclusive” feel to it than other towns of the Albanian Riviera.
As it is really tiny, you must book in advance.
6. Himara (Himarë) – relaxing town with good restaurants
Himara has several long, wide, sandy beaches. There are two town beaches are directly in the town, one close to its very centre.
The centre of Himara is full of nice restaurants and bars, bustling with life till late. We recommend the restaurant at the end of the beach, in the corner by the fishermen’s harbour: Esperia.
And then, there is a much better, very pretty, sandy Livadhi beach just outside the town. It is long and with lovely view at the mountains and Himara Castle. There are plenty of bars and good restaurants by the sea – the nicest one is Ostria, where the beach ends.
7. Borsh (Borshi) & Qeparo – the largest and widest beach in the Albanian Riviera
Borsh and Qeparo are two adjacent small towns located on a large plain by the Ionian Sea. They share Borsh beach, which is visibly much longer than the other ones on the Albanian Riviera. It is a stony beach (little pebbles as you can see on the photo), but it is quite comfortable.
It is easy to get to the beach, and there is a vast parking lot. There are some bars and restaurants nearby.
Borsh is remarkable mostly for its medieval castle, read more about it in What to See in Albania – The Best Places To Visit.
8. Narta Lagoon close to Vlorë – peaceful nature
Often the best beaches are the hidden ones. That is the case of the Narta Lagoon, located close to Vlorë on the Adriatic Sea. It’s a part of the Vjosa-Narta Protected Landscape, formed of two islands and alluvial dune.
The quiet, peaceful lagoon is a protected area for many birds’ species. Strolling around it lets you fully relax in the nature. Within the lagoon, there are well hidden two very nice beaches – almost completely empty! They have no names, you won’t find them on Google maps nor on any indications, you can only learn about them from the locals – and from us ☺
Follow the dirt road after Zvërnec Island, that leads to the area behind the main island with the monastery. Attention: the road surface is uneven and hollow, so drive carefully. After around 10 mins of slow drive, you will see the first empty sandy beach on your right.
You can park the car, and follow on foot further ahead, then you will see the second beach. It is not exactly a beach – these are long stripes of unusual rocks on the shallow water. When we were there, there were only 3 guys snorkelling in the area, apart from them we had all the place for ourselves.
A Glimpse on the Albanian Riviera and The Best Beaches in Albania
You can get some idea of the Albanian Riviera and the best beaches in Albania watching this video:
Visiting Albanian Riviera
Read more about the destinations described above in our other guides listed below.
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Travelling to Albania by Car: Safety, Roads, Rental and Advice