Tuesday 30 May 2023

Visiting Sarandë in Albania - how easy is it?

I've just got back from a 2-week trip to the Albanian Riviera - more specifically, an area called Sarandë. We got our fair share of funny looks before we left, people asking "Albania? Why?!" but now we're back, we can categorically say that you should absolutely visit Sarandë if you're looking for a warm and beautiful holiday destination.

Getting to Sarandë via ferry from Corfu

There are a couple of ways to visit Sarandë; the way we did it was to fly to Corfu (with easyJet) and then get a local ferry across to Albania from here. Our flights were fairly expensive at £333 return per person with extra leg room and 2 hand luggage bags each, flying in May 2023. From Corfu airport we jumped on the number 15 city bus, which dropped us directly at the port and cost €1.70 per person for a single journey. This only takes around 20 minutes!
I booked the ferry online using Ferries Direct, and this cost us £45 return per person; there are also ticket offices in the vicinity of the port where you can buy a ticket. It's a half an hour journey from Corfu to Sarandë, but make sure to leave time for passport control at both sides! As we were arriving just before 'peak' season, the ferries were only running a few times per day - this meant a lengthy wait at Corfu port between our flight landing and our ferry leaving. However, during the summer months they run much more frequently. It was a smooth and speedy journey, and when we arrived in Sarandë there were plenty of taxis waiting to whisk us off to our hotel.

Visting Sarandë from Tirana

Tirana is the capital city of Albania, and the only place you can fly into from the UK. There are direct flights here from Luton and Gatwick, or you can take an indirect flight from other airports. If you were doing a trip where you travelled around Albania to different cities, this might be a good starting point! To get from Tirana to Sarandë you can take a bus from the regional bus terminal, which takes approximately 5 hours - the bus leaves 7 times per day. We spoke to a couple of people who had bad experiences getting this bus, and they're not completely reliable in terms of leaving on time etc, but it is definitely an option for getting to Sarandë.

Staying in Sarandë

For us, getting to Sarandë was super easy and I would highly recommend a visit here. We booked our apart-hotel through booking.com; in hindsight, as much as we loved our hotel, we would have booked one further down the hill. We had to walk up and down 149 uneven stone steps each day, which wasn't easy in the humid May weather and would only get more difficult in the heat. There are plenty of options and loads of Airbnbs too!

Are you interested in visiting Sarandë? The Albanian Riviera is beautiful and I will have plenty more blog content coming so you can see for yourself what we got up to, and get some tips if you're planning a trip.

1 comment:

  1. This was a lovely exploration of Sarandë; I've not heard much about this area before so it was great to read about all that is on offer. It seems like a wonderful place to enjoy spending some time in.