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albanian beaches

Albanian Beaches: Top 10 Beaches to Vacation in Albania

Albanian beaches are some of the most beautiful yet unexplored coastal areas in the Balkans. The long stretch of Albanian coastline, washed by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, offers some stunning Mediterranean beaches; below we list Albania’s most amazing and unique beaches.

1. Gjipe

Gjipe Beach stands at the extreme of a magnificent canyon serving as the only link between the sea and the inland. Crystal clear waters, surreal surrounding landscape,and isolated location makes the beach ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. The easiest way to reach the beach is by boat although there are some who prefer to walk through the dense and forested canyons to discover the beach themselves. There are no facilities here so make sure you bring water, food, and camping equipment with you. Enjoy the waves, camp fires, and the sky night constellation views in the fairy tale beach of Gjipe.

Gjipe beach near Himarë in southern Albania is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.
Gjipe beach near Himarë in southern Albania is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

2. Rana e Hedhun

Rana e Hedhun (Thrown Sand) is a rare and fascinating beach some 3 – 4 kilometers (1.9 – 2.5 miles) north of the town of Shëngjin. Although washed by the waves of the Adriatic Sea, this coast does not resemble a typical Mediterranean beach. Instead, surreal and high fine sand dunes fall from the mountain of Rrenci right into the waves creating a scenery not found anywhere else in Albania. Pine trees and rock formations intertwine with the sand dunes and the more flat beach line to establish a stunning ensemble.

After 2017, local businesses financed the construction of a more than 3 km (more than 2 miles) road into the beach to make it more accessible for tourists. Visitors of Rana e Hedhun can engage in activities such as sunbathing, swimming, bird watching, picnic, camping, and wine and gourmet tasting. Located northwest of Albania, the area attracts visitors from nearby countries of Kosova and Montenegro.

“Rana e Hedhun” is a rare beach of stunning and high sand dunes.
“Rana e Hedhun” is a rare beach of stunning and high sand dunes.

3. Ksamil

Ksamil is a highly sought after beach in southern Albania, near the city of Saranda. This beach is famous for its sandy coasts and crystal clear waters sprinkled with some tiny islands close in front. From here, tourists can easily spot the island of Corfu much further out on the Ionian Sea. It’s easy to fall in love with the screensaver-worthy scenery of Ksamil beach as well as with its year round warm and sunny weather.     

Ksamil near Saranda is a beautiful beach fronting a very interesting archipelago.
Ksamil near Saranda is a beautiful beach fronting a very interesting archipelago. 

4. Zvërnec

Zvërnec is a beautiful sandy lagoon in Narta, some 15 minutes away by car from Vlora. The attractive coastal village of Zvërnec stands as an off-road oasis in between the forest of Soda and Narta lagoon. The beach is not a typical summer beach and somewhat underrated as a swimming area. This coast offers a laid-back experience for travelers who seek more distant vacation options.

The nearby island in the lagoon is an added bonus to the overall beauty and potential of this location. The small forested island has an 800 year old well-preserved monastery in its territory accessible only by a fine and long wooden bridge. Visitors should be extra careful during swimming and children must avoid it here as there are no bay-watchers or other respondents nearby. 

Zvërnec is a lagunar oasis with much to offer in a small island surrounded by strips of land.
Zvërnec is a lagunar oasis with much to offer in a small island surrounded by strips of land. 

5. Plazhi i Gjeneralit

Plazhi i Gjeneralit (General’s Beach) is the perfect retreat for those wanting to escape the buzz of crowded beaches while still keeping touch with the world. Located near Synej village in the region of Kavaja, Plazhi i Gjeneralit offers some of the clearest waters along the Adriatic seacoast of the country. Squeezed between two capes and backed by soft green hills, the beach remains a hidden beauty waiting to be explored. Apart from sea-based activities, tourists can enjoy traditional dishes prepared with fresh ingredients by the locals.    

“Plazhi i Gjeneralit” is a convenient retreat  for those escaping the city buzz.
“Plazhi i Gjeneralit” is a convenient retreat  for those escaping the city buzz.

6. Grama Bay

Grama Bay in the Karaburun peninsula is the perfect place for those who are searching for a more intimate beach experience. This small bay seems to have been used since ancient times for sheltering ships who sought to avoid the stormy conditions of the open Ionian Sea. This location falls within the Karaburun-Sazan Marine Park, an impressive and outcast ecosystem. This radiant enclosed beach amazes visitors with its clear pearly waters and coral reel patterns as well as the dramatic drop of the coastal rocks.

The easiest way into the beach is by boat from the nearby city of Vlora. However, hiking enthusiasts can follow a long walking trail through the forested peninsula and discover the secluded bay by themselves. Those who embark on a journey to Grama Bay must bring water and food and other items needed in an isolated area. The place is in general safe for camping but such arrangement is not recommended during strong winds.

Grama Bay is an outcast small beach in the Karaburun peninsula.
Grama Bay is an outcast small beach in the Karaburun peninsula. 

7. Tale

Tale is the highlight of the Kune-Vain-Tale Natural Park. It’s 7 kilometers (4 miles) long coast stretches between Mat River’s delta and the lagoon formed by River Drin’s sediments. Tale’s large and wide sandy belt is spacious creating room for many tourists simultaneously and offering a long-range visibility for the most passive observant. The secret of Tale beach lies in the seemingly curative benefits of its sand due to its abundance of iodine and presence of rare grained black sand. Tale remains a fairly undisclosed beauty of the Adriatic and this adds to its overall untouched environment.

The long coast of Tale is one of the largest beaches in northern Albania.
The long coast of Tale is one of the largest beaches in northern Albania.

8. Llaman

Llaman beach is a little pocket of Mediterranean coastline stuck between soft and rocky hills. It’s not as crowded as other nearby beaches of Himarë and Qeparo. Visitors can enjoy swimming in pure waters and savor fresh seafood dishes in nearby restaurants. Swimmers can easily explore other surrounding bays while others can ride by boat across the Llaman’s small bay and nearby islets hosting seaside restaurants. 

The little pocket-beach of Llaman offers plenty of alternatives for vacationers.

9. Darëzeza

Darëzeza is a beach 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city of Fier. The curating sand, clean environment, and bio food makes it an attractive vacation spot. Sea currents during winter serve as natural cleaners of its waters. The location is well-preserved, non-gentrified, and simple. The beach offers a unique sense of open space with swimmers going through hundreds of meters of unspoiled sand before entering into waters. The shallow waters near the coastline make the beach perfect for families with children. Since the area is prone to strong winds but relatively low waves, it’s very attractive for kite boarders.  

Darëzeza is a non-gentrified beach near the city of Fier.
Darëzeza is a non-gentrified beach near the city of Fier.

10. Borsh

Borsh is an untouched 7 kilometers (4 miles) long stretch of sand along the Albanian Riviera. This makes it the largest beach in the Albanian Republic. The calm Ionian Sea mirrors numerous shades of blue in the olive groves and high mountain peaks surrounding the beach. Although known for its shimmering beauty and dazzling nature, Borsh beach is not packed with crowds even during the peak of the summer season. This seacoast remains fairly traditional with no fancy stores or clubs nearby. During the day you can enjoy activities such as sailing, canoeing, water skiing, and kayaking, while by night become part of music gatherings around bonfires and underneath starry skies. Many use Borsh beach as a base from where they can explore nearby parts of the southern Albania Riviera, discover little gems along the way, and then regroup again in Borsh village or other accommodation facilities near the beach.

The long stretched beach of Borsh is one of the pearls of the Albanian Riviera.
The long stretched beach of Borsh is one of the pearls of the Albanian Riviera.

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