Holiday at the Ionian Sea

Categories: Saranda Albania

In the south of Albania, the seaside resort of Saranda invites those seeking relaxation and culture to spend a varied holiday on the Ionian Sea. Framed by green chains of hills, the ancient Onchesmos, only a few kilometres away from the Greek island of Corfu, impresses with historical attractions and sun-drenched beaches.
Saranda - Ruins of a byzantine castle© lic0001 / Fotolia

Insights into history
In the townscape of Saranda there are numerous sights from different epochs. One of the main attractions is the Monastery of the Forty Martyrs. The ruins from the 5th and 6th centuries, high above the city, not only offer insights into early Christianity, but also a fantastic view of the bay and the surrounding area.

The same applies to the medieval castle Lëkurësi, from whose restaurant you can watch picturesque sunsets while enjoying culinary delights. In the town centre, the remains of a 5th century synagogue and the preserved parts of the ancient town wall remind us of the town's eventful history. If you want to delve even deeper into the past, you can visit the Archaeological Museum.

Cultural and natural treasures in the surroundings
The surroundings of Saranda are also rich in cultural monuments that can be visited during an excursion. About 15 kilometres south, the ruined city of Butrint offers insights into life from antiquity to the Middle Ages. The excavation sites are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and show among other things a Greek theatre, an early Christian baptistery and buildings from the Byzantine and Venetian periods.

Also worth seeing are the remains of ancient Phoinike to the east of the city and the Byzantine Church of St. Nicholas in the village of Mesopotam. But nature lovers will also get their money's worth during a holiday in Saranda. The karst spring Syri i Kaltër, which is known as the "Blue Eye" because of its deep blue colour, is one of the most important natural sites in Albania and the lake landscape of the Butrint National Park with its great variety of species is also worth a visit.
Saranda - Ksamil beach© Aleksandar Todorovic / Fotolia

Journey to Saranda
Saranda can be reached in several ways. One is via the international airport of the Albanian capital Tirana, from where you can travel about 280 kilometres south to the coast by bus or rental car. Alternatively, it is also possible to travel via Corfu. By ferry, the crossing from the port of the Greek island to Saranda takes about 30 minutes. The best time for a beach holiday in the south of Albania is the summer months from May to October, when sunshine and temperatures reach their highest values.

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