This is a comprehensive article about beach holidays in Albania, about seaside relaxation. Here, all the useful information from the pages of this travel guide is gathered in one place. We will help you choose a resort for your vacation and tell you about some peculiarities of leisure.
Beach holidays in Albania: general aspects
Here are a few facts that every tourist should know about beach vacations:
- Albania is located on the Balkan Peninsula, south of Montenegro and Croatia.
- There are 300+ sunny days per year here.
- Albania is washed by two seas!!!
- The Adriatic Sea.
- The Ionian Sea.
- However, over 70% of the country’s territory is covered by mountains.
- We won’t dwell on the mountains in this article. Read more about the mountains in Albania here.
Useful to know:The vast majority of tourists, when planning a vacation in Albania, consider beach vacations by the sea. But, as the saying goes, there is more to it than meets the eye. In fact, according to data from the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, only about 10% of all visitors come solely for beach vacations.
Let me explain why:
- In addition to beach vacations, there’s also:
- Ancient cities and millennia-old architecture.
- Hot springs.
- Hiking trails and scenic viewpoints.
- The Blue Eye Spring and not just one, but even two of them.
And everything listed above is not on the coast, not by the sea. You need to travel inland.
Useful to know:Today, the most popular way to vacation in Albania is through road trips across the country. You don’t need to explore every nook and cranny of the mountains. If you love the sea and aren’t interested in the mountains, you can spend most of your time on the country’s beaches. But on different beaches. In Albania, there are no places or towns where you can stay in one spot for too long. The country reveals itself to you only while in motion!
- TOP 30 Attractions in Albania that will amaze any traveler. Or maybe not.
Weather at the Sea and the Seasons
Albania is generally a small country, situated in one climatic zone. But there are two general aspects that need to be understood:
- The weather along the entire Albanian coast, from the northernmost resort to the southernmost, is not significantly different.
- Usually, in the north, near Montenegro, the air temperature is 1-2 degrees lower than in the south, near Greece.
- But when it’s +31 degrees outside, a difference of 1 degree is not significant and hardly noticeable.
Important to know:However, the water temperature in central and northern Albania (where the Adriatic Sea is) is, on average, 1 degree higher than in the south in the Ionian Sea.
The explanation is simple. The Adriatic Sea is murkier, and the water is less transparent. The surf and waves at the shore stir up a small amount of “suspended matter” from the seabed, which helps the water to warm up faster. The waters of the Ionian Sea are completely transparent, so the water warms up more slowly.
- The second aspect concerns the mountains. Although the country is small, the air temperature on the coast is 5-10 degrees higher than in the mountains.
- The tourist season at the sea in Albania is, on average, 2 months longer than in the mountains.
Interesting fact:In the third week of November 2022, in the Cursed Mountains of Albania, the daytime air temperature was around 10 degrees, and at night, it dropped to -3. At the same time, in Saranda on the Ionian Sea, the daytime temperature in the sun was +25. Even for Saranda, that’s rare.
- Detailed information about the weather in Albania by months.
The Season in Albania:The tourist season on the coast in Albania usually lasts from mid-April to the end of October. The best time for a beach vacation is from August to mid-October.
Beach Vacation in Albania: All About the Beaches
You can find the Top 10 Beaches in Albania in the article link. Here are the main points about Albanian beaches. With this information, your seaside vacation in Albania will be truly ideal.
- The beaches on the Adriatic Sea resorts are mostly:
- Stretch for many kilometers.
- For example, the beach area from Durres to Golem extends for almost 30 km.
- As for the beaches on the Ionian Sea:
- 90% of the beaches are pebbly or small pebble beaches.
- There are no long beaches here. The standard length of a beach in this part of the country is 100-300 meters.
- There are 1-2 kilometer-long beaches, for example in Himara or Dhermi, but they are the exception rather than the norm.
Useful to know:Despite this, even in the south, you can find sandy beaches, for instance, the resort of Ksamil. And in the north, there are pebbly beaches.
Here are a few more general points about beach vacation in Albania:
- All the beaches in the country are public and free.
- Hotels cannot fence off parts of the beach with barriers.
- Anyone can access any beach in the country for free.
- However, beach loungers and umbrellas are subject to charges.
- Depending on the season, resort, and number of tourists, the prices for beach loungers may vary, but:
- On average throughout the country, two beach loungers, a table, and an umbrella for the whole day cost 10 euros.
Beach Vacation: Infrastructure on the Beaches and in the Towns
Moving on to the most important part. By now, you already know about the seas in Albania, the temperature on the coast, the differences, and everything about the beaches. You might have already made up your mind about where you’d prefer to spend your vacation – the south or the north, sandy beaches or pebbly ones. All that’s left is to choose the resort.
- In the article “Resorts in Albania,” you’ll find a detailed description of the pros and cons of each resort, which will help you finalize the city where you’d like to vacation.
In short, some general aspects regarding the infrastructure:
- In small towns on the coast, you may not find:
- Large stores.
- A long promenade for evening strolls.
- A port with boats for sea excursions.
- A wide selection of 4-star and higher hotels.
However, even in the smallest and quietest towns, you won’t face any issues with cafes and restaurants, exchange offices, or souvenir shops. The variety of apartments and guesthouses is also extensive.
Conclusion:If you’re looking for a lively city with a vibrant atmosphere, consider Vlora, Durres, or Saranda. If you prefer a peaceful and cozy town with uncrowded beaches, think about Himara, Dhermi, or Ksamil. Though, in the latter, during the peak season, the beaches might be quite crowded 🙂
Sea Vacation in Albania: Tours and Excursions
There’s a separate article in this guide about excursions and independent trips to the sights. Here, I’ll tell you where it’s best to vacation to have a wider selection of excursions at lower prices.
On the travel map of Albania, you’ll find all the attractions and, in general, all the locations mentioned in this guide. It will help you create your perfect travel itinerary and not miss anything. But with just a quick glance, it becomes evident that all the major attractions of Albania are concentrated in the south.
For travelers who dislike long journeys but prefer spending their vacation in one place while making short trips to exciting spots daily, the perfect city is Saranda. It’s not just about the beaches and good infrastructure. Around Saranda, there’s plenty for an ordinary tourist to see:
- Ksamil beaches – 7 km.
- Oyster farms – 6 km.
- Ancient city of Butrint – 10 km.
- Blue Eye Spring – 17 km.
- Gjirokastër – 50 km.
- Borsh village – 35 km.
- Greek island of Corfu – 3 km!!! Speedboats depart daily from Saranda to Corfu.
- Additionally, there are numerous boat trips along the coast and sea fishing.
Sea vacation in Albania is diverse and fascinating. Despite its modest size and a limited choice of resorts, there are significant differences between them. The most significant contrast can be observed between Durres and Saranda. Here are some tips for travelers:
- The best resort by the sea is Saranda and Ksamil. This is not just my opinion; it’s a widely recognized fact.
- If having sandy beaches is critically important to you, then choose either Ksamil or explore resorts on the Adriatic coast.
- If you want to come to Albania for a month, rent an apartment, and live in a major city with all necessary infrastructure while still being close to the sea and beaches, then Vlora is a great option.
- But don’t forget that Albania offers more than just seaside vacations. Albania also boasts stunning mountains and everything associated with them.
In conclusion: beach vacation in Albania is delightful and of excellent quality. However, when you learn about the other incredible attractions this beautiful country has to offer, for most travelers, beach vacation in Albania takes a backseat.
Travel across all of Albania; it’s not very large, but it’s incredibly diverse!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania
- Flights at the best prices with juicy discounts
- Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments throughout the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card in Albania
- Taxi and transfers: Intui.Travel