An extensive article about all the best beach resorts in Albania. Where is the best place to relax, which resort to choose, the pros and cons of each resort. I’ll tell you about the beaches, infrastructure, best tourist spots, and provide advice and recommendations. The final decision will be up to you.

beach resorts in Albania
In reality, the selection of the best resorts in Albania will come down to 2-3 options by the end of the article.

Resorts in Albania: General Information

Below are some facts to help you get an overview of Albania’s resorts.

  • Looking at the world map and the location of Albania, here’s what you’ll find:
    • The country is relatively small.
    • There are two seas here: the Adriatic in the north and the Ionian in the south. The choice of sea becomes a deciding factor for tourists when selecting a resort. But more on that later.
  • All major resorts in the country are located south of Tirana. Anything north of Tirana is not really popular.
  • Albania enjoys over 300 sunny days a year, and its tourist season lasts longer than neighboring Croatia and Montenegro.
  • Most importantly, one must not forget that in Albania, there’s more to explore beyond the sea. The country offers various attractions like waterfalls, hot springs, canyons, and mountain passes. I’ll provide detailed information on all these amazing attractions in Albania. The following steps should be taken before choosing a resort in Albania for your vacation:
    • Check out all the attractions through the link provided above. Mark on the map the ones that interest you.
    • Then read the article, including the pros and cons of vacationing in Albania for tourists.
    • Only after that, make your resort selection.
best place in albania
Resorts in Albania often bear similarities to those in Croatia.


Remember that it’s not necessary to stay in one place throughout your vacation. Albania is a small country, and traveling by car won’t take up an entire day. You can easily spend 2-3 weeks at 2-3 different resorts. You can even travel across the entire country, but that’s a topic for a completely different article.

Resorts in Albania: Rating

Next, I’ll provide individual descriptions of each resort, starting from the northernmost to the southernmost. This makes it more convenient. I’ll give my subjective evaluation and try to provide reasons for my choices. In my opinion, if we rank the resorts in Albania, the order will be the same.

Interesting to know:

The further south the resort, the more beautiful it is.

All the resorts mentioned in the article are marked on the travel map. In fact, all the objects and attractions mentioned in this guide are on that map.


Velipoje is the northernmost beach resort in Albania, situated right on the border with Montenegro. It’s convenient for travelers exploring the Balkans by car, coming from Montenegro.

  • Beach: Fine yellow sand
  • Length: Over 5 km, and the beach itself is very wide.
  • Sea: Adriatic
  • In recent years, there has been rapid development in the area, but currently, it is more of a resort village with private accommodations.
  • Nearest major city: Shkoder.
  • Suitable for families with children and those looking for a calm and tranquil beach experience. In this part of Albania, there are very few attractions, only the Accursed Mountains and Lake Komani, but not everyone can reach them.
where is the best place for vacation in albania
It’s a resort where you can just lie on the beach and do nothing!

Author’s Rating:

3 out of 10. There isn’t much to do at this resort. The views are not better than the southern resorts. I recommend it only for those traveling by car from Montenegro. You can stay here for a couple of days, relax by the sea, and then head south. There’s no need to specifically travel from Tirana to this resort.


This is the largest resort area in the country. Previously, it consisted of three separate towns with clear boundaries. Over time, they merged and expanded. Today, all three places – or rather, the city of Durres and the two villages – have become one large settlement. The beach stretches for about 30 km, and it’s unclear where the boundaries are.

When searching for a hotel, you might find that one source lists it in Golem, while another lists it in Durres. Know that it’s the same hotel. Since Albania doesn’t use addresses or house numbers, nobody knows for sure where Durres ends, where Golem is, and where Kavaja is.

  • How is it possible to live without an address, and what should a tourist do? You can find this information in the article on accommodation in Albania.

Durres-Golem-Kavaja Resort:

  • Beach: Mainly sandy
  • Length: Approximately 30 km
  • Sea: Adriatic
  • High level of infrastructure. It’s the second-largest city in the country, and it has everything you need.
  • Proximity to the airport: Only half an hour’s drive away.
  • It’s suitable for families with children due to the calm and shallow sea. By the way, you can find all about vacation in Albania with kids through the provided link.
albanian resorts price
View from the apartments in Durres. Everything you see in the distance is the Durres-Golem-Kavaja beach.

Cons of the resort:

  • Durres is a large city, and it experiences constant traffic jams and significant crowds.
  • The city is located 40 km away from the capital, Tirana. As Tirana doesn’t have its own access to the sea, all the residents of the capital head to Durres and Golem for holidays and weekends because it’s very close.
  • Durres is home to the main and largest cargo port in Albania, which isn’t particularly appealing to tourists.
  • The resort area lacks a decent promenade for evening walks. You can walk along the beach, as I often do, but not everyone enjoys that.
  • The entire area is quite stretched out. If you stay in Golem, you won’t be able to walk to the old town of Durres. There’s nothing else to do in the evenings except going to the beach.

Author’s Rating:

5 out of 10. This is better than Velipoje. However, it’s more of a resort for the locals. Yes, it has the largest number of hotels, and the packages here are the cheapest. However, it’s also where you’ll find the most litter, dirt, and general Albanian carelessness. If you have the option to choose another resort, do it. If not, don’t worry; you’ll still have a great time here. It’s just that other resorts further down the ranking are better.

Overview of the city of Durres, where to stay, and places to visit.


Vlora, the third-largest city in Albania, is located 120 km south of Durres.

  • Beaches: Sandy-pebble, mostly sandy.
  • Length: The main beach in the city stretches for about 5 kilometers.
  • Sea: Adriatic. The city is practically situated at the confluence of two seas, with the next resort, located 50 km south of Vlora, on the Ionian Sea.
  • One striking feature that sets Vlora apart is its remarkable promenade, a sight not found in Durres.
  • Close by are some incredible national attractions, such as Llogara Pass and many others.

Differences between Vlora and Durres. The cons are similar, but their scale is significantly smaller:

  • Vlora does have a cargo port, but it is much smaller and less busy compared to Durres.
  • While weekend vacationers from Tirana do visit Vlora, their numbers are tenfold less than those heading to Durres.
  • The city, overall, is cleaner and more orderly.
  • Vlora is much more compact than Durres, making it convenient to explore on foot.
beach cities in albania
A bird’s-eye view of Vlora. A splendid beach and an equally impressive promenade, with the main square behind and views towards Llogara Pass.

Author’s Rating:

7 out of 10. If you have to choose between Durres and Vlora, definitely go for the latter. In terms of infrastructure, hospitals, and supermarkets, they are quite similar. However, Vlora feels more like a city where people live. It offers a fantastic promenade and spacious beaches, attracting tourists looking to spend a month or so and rent an apartment. Everything you need will be within reach. On the other hand, Durres-Golem-Kavaje is more of a resort for a week or two for tourists.

A comprehensive guide to Vlora: Where to stay and places to visit.

Albanian Riviera

Now, the most interesting part begins. 10 km south of Vlora, you’ll find Llogara Pass, a mountain pass with a breathtaking viewpoint located at the border of the two seas. Behind it lies the Ionian Sea, stretching all the way to Greece. All resorts in this part of the country are collectively known as the Albanian Riviera. So, where are the best resorts in Albania? Where’s the ideal place to unwind? The answer: the resorts of the Albanian Riviera.

  • The only downside of the Albanian Riviera, although not everyone considers it a downside, is that 95% of the beaches are pebbled. There are only a couple of sandy beaches, and they are all in one place. But more on that later.

For me personally, this is a plus. I love pebbled beaches for two reasons:

  • The water is crystal clear, free of sand and suspended particles stirred up by waves.
  • You won’t bring sand back home in your swimsuits and on your feet.


Two cozy little towns, each with a population of about 5000. They are only 15 km apart and are quite similar.

  • Beaches: Pebbled.
  • Sea: Ionian.
  • Length of beaches: From 100m to 2 km.
  • This part of Albania strongly feels the influence of Greece. Even the local population is predominantly Greek, which is reflected in the cuisine. You can find Greek dishes on the menu.
  • Both towns are surrounded by mountains, boasting beautiful bays and beaches.
  • In both towns, you’ll find medieval fortresses atop hills, offering panoramic views of the entire city.
  • Exactly halfway between the towns, there’s a fantastic “wild beach” called Gjipe. I’ve included a link to the best beaches in Albania.
albanian best resorts
Dhermi Beach. Probably the only beach in the town.

The only downside, perhaps, is the relative lack of activities and nightlife. Since the towns are small, the number of infrastructural facilities is not as abundant.

Author’s Rating:

8 out of 10. It’s a fantastic resort for both beach vacations and exploration of Albania’s top attractions further inland. If I had to choose between Dhermi and Himara, I’d probably go for Himara, mainly because of its numerous small beaches, from the long Livadi Beach to the wild beach accessible by descending a steep cliff.
where to stay in albania
I’m at our apartment in Himara. The main advantage over Dhermi is the abundance of small beaches.

A report on the town of Dhermi.

And here’s an overview of the vacation in Himara.

Albanian Resorts: Saranda-Ksamil

This is the crown jewel and the pearl among all the resorts in Albania. Everywhere on the internet, you’ll read that this is the best resort in the country for beach vacations. Yes, that’s true. It is, indeed, the best resort, while Durres-Golem is the largest in terms of tourist numbers during the season.

Important to know:

If Saranda is a city with a beautiful promenade, beaches, restaurants, and nightlife, then Ksamil is a small village located 7 km from Saranda. Its main advantage lies in the magnificent beaches and small islands near the shore. The infrastructure here is not that significant, but the stunning beaches more than make up for it.
  • Beaches: Saranda offers dozens of pebbled beaches, while Ksamil also has pebbled beaches, but there are 3 sandy ones.
  • Best beaches in Ksamil: Beach #7 and Bora-Bora Beach.
  • Best beach in Saranda, in my opinion, is the main city beach. The views here are exceptional.
  • Sea: Ionian.
  • Length of beaches: All beaches are pebbled and not very large, ranging from 50 to 200 meters.
beach holidays in albania
One of the beaches in Ksamil. Look at the sand and the color of the water. And you can easily swim to the island behind. There are 3 such islands here.

As for downsides, there are none, except perhaps that it’s the most remote resort from Tirana, and it takes 3-4 hours to drive to the airport.

Apart from the warm sea and stunning beaches, Saranda and Ksamil are excellent places for exploring Albania’s attractions:

the list of albanian resorts
A view of the center of Saranda, the main promenade, and the city beach.

Author’s Rating:

Ksamil receives an honest 9 out of 10 for the beauty of its beaches and surrounding views, while Saranda gets a perfect 10 out of 10. Everything is fantastic here: nature, sea, mountains, architecture, and all the necessary infrastructure.

Learn all about Saranda.

An overview of the vacation in Ksamil.

Travel tips

Let me explain one thing. You will have an excellent vacation both in Durres and Saranda. In Albania, the key is not to stay in one place. Even if you have 10 days of vacation, you can spend half in Vlora and the other half in Ksamil, for example.

  • For families with children, I recommend choosing the resorts of Golem, Vlora, and Ksamil. The sea is shallow and warm, with no waves, and sandy beaches.
  • If you need supermarkets, a promenade, and a hospital nearby, and you plan to stay for a month, go for Vlora.
  • For purely beach vacations, choose Ksamil.
  • For proximity to all major attractions of Albania, go for any resort on the Albanian Riviera.
  • As for Saranda, it simply fits any of the above preferences. But keep in mind that during the peak season, prices in Saranda rise more significantly than anywhere else. You’ll especially notice the price increase in apartments and hotels.

In conclusion: Albania’s resorts are not a myth. There’s something to suit every taste along the coast. However, I recommend driving along the entire coast. The country is small, and within just 250 km, from Durres, which is 40 km from Tirana, to the southernmost beach of Albania, Ksamil, you’ll find all the major resorts, two seas, and mountains.

Where’s the best place to relax in Albania? Wherever you feel most comfortable!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Albania

  • Flights at the best prices with best discounts
  • Car rental in Albania (cheaper – only by bus):
    • DiscoverCars – a major international resource
    • LocalRent – the leader in the Albanian car rental market. Very low deposits, even in cash.
  • Hotels and apartments throughout the country:
    • Hotellook – compares prices among dozens of platforms and offer you the best one.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Albania.
  • Tours, excursions and activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 550 tours
    • Viator – 920+ excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo eSIM in Albania from $4.5
    • DRIMSIM – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfer: Intui.Travel