Ferries from Albania are not only a means of transport for locals; they also offer an exciting sea journey for tourists. I can’t claim that this mode of travel is popular among everyone, but those who dare to embark on it never regret their decision. A ferry ride across the Adriatic or Ionian Sea will leave a lasting memory.

ferries from albania vlore italy
Such ferries operate between Albania and Italy and back.

Ferries to Albania: Routes and General Information

When you look at the map of Europe, you realize how important ferry connections are for a country. The distance to neighboring Italy, across the Otranto Strait, is less than 200 km by sea. However, traveling by car or bus would involve passing through five countries, covering 2000 km, and taking almost two days. Therefore, ferry transportation in Albania is available and can be actively used.

There are several important points that tourists need to know.

  • Let’s not forget that we live in the post-coronavirus era. I hope that by the time you read this article, all COVID-related restrictions will have been lifted. Check if Albania is currently open. There, you will find the up-to-date COVID entry requirements for Albania: PCR tests, vaccination, or any other necessary measures.
    • Dreaming of a sea voyage? You’ll need a Schengen visa type C in your passport (or have a passport from an EU country, the USA, or Canada).
  • If you’re traveling by car, pay attention when buying tickets to whether it’s a passenger ferry and whether they offer car transportation if needed.
    • Some ferries, especially those to Greek Corfu, are exclusively for passengers and do not transport vehicles, not even motorcycles.
corfu island ferry from saranda
View of the island of Corfu from our apartments in Saranda.

Main Ferry Routes to/from Albania

Below is a map of the most important and popular ferry routes.

ferries to albania routes
For easier understanding: the main ferry routes between Albania and Italy, as well as Greece.

From the port of Durres, you can reach:

  • Ancona, Italy – approximately 16 hours of travel.
  • Bari, Italy – approximately 11 hours of travel.
  • Trieste – currently, there are no routes, but there used to be one weekly route operated by Adria Ferries, taking 37 hours

Pros of ferries from/to Durres:

The port is located right in the center of Durres, and the capital, Tirana, is only 40 km away.

For more information on Durres, read here.

From the port of Vlora, you can reach:

  • Brindisi, Italy – around 7 hours of travel.

Pros of ferries from/to Vlora:

The fastest and cheapest route to Italy, especially convenient for those traveling from or to the southern part of Albania or even from Greece.

From the port of Saranda, you can take a high-speed boat (speedboat) to Corfu, the capital of the Greek island of Corfu, in just 25 minutes (1 to 6 daily trips).

Ferries from Albania to Italy: Timetable and Prices

It’s essential to know that

the schedule and prices may vary depending on the season. In the low season, tickets are cheaper, and there are fewer ferry crossings. Always check the current information for your travel dates.

Also, pay attention to the types of accommodations available on the ferry: there are cabins for 2 or 4 people, and some ferries offer seats. Naturally, cabins are more expensive than seats.

ferries from albania buy
Main ferry companies operating on the Italy-Albania route. Knowing their names will make it easier to find tickets.

Ferry from Durres to Bari:

Several operators run daily ferries on this route year-round. The convenience lies in their mirrored schedule, departing and arriving from both cities at the same time. The main advantage is the availability of overnight ferries, where you board in the evening and reach your destination in the morning.

  • During the peak season (mid-July to the end of August), an additional daytime ferry is added.
  • Both seat and cabin options are available.
  • Ticket prices for a seat start at 25 euros one way.
  • Carriers (check their official websites for current schedules):
durres bari ferry timetable
Daily schedule for the Bari-Durres-Bari route.

If you’re traveling by car and need to transport it, I recommend the ferry company Adria Ferries. Car transportation prices start from 94 euros.

Ferry from Durres to Ancona

This route is the most controversial, being the longest and most expensive. Only a massive ferry operates on this route, carrying not only passengers but also buses, cargo, and other goods. Moreover, Durres is the closest city to Tirana, and Ancona is close to Rome. This route serves as a crucial trade link between the two capitals today.

  • As mentioned earlier, the ferry journey takes a whopping 16 hours. However, traveling by land with a car would take much longer.
  • Year-round, ferries depart three times a week:
    • From Ancona to Durres:
      • Tuesdays at 7:00 PM
      • Thursdays at 7:00 PM
      • Saturdays at 5:00 PM
      • Travel time: 16 hours
    • From Durres to Ancona:
      • Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
      • Fridays at 5:00 PM
      • Sundays at 7:00 PM
      • Travel time: 16 hours

Important to note:

From July 10th to August 31st, the ferry operates daily.

Below are detailed fare prices. In short, a two-person cabin with a window and a toilet during the high season costs 220 euros. If you want to transport your car, you’ll need to pay an additional 170 euros. Thus, the total cost for a ferry from Albania to Ancona, Italy, for two people with a car, would be 390 euros 🙂 In comparison, if you were to travel by car, it would be almost 1500 km, crossing three countries, and costing around 300 euros for gasoline alone. However, this option would also take two days on the road. Clearly, the ferry is the clear winner.

albanian ferry price
Ferry Tariffs on the Ancona-Durres Route
  • For current prices and schedules, please refer to the carrier’s website. The link was provided above.

Ferry from Vlora to Brindisi

Here is a list of companies authorized to operate in the port of Vlora.

  • A-Ships Management S.A. –
    • Timetable shown in the photo below. Ticket price starts at 50 euros one way.
  • Starlines – European Ferries – Operates six times a week. Ticket price starts at 50 euros one way.

Important to know:

Sometimes on ferry company websites, the city of Vlora may be referred to as Valona in Italian.
brindisi vlora ferry
Brindisi to Vlora timetable 2023 by A-Ships Management S.A. –

Ferry Saranda – Corfu and Corfu – Saranda

Speedboat Ferry Corfu Saranda
This is a speedboat that takes only 25 minutes to reach Corfu. It transports only passengers.

While the previous ferries are more geared towards transit tourists between countries, the ferry between Albanian Saranda and Greek Corfu offers a mini-trip for 1-2 days.

If you look at the map, you’ll see that the island of Corfu and Saranda are separated by only 2 km across a strait. It’s approximately 10 km to the capital of this wonderful island, Kerkyra. High-speed ferries cover this distance in just 25 minutes.

Useful to know:

It’s an excellent idea for a day trip in either direction. Tourists from Greece come for a day to stroll along Saranda’s waterfront and visit the Blue Eye. Albanian tourists take a trip to Corfu for a couple of days to explore the island. It’s easy and straightforward.
  • Three operators serve this route: The main operator for this route is Finikas Lines.
    • Ionian Seaways (from May to October, with one to six trips per day, depending on the month, and the most trips in July and August). Ticket price starts at 20 euros.
    • Finikas Lines (from February to November, with one to seven trips per day, depending on the month, and the most trips from July to September). Ticket price starts at 20 euros.
    • Joy Lines (from June to September, with two trips per day). Ticket price starts at 20 euros.
  • There are several types of vessels: high-speed catamarans that take 35 minutes and regular ferries that take an hour and a half.

Saranda – Corfu and Corfu – Saranda Ferry Schedule

Ferry from albania to corfu
Sample ferry timetable Saranda – Corfu and prices in the beginning of August

Important to know:

  • Время отправления везде местное. Учтите, что хоть между Корфу и Сарандой всего пару км, но разница во времени тут 1 час.
  • Departure times are all local. Keep in mind that even though Corfu and Saranda are just a couple of kilometers apart, there’s a 1-hour time difference between them due to daylight saving time.
    • The most common reason for tourists being late for their return ferry is forgetting about the time zone difference.
    • Find detailed information about time in Albania here.
  • If you’re traveling without a car, opt for high-speed ferries. Check the current schedule, prices, and ferry availability on the carrier’s website.
  • Children under 12 years old get a 50% discount on tickets.
  • Children under 5 years old, even infants (for whom parents pay), have a port fee, usually around 4 or 5 euros.
ferry saranda corfu price
Prices for tickets on the route Saranda – Corfu

Ferries in Albania: Travel Tips

On large ferries like those sailing to Ancona, you’ll hardly feel any rocking. However, on speedboats to the island of Corfu, the motion can be quite noticeable, especially in adverse weather conditions 🙂

  • Remember to bring motion sickness tablets.
  • Tip: If you’re prone to motion sickness, choose seats at the very end of the ferry. Usually, the front part of the ship experiences stronger motion, while the stern moves more smoothly.
  • Also, be aware that there are no discounts for a round trip from Corfu to Saranda. Therefore, you can purchase tickets separately and decide on the spot whether you want to stay for an extra day or sail back.

In conclusion, ferries in Albania offer not only a means of transportation but also a fantastic sea journey across the Adriatic or Ionian Sea. Among tourists in Albania, the island of Corfu is especially popular. It’s close, relatively affordable, and you can easily spend 1-2 days here. Rent a car and explore the entire island.

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