This is the most popular attraction of Albania, as many travel guides say. I will tell you everything a tourist needs to know about the Blue Eye in Albania. You will not only learn how to get there and the entrance fee but also receive valuable advice that will surely enhance your experience of this attraction.

Syri i Kalter albania
On sunny days, the water at the Blue Eye looks like this. The depth here is 45 meters!

The Blue Eye in Albania: What You Need to Know

The Blue Eye is not a lake, as many write; it is an underground spring. It is also one of the sources of a small river that flows directly into the Ionian Sea. At the point where the spring emerges, a small lake of about 10 by 5 meters has formed.

  • That’s why it’s called the Blue Eye, or Syri i Kalter in Albanian.

The uniqueness of this underground spring is not just the color of the water, although it is of amazing hue. Below are some unique characteristics of the Blue Eye in Albania:

  • The depth of the spring at the emergence point is over 45 meters.
  • The volume of water that comes out is 6 cubic meters per second!
  • The water pressure is so strong that divers and equipment have not reached the bottom of this spring.

Life hack:

Locals taught us this. When you are at the spring, take any stone and throw it right into the center. The water pressure is such that the stone won’t sink.
Blue Eye albania
I am in the foreground. Under the tree in the center is the Blue Eye itself. And people are standing above, looking at it. As if this is the whole attraction. Today, they even built a small platform from which you can have a top view of this spring.

In Albania, there are two Blue Eyes!

This is an important point because confusion can occur. In Albania, there are two attractions with the same name. They are completely different in appearance, but they share the same water color, which gave them their name.

When people talk about the Blue Eye in Albania, it’s always about this one mentioned in the article. It’s the country’s popular attraction, conveniently located in the south, near all tourist routes.

When they talk about the second one, they usually add something like “Alps” or “Theth village” or “Cursed Mountains.” It is located far from the mass tourist flow and is quite hard to reach. You can read all about the second Blue Eye in Albania by following the link.

blue eye albania where
And this is the second Blue Eye of Albania. I like it much more, and it’s more interesting to swim here.

General Information for Tourists about the Blue Eye

  • Parking coordinates: 39.916940, 20.185366. Here, you’ll encounter the ticket booth and the barrier.
  • Blue Eye Spring coordinates: 39.923662, 20.192579
  • Opening hours: 8 am – 8 pm
  • Entrance fee: 50 lek (0.5 euros)
  • You can rent an electric scooter for 500 lek or 5 euros.
  • Distance from parking to the spring: 1.5 – 2 km one way.
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Swimming is prohibited, although some people do swim.
  • Time for the attraction: 15 minutes is sufficient. There isn’t much else to do or see here. The road from the parking lot takes 30 minutes one way, and it’s already asphalted and of excellent quality. Without haste, the entire visit, including walking from the parking lot and back, will take about 2 hours.
blue eye albania how to get there
Early November, 9:30 AM. Imagine how many cars will be in the parking lot during the peak season.
  • There is a cafe, a gazebo, and a souvenir shop here.

Useful to know:

The water is icy cold year-round, and swimming is prohibited. However, if you’re daring enough, you can attempt it. There are no changing rooms, but there are bushes for privacy.

All about visiting the Blue Eye

So, what awaits you? The Blue Eye is very conveniently located, which is why it’s so popular.

  • From Saranda, it’s only 17 km or a 30-minute drive.
  • From Gjirokastër – a whole 30 km or the same 30-minute drive.

Useful to know:

Most tourists visit the Blue Eye of Albania while traveling from Saranda to Gjirokastër or vice versa. Since this attraction doesn’t take the whole day, it’s convenient to visit it as a stop along the way and then continue your journey.

There is no public transport here. Rent a car, take a taxi, or hitchhike or guided tour from Saranda. Another option is to take a morning bus from Saranda to Gjirokastër and ask the driver to drop you off at the turn to the Blue Eye. From there, it’s a little over 2 km on foot. And you can hitchhike back; there will be plenty of cars in the parking lot heading to Saranda. You can read all about public transport in Albania here.

My overall impression: the attraction didn’t live up to my expectations. The river, the Blue Eye, and the natural scenery are stunning. But everything is surrounded by litter and tall weeds, and the main path to the spring is about 30 meters long. There’s not much more to explore or see. You can stand on the bridge for a while and sit in the gazebo near the cafe.

Author’s rating:

6 out of 10, without any enthusiasm. I expected more. The walk to the spring added more emotions, by the way. By the way, I managed to swim discreetly, and I got a refreshing boost of energy. However, people just came, looked for 3 minutes, and left.

Travel Tips

  • There’s no point in specifically coming here from the other end of the country. Plan it only as a stop on the way for a short walk.
  • Don’t expect too much from this place. Yes, the river, the Blue Eye, and the water color are amazing. The rushing streams and great landscapes are found all over the mountainous part of Albania.
  • The water color is as beautiful as in the photos only in sunny weather. If it’s cloudy, the impressions might not be as good.
  • Remember, during the high season, there are many people, but the place is quite small.
  • Read the full list of the best attractions in Albania in the detailed article at the link.

In conclusion: the Blue Eye in Albania is mentioned in all travel guides about the country. It might be interesting for package tourists who are taken by bus to the most popular places, but such travelers don’t usually read this website. If you happen to be passing by, be sure to stop and admire this place. For everyone else, it’s optional.

Wishing you sunny weather and fewer tourists at this attraction!

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