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.
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.
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.
General Information for Tourists about the Blue Eye
- Parking coordinates: 39.916969, 20.181895. But you can drive a bit closer and leave the car along the road. Overall, you can drive until you reach the ticket offices and the barrier.
- Coordinates of the Blue Eye spring: 39.923662, 20.192579.
- Working hours: 24/7.
- Entrance fee: 50 lek.
- Walking distance from the parking to the spring: 1.5 – 2 km one way.
- Difficulty: very easy.
- Time for the attraction: without swimming, 15 minutes is enough. There’s not much to do or see besides the Blue Eye itself. The walk from the parking takes 30 minutes one way, and the road is already asphalted and of excellent quality. So, without rushing, the whole visit, including walking from the parking and back, will take around 2 hours.
Important to know:As of 2023, they have built an excellent road right to the Blue Eye, and it’s fully asphalted. They also set up a ticket booth, and they charge 50 lek for entry. However, you cannot drive all the way to the spring. From the ticket office to the spring, you have to walk 1.5 km, or you can rent an electric scooter. If cars are allowed to go further by the time of your visit, please write about it in the comments.
- There is a cafe, a gazebo, and a souvenir shop here.
Useful to know:Even though the water is icy cold all year round, swimming is allowed. If you are brave and agile, take swimwear with you. There are no changing rooms yet, but there are bushes where you can change.
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. 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. And I even swam, which gave me a burst of energy. However, people just came, looked for 3 minutes, and left.
- 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.
- Definitely bring swimwear.
- 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 swim, as well as 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 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