Best Beaches in Albania – 10 Best Albanian Beach Spots 2023

Imagine a destination with pristine, unspoiled beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and breathtaking mountain backdrops. Now imagine that this destination is still relatively undiscovered by the masses, offering you the chance to experience the beauty of the Mediterranean without the crowds. Welcome to the Albanian beach! These are amongst the best beaches in Albania and, indeed, the 10 Best Albanian Beach Spots of 2023.

With a coastline stretching over 380 kilometers, Albania is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Europe. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the top Albania beach spots and share tips for making the most of your beach vacation in this remarkable country.

Short Summary

  • Discover Albania’s stunning beaches, from the Albanian Riviera to hidden gems.

  • Enjoy a variety of activities and attractions while respecting local customs.

  • Visit during summer months for warm temperatures and sunny days or in June/September for fewer crowds!

Discovering Albania’s Beautiful Beaches

Aerial view of Albanian beaches with crystal clear water

From secluded pebble beaches to bustling sandy shores, Albania has it all. As someone who has had the pleasure of visiting nearly every single beach along the Albanian coast, I can confidently say that these hidden gems have their own unique character and appeal. The pristine white sands, crystal clear waters, and breathtaking mountain backdrops make Albania’s beaches truly beautiful destinations.

The crown jewel of Albania’s coastline is the Albanian Riviera, which stretches along the Northeastern Ionian Sea and is renowned for its stunning beauty. Here, you’ll find a diverse range of beaches, from the popular sandy Ksamil Beach to the hidden gem of Gjipe Beach. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or a lively party spot, you’ll find it in Albania.

The Albanian Riviera

The Albanian Riviera is a stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline located along the Northeastern Ionian Sea – and one of the best places to visit in Albania. It begins near the town of Vlore in Albania’s southwest and runs all the way south to Butrint National Park at the border with Greece. The beaches themselves range from fine pebbles to golden sands, and some have deep waters for diving while others have pristine water with gentle currents for swimming. This really is a hidden gem of a spot on the Mediterranean.

Tours to visit the Butrint National Park are available here.

While the stunning beaches are undoubtedly the main attraction, the Albanian Riviera also offers incredible natural wonders, charming coastal villages, breathtaking views of olive groves, fascinating ancient ruins, and even an intriguing disused nuclear bunker or two.

Spring (April, May, early June) and autumn (September, October) offer an ideal experience, as the crowds are pleasantly thin, the water is crystal clear, and the temperatures are just right for swimming and exploring the stunning national parks and mountains in the area.

Beaches for Every Taste

Albania boasts a beach for every taste, from bustling party spots to tranquil hideaways. Ksamil Beach, for example, is an absolute turquoise paradise with its soft white sand and crystal clear waters. Meanwhile, Dhermi Beach is one of the top beaches in Albania, renowned for its stunning looks and immense popularity, with a sandy shore surrounded by lush greenery.

If you’re looking for a more secluded experience, Borsh Beach offers a wonderful pebble beach with plenty of room for the whole family. Mirror Beach (Pasqyra) is another hidden gem, with extremely clear water that reflects the surrounding beauty.

No matter your preferences, Albania’s coastline has something to offer every beach lover.

Top 10 Must-Visit Beaches in Albania

Aerial view of Gjipe beach with crystal clear water

In the following sections, we will introduce you to the top 10 must-visit beaches in Albania, including popular destinations and hidden gems such as Gjipe Beach, Ksamil Beach, Dhermi Beach, Borsh Beach, Mirror Beach (Pasqyra), Drymades Beach, Buneci Beach, Potami Beach, Llamani Beach, and Lukova Beach.

These stunning sandy beaches offer a variety of experiences, from secluded coves to bustling party scenes, ensuring a memorable beach vacation for every traveler.

Gjipe Beach: A Hidden Gem

Aerial view of Gjipe beach with turquoise water

Gjipe Beach is considered one of the best beaches in the country and is a true hidden gem. Tucked away at the end of Gjipe Canyon, this secluded beach requires a rewarding 30-minute trek through the forest to reach it. With crystal clear waters and a breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea, Gjipe Beach is the perfect spot for those seeking a quiet swim and a serene escape from the bustling tourist spots.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the canyon’s wonderful hiking opportunities, or stay at a nearby campground for a truly immersive experience of beautiful places in Albania.

Ksamil Beach: Turquoise Paradise

Aerial view of Ksamil beach with charming coastline

Ksamil Beach is an absolute turquoise paradise, with its soft white sand and crystal clear waters. Located in the heart of the Albanian Riviera, Ksamil is popular among both locals and tourists. The beach offers facilities and activities such as boat rides and pedal boating.

Nearby attractions include the fascinating ancient city of Butrintwith its captivating Roman ruins, the stunning Albanian Blue Eye, the picturesque Syri i Kaltr, and the vibrant market city of Gjirokaster.

Dhermi Beach Sunset: Coastal Charm

Sunset Above Dhermi Beach - Dhermi Vlore Albania

Dhermi Beach is a long and popular beach, situated near the charming village of Dhermi. With its pebble shoreline and crystal clear blue water, Dhermi Beach is a favorite among tourists. The nearby village features traditional stone houses and offers a selection of bars, restaurants, and accommodations, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors.

Don’t forget to explore the nearby landmarks, such as the Hypapante Church, the Panagia Monastery, the Pirates Cave, and the picturesque Gramata Harbour.

Borsh Beach: Longest Coastline

Aerial view of Borsh Beach with reflective beauty

Borsh Beach is the largest and most magnificent beach in Albania, boasting pristine white pebbles, crystal clear azure water, and breathtaking views of Albania’s coastal mountains. The peaceful and tranquil ambiance of the beach is perfect for unwinding and soaking up the sun.

Borsh Beach offers excellent guesthouses, apartments, and a campground, as well as several restaurants for a satisfying beach vacation.

Mirror Beach (Pasqyra): Reflective Beauty

Aerial view of Mirror Pasqyra beach with two-in-one experience

Mirror Beach, also known as Pasqyra Beach, is an absolutely stunning and reflective beauty with crystal clear waters and soft white sand. This secluded beach is perfect for those looking for an intimate experience, surrounded by picturesque rock formations. One of the hidden beaches in the area offers a serene escape from the crowds.

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, visitors can snorkel out to Pasqyrave Island to explore the vibrant marine life and captivating underwater grottoes. For a truly magical experience, visit Mirror Beach in the late afternoon or early evening to witness a breathtaking sunset and avoid the crowds.

Drymades Beach: Two-in-One Experience

Aerial view of Drymades beach with peaceful escape

Drymades Beach is an amazing two-in-one experience, with a stunning rock formation dividing the beach in two, offering both a pebble and sandy beach experience. This highly-rated coastline offers a beach bar and a restaurant for refreshments, while the pristine waters make it perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

A unique feature of Drymades Beach is the opportunity to explore both sections and switch between them if one side becomes too busy, ensuring a great experience for all visitors.

Buneci Beach: Peaceful Escape

Aerial view of Buneci beach with lush backdrop

Buneci Beach, located between Piqeras and Lukove, offers a peaceful escape with a serene sandy shoreline and dazzling turquoise water. This quiet and relaxing beach boasts a long pier, sun loungers for rent, and a couple of basic cafes close by for refreshments.

Often overlooked by tourists eager to reach the shores of Ksamil, Buneci Beach provides a tranquil atmosphere perfect for unwinding and enjoying the natural beauty of Albania’s coastline.

Potami Beach

Aerial view of Potami beach with relaxing cove (night view)

Potami Beach is a charming beach with a lush backdrop and a white-sand shore. This beautiful beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing, offering a serene and picturesque setting. The crystal-clear waters allow you to marvel at the wonders of the ocean floor, while the nearby cliffs provide spectacular panoramic views.

With a few delicious Greek and Albanian restaurants nearby, Potami Beach is an idyllic destination for a relaxing beach day.

Llamani Beach: Relaxing Cove

Llamani beach with pristine waters

Llamani Beach is a wonderfully relaxing and peaceful cove with a sandy shore, located near the vibrant city of Saranda. Renowned for its tranquil atmosphere and stunning views, this beach is perfect for those seeking a serene escape from busy tourist spots and only sandy beaches.

In addition to sunbathing and swimming, Llamani Beach is ideal for snorkeling and exploring the nearby caves. With luxurious sun loungers and delicious restaurants along the stunning Albanian seaside, Llamani Beach is a must-visit destination for any beach lover.

Exploring Albania’s Lesser-Known Beaches

Aerial view of Palasa beach with white sand and rock

While Albania’s popular beaches are undoubtedly worth a visit, the country’s lesser-known beaches offer the opportunity to experience a more authentic and tranquil side of Albania’s coastline. These hidden gems, such as Shpella Beach, Krorz Beach, Itan Kreyziu Beach, Portonovo Beach, and Kakome Beach, provide stunning landscapes and unique experiences without the crowds typically found at more popular beach spots. Discover the best Albanian beaches off the beaten path and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.

In the following sections, we’ll introduce you to three lesser-known beaches that are well worth a visit on your Albanian beach adventure.

Lukova Beach: Pristine and Mainstream

Aerial view of Lukova beach with serene lagoon

Lukova Beach offers the best of both worlds, with pristine and mainstream beaches surrounded by natural beauty and convenience. This charming destination provides both quiet and lively experiences, catering to a variety of tastes. Whether you want to relax on the beach or indulge in delicious snacks and beverages at a cozy beach bar, Lukova Beach has something for everyone.

Plus, with fantastic nearby beaches such as Lumra, Buneci, and Cave beach, there’s no shortage of stunning locations to explore in the area.

Palasa Beach: White Sand and Rock

Palasa Beach

Palasa Beach is a serene and secluded destination with beautiful white sand and rock formations. This lesser-known beach offers a few delightful restaurants and a vibrant nightclub, providing a unique experience for visitors.

The crystal clear waters make it perfect for swimming and bathing, while the stunning landscape provides a breathtaking backdrop for relaxation. Don’t forget to visit the nearby Llogara National Park for an even more unforgettable experience.

Narta Beach: Serene Lagoon

Narta Beach - Narta Lagoon

Located near Vlora, Narta Beach is a sandy lagoon that offers a serene and picturesque setting, perfect for families. Less commercialized than other tourist beaches, Narta Beach provides a more authentic Albanian beach experience. With bars and restaurants nearby, as well as sun loungers available, this beach is perfect for a relaxing day of bathing and swimming.

The fine brown sand and shallow waters make Narta Beach one of the most beautiful sand beaches in Albania, providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Tips for Visiting Albanian Beaches

To make the most of your Albanian beach vacation, it’s important to plan ahead and consider practical tips for visiting the country’s stunning coastline. In the following sections, we’ll provide you with advice on the best time to visit, transportation options, and respecting local customs while exploring Albania’s beautiful beaches.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Albanian beaches is during the summer months, when temperatures are pleasant and the days are long and enjoyable. During this time, temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit, providing a perfect climate for outdoor activities.

However, if you prefer to avoid the peak tourist season, the shoulder season months of June and September still offer pleasantly warm temperatures and fewer crowds. Regardless of when you visit, be sure to check the weather forecast and pack plenty of sunscreen for a fun day in the sun.

Getting Around

While public transportation is available in most cities and towns in Albania, renting a car is the best way to explore the country’s beaches at your own pace. Browse your options here.

Convenient trains or mini buses run between the main towns along the coast, but a rental car allows you the freedom to visit lesser-known beaches and hidden gems.

When renting a car, be sure to inspect the vehicle for any potential issues before signing the rental agreement and familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Respect Local Customs

Architecture, Albania, local customs

When visiting Albania’s beaches, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. This includes being mindful of public displays of affection and wearing modest clothing while at the beach.

By honoring local customs, you’ll ensure a pleasant experience for yourself and the local community, as well as foster a greater understanding and appreciation for the culture and traditions of Albania. So remember to appreciate and embrace the local customs during your beach vacation in this remarkable country.

Summary

In conclusion, Albania’s stunning coastline offers a diverse range of beautiful beaches catering to every taste and preference. From the popular sandy shores of Ksamil Beach to the secluded pebble coves of Gjipe Beach, there is a beach destination for everyone in this remarkable country. By following our tips and recommendations for visiting Albanian beaches, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your beach vacation in this hidden gem of the Mediterranean. So pack your sunscreen, grab your swimsuit, and get ready to discover the breathtaking beauty of Albania’s beaches!

Some of the best beach bars on the Albanian riviera

Ksamil is home to some of the best beach bars in Albania. One of the most popular is Heaven’s Bar, an open-air bar located right on the beach with sweeping views of the Ionian Sea and breathtaking sunsets every night. The bar serves up a wide selection of local beers, wines, and cocktails as well as traditional Albanian dishes like “Byrek”, a savory pastry filled with cheese or vegetables.

For live music and lively nightlife, head to Borsh Beach Bar – one of the largest beach clubs on Albania’s coast. Here, you can enjoy international DJs spinning upbeat tunes under the stars while sipping on signature cocktails or delicious craft beers. As well as great music, Borsh Beach Bar also offers a variety of mouthwatering seafood dishes from local fishermen who catch their fish from the same waters that surround Ksamil. Whether you’re looking to relax and enjoy a romantic dinner or let loose with friends until the early hours of the morning, Borsh Beach Bar will have something perfect for everyone.

What are some of the best dishes to try in Albania?

Albania’s cuisine is a delicious mix of the Mediterranean flavours of Greece, Italy and Turkey, as well as some influences from the Slavic countries. One of the most popular dishes in Albania is Byrek, a savoury pie filled with mashed potatoes, cheese, meat or vegetables. It’s typically served alongside yogurt and fresh salads. Another local specialty that visitors should try is Tavë Kosi, a slow-cooked lamb casserole made with yoghurt and rice or pasta. For seafood lovers, Ksamil offers plenty of delicious dishes such as fried calamari or grilled octopus. And for dessert, you can’t go wrong with traditional baklava – layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and sweet syrup. Albania is definitely a must-visit destination for foodies!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Albania have good beaches?

Yes, as this post sets out in detail – Albania boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. From the stunning Ksamil and Dhrmi Beaches to the impressive Drymades Beach, visitors can experience a wide range of coastal landscapes and activities such as swimming, windsurfing and sunbathing.

Yes, Albania has the most excellent beaches! Visitors can enjoy amazing white sands, clear waters, picturesque mountain backdrops and plenty of activities, from swimming and windsurfing to sunbathing at stunning beaches like Dhrmi and Drymades.

Is Albania cheap or expensive?

Overall, Albania is an inexpensive destination for travelers. Budget-conscious tourists will find it easy to enjoy the attractions of the country without spending a fortune.

Are the beaches in Albania clean?

Overall, the beaches in Albania are quite clean and are monitored by the European Environment Agency, EEA, each year to ensure quality standards are being met. About 76.5% of Albania’s inland and coastal bathing sites have been deemed excellent by the EEA in 2020, offering tourists and locals a safe and enjoyable beach experience.

What are some facts about Albanian beaches?

Albania offers a wide variety of stunning beaches that will delight any traveler. From the long stretches of sand on the Adriatic coast to the dramatic rocky coastline of the Ionian Sea, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for a private getaway or an adventurous day spent exploring, Albania has it all!

Which part of Albania has the best beaches?

If you’re looking for the one spot for best beaches in Albania or you don’t have much time to explore, look no further than Ksamil! Just a 15-minute car or bus ride away from Saranda, Ksamil is a popular beach town that boasts some of the most beautiful sandy beaches along the Albanian Riviera plus you can easily visit the Butrint National Park here.

Ksamil Beach and the Butrint National Park

With its clear blue waters and stunning coastline, Ksamil is truly a paradise not to be missed.

Can you recommend best places to stay in Albania?

For accommodation in Albania, you have plenty of options. If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay, then head to Butrint National Park and check out the 5-star Hotel Butrinti here. It offers stunning sea views, opulent rooms and suites, as well as an outdoor pool and spa area.

If you’re traveling on a budget, then Villa Hamza, Ksamil is the perfect choice. It’s only a 5-minute walk from the beach and offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices.

Whatever your budget, Albania has plenty of accommodation options to suit everyone! Just make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment. To browse all, click here.

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Anna Roffey Lawyer, World Traveller, Blogger... 🧡