Beach holidays in Albania

Albania with its Mediterranean climate, diverse coastline, and ancient ruins attracts tourists with unrelenting popularity. The prices are also of great importance – lower than in other European tourist destinations. 

And yet this place offers many interesting locations and attractions for visitors. You can stroll through the quiet streets, visit restaurants serving Albanian cuisine and delicious seafood dishes, and on the golden beaches, you can relax or engage in water sports.


What resorts near the sea to choose for your vacation?

Albania has access to two seas – the Adriatic and Ionian Sea, so you should come here for a memorable beach holiday.


Differences beaches of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas

The beaches of the Ionian Sea, as a rule, are all pebbly, the water is transparent and, consequently, warms up less. And the Adriatic coast is mostly sandy. Waves and surf from the bottom raise suspended matter, the water is murkier, but it warms up better.


Saranda: Albania’s famous resort

It is the largest resort on the coast of the Ionian Sea, bustling with life, with a beautiful promenade lined with palm trees. Saranda, in the southern part of the country, is a charming bay surrounded by steep limestone cliffs and covered with vineyards and citrus plantations. Its proximity to the Greek border and the island of Corfu (the nearest town is 11 km from the resort) makes Saranda often visited, but usually only by passing through. Also, it is worth staying here longer because of the beautiful climate with 290 days of sunshine a year.

There are also nearby mountain ranges that attract hikers. There is no shortage of pebble beaches with a developed tourist infrastructure and crystal clear water of the Ionian Sea.


Saranda City Beach

  • Coordinates: 39.873213, 20.011798
  • Pebble, Ionian Sea
  • The beach is small, only 300 meters. There is a place to change clothes, toilets.
  • And most importantly, the beach is in the center of the most beautiful resort town in Albania.
  • It has the most yachts and boats for boat trips and excursions along the coast

There is nothing bad on the city beach of Saranda. Everything is good here, the view, the infrastructure, there is even a concrete diving tower, and all the cafes and restaurants are within walking distance. Here you can buy fresh fish or take a high-speed ferry to the Greek island of Corfu. 25 minutes and you’re in Greece. In the evening there are beautiful lights and you can walk along the chic promenade. Few places have such in Albania. The only downside is that in peak season there can be a lot of people.


Ksamil: the wealth of “golden beaches” and hotels

Not far from Saranda (a few kilometers south) is Ksamil, another extremely popular tourist destination on the coast. The resort is characterized by golden beaches, azure water and a large number of hotels (quite unusual shapes and bright colors). During the high season, it can be very crowded.

The city is surrounded by a bay with small islands – the views are really impressive. The beach of Bora Bora is a popular vacation spot. Just 5 km from Ksamil is the ancient settlement and archaeological site of Butrini, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bora Bora Beach

It’s not just one beach, it’s five or six beaches in the village of Ksamil. A small village in the very south of Albania. From Saranda to Ksamil is only 7 km. Most tourists who holiday in Saranda periodically come to the beaches of Ksamil, and vice versa. The beaches of Ksamil have the following advantages:

  • These are the only beaches in Albania, or almost the only sandy beaches on the Ionian Sea
  • All the beaches are ultra short, literally 100m and go one by one.
  • There are fine white sand, crystal clear water and more:
    • There are four Albanian islands 200 meters from the central beaches of Ksamil.
    • There are also called the Albanian archipelago of Ksamilya
    • There are all uninhabited and the total area of all four islands is 0.1 sq. km.
  • Chic color of water, white sand, and green pine islands in the foreground, the picture is just the bomb
  • The islands protect the main beach from the wind from the sea. 
  • The island can be reached by catamaran and swim and walk along the paths among the Mediterranean conifers.
  • Literally 1 km from the beach of Bora Bora there are oyster and mussel farms, where you can taste the freshest seafood.

But this place also has its disadvantages:

  • Apart from the beach, the oyster farm and the ancient town of Butrint, there is nothing within walking distance. In the evenings, it’s kind of boring.
  • And during the season on small beaches, there are a lot of people.

It’s ideal to live in Saranda and come here once or twice to sunbathe, swim between islands, and stop to eat oysters. But in any case, the beaches of Ksamil are like a picture.


Durres: sandy coast and monuments

This resort in Albania is located on the Adriatic Sea coast, just a half-hour drive from Tirana, the capital of Albania. The sandy beaches, the charming port area, and the numerous monuments in the area (Durres is one of the oldest cities in Albania) attract tourists from all over Europe. The resort is also a very good starting point for trips to Macedonia.

In the summer months, it is very crowded (and the prices are higher), so the resort is best visited in the off-season. Tour lovers can see numerous monuments testifying to the rich history of the city – Roman amphitheater and thermal baths of the II century, the remains of the defensive walls of the turn of V and VI centuries, Venetian tower and archaeological museum.


Durres Beach

Although Durres, Golem, and Kavaya are now one resort and one long beach with a length of 30 km. Here we will look at the beach of Durres.

  • Coordinates: 41.296152, 19.500385
  • Length of the beach is about 10 km
  • Sandy
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Also good for children, as the entrance to the water is almost everywhere very shallow and there are almost no waves.

There is a lot of infrastructure for tourists, it is the second largest city in Albania. There are hotels of different stars and the choice is great. And very close to the airport.

Minuses of the beach in Durres:

  • Although the beach is long, there is no normal promenade for a promenade along the sea
  • Nearby a cargo port, the largest in Albania
  • 40 km from Durres is the capital of the country. Locals come here for holidays and weekends. There are a lot of holidaymakers.
  • One of the dirtiest beaches in the country.
  • The city is too stretched out. If you live away from the port in the hotel part of the beach, you can’t walk to the amphitheater and the old town. It’s very far. The other towns are much more compact.


Vlora: Albania for snorkeling lovers

It is a popular resort at the junction of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Tourists love to relax on the local pebble beaches, often hidden in coves. Crystal clear water is sure to please fans of snorkeling. The unique location of Vlora is complemented by a wide choice of hotels on the coast and numerous pubs with local cuisine.

Las aguas más cristalinas seguro que satisfacen a los aficionados al buceo con tubo. La ubicación única de Vlorë se complementa con una amplia oferta hotelera en la costa y numerosos restaurantes que sirven cocina local.


Vlora city beach

Vlorë or Vlora is the last beach on the Adriatic coast. It is practically at the junction of two seas. 15 km south of Vlora is the Ionian Sea.

  • The beach is sandy, but the sand is rather compact and dark, like in Durres. In Golem, the sand is much steeper.
  • Length of the beach: about 2 km.
  • There is a steep promenade along the beach.
  • Vlora has all the necessary infrastructure

Vlora  is the third largest city in the country. But it does not have those disadvantages that are in Durres, while it has all the necessary infrastructure. The beach in Vlora is ideal for those who want to rent an apartment for a month, go to the market, store, sunbathe on the beach, or swim in the sea. And that everything was within walking distance. And in Golem, except for the beach, you can’t go anywhere. Well, 20 km from Vlora begins steep Albanian attractions, such as the Logara Pass.


Golem: a secluded resting place

It is a small tourist town located between the cities of Durres and Kavaja. It is a good place for those looking for peace and more secluded places. The beaches here mostly belong to the hotel complexes – they are usually wide and sandy.


Golem Beach

Although this is the neighboring beach to Durres, everything is nicer here. The port is far away, there are no local vacationers from Tirana. The beach is much cleaner. And if Durres is a city, and a big one. Golem has always been a village and only in the last 10 years has received a big tourist push to development.

Today, there is no border between the beaches of Durres and Golem. But if in Durres there are more apartment houses and apartments. Golem is a classic holiday village for package tourists. There are a large number of 3 and 4-star hotels on the first line.

  • Coordinates: 41.243736, 19.517441
  • Beach about 8 km
  • Sandy, by the way, the sand here is finer and whiter than on the beach of Durres
  • Adriatic

This beach is already as close as possible to the beaches in other countries with package tourists. To be fair, there are more hotels here and the packages sell mostly to Golem beach. But it is better to look at the beaches of the Ionian Sea.

But if we consider only the beach and recreation at sea, without going inland, without mountains, waterfalls and hot springs, the beach Golem is probably the best beach on the Albanian coast of the Adriatic Sea, or maybe the whole of Albania. If sandy beaches are better for you than pebbly ones, then Golem is a great option.


Spille: In Search of Peace

Spille, a small Albanian resort located right on the coast south of Durres, will appeal to those looking for a quieter holiday. The climate here is far from the hustle and bustle of Albania’s largest resorts. The town is famous for its sandy beach with a gentle descent to the sea. However, we will not find any monuments or lively places here.


Spille Beach

Spile is a small tourist village 35 km south of Durres and 55 km from Tirana international airport. The total length of the beaches from the Shkumbin River to Cape Lagji is about 9 km. 

  • Coordinates: 41.094141, 19.458139
  • Beach about 9 km
  • The sand here is very fine and white 
  • Adriatic Sea

Spile beach is an ideal place for vacations with children in Albania. Firstly, the coast here is sandy, the sea is shallow and warm with a gentle entry into the water. Secondly, the transfer from the airport to the hotel is short. Thirdly, there are no noisy places and youth parties.



In the Albanian Riviera during the holiday season and in early autumn it is very warm, the average temperature is about 25 ° C. If you want to visit this region, you should go there in June, September or October – the temperatures are a little lower, but still warm. The summer months of July and August will definitely be favorable for sunbathing and swimming in the sea.


What can I do in Albania?

  • Visiting: nearby towns and monuments, including: Kruja Castle, the amphitheater in Durres, Skandebeg Square, the zoo and the National History Museum in the capital of Albania, the Archaeological Park of Apollonia in Poyana. Read more about other attractions here 
  • Take part in water sports.
  • Take part in a jeep safari.
  • Dive: see shipwrecks, incredible rock formations, and unusual specimens of fauna and flora.
  • Use bicycle trails.