Seven of the Best Beaches in Albania

Our hit list of the beaches to make a beeline for along Albania’s lesser-discovered coastline.

Traditional villages burrowed between caramel sands and rugged cliffs, untouched bays lapped by crystalline waters and some of the best seafood you'll find anywhere: Albania's craggy coastline has been billed "the pearl of the Med" for good reason. And although its small towns are increasing in size by the minute, there are still plenty of lesser-trodden shores to explore. These are our favourite beaches along Albania's storied shoreline.

Where sand meets sea: our favourite beaches along the Albanian Riviera


This dazzling strip of the Ionian coast is one of the longest beaches in Albania, where pale pebbles are lapped by deep blue waters and bands of age-old stone houses protrude out from the chalky white cliffs above. A favourite among Victorian poets including Lord Byron, Dhermi's population unsurprisingly skyrockets during peak season, but, thanks to its size, you'll still likely find pockets of quiet if you look hard enough further along the shore.


Approached from a dramatic coastal road that's worth the trip in itself for the view - an unbroken stretch of caramel sand that curls below rolling hills - this eponymous town and beach has somehow managed to stay largely under the tourist radar, despite its significant size and renowned olive oil production industry. Head there now, but don't tell your friends: we want to keep this one under wraps.

Syri Kalter

While this isn't a beach in the traditional sense, we couldn't omit Syri Kalter's shimmering blue waters and surrounding nature reserve from our list. Sheltered by towering oak and sycamore trees on all sides, this spectacular natural spring draws in healthy handfuls of water babies in search of a break from the waves without forfeiting a swim. Known by foreigners as "The Blue Eye" for its brilliant turquoise hue, these waters bubble up from over 50 metres underground - even divers have never touched the bottom.


This sleepy pocket of the southern Albanian coast has been rising up the international beach charts in recent years, although, luckily, it has managed to retain its charm - something it has in bucketfuls. Home to the largest community of Greeks in the country, this town gets our vote for its linen-white sands and crystal-clear water.


Just an hour's drive east from the Albanian capital of Tirana, Golem's beach is a firm favourite among city dwellers looking for an accessible slice of sun and sea. Considerably more built up than its neighbours, this spot draws in the crowds for its laid-back beach bars and gentle waves that lap the powdery, palomino-coloured shoreline.


As the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, Saranda is a popular springboard for most visitors who seek sand and sea. Topped by a crumbling castle offering bird's-eye views of the gulf below, this spot is just perfect for picnics. Stuff your tote bags with fresh, organic fare from the local market, then hightail it back to the castle for a morning feast. Next, hop on the local bus to Pulëbardha Beach for fresh seafood and sun lounging minus the crowds.


Known by locals as the "Ionian pearl", this sun-bleached stretch of sand is Albania's closest point to the Greek border. Within striking distance of Corfu and the Unesco World Heritage Site of Butrint - an ancient city with a unique archeological backstory - Ksamil is the spot for history buffs looking to attach some cultural pursuits to their beach break.

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