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The Best Solo Travel Guide To Saranda, Albania

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Saranda (officially known as Sarandë) is a beautiful coastal city on the Albanian Riviera, in southern Albania. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, and Mediterranean climate, with Butrint, making its debut as the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, adding a touch of historical significance.


Now Albania wasn’t always on my radar as I was clouded by preconceived notions or concerns about how black people are treated. But the Albanian PR on social media grabbed my attention and said I have to go and see it for myself  I always like to keep an open mind when exploring new countries and Albania did not disappoint! For many, Albania might not be an obvious destination choice, but it’s a great alternative and more affordable destination like Italy, Spain and Greece, especially in the height of the summer peak season.

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I found myself pleasantly surprised by what awaited me in this underrated Balkan gem. My mission on this trip was to relax, unwind and let my mind & body wander and it did not disappoint! Albania was giving gorgeous backdrops. It was my first time in this country and my third time exploring a Balkan country in Europe. I will be coming back as this was a short 4-day trip! The beaches, food the genuine hospitality of the people coupled with the perfect warm weather in September made it such an enjoyable solo trip for me.


Join me as I delve deeper into the wonders of this gorgeous city, sharing insights, tips, and recommendations for fellow solo travellers eager to discover the best that Saranda, Albania, has to offer. From hidden gems to must-visit attractions, this is your ultimate guide to experiencing the beauty and charm of Saranda like never before. Let’s embark on this adventure together and uncover the secrets of one of Europe’s most enchanting destinations.

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Saranda is worth visiting! Have you seen the material? It’s suitable for both budget travel and luxury travel. This solo travel guide to Saranda will provide you with all the details, sharing insights, tips, and recommendations for fellow solo travellers to help you plan your trip to Albania. From hidden gems to must-visit attractions, this is your ultimate guide to experiencing the beauty and charm of Saranda like never before.


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Is Albania Safe For Solo Female Travel?
Yes, Albania is generally considered safe for solo female travellers. Like any destination, it’s important to exercise common sense and take precautions to ensure personal safety. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, avoid walking alone at night, and be mindful of your belongings. Additionally, it’s advisable to research and respect local customs and dress modestly in more conservative areas. I think solo travel may still be a new concept in this area or that’s the vibe I got! People were surprised I was travelling by myself. There were some restaurants I went to, seated myself at a bigger table, and got asked to move to a smaller table (even though the restaurants were not busy).


My Experience As A Black Woman In Albania
It’s tricky because I’ve always heard not-so-good stories about the country not being welcoming or safe for black people let alone black women.
Is it safe for a Black woman to travel solo to Albania?
Part of the research Olympics we have to do is Google search ‘’ is this country safe for ….’’ I have to admit I didn’t search that on Google this time around. Maybe it’s because I also saw other Black women like @road2culturedom and many Nigerians like @zimeee travel there and share their experiences. This is why representation in travel matters! During my trip, I also saw other black women (in groups) and couples travelling freely in Saranda which made me smile.

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I always try to keep an open mind when I travel and want to go and see for myself despite the negative press you might hear.
But to answer the question, yeah I felt safe! I was treated with kindness by the locals and tourists I interacted with. As a solo traveller, all your senses are a lot more heightened and you’re more observant. I did get a few stares, not hard stares but I also looked good walking around the city! I think people were more surprised that I was travelling by myself than anything.
The Best Way To Get To Saranda
Did you know you can get to Albania from Greece?
I found my flight tickets by flight hacking (don’t worry it’s completely legal) My flight tickets cost £99 plus £25 for the Kiwi guarantee just in case as I was self-transferring. The flight tickets at the time were around £300+ so I’ve saved almost £200! I flew from London to Romania and then Romania to Corfu, Greece. Finally, I took a ferry to Sarande, Greece. That’s how I ended up passing through 3 countries in one day  I probably wouldn’t do this again but hey at least I saved some coins. I love direct flights and convenience but I also love finding ways to save money .


The good news is you can get direct flights from London to Corfu.
The closest airport to Sarandë is Corfu (CFU) Airport, situated just 30.7 kilometres away. Other airports include Preveza (PVK) Airport, approximately 124 kilometres away, Tirana (TIA) Airport at a distance of 173.4 kilometres, Brindisi (BDS) Airport about 195.7 kilometres away, and Kefallinia (EFL) Airport, which is roughly 200 kilometres away.
The best way to get to Sarande, Albania is by ferry from Corfu, Greece. It’s best to book your ferry tickets online at least a day before. There are 3 popular ferry companies you can book with which are Finikas Lines, Ionian Seaways & Joy Lines. Prices vary depending on the cruise company, timing etc.

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I booked with Ionian Seaways for €40 return tickets. Another thing to note is that there’s a fast ferry which takes about 30 minutes and a longer journey of almost 2 hours to get to Sarande ferry terminal. You’ll go through immigration and passport checks like you normally do at an airport so arrive at the terminal early to give you enough time to pass through security. The journey felt smooth for me and there were various seating areas.
Travel Smart Tip: If you do experience seasickness, take some anti-sickness medication.


Top Things to Know Before Travelling To Sarande, Albania
1. Best time to visit Albania: The best time to visit Sarande is during the summer months, from May to September when the weather is warm and ideal for beach activities. If you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy warm weather then travel end of April/ May or September. I went in mid-September and the weather was HOT An

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ytime outside these months, shops, and restaurants are closed.
2.  Entry requirements: You may need a visa to enter Albania depending on your nationality. For UK, USA and Canadian citizens, it’s visa-free and you can stay up to 90 days. To enter Albania, your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave.
3. The Albanian currency: Albanian Lek (ALL) Is their currency but euros are widely accepted in this part of the region. It’s also quite a cash-heavy city so bring cash with you.


4. How to get around Saranda, Albania: There’s no ride-sharing app here or Uber. You can only book with a local Taxi. You’ll find a taxi stand near popular areas like the Saranda promenade or organise with your hotel. I’ll also recommend these two drivers in Sarande. Romeo – (+355 69 270 8394) and Gert – (+355 69 831 2225). Taxi rides can cost around 300-500+ lek (£2.50 – £4 +) for short 5-minute journeys but it’s always best to negotiate with the driver.
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.  The language spoken in Albania: Albanian is the official language, but you’ll find that many people in tourist areas, including Sarande, speak English, especially in hotels and restaurants.
6. The food in Saranda: Albanian cuisine is diverse, and you’ll find seafood, grilled meats, and traditional dishes like burek and tave kosi. Don’t forget to try local wines in this region!
Where To Stay In Saranda
Choose accommodations wisely! Sarande sprawls down the coastline for a good distance. Opt for hotels near the northernmost part of the city where the promenade is as you will be within walking distance from restaurants and sites and you’ll also save a lot of money on taxis as they are quite pricey. I stayed in a 4-star hotel, Azure Inn Hotel and enjoyed my experience overall.
Located on the edge of Saranda city, just a 10-minute drive from the Saranda promenade, the Azure Inn Hotel offers easy access to dining, shopping, and the beach, with stunning sea views from its balconies being a huge plus. This brand-new 4-star hotel boasts clean rooms, daily room service, and a complimentary breakfast. Free parking is available onsite and WiFi is provided, along with a range of amenities including a restaurant, bar, and private beach area. With friendly staff and modern facilities, it’s the perfect base for exploring Saranda.
Other hotels I recommend staying in:
Yacht Premium Hotel  – 3 minutes drive to the Saranda promenade
PALMA city HOTEL – 3 minutes drive to the Saranda Promenade
Lost Beach Hotel – 7 minutes drive to the Saranda Promenade
Republika Hotel – 1 minute drive to the Saranda Promenade
The Queen’s Lion Premium Hotel – 7 minutes drive to the Saranda Promenade
Is it better to stay in Ksamil or Sarandë?
Choosing between Ksamil and Sarande depends on what you seek in a beach holiday. Sarande, being the more popular resort, offers a wider range of attractions and facilities. However, it tends to be busier and more developed. On the other hand, Ksamil offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, perfect for those seeking tranquillity. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and the type of experience you desire during your beach getaway.

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