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With its Mediterranean coastline the Albanian Riviera encompasses seaside towns as well as breathtaking coves. Still mostly unknown to foreign tourists, the off season at Albania’s beaches is a dream that also happens to be quite affordable.
The Albanian Riviera stretches from the Cape of Rodon down to Sarande and is the perfect place to bask in Mediterranean beauty with pristine turquoise waters and empty beaches (in the off season in May and September to October). If you’re not into crowded and overly developed summer towns, you can skip Sarande and instead focus on the smaller towns along the shore. Make sure to rent a car so that you can enjoy the well-paved road that runs along the coast with beautiful views the entire ride.
If you explore the Cape of Rodon, drive down to Dhermi and stay overnight in the Rezidenca MI & GI a brand new apartment complex that is steps away from the beach and offers modern apartments and full breakfast in the garden. One of the best places to go swimming in the vicinity is the Insifa Beach, which stands out with its wooden beach cabanas and its excellent restaurant where you’ll dine on delicious fresh seafood (the seafood spaghetti comes highly recommended).
One of our favorite places, however, is Himare, a small town with a pristine boardwalk that has a beach right next to it, so you can swim whenever you wish. A great place to stay a few nights is the Guesthouse 1932, which has lovely, modern rooms with balconies that overlook the water. In the evening you can dine at the guesthouse’s restaurant where you’ll find more Italian dishes than Albanian due to the strong Mediterranean influence.
As for Albania’s beautiful remote beaches, definitely spend a day at Gjipe Beach, which you can only reach by foot after parking the car in the available lot. The 20 minute walk down a rocky road is definitely worth while as the beach protrudes from a deep rocky valley and the water is extremely clean and a beautiful light turquoise hue. You can rent sunbeds and an umbrella for the day, plus there’s a small café for refreshments. The beach also has a camping ground and a lot of backpackers spend the night here to wake up to the sound of waves.
Other amazing beaches include Grama Bay, Borsh Beach, Bunec Beach, Krorez Beach, Pasqyrat Beach, Lukova Beach, and Rana e Hedhun. And there are many more, while you’re driving by the Riviera you’ll likely come across many beaches where you’ll just want to stop and take a swim, so take your pick.