Saranda is a cozy coastal town in Albania, only 20 minutes away by boat from Corfu, Greece. Lately, tourism has flourished and more people have found their way to this hidden gem.

The town has good accommodation possibilities as well as many restaurants. There are also plenty of beautiful and nice places to visit not that far from the city. Saranda, along with being beautiful itself, is a good starting point for further adventures.

In this article, you can read more about the best attractions and things to do in Saranda as a tourist.

Explore the Synagogue

The Synagogue of Saranda is a remaining memory of the Jewish population that lived there long time ago. It has many buildings and a school. The area also has a famous community center. The floor of the synagogues is covered with ornate and delicate Jewish mosaics. The floor mosaic has designs of the menorah and shofar. Besides this, there are designs of traditional fruit.

Enjoy the Beaches of Ksamil

Ksamil is Europe’s newest pearl. Although more and more people find their way here, there are still plenty of places where you can be alone. That said, the beaches there are full of fun and music.

Ksamil is best known for its four islands that you can get to by boat. All of the beaches, though, are full of white sand and crystal clear, turquoise water.

Take the bus from the center of Saranda to Ksamil and jump off at the first stop in Ksamil. From there, it’s about a 500 meter walk to the main beaches. If you want to explore a different beach, just continue along the road.

Visit the Ancient Ruins at The Saint Nicholas Monastery

Saint Nicholas Monastery is a large sized church that looks unique because is made of white blocks from the pre-Christian era. The church was destroyed and reconstructed multiple times since then. Ancient ruins are clearly visible on the church wall, and the towers are also worth seeing.

St. Nicholas Monastery Mesopotam
Explore the Amphitheatre of Finiq

Finiq in Saranda is an ancient town with remains as far back as the Bronze Age. An Illyrian tribe in ancient times used the fortified town as a living area. People like to visit the area and see the famous amphitheater of Finiq, as well as the ancient objects housed within.

Taste the Delicious Local Fish & Seafood

Saranda and Ksamil are known for their large selection of delicious fresh fish and seafood dishes.

We would suggest the restaurant “Mare Nostrum Cuisine” for fish and seafood dishes. Be prepared to book a table in advance as it is a popular place.

Travel Back in Time as you Visit the 40 Saints Monastery

40 Saints Monastery is an ancient building built in the sixth century with a large number of modifications and reconstructions. The upper part of the monastery was destroyed during the First World War.

Make sure you get permission to enter and see the monastery crypt.

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Ruins of the 40 Saints Monastery the town of Saranda is named after. ("Saranda/σαράντα" meaning 40 in Greek) The monastery was bombed during WWII but remains the only (semi)preserved example of its type in Albania and the Balkans. It consisted of 40 rooms, one for each of the saints martyred near Sebaste, Albania. The ruins are quite beautiful and the view is incredible – well worth a visit! . . . #albania #saranda #sarandë #Shqipëri #Αλβανία #アルバニア #Албания #Albanie #Albanien #알바니아 #monastary #40saintsmonastery #albania🇦🇱 #visitalbania #worldplaces #beautifuldestinations #worldcaptures #europe_ig #europe #arountheworld #europe_gallery #monumentaleurope #sharealbania #beautifulalbania #discoveralbania #amazingtrips #wonderfulplaces #europe_greatshots #nomad

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Marvel at the Butrinti Archeological Site 

Butrint is about 40 minutes from Saranda by bus or car. The town was originally part of Illyria and the oldest ruins go all the way back to 800 BC. Butrint was also once part of the Roman Empire. There are several buildings from this period, including the famous amphitheater.

Since 1992 Butrint is part of UNESCO. Exploring the ancient ruins of Butrint is absolutely one of the “must do” things in Saranda.

Explore Saranda Promenade 

If you happen to go to Saranda, you must see the promenade. This wide boardwalk lies along a horseshoe-shaped bay with an attractive public beach area filled with sand and pebbles. Explore the beach by water on hired paddleboats. Bask in the sunlight on the promenade-skirted beach on sun beds. Enjoy walking and strolling on the path with family amidst palm trees on the walkways. On the way, you can stop to eat ice cream from the roadside carts. There are also food options at the cafes and restaurants with a good selection of seafood.

Visit Lukovë Village and Beach

Lukove village is situated beside the sea in Saranda. It’s famous beach makes this village a favorite summertime destination. The beach has sand, pebbles and aquamarine water. Surrounding the beach are abandoned cement bunkers, relics of communism. The hillside of the village has beautiful olive and citrus trees.

Rent a Car

You can rent a Ford Focus for 24 hours for only €30. This should give you plenty of time to drive around the Blue Eye national park or to the nearby city of Gjirokastra (a UNESCO site since 2005). The car is the perfect alternative because it gives you the freedom to explore at your own leisure and take your time.

Find more about our day tours throughout the Saranda area.