The Albanian Riviera is part of the Albania coast, located on the Ionian Sea and covering the area from the Llogara National Park to the town of Lukova. This is one of the most attractive areas in this country.
It tempts with its wildlife, long and wide sandy beaches and crystal-clear water and beautiful weather. Tourist infrastructure is still here at the development stage, but currently there is no shortage of beds or catering establishments.
It should be remembered that the Albanian Riviera has become in the center of tourists’ interest only recently. Earlier, the country was rather closed to visitors, and internal conflicts did not facilitate this at all. The first tourists arrived to the coast only after the reconstruction of the coastal road SH8. On the other hand, this did not prevent the Albanian Riviera from becoming the one of the most attractive places in 2012, awarded by Frommers.
Map of the Albanian Riviera
See on the map where the Albanian Riviera is located:
What attractions await tourists spending their holidays on the Albanian Riviera?
What can you expect from your holiday on the Albanian Riviera?
First of all, the weather is good in this part of Albania for most of the year. You can come here from May to October to enjoy the sun and high temperatures. Unlike Croatia or Montenegro, most beaches on the Albanian Riviera are sandy, long and wide.
In addition to beautiful weather and sandy beaches, tourists can enjoy the turquoise sea, mountain passes and all the untamed nature.
Many visitors are delighted by the picturesque villages, Orthodox churches and other remnants of ancient times. Local monuments are not yet trampled or as crowded as in other countries. On the Albanian Riviera there are also excellent conditions for practicing all water sports, but also for blissful rest. Balkan cuisine is famous for its tasty and freshly prepared dishes.
On the other hand, lovers of night life will not be disappointed, because this region of Albania is considered to be the heart of events and fun.
When is the best time to come to the Albanian Riviera?
Weather on the Albanian Riviera
As we have already mentioned, the weather and climate on the Albanian Riviera is extremely favorable for tourism. You can easily come here in spring to bask in the sun. Then the temperature here is 20 degrees Celsius, which allow you to go hiking and sightseeing, without tiring heat. Evenings may still be cool, so you should also pack warmer clothing in your luggage.
The number of sunny hours increases every month, and the water in the sea is also getting warmer. Sea bathing can be performed here from June, when the thermometer shows almost 21 degrees.
Summer on the Albanian Riviera is hot and dry.
Temperatures can exceed 40 degrees here. It’s a good time to relax on the beach or take a swim in the sea. The water heats up to 23 degrees and the number of sunny hours reaches 12, during the day. Even the evenings are warm here, because the thermometers still show around 21-22 degrees.
How does the weather look like in autumn and winter on the Albanian Riviera?
It gets a bit cooler in September, then the temperatures reach up to 25 degrees and it is possible to function normally. The water in the sea is still warm (22 degrees), so bathing is possible. Good weather persists on the Albanian Riviera until October, where the thermometer bars still show over 20 degrees. Only the number of sunny hours drops to seven during the day. From November, temperatures drop and the colder part of the year begins, along with precipitation. Good weather will be back again around the end of April.
Now let’s see where to spend your holidays on the Albanian Riviera.
Resorts on the Albanian Riviera
As for tourist resorts on the Albanian Riviera, they are rather smaller towns, although more or less prepared for tourists. Among them you can distinguish:
Dhermi – a picturesque town on the Albanian Riviera with white stone houses cascaded towards the sea. Dhermi is known mainly for the largest beach in this area. In addition, the town is particularly popular with young people, so there is plenty of fun until dawn. Dhermi is also a city of temples, there were supposedly as many as 30 of them here at one time. Spirydion, monastery of the Virgin Mary and several small churches. An attraction of this place is also the pirate cave, which you can swim to.
Vuno – in turn, is one of the oldest towns on the Riviera, its history dates back to the Bronze Age. In appearance it resembles Dhermi, because here also the white, stone houses are located on the slopes and directed down towards the sea. In the town you can see the remains of churches from the 18th century and an old, 200-year-old school. Its most characteristic element is the cypress tree planted in the pot, which has not grown at all since 1939.
Himara – is the largest resort on the Albanian Riviera, where even a promenade was built. There is no shortage of accommodation facilities and catering facilities. As for monuments and attractions, the largest of them are the ruins of a fortress from the eighth century. In it, there are remains of a church from the 11th century and a restored All Saints’ church with a belfry from which you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the entire area. Near Himare there is also the Spile cave, in which the mythical Chimera was supposed to have lived.
Porto Palermo – another resort located on a warm bay. The most famous monument here is a fortress (castle) from the 19th century, probably built on the order of Ali Pasha on a small peninsula. Entrance and visiting the castle is paid (100 lek). In addition, there is a small church of St. Nicholas (or rather what is left of it) and the remains of a military base during communism. An interesting place is also a tunnel built for submarines, in one of the hills.
Borsh – is a seaside town, sometimes called the Pearl of the South. Borsh is famous for its long sandy beach and, interestingly, also for the restaurant (Ujevara), which was built between small waterfalls. Although the menu in the pub does not impress with the choice of dishes, it still attracts crowds of tourists. Water flowing between waterfalls cools quite well on hot days, and the dishes served are fresh and tasty. In addition, you can see the medieval castle and mosque from the 18th century.
Lukova – a tiny village that is a conventional border of the Albanian Riviera. What makes it different is the church of St. Paraskeva. The area is ideal for a blissful rest. There are more or less wild beaches surrounded by olive groves.
Beaches on the Albanian Riviera
The beaches of the Albanian Riviera have the advantage over Croatian or Montenegrin that, as we have already mentioned, they are large and sandy. They are not so crowded, even in the season. Noteworthy and visit beaches on the Albanian Riviera are:
Palase – once wild, unspoilt beach by man. Currently, a tourist infrastructure is being built here that will change the landscape a bit. This beach is located at the crossroads of high mountain slopes and the crystal surface of the sea.
Gjileke – another beach where you can enjoy mountain and sea landscapes. A little less known, which makes the beach less frequented. There are campsites, bars and hotels in the area. You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas here. Part of the beach is rocky.
Dhermi – is one of the largest beaches on the Albanian Riviera. Its size means that you will always find a secluded place here for yourself. The beach is sand and gravel, and small rocks appear at its southern tip.
Gjipe – one of the best known beaches in Albania. It crowns the canyon of the same name, which is the goal of most people who love climbing. Unfortunately you can’t reach the beach itself. You must leave your car in the parking lot, which is about three kilometers away from it.
Jale – located in a small bay. It used to be a wild and unbridled beach, today it is a party place. There are plenty of bars, sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as palm trees and loud music. There are campsites, hotels and restaurants in the area.
Himara – is a city beach with a small promenade built on it. It can be crowded in high season. Restaurants, bars and hotels are located nearby. A bit further is another beach – Potam, which is separated by rocks. It is possible to rent sunbeds and umbrellas.
Lukova – a small beach that can be reached by asphalt road. Away from the city buildings, but in the season there are small bars and diners. It is also possible to rent sunbeds and umbrellas. There are usually no crowds here.
See individual beaches on the Albanian Riviera:
Tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera
The biggest attraction on the Albanian Riviera in addition to the beach and the remains of old times, hidden in coastal towns is the Llogara National Park. Located in the Cika Mountains, it covers a forested area of 1010 hectares, including the most famous Llogara Pass in Albania.
It’s a great place for hiking, even in the high season, because the density of trees means that the temperature is always lower here than in other places on the coast. There are several restaurants serving local cuisine and a small accommodation base. There are 23 trails to cover in the entire park. One of them leads to the attraction, which is a 100-year-old pine, whose bent branches give the impression of a flag in the wind.
The Llogara Pass is located in the valley between Mount Shendellia and the highest peak of Cika, at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. From here, there are amazing views of the Ionian Sea and the surrounding area.
What else is worth visiting on the Albanian Riviera?
On the Albanian Riviera, many tiny towns contain historical remains of ancient times. They are usually in a bad shape because there is no funds for their renovation. A few of them are noteworthy, so if you are nearby it is worth visiting.
Ilias – is a small village, over which apparently hangs a curse thrown by Saint Cosmos. This is supposed to be the reason that the town did not develop or grow like the surrounding villages. You can look here to see two churches – St. Spirydion and the Virgin Mary, which are decorated with Byzantine frescoes.
Qeparo – is another old village located on the mountain hills. Local houses are built here on a tower plan, and limestone rocks were used for their construction. The belfry of the church of the Mother of God from the 18th century is also a characteristic building here. Above the village are also the ruins of the ancient fortress of Karosi.
Piqeras – a small village worth visiting to see the Krimanova monastery and the church of St. Thanas.
Now a few words about the opinions of tourists!
Opinions about the Albanian Riviera
Everyone who has had the opportunity to spend at least a few days on the Albanian Riviera is encouraged to submit in the comments their reviews and opinions about the Albanian Riviera. All opinions are valuable and important to us.