Fancy a beach all to yourself, with beautiful clear crystal blue water, golden sand and lovely warm sunshine then all you have to do is explore the Beautiful Albanian Riviera..
From mid May to September the quiet, largely undiscovered West coast of Albania comes to life, it is called the Albanian Riviera for its array of amazing beautiful beaches and crystal clear blue water surrounded by picturesque rolling hills. It is truly a fabulous place to come and explore.
Outside the summer season, you can still get there by bus but don’t expect many bars and restaurants to be open on the quieter beaches like bunec and Dhermi. Himara is the major resort town if you like and as such there are always some bars and restaurants open.
It is an amazing place to recharge the batteries, have a bit of solo time, reading your book, catching up on your journal or blogs. Go for a swim in the some of the cleanest and clearest beautiful blue water I have seen (Don’t forget your go pro camera for those underwater action shots you’ve always wanted)
I only stopped for a few days taking in Himara and Dhermi. Himara was undergoing some development as it’s the major resort on the Albanian Riviera. There was plenty to do, good food and an eclectic mix of tourists including Polish, Dutch and German along with the regulars of Italians, Greeks and people from nearby Balkan countries but sadly no British, something I intend to help change over the coming years.
Himara had a great relaxed vibe – not like Sarande though which sadly is becoming crazier each time I visit; louder and brasher but still an awesome place to visit, especially if you’re in the party mood.
Himara has a different clientele, people coming for the beautiful beaches, welcoming people, excellent food and drink and just to unwind from the stresses of the life they leave behind for that all important annual vacation.
Moving onto Dhermi, a gorgeous beach with a small town nestled on the slope looking down. I arrived just as the season was opening with only 1 restaurant open and only a handful of tourists. This was exactly what I wanted, solitude and beauty. However, there are some ruins of buldings dotted here and there, remnants from the ‘glory days’ of the communist era but they don’t detract from the overall look and feel of Dhermi. There are several luxury hotels and a few holiday apartment blocks just a short walk from the beach that were closed when I was there but I hear it’s a very popular resort July and August.
Both Himara and Dhermi have Jet skis and boat trips in high season but it remains not overcrowded. Still my advice is to go in April, May or September when you can have a beach to yourself, blue skies with just the lapping waves to listen to.
There are several other magnificent beaches on the Albania including Bunec, Borsh, Jala, Queparo and Gjipe beach. I didn’t manage to get to these places but recommend that you do, especially the photographers and bloggers amongst you. Let me know what you think.
You can pick up the bus from Sarande – Vlore or vice versa but make sure the bus is going to via Albanian Riviera and not the direct route. There are a couple of buses each day which usually leave early, usually 8am and 1130am but beware this changes regularly.
Just decide which beach you are going to visit and as the bus passes, you just let the driver know and you will be able to get off. Just to note, the bus goes along a mountain road and you will have to make your way down to some of the beaches. For bigger places like Dhermi there are usually some taxis waiting to take you down, for Himara the buses goes to the town though.