Opposite the Greek island of Corfu, Saranda (Albania) is a quintessential Mediterranean destination, with five months of warm weather and a selection of dreamlike beaches up and down its coast. A typical scene around Saranda is a pebbly bay washed by clear turquoise waters and backed by limestone hills with aromatic scrub and olive trees. You can pick from tourist hotspots with family activities or secluded beaches in natural reserves. And if you need more than lazy days by the sea you can travel to quaint seaside villages, natural landmarks and, best of all, Butrint, a UNESCO-listed archaeological park.
1. The Town’s Bay
Saranda’s main beach is a horseshoe bay with a mix of sand and pebbles next to calm blue Ionian waters. The beach is public and brings you all the facilities of a European seaside getaway. You can hire paddleboats by the shore, sunbeds are provided, and the beach is skirted by a promenade. This walkway is fringed with lush palm trees that shelter ice-cream carts and pop-up bars selling their wares in the summer. If hunger strikes you can cross the road behind the promenade for a sit-down lunch at Saranda’s choice of front row cafes and seafood restaurants.