Sarande

Butrint Archaeological Site
Ali Pasha Tepeleni Castle
Mesopotam Monastery

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Sarande

Your Guide to Southern Albania

Thanks to one of the most beautiful natural environments of the entire Albanian coast, with its beaches of small natural stones and a wonderful blue sea, Sarande – near the border with Greece, from its seaside you can see Corfù – has become one of the most appreciated tourist destinations in the Ionian Sea.

One of your MSC Cruises destinations in the Mediterranean, this coastal city is one of the most modern in the entire region, and offers its visitors, in addition to the sea, many historical and environmental beauties to be admired.

Among the most relevant points of interest are the ruins of ancient Onchesmos (as Sarande used to be called), the remains of the city of Foinike, the Roman archaeological site of Butrint that was recently renovated and restored to its former glory and the nineteenth-century Ali Pasha Tepeleni Castle, one of Albania's landmark buildings, an imposing square structure overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Walking through the streets of Sarande, you will experience the typical atmosphere of a popular tourist attraction with numerous hotels.

An MSC Cruises excursion will take you on a visit to the karst spring of Syri Kalter with its famous Blue Eye, a blue pond reminiscent of the iris of a human eye. This watering hole is at the center of a splendid oak forest, perfect for having a picnic and enjoying the cool embrace of Mother Nature. In this area there is also the Mesopotam monastery, which dates from the thirteenth century and is the only Byzantine church in a good state of conservation in all of Albania.
Characterized by a special plan of a single nave with two apses, this ancient place of worship is dedicated to St. Nicholas (Shën Kolle).

Must see places in Sarande

Discover our excursions

8 resultater funnet

  • SARANDA CITY TOUR

    BYRUNDTUR
      • Kan omfatte stigninger, trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller lengre perioder der man må stå oppreist

        Vanskelighetsgrad
        Moderat

      • Varighet
        4 h

      • Adults price starting fromNOK352Pris per person

      • Children price starting fromNOK262Pris per person

      SAR01

      Situated on the Albania Riviera near the border to Greece in the south of the country, the town of Saranda is your destination on this appealing half-day outing. The tour begins with a scenic coach ride to the city centre to first visit the Byzantine Church and the Synagogue, both of which date back to the 5th century. You’ll then continue through town on foot to reach the museum, where a rich collection of mosaics and archaeological artefacts found in the region await inspection. The following coach ride will give you time to rest your feet and enjoy panoramic views of Saranda’s main thoroughfares and key buildings, including the “Hasan Tahsini” secondary school and a branch of Tirana University. As a final highlight before you return to the pier, a photo stop is scheduled on Lëkurës Hill, which overlooks Saranda and on clear days even provides views of nearby Corfu. You will also have time for independent exploration of Saranda, a town named after the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, before you return to the ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair. Conservative attire is recommended for visiting sites of religious importance.;
    • VISIT GJIROKASTËR, THE STONE CITY

      BYRUNDTUR
        • Kan omfatte stigninger, trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller lengre perioder der man må stå oppreist

          Vanskelighetsgrad
          Moderat

        • Varighet
          6 h

        • Adults price starting fromNOK585Pris per person

        • Children price starting fromNOK442Pris per person

        SAR04

        Thanks to a period spent under Ottoman rule from 1373 to 1417, the historical city of Gjirokastër boasts an old town that has been called “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of a large estate” and counts as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A scenic 1.5-hour coach ride that includes a stop see you reach Gjirokastër, which lies to the north and inland of Saranda. Enjoy views of the townscape with its streets paved in chunky limestone and shale, pretty houses with slate roofs and panoramic vistas of the Drin Valley. You’ll then board minivans and head to higher ground to visit the pre-12th-century Gjirokastër Fortress, located at an elevation of 336 m above mean sea level. Once of key strategic importance, the site features five towers and houses, a church, a prison, a water cistern and now also a museum exhibiting memorabilia of the Communist resistance against German occupation during WWII and even a captured US Air Force aircraft. After visiting the museum, you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the town before returning to Saranda and your ship. Please note: as the visit to the Fortress includes walking up- and downhill as well as some stairs, it is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility.;
      • THE ANCIENT RUINS OF BUTRINTI

        KULTUR OG HISTORIE
          • Aktive utflukter som kun anbefales for reisende med god fysisk helse

            Vanskelighetsgrad
            Krevende

          • Varighet
            5 h

          • Adults price starting fromNOK469Pris per person

          • Children price starting fromNOK352Pris per person

          SAR03

          Take yourself off the ship and prepare to peel back the layers of time on a visit to the ancient site of Butrint, situated a short narrated coach ride southwards of Saranda. First settled in prehistoric times, Butrint went on to spend eras under Greek, Roman, Byzantine and even Venetian rule, all adding up to a fascinating trip through the history of the city illustrated by ruins left by each successive civilisation. You’ll be taken on a guided walk through the site, including a visit to the Acropolis that overlooks the area and the museum, which reopened in 2005 following refurbishment. The site was first excavated by an Italian-led team from 1928 until 1939, then continued after WWII under the Albanian Institute of Archaeology and was ultimately added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1992. This look back in time ends with your return journey to Saranda and your ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility. Guests may join the group and visit the lower part of the archaeological site.;
        • BLUE EYE SPRING

          NATURPERLER
            • Kan omfatte stigninger, trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller lengre perioder der man må stå oppreist

              Vanskelighetsgrad
              Moderat

            • Varighet
              4:30 h

            • Adults price starting fromNOK405Pris per person

            • Children price starting fromNOK289Pris per person

            SAR02

            This appealing and varied half-day tour begins with a coach ride up to Lëkurës Hill, which not only affords superb views of Saranda, Vurgu i Ri, Lake Butrint and even Corfu on clear days, but is also home to the 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle. A 40-minute drive inland then follows to the so-called Blue Eye Spring, the source of the River Bistricë and one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in Albania. With its midnight blue core surrounded by a corona of paler blue, the spring is indeed worthy of its name! However, the depth of this karstic spring is still unknown – divers got as far down as about 50 m, but were nowhere near the bottom. Throw in a stone, then watch it sink and finally reappear again a little while later, buoyed by the gushing water that feeds the river. While at the pool, also look out for local wildlife such as foxes, birds, martens and even reptiles. Once back in Saranda, you’ll have time to explore on your own before you head back to the pier and your ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair.;
          • Car with guide

            NOE UTENOM DET VANLIGE
            • Ingen guide tilgjengelig

            • Begrenset antall plasser

            • Kan omfatte en begrenset mengde trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller perioder der man må stå oppreist

              Vanskelighetsgrad
              Lett

            • Varighet
              4 h

            • Adults price starting fromNOK1882Pris per person

            • Children price starting fromNOK1882Pris per person

            SAR33PV

            Car with guide
          • Minivan with guide for 3 to 6 pax

            NOE UTENOM DET VANLIGE
            • Ingen guide tilgjengelig

            • Begrenset antall plasser

            • Kan omfatte en begrenset mengde trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller perioder der man må stå oppreist

              Vanskelighetsgrad
              Lett

            • Varighet
              4 h

            • Adults price starting fromNOK2332Pris per person

            • Children price starting fromNOK2332Pris per person

            SAR34PV

            Minivan with guide for 3 to 6 pax
          • HARTA BAY BEACH BREAK

            SOL OG BAD
              • Kan omfatte stigninger, trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller lengre perioder der man må stå oppreist

                Vanskelighetsgrad
                Moderat

              • Varighet
                6 h

              • Adults price starting fromNOK379Pris per person

              • Children price starting fromNOK289Pris per person

              SAR06

              Forming part of the southern strip of the Albanian Riviera and not far from the Butrint National Park lies the pretty coastal area of Ksamil. Situated just 15 km from Saranda, the peninsula is home to several beaches, including the serene Harta Bay. Ideal for spending time in the sun, exploring the surrounding area and going for a refreshing dip in the crystal-blue water, Harta Bay provides all you need for a perfect day of sun, sea and sand. And if you’re feeling energetic, you can even swim to other nearby bays – great sites for taking photos (provided you have a waterproof camera). You’ll have plenty of time to spend at Harta Bay to enjoy relaxing moments before returning to the ship. Please note: this tour runs from June to September only; use of sunbeds included in the price of the tour. The beach is made of pebbles.
            • ALBANIAN RIVIERA & ITS VILLAGES

              UTSIKTSRUTE
              • Bademuligheter

              • Begrenset antall plasser

              • Kan omfatte en begrenset mengde trappetrinn, ujevne overflater og/eller perioder der man må stå oppreist

                Vanskelighetsgrad
                Lett

              • Varighet
                6 h

              • Adults price starting fromNOK405Pris per person

              • Children price starting fromNOK289Pris per person

              SAR05

              Do yourself a favour and take yourself off to savour the unspoiled beauty of the Albanian Riviera, replete with gorgeous beaches, friendly people and glorious landscapes. This is an area where picturesque villages nestle in secluded coves carved out of the rugged coastline. You’ll be travelling by coach, with a first stop planned at Borsh, a village powered by the production of olive oil. You’ll get to explore this picture-perfect area along with its beautiful waterfalls, after which you’ll head for Porto Palermo, the only safe harbour between Saranda and Vlorë. The village is also home to Porto Palermo Castle, which you will visit. Controversy surrounds the alleged origins of the edifice, with some scholars disputing it was built in the early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena and instead accrediting its construction to the Venetians. After you’ve had a chance to look around, you’ll move on again to visit nearby Himarë, a village with a distinctive Greek flair, where you can spend some free time. The tour then draws to a close with your return to the ship. Please note: as the visit to the Fortress includes walking up- and downhill as well as some stairs, it is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility.;

            The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
            Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
             
            Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

            Albania

            One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners
            One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners

            Following decades of isolationist rule, Albania still doesn’t seem to fit into the grand continental jigsaw, with distinctly exotic notes emanating from its language, customs and cuisine.


            With its jumble of rugged mountains fringed by pristine curls of beach, Albania’s south is the most appealing part of the country. The interior route boasts the rewarding towns of Berat and Gjirokastra, each home to whole swathes of Ottoman buildings.
              
            Heading on down the Ionian Coast instead, you’ll find one of Europe’s few unspoilt sections of Mediterranean shore, a near-permanently sunny spot where the twin blues of sea and sky are ripped asunder by a ribbon of grey mountains – on a clear day you’ll be able to see Italy from the 1027m-high Llogaraja Pass.


            Staring straight at Corfu, and even within day-trip territory of the Greek island, sunny Sarande is perhaps Albania’s most appealing entry point, it’s a great place to kick back, stroll along the promenade and watch the sun set over cocktails. There are beaches in town, but better are those near the archaeological treasure-trove of Butrint, some 25km to the south.