Albanian Riviera


The Albanian Riviera ( sq, Riviera Shqiptare ), also popularly known as Bregu, is a
coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body ...

along the
Northeastern Ionian Sea
Northeastern Ionian Sea
in the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
encompassing the districts of
Sarandë Sarandë (; sq-definite, Saranda; el, Άγιοι Σαράντα, Agioi Saranda; it, Santiquaranta) is a List of cities and towns in Albania, city in the Republic of Albania and seat of Sarandë Municipality. Geographically, the city is located ...

Vlorë Vlorë ( , ; sq-definite, Vlora) is the List of cities and towns in Albania, third most populous city of the Republic of Albania and seat of Vlorë County and Vlorë Municipality. Located in southwestern Albania, Vlorë sprawls on the Bay of Vlo ...

in Southwestern Albania. It forms an important section of the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast dotted with the villages of Palasë, Dhërmi, Vuno, Himare (town), Himara, Qeparo, Borsh, Piqeras, Lukovë and Sarandë. The riviera should not be confused with the entire coastline of the country, which includes the Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast, Ionian Sea Coast, and the mostly flat Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast, Adriatic Sea Coast in the north. The Ceraunian Mountains separates the coast from the hinterland. The area is a major nightlife, ecotourist, and elite retreat destination in Albania. It features traditional Mediterranean villages, ancient castles, churches, monasteries, secluded turquoise beaches, List of bays of Albania, bays, mountain passes, seaside canyons, coves, rivers, underwater fauna, caves, and orange, lemon, and olive groves. During the Classical antiquity, classical times, 48 BC during his pursuit of Pompey, Julius Caesar set foot and rested his legion at Palasë. He continued onto Llogara Pass in a place later named Caesar's Pass. The region gained international attention after the 2009 reconstruction of the coastal road National Road 8 (Albania), SH8, the 2010 tour stop of DJ Tiësto in Dhermi, and the filming of a Top Gear (series 16), Top Gear episode featuring a breathtaking car pursuit along the winding coastal road. The Albanian Riviera was proclaimed as the 2012 Top Value Destination by Frommer's. The area has been host to several international music festivals such as Kala Festival, Soundwave Albania, and Turtle Fest, while becoming known for its long standing nightclubs such as Havana Beach Club near Dhermi and recently opened Folie Marine in Jale beach. As part of the regional master plan, the World Bank and other institutions are financing local infrastructure projects, including the renovation of roofs and facades of traditional houses overlooking the Riviera, town squares redesign, and the construction of water supply and treatment plants.


*Sarandë is one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera. Near the city are the remains of the ancient city of Butrinto, Butrint. *Ksamil is one of the most frequented coastal resorts by both domestic and foreign tourists. The Ksamil Islands are a small archipelago just off the coast of the village bearing the same name. *Dhërmi is built on a slope of the Ceraunian Mountains at approximately 200 meters in altitude. The coastal area has seen a boom in the construction of accommodation facilities, such as wooden villa complexes and modern boutique hotels. In addition, it is considered a nightlife destination. *Canyon of Gjipe, located in between Iljas and Vuno can only be reached by hiking from the Monastery of St. Theodore. *Borsh is the largest beach on the Ionian sea (7 km). Tourism here is still developing and there are a handful of small hotels and guesthouses. *Himara, has long white sandy beaches and the few hills close to the sea are terraced and planted with olive and citrus trees. Above is the Old Town which features a castle and some fortified stone houses. *Qeparo is situated on the western slope of Mount Gjivlash, at about 450 metres (1,480 ft) above sea level and is split up into two settlements. Old Qeparo crowns the hilltop overlooking acres of olive groves and the sea. The new settlement climbs the hillside above the beach. Many of the houses have steps that lead directly to the beach. A couple of hotels and a few guesthouses provide accommodations. A new seaside promenade was recently constructed and is popular with families in the evenings. *Palasë is a village close to the Llogara National Park and also a very popular destination for foreign tourists. On 4 January 48 BCE during his pursuit of Pompey, Julius Caesar landed in Palasë. *Lukovë is a village Vlorë County with great beaches and olive groves planted on terraced hillsides. *Piqeras village is the birthplace of the Albanian national hero Vasil Laçi who attempted to assassinate Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy and Shefqet Bej Vërlaci, Prime Minister of Albania after the Albania under Italy, occupation of Albania by fascist Italy. *Karaburun Peninsula, Albania, Karaburun Peninsula is the only national marine park of Albania. The Karaburun Peninsula is completely undeveloped and offers an abundance of hiking opportunities. A part of the Mountains is designated as a national park which is rich in wildlife, including deer, foxes, wild boars and even wolves. *Jalë is known for its nightlife. The Folie Marina is located in Jalë. *Llaman, is known for the gravel beaches with deep, clear waters. *Zvërnec Island is an island within the Narta Lagoon. The island is a tourist attraction because it contains the well preserved 13th century Byzantine Zvërnec Monastery. *Porto Palermo Castle is a castle situated in the bay of Porto Palermo. Huffington Post ranked Porto Palermo first among 15 Undiscovered European Destinations for 2014. *Buthrotum, Butrint was an ancient city and is protected under UNESCO as a List of World Heritage Sites in Albania, World Heritage Site.

National Parks

The Llogara National Park is known from its vibrant flora and fauna with over 100 different types of wild animals and birds including: deer, wild cats, foxes, etc. The mixture of refreshing high altitude mountain air and proximity of the sea makes it very attractive destination for tourists. The area is also important for the growth of eco-tourism, picnic, hiking and air sports.


The Ali Pasha Castle was named after Ali Pasha of Tepelenë, who resided there until 1820. The current fortress was rebuilt in 1819 from its surface with 3 towers. Until 1820, it was the second residence of Ali Pasha. The castle described and pictured is popularly known as ''The Triangular Fortress''. Built under Venetian dominion in the late 15th or early 16th century, it provided a stronghold for the Venetians on Corfu to exploit fishing, grazing, olives and timber in and around Butrinto, Butrint. The Borsh Castle is also known as the Castle of Sopot by the name of the hill on which it is located. Lëkurësi Castle is located on a strategic hill point overlooking the horseshoe bay of Sarandë. From here one can view the entire town as well as the islands of Ksamil, Corfu Island and the Butrint Lagoon. Porto Palermo Castle located a few kilometers south of Himarë in southern Albania. It is situated in the bay of Porto Palermo. Huffington Post ranked Porto Palermo first among 15 Undiscovered European Destinations for 2014.

See also

* Ceraunian Mountains * Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast * Geography of Albania * Tourism in Albania *''Dear Albania''


{{Portal bar, Geography Albanian Ionian Sea Coast, Riviera Llogara National Park Tourism in Albania, Riviera Coasts of Albania