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Along the Albanian Riveria lies a small coastal town of Himara (Himare in Albanian). It’s one of the must-see stops as it is more relaxed than the seaside city of Saranda and a perfect base to relax in without getting too bored. There’s plenty of things to do in Himare and lots of things to see nearby too. Still, Himara is one of my favourite go-to places and somewhere I always recommend tourists to stay for a night or three! Here’s my full travel guide full of lots of things to do in Himara!
Where is Himara
Himara is located along the Albanian Riviera. Its only a 54km drive from Saranda and 73km from Vlora, another popular seaside city. Himara is a chilled version of both places. In recent years it has become popular but it’s still very much a quiet spot and one that’s great for a relaxing holiday.
How to get to Himara
If you’re coming from Saranda then you can easily catch a bus. In the summer there are a few buses that go from Saranda to Himara. During the other times of year there is one bus that leaves at 1 pm. You can also hitchhike which is very popular with backpackers.
If you have a car then be prepared for the most scenic drive, you have ever been on. I can guarantee you will stop several times during your drive. There are some stunning views to see on the way. The drive takes around 1.15 hours. On a bus it can take a little longer.
From Tirana, you can also catch a bus from the bus station just outside the centre of the city. This will take you straight to Himara!
Things to do in Himara
1. Visit the old castle
Up in the hills, there is a beautiful village with a castle and a few accommodation options. The castle is worth a visit. You can catch a bus ride or walk. The castle is ruined but its still beautiful in my eyes. Within the castle walls is an old stone village and cobbled walkways. From the top you gain stunning views over Himara. The first time I visited Himara I stayed in this part and it was so peaceful!
2. Enjoy the beachfront
Himara has a couple of great beaches – Livadi and Prinos. The city center beach is nice, but I love the two other beaches either city of the center better.
3. Eat at Enigma Restaurant
This is a great place to enjoy a bite to eat with a great view. This restaurant is located on the boulevard and does superb pizza! I can highly recommend the Italian here.
4. Enjoy fresh seafood
As you are in the Albanian Riviera you absolutely must try the seafood in Himare. Some good restaurants are Taverna Lefteri or Cibo Mare E Terra.
5. Enjoy a Xhiro along the boulevard
A Xhiro means walk and this is something that you will notice all the locals do around sunset. Not only in Himara but all over Albania the locals wake up from their afternoon naps and gather along the main boulevards around the country to catch up with friends and enjoy the beginning of the night.
6. Hire a kayak and go to the secret beach ‘Gjiri i Filikurit’
Just south of Himara centre is a beach known on google maps as Gjiri i Filikurit. It can be accessed by a dodgy walk and a bit of abseiling down a rope. Or you can catch a boat or a kayak!
Day trips from Himara
There are a lot of things to do near Himara too which is why many people make it a base to see nearby features.
- Porto porlemo
- Gjipe Beach
Can you day trip from Saranda to Himara? If you were driving then yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You will only get to spend a few hours in Himara, and it deserves more than that. Himara is for relaxing and not really recommended for a rushed trip!
Tours in Himara
Make sure you check out Viator for great tours in Himara
Places to stay in Himara
No matter what budget you have, there’s something for you in Albania.
If you are travelling with a friend/s it’s sometimes even cheaper if you get a place to yourself using Airbnb (click here to get your free $35 credit) or Booking. When I came to Himara with 2 of my friends we rented a room for a total of €10 near the castle. It came with breakfast too, so it was cheaper for us than to stay in a hostel!
Mid-budget: There are lots of apartments and rooms to rent in Himara.
I stayed just out of the center called Villa Marine blue. My partner and I rented a room for 2000lek a night (in summer it’s double). It was lovely, right on the beach and the owner is super lovely
Luxury accommodation in Himara
Himara during the off-season
July and August are the busiest months in Albania. Slowly June and September are becoming busier too. If you come to Himara in the off-season, be aware that a lot of the restaurants and accommodation options are shut. Along the boulevard, there are still restaurants open and its definitely still possible to have a nice holiday. Just don’t expect any wild parties and for the town to be buzzing. I prefer it in the off-season as its incredibly peaceful!
Do you have any questions about Himara? Make sure you leave them below. Alternatively, join my Facebook group ‘Travelling Albania’ and leave your question. Someone might have already asked it for you!
Other articles you will love:
- Guide to the Albanian Riviera: Best Beaches, Villages & Transport
- 26 Best Things to do in Saranda, Albania
- Albania Itinerary: 1 week in Albania (7 days)
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