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Ksamil is the most popular destination along the Albanian Riviera and for good reason – it’s beautiful! Sandy beaches, clear water, fresh seafood and the perfect place to relax.
These days Ksamil has become increasingly popular with thousands of tourists flocking to this small paradise in the south of Albania. I remember when I first arrived in Ksamil for the first time and I was in awe. I had no idea that Albania had a paradise this beautiful.
The town itself is quite small but still every year it seems to be expanding. Take note that during the months of July and August Ksamil is full of people. Personally, I avoid it during those months and visit when the season is just about or completely over. April-June and September-November are great times to visit.
How to get to Ksamil from Saranda
It’s super easy to get to Ksamil. You can get there by bus (100lek) from the nearby city of Saranda or easily drive there from elsewhere in Albania if you have a rental car. The roads are completely fine but if this is your first time driving in Albania just take caution as speeds and road markings are thought of as suggestions for Albanians. The bus from Saranda can be caught at the stops in the picture above. But, you can usually just stick your hand out and the bus drivers will pick you up, they are very friendly here in Albania.
The beaches in Ksamil
There are quite a few different coves and beaches within Ksamil itself. The main beach is the busiest and the most beautiful but there are quite a few stony beaches that are just as beautiful too if you continue walking along the coastline. From the main beach, you can also swim to the nearby three small islands!
What to do in Ksamil
1. Be lazy on the beaches
This is a given really. If you are staying in paradise you may as well enjoy it! Take a good book, rent out a sunbed and spend the day swimming, reading and enjoying the scenery. Sunbeds are rentable all along the beach (approximately 1000lek) or you can find yourself a nice spot in another nearby beach as the main beaches are usually full of beds. If you visit on the off-season you’re going to be able to find a lovely spot on the main sandy beaches without having to pay for a sunbed.
2. Visit Monastery beach
This beach is in between Saranda and Ksamil but totally worth a visit. You can catch the bus that goes in between Saranda and Ksamil. The bus will let you out on the side of the road and from there you can walk up to the monastery or walk down to the beach.
I highly recommend looking at the monastery before the beach if you have time! It’s really beautiful and the view from the top is incredible. Monastery beach is such a hidden gem.
3. Marvel at the UNESCO site Butrint
Butrint is only a 10-minute drive from Ksamil and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Butrint was an ancient city which first belonged to the Greeks, then the Romans and lastly bishopric in Epirus It will take 2 or 3 hours to explore and costs 700 Lek entry. You will want to visit in the morning or late afternoon as the sun can be overbearing in the summer, and you will appreciate it a lot more in the cooler weather.
4. Visit Blue Eye (Syri i kaltër)
Located not too far from Ksamil lies a natural phenomenon. Blue eye is a powerful spring that goes as deep as… well actually nobody knows because nobody has been able to dive that far down! There’s still no idea where this spring starts and the temperature stays at a cool 10 degrees (reminds me of New Zealand water!). There’s a restaurant there and it’s a pretty place to spend an hour or two. Note in the summer this place does get busy!
5. Visit the city of Saranda
The city of Saranda livens up in the summer months so if you’re up for a party then come to visit this beach city. There are several good restaurants here and always a lot of fun during the summer (It’s also where I currently live!). I have a full guide on Saranda and where to eat here if you would like to read!
Where to eat in Ksamil
Guvat – One of my favourite places to eat Guvat. The seafood is delicious and it’s a very romantic place to eat! It overlooks one of the main beaches in Ksamil. It’s a little expensive but the food is quality.
Korali – Great seafood and always beautifully plated food! The staff are friendly and there’s a great view, which is always a plus!
Brothers fish and meat tavern – Very affordable prices, quality food and all-round a solid place to eat in Ksamil. If you want value for money, then pick this restaurant.
Where to stay in Ksamil
Hotel Ardiani: This hotel is located right on the beachfront so if you’re a beach lover then pick this hotel! There is a daily buffet breakfast, Free Wi-Fi, and an onsite restaurant too. To check availability and the latest prices click here!
Abalone: Features its own private beach, buffet breakfast and perfect for a romantic getaway. To check availability and the latest prices click here!
Hotel Mira Mare: This modern hotel is located right in the center and nearby to the beautiful beaches. To check availability and the latest prices click here!
Airbnb: there’s a lot of apartment rentals on Airbnb so I highly recommend checking on there for accommodation too. If you use this link you will get $35 credit when you sign up to Airbnb!
Hostels: There are no hostels in Ksamil yet. If you’re looking for a hostel, then you will have to stay in Saranda. One that I recommend is the Hairy Lemon Hostel. It has the most beautiful view for sunsets and unlimited pancake breakfast! Oh, also homemade baileys shots on arrival. To check availability and the latest prices click here!
There’s your ultimate guide to Ksamil! If you liked this article, then you may like:
- Your ultimate guide to Saranda
- A Guide to the Albanian Riviera: The Best Beaches in Europe
- 35 Unique Things to do in Albania
- Your Ultimate and Practical Guide to Tirana, Albania
- Top Places to Visit in Albania
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