Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania – 2023
Last Updated on February 17, 2023
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Ksamil, Albania is the most popular destination along the Albanian Riviera and for good reason – it’s beautiful!
Sandy Ksamil beaches, clear water, fresh seafood and the perfect place to relax. There are so many wonderful things to do in Ksamil, Albania, you’re sure to fall in love with this great city.
These days holidays to the Ksamil islands have become increasingly popular. Thousands of tourists come here to try and find the best beaches in Ksamil every year.
The vibe of this small paradise in the south of the country is the reason why so many Ksamil vacation packages get snapped up by beach-loving tourists!
I remember when I first arrived in Ksamil before moving to Saranda and I was in awe. I had no idea that Albania had a paradise this beautiful.
The waters and surroundings mimicked those of what you see in the Maldives or Southeast Asia!
The town itself is quite small but still every year it seems to be expanding. It’s come a long way from being just a Ksamil village!
I hope you find this Ksamil travel guide helpful while planning your trip to this amazing and unique village.
How to Get to Ksamil, Albania from Saranda
Can’t decide between Saranda or Ksamil? Why not see one and then the other?
Saranda to Ksamil is a popular route, with many tourists taking it on their Ksamil holidays. Luckily it’s super easy to get to Ksamil from Saranda.
If you don’t have a car and you’re wondering how to go to Ksamil, the easiest way to get from Sarande to Ksamil is by bus (100lek).
The bus from Saranda can be caught at the stops in the picture above. There are also many other places within the city that the bus will pick you up from.
Just lookout for the bus stop signs and seating. You can usually just stick your hand out and the bus drivers will pick you up even if you aren’t at the stop listed, they are very friendly here in Albania.
The bus leaves every hour on the half-hour, between 6.30am – 6.30pm. It runs 7 days a week.
If you are travelling to Ksamil from somewhere other than Sarande, you can easily drive there from really anywhere else 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.
If this sounds stressful and you’re at all worried about how to reach Ksamil, you can even hire a private driver for your trip.
🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.
The Best Time to Visit Ksamil, Albania
If you plan to travel to Ksamil, take note that during the months of July and August, the village is full of people who all, understandably, want to do as many Ksamil activities as they can!
Ksamil Albania can get BUSY. So, personally, I avoid it during those months and visit when the Ksamil holiday season is just about to start or completely over.
The Ksamil tourism season can be overwhelming, but it’s still worth it if it’s the only time you can visit Ksamil – just be prepared!
Any good Ksamil travel blog will tell you that if you want to enjoy the best Albania weather, April-June and September-November is the best time to visit Ksamil.
Although note that a lot of the businesses will be closed during the off-season, so if your Ksamil travel plans fall during that time, don’t expect to see everything.
The Ksamil Beaches
There are quite a few different coves and beaches within Ksamil, Albania itself. In fact, there are so many that you might end up running your own Ksamil best beaches competition!
The main Ksamil beach is the busiest and the most beautiful but there are quite a few stoney 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, Albania
1. Be Lazy on the Many Ksamil Beaches
It’s a given, really, that it’s one of the best Ksamil activities. You really can’t visit Ksamil without spending some time at the beach.
After all, the beaches in Albania are some of the best in the world, and Ksamil beaches are the best of those.
So not surprisingly a day at one of the best Ksamil beaches is one of the best things to do in Ksamil. If you are staying in paradise you may as well enjoy it!
One of my top Ksamil tips is to get there early! The beaches can get busy and if you want a good spot, arrive early to secure one.
Take a good book, rent out a sunbed and spend the day swimming, reading and enjoying the scenery. Sunbeds are rentable on most Ksamil beaches (approximately 1000lek).
If you don’t like sunbeds, you should find yourself a nice, quiet spot on another nearby beach as the main beaches are usually full of beds.
If you visit in 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.
The Ksamil beaches are also the perfect place to enjoy the best of Ksamil nightlife as many have fun beach bars.
💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!
2. Visit Monastery Beach
Is this the best beach in Ksamil? Maybe! This beach is in between Saranda and Ksamil but totally worth a visit.
To get there, you can catch the bus that goes in between Ksamil and Saranda.
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.
If you’re wondering what to see in Ksamil, Albania for a relaxing day out, this the perfect way to spend a day!
3. Marvel at the UNESCO Site Butrint
Butrint is only a 10-minute drive from Ksamil, Albania and is a top UNESCO World Heritage Site in Albania. It is one of the most unique Ksamil attractions!
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 1000 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.
No matter when you visit, Butrint is one of the best things to do in Ksamil Albania.
4. Visit Blue Eye (Syri I Kaltër)
Located not too far from Ksamil, Albania lies a natural phenomenon.
Some people think it’s just another Ksamil beach, but 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. This is one of the most popular Ksamil attractions, so in the summer this place does get busy!
PLEASE READ: The Blue Eye itself is a protected site so please do not jump in the water.
Most likely you will see people swimming there as the laws are not enforced, however, please do your due diligence to protect this precious natural site.
Just because someone is not following the rules, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.
5. Visit the City of Saranda
If you’re staying longer and wondering what to do in Ksamil for day trips, I really recommend Saranda.
Some people think they need to decide between Sarande vs Ksamil, but if you plan smartly, you can easily do both.
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 in Sarande and always a lot of fun during the summer (It’s also where I currently live!).
I have a full guide on Saranda with tips on what to do in Saranda and where to eat here if you would like to read!
As noted above, it’s very easy to get from Ksamil to Saranda, so this is a popular day or even a weekend trip.
📚 P.S. Grab access to my Travelling Albania Guide to get a comprehensive insight into more places to visit in Albania (including secret spots that are not recommended in the usual guides!)
Where to Eat in Ksamil, Albania
Ksamil has several tasty places you must try out! And fortunately, the Ksamil food prices are pretty affordable because you might find yourself eating out every meal!
Here are a few of my favourite restaurants in Ksamil to try out when you visit.
One of my favourite places to eat in Ksamil town is Guvat. The seafood is delicious and it’s a very romantic place to eat! It overlooks one of the main Ksamil beaches.
It’s a little expensive but the food is top quality.
Like many of the best Ksamil restaurants, here you’ll find great seafood and always beautifully plated food! The staff are friendly and there’s a great view of Ksamil, which is always a plus!
Highly recommend the mussels and the meatballs!
3. Brothers Fish and Meat Tavern
Very affordable Ksamil prices, quality food and all-round a solid place to eat in Ksamil, Albania. If you want value for money, then pick this Ksamil restaurant.
4. Abiori Bar Restaurant
This is one of the most popular restaurants in Ksamil as it’s right on the beach and serves a variety of cuisines, including traditional Albanian food.
Where to Stay in Ksamil, Albania
Ksamil accommodation comes in many shapes and sizes, but heading to a Ksamil beach hotel is a great choice.
Generally, the Ksamil Albania prices are affordable and comparable to the rest of the Albanian Riviera. Of course, the hotel prices in Ksamil go up during peak season.
Ksamil tourism gets popular around this time, so be sure to book in advance!
1. Relax Hotel
Relax Hotel is a 4-star hotel located 1.5 mi from Butrint National Park, with free WiFi and barbecue facilities for all guests to enjoy.
The property has comfortable rooms equipped with cable TV as well as kitchenettes that include microwaves so you can prepare your own meals in comfort while on vacation!
Relax apartments also has a beautiful pool to cool off in!
🛌🏼 Check availability and latest prices!
2. Vila Vasiliu
Wondering where to stay in Ksamil Albania? Well, heading to a Ksamil beach hotel is a great choice. If you are looking for a great place to stay in Ksamil, this is it!
Vila Vasiliu offers everything from free WiFi and private parking spaces to a well-equipped kitchen with cooking facilities and even an outdoor barbecue.
The Vila also comes equipped with air conditioning units in each room so that guests can have total comfort while enjoying some much-needed rest after a long day at one of the Ksamil’s beaches.
This Ksamil accommodation is located 984 feet from the serene Puerto Rico Beach.
🛌🏼 Check availability and latest prices!
📦 PACKING TIP: Don’t leave home without a solar powered battery pack so you can keep your devices connected at all times.
3. Hotel Mira Mare
Hotel Mira Mare is a luxurious and comfortable 4-star hotel conveniently located in Ksamil city center.
This modern establishment offers comfy, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi access as well as spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea from select balconies.
The tastefully decorated guestrooms feature flat-screen cable TVs, kitchenettes that can be used to prepare light meals or snacks throughout your vacation stay on this beautiful Albanian coastline!
This property also boasts an onsite restaurant serving local cuisine.
🛌🏼 Check availability and latest prices!
4. Hostels in Ksamil
Although there are some great Ksamil hotels, unfortunately, there are no hostels in Ksamil yet. If you’re looking for a hostel, then you will have to stay in Saranda.
The two that I recommend are the Wallaby Hostel and Hasta La Vista.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes it is! Ksamil has something for everyone: historical sites, fantastic beaches, high end accommodation and great cuisine for you to try!
All four islands add up to a total of 22 acres of land. Fortunately, a lot of that is beach!
Saranda – or Sarandë – is known as a highly popular Albanian coastal town, which enjoys no fewer than 300 sunny days per year!
Compared to the USA, or other countries in Europe, Albania is generally inexpensive. Ksamil Albania is also an affordable place. However, be aware that during peak season (the summer months) it is one of the most popular Albanian destinations and prices can go up exponentially, making it a little less affordable.
If you can, visit Ksamil between April-June and September-November. This is when you’ll get the best weather and avoid the crowds. However, not everything is open during this time, so just be aware you might miss out on a few Ksamil activities or restaurants.
There’s your ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania! Whether you go for the summer to soak up the sun on the beautiful Ksamil beaches or travel from Saranda to Ksamil for the day, I hope this helps you plan the perfect visit. Are there any Ksamil attractions or amazing hotels in Ksamil Albania I missed? Please let me know in the comments if there’s anything else you’d like this Ksamil blog post to cover!
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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Great article! It has been on my bucket list for a long time, now I know where to start from.
Thanks for the guide )
Anita Hendrieka> Atul Chauhan
Thanks for reading Atul 🙂
Ronald van Eekelen
Super guide! Do you think you can arrive in Ksamil with 3 children end of April and find nice accomodation or is booking required?
Anita Hendrieka> Ronald van Eekelen
In April, you may find quite a lot of places closed still in Ksamil. You can check online to see what is open and available at the time.
Hey, thank you so much for the tips! I’m looking for info on agencies, public transport or tours in Albania as I’d like to go there and don’t drive… Any info would be greatly appreciated 😉
Thank you for the great recommendation for Guvat restaurant. The food was absolutely delicious and the staff very helpful. The three of us loved it.
Anita Hendrieka> Georgie
That’s great to hear!
Thank you so much for writing these guides! I just arrived in Saranda yesterday and your advice is very helpful and is helping me figure out what to do and see. Thanks 🙂
Anita Hendrieka> Michele
Fantastic – have a great time!
It was great, thank you 🙂 I did not find in your article, that you recommend to visit to Corfu from Kasmil. There is a possibility for this?
Can you take the boat ride into your report? We saw there is a hower craft – that must be also a great idea to go to Ksamil. Do you know how much is it?
Hello, i would like to go to Ksamil from mid november to beginning of january, what about the shop and life there ?! Do the shops are open, at least for buying your food to cook or is it completly closed ?! Thanks
Wonderful information. Thank you! However, the links to your hotel recommendations do not work. They sounded great, but I cannot find them to book.
Anita Hendrieka> DeLisa
Thank you for letting me know about the links. I have updated the post now to reflect changes 🙂
Dear Anita, thank you for your blog. It’s wonderful!
Is it possible to swim in the very first days of November in Ksamil?
Thank you so much Anita for your helpful info and tips, they are making my planning of our Albania trip so much easier! We are going the end of May 2023 and hoping most restaurants etc will be starting to open?
Just to update, the bus Sarandë – Ksamil was costing 150 leks this Summer (July/2022) and 100 leks from Butrint to Sarandë.
Anita Hendrieka> Nelson Siqueira
Thanks for the update!
Hi Anita, I have to tell you – this blog has been so helpful to us! Every time we consider somewhere to go, I tell my husband we need to check with Anita. Thanks so much for all the helpful Albania info! We have really loved it, especially since renting a car and getting out into the countryside. -Amy
Hi, what is open at the end of April and early May? Will there be restaurants open?
Great blog post! I just booked our stay for the beginning of June, so I was wondering if places will be open then as you mentioned the season is July and August.
Getting a bit anxious here! ha-ha
Anita Hendrieka> Nedina
Heya! Yes places should be open as the season is stretching out earlier and later these days
E> Anita Hendrieka
Hey Anita, thank you for this helpful guide!
I will be travelling to Albania in the first half April, do you happen to know if the restaurant(and bars) will be open during this time?
Thank you in advance!!
*i meant restaurants