Ksamil Albania: A Local’s Travel Guide – 2024

Last Updated on March 1, 2024


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Ksamil, Albania is one of the best beach destinations along the Albanian Riviera and for good reason – it’s beautiful! 

Sandy Ksamil beaches, crystal clear waters, 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!

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, aerial shot of island covered in green foliage surrounded by clear blue water

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. Since then, I have visited SO many beautiful destinations in Albania, too the point, where I created my very own Albania travel guide!

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.

Your ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania, screenshot of map of Saranda showing highlighted positions for getting the bus to Ksamil
Where to catch the Ksamil bus from Saranda

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.

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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.

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.

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Island covered with trees and beach surrounded by clear blue water with bench on a pier in the foreground

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!

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Aerial shot of green-covered islands and clear blue water with mainland Albania in background

What to Do in Ksamil, Albania

1. Be Lazy on the Many Ksamil Beaches

The main attraction of Ksamil is its beaches. You really can’t visit Ksamil without spending some time at the beach. Grab your sandals, some snacks, and sunscreen, and you could easily spend an entire day here.

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.

If you are visiting then, I would consider bringing a solar-powered phone charging back. Time seriously flies by when you’re here and the last thing you want is a dead battery.

The Ksamil beaches are also the perfect place to enjoy the best of Ksamil nightlife as many have fun beach bars.

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Your ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania, green hills rolling down to beach and coastline of islands next to blue water with mountains in the distance

2. Visit Monastery Beach

Is this the best beach in Ksamil? Maybe! This beach is in between Saranda and Ksamil but still worth the visit!

To get there, you can catch one of the local buses 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 and I usually spend a couple of hours here.

The beach is a little bit rocky, but I wore sandals when visiting and it was perfectly fine!

If you’re wondering what to see in Ksamil, Albania for a relaxing day out, this the perfect way to spend a day!

Your ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania, Blonde woman walking across floor towards well-preserved stone amphitheater

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.

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Wide shot of whole coastal bay with buildings, beach front with blue sea and mountains in background

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 trip or even a weekend trip.

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Your ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania, white ceramic bowls with shellfish and slice of lemon with plates of tomato bruschetta behind

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.

1. Guvat

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.

2. Korali

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.

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Aerial shot of peninsula with buildings, beach and green areas surrounded by blue water

Where to Stay in Ksamil, Albania

Where to stay in Ksamil Albania, Hotel pool with inflatable toys surrounded by potted plants and wooden bridge in front of reception area

Ksamil accommodation comes in many shapes and sizes, but heading to a Ksamil beach hotel is the easiest option.

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. Poda Boutique Hotel

Poda Boutique Hotel is a 4-star hotel just moments away from Ksamil Beach, with free WiFi and an outdoor swimming pool for all guests to enjoy.

The property has comfortable rooms, a private beach area and an on-site resturant serving American dishes.

For an additional charge you can experience evening entertainment!

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Balcony with a hotel, blue pool and chairs.
Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Balcony with small table and two black chairs overlooking beach view with mountains in the distance

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.

Your Local Guide to Ksamil, Albania, Balcony area with benches, swing and hanging comfortable chair with view of harbour and mountains in the distance

3. Hotel Mira Mare

Hotel Mira Mare is a comfortable 4-star luxury 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.

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

✅ Is Ksamil worth visiting?

Yes it is! Ksamil has something for everyone: historical sites, fantastic beaches, high end accommodation and great cuisine for you to try!

✅ How big is Ksamil, Albania?

All four islands add up to a total of 22 acres of land. Fortunately, a lot of that is beach!

✅ What is Saranda known for?

Saranda – or Sarandë – is known as a highly popular Albanian coastal town, which enjoys no fewer than 300 sunny days per year!

✅ Is Ksamil expensive?

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.

✅ What is the best time to visit Ksamil Albania?

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.

✅ Is Ksamil safe for tourists?

Ksamil is a beloved family vacation destination and is extremely safe. The crime rates are extremely low here.

✅ What airport do you fly to for Ksamil?

The closet airport to Ksamil is actually in Corfu, Greece. From landing there, you can take a ferry to Sarande. Alternatively, there is an airport in Tirana, Albania that you can use. However, you will have to then drive four hours to Ksamil.

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!

Make sure to also check out my full Albania Travel Guide!


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Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Atul Chauhan
    August 2, 2018

    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
      September 9, 2018

      Thanks for reading Atul 🙂

  • Ronald van Eekelen
    October 29, 2018

    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
      November 9, 2018

      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.

  • Maria Ines
    January 20, 2019

    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 😉

  • Georgie
    May 9, 2019

    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
      May 17, 2019

      That’s great to hear!

  • Michele
    June 17, 2019

    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
      June 18, 2019

      Fantastic – have a great time!

  • Rory
    July 16, 2019

    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?

  • Monica
    July 24, 2019

    Hello Anita,
    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?

  • Tib
    September 21, 2020

    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

  • DeLisa
    July 22, 2021

    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
      July 22, 2021

      Thank you for letting me know about the links. I have updated the post now to reflect changes 🙂

  • Anna
    August 15, 2021

    Dear Anita, thank you for your blog. It’s wonderful!

    Is it possible to swim in the very first days of November in Ksamil?

  • Fi O'Brien
    July 6, 2022

    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?

  • Nelson Siqueira
    July 26, 2022

    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
      August 1, 2022

      Thanks for the update!

  • Amy
    September 21, 2022

    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

  • Margo Racine
    February 8, 2023

    Hi, what is open at the end of April and early May? Will there be restaurants open?

  • Nedina
    March 2, 2023

    Hi Anita,

    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
      March 13, 2023

      Heya! Yes places should be open as the season is stretching out earlier and later these days

      • E
        > Anita Hendrieka
        March 20, 2023

        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!!

        • E
          > E
          March 20, 2023

          *i meant restaurants

  • Sophie
    August 8, 2023

    Hi
    I am going to Sarande for 5 nights then 9 nights in Ksamil next month. I am starting to worry due to a LOT of negative reviews and comments I am seeing online (particularly tripadvisor) about appalling rubbish, reality not like the online pictures, expensive sun loungers, beach security stopping you sit on the sand, overpriced drinks, poor quality food and rude staff, so now I am starting to worry – my accommodation cannot be cancelled 🙁 any advice? thanks so much!

    • nine
      > Sophie
      August 18, 2023

      yes, stop worrying!

  • Mag
    August 29, 2023

    Jestem właśnie przed przyjazdem do Ksamil. Dziękuję za Twoje wskazówki, napewno skorzystam z podpowiedzi (:

  • Caro
    September 3, 2023

    Hey Anita, have you spent any prolonged time in Ksamil recently? I’m here right now and am utterly disappointed. The beaches are overcrowded, sunbed prices are 2000 lek and up in the centre of Ksamil. I spent today at Augusto Beach and Last Bay. 1000 lek for the sunbed, a lot quieter, no annoying club music and no rubbish or smell everywhere.

  • James
    September 7, 2023

    The question I have
    Can all this be enjoyed in November ?
    Planning trip toward end of November and I would like to know if restaurants , bars etc are open or is it going to be nice aswell as frustrating!!!xx
    Any comments welcome
    Thankyou

  • Hans
    March 3, 2024

    Thank you for all the great tips! Any recommendation for a “Eat with locals” experience? Thanks!

    • Samara
      > Hans
      March 5, 2024

      Hi Hans! You can go to Mussel House (just outside of Ksamil). Hope this helps!