The Ag. Saranda are located in southwestern Albania, near Corfu. It is one of the small, peaceful cities of Albania, situated on the shores of the Ionian Sea. The closest point between them is just 2 kilometers apart. The Ag. Saranda is a fairly important port for the country and is known as the "Southern Gateway of Albania."
History of Ag. Saranda
In ancient times, the city was known as Ognissmos and served as a port for Phoenicia. After 1191, the city was abandoned, and the area began to be called the Ag. Saranda, in honor of the nearby Basilica of the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia, which was built in the 6th century and around which the monastery had developed. From 1912 to 1916, the Greeks took control of the city for the first time. However, after 1916, the Italians entered the city as an Italian protectorate was established in southern Albania. From 1926 to 1939, the Italians heavily developed the port.
In December 1944, the city was occupied by British forces. During the communist dictatorship, many Muslims settled in the city. Therefore, from that period onwards, the Greek community was no longer the only one in the area, as it had been for three millennia before. The Church of St. Spyridon in the port was destroyed, but after the establishment of democracy in Albania in 1991, a small chapel was built in the same place.
Beache in Ag. Saranda
The Ag. Saranda impress with incredibly clear waters, which have turquoise shades near the shore, and as the depth increases, they take on a deeper, more saturated blue color. The extensive coastline in the picturesque bay of the beach is covered with pristine white sand, but sometimes there are also small pebbles and even large stones in the water.
In some areas, coastal cliffs and a pile of stone slabs and rocks give the beach a truly fantastic view. The central part of the coastline with a large expanse of shallow waters is best suited for recreation with young children. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are sometimes strong waves.
There is a small beach bar in the vicinity. When you purchase drinks there, you can get a comfortable sunbed as a bonus. The beach of the Ag. Saranda is incredibly beautiful and doesn't go unnoticed by tourists. There are always many vacationers here. It's best to arrive early to find an available parking space.
Sights in Ag. Saranda
Ksamil: It's worth visiting Ksamil, located south of Saranda. Ksamil is one of the best seaside destinations in Albania.
Blue Eye: You can visit the Blue Eye, an impressive natural phenomenon that serves as a water spring. This tourist destination is highly popular, as you can admire the azure waters of the river from a depth exceeding fifty meters. Although some divers have managed to descend to this depth, the true depth of the karstic hole has not been accurately determined yet.
Monastery of the Forty Saints: Another place you can visit is the Monastery of the Forty Saints. Built on a hill behind the bay, this monastery dates back to the 15th century.
How to travel to Ag. Saranda?
There is a ferry company, Finikas Lines, that operates approximately seven departures per week from Corfu to Saranda. These routes connect the Ionian Islands with Albania. The duration of the journey is 30 minutes.
Please note that these routes serve only pedestrian passengers. The transportation of vehicles, such as cars or other means of transport, is not allowed.