Saranda Travel Guide

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Alfred Prifti

The following Saranda travel guide will provide tourists with suitable travel information when visiting this Albanian town.

Saranda is the capital of the Sarande District and is an important tourist attraction in the Albanian Rivera. This charming town has an attractive waterfront and houses fanning the hillsides. With a wonderful view of the blue Ionian Sea, Saranda is about 12.5 km from Corfu, the Greek island. The town’s warm weather and ideal location makes it perfect for tourists looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation.

History

In ancient times, Saranda was known as Oncehesmos and was mostly inhabited by the Chaonians, a Greek tribe. During this time, the town flourished as a port for Phoenice, which was the Chaonian capital. Saranda experienced frequent attacks from the Goths in 552 CE. In 1913, the town was included in the newly formed Albanian state. From 1913 to 1941, there have been many disputes between Italy and Greek over the town. Saranda’s current name was given by the Agioi Saranta (Greek for Forty Saints), a Byzantine monastery. Today, Greeks and Albanians make up the total population of the town.

Sightseeing

Most of the attractions in Saranda are a little distance away from the town. One such attraction and a must-visit spot is the archeological site of Butrint. This ancient and mesmerizing site was a city through the Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Bishopric periods. Today it has become a UNESCO World Heritage site and includes a Roman temple, Byzantine Basilica and an impressive Roman amphitheatre. The village of Ksamili is also a worthy attraction. It has a tranquil beach with several small islands that tourists can swim to. The beauty of Saranda is that it is laid back and far from the hustle and bustle of large crowds.

Accommodation and Food

Saranda may not be a popular destination among tourists, but it offers suitable accommodation for all kinds of travelers. There are quite a few hotels around the town that offer comfortable housing at affordable rates. Tourists can also opt for Hotel Butrint in the town, which offers 5 star accommodations but can be slightly expensive. Saranda is full of cafes, restaurants and bars where tourists can enjoy good food at reasonable rates. As it is a port and located on the coast, most of the dishes here are seafood. Dining options are numerous during the summer and many are located very close to the beach. While different kinds of alcohol are available in the town, tourists should try the local firewater called Albanian Raki.

Contributors

April 27, 2006 change by joosts (1 point)

April 14, 2010 change by imran_m

February 21, 2005 change by giorgio

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