Bordering on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas is the Albanian Riviera an area that is somewhat undeveloped yet extremely affordable compared to the Croatian beaches to the north. However, the Albanian Riviera is not lacking in beautiful beach areas and attractions including its crystal-clear waters, Mediterranean Sea villages, and white-sand beaches, most of which have remained unchanged since the days of King Zog. Here are some top areas to visit on the Albanian Riviera.
photo by Godo-Godaj
Llogara – supposedly, it was here that Pompey the Great was pursued by Julius Caesar through the coastal woodlands of Bulgarian firs and black pines. Today the area is populated by a wide range of wildlife including griffon vultures, golden eagles, and European wildcats. Hiking and paragliding are the two most popular activities of the area while the landscape features castles constructed by medieval sultans looking to capture the city of Corfu as well as numerous lemon groves and olive plantations.
Borsh – long considered as being the warmest climate of the Albanian Riviera, the Greeks, Romans, and Venetians continually fought one another for the 3-mile beach in the area, Albania’s longest beach that runs along the Ionian shoreline. Although the area is under Albanian rule, it is still as Greek as it ever was. Lemon, olive, and orange plantations are plentiful throughout the area which you will quickly notice their fragrances in the air when walking along the beach.
Lukove Beach – the area is characterized by soft sands and its rich underwater sea life. Shpella Beach situated nearby offers more private and secluded areas located just past the rockier part of Lukove Beach. The area is worth exploring because of its decorated footpaths and many traditional Mediterranean style homes. The area is considerably less crowded so if you want a more peaceful and tranquil day at the beach, this is the place.
Shen Vasil and Kakome Bay – the village of Shen Vasil is located just beyond the bay where you can see the 200-year old olive trees that are found throughout the village center. There was once a church standing on this exact spot but it was destroyed in the late 1960’s. Nearby Krorezes Beach is worth exploring as you walk along many of the village footpaths in the area. Here you will find what is referred to as the essence of traditional Albanian life and where women dressed in black will approach you and offer you a delicious meal.
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