Beach and palm tree, Ksamil, Albania

Things To Do In Ksamil, Albania – The Maldives of Europe

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Ksamil, Albania has been called the Maldives of Europe by a number of publications recently and for good reason. This hidden gem has been kept a secret for a long time, but that secret is slowly coming out and is becoming a popular tourist destination. Get in quick whilst you can!

I went to Ksamil for the first time in 2022 and fell in love with the place. The beaches truly are out of this world with the most incredible blue waters imaginable.

With it becoming ever more popular, people are wondering what to do in Ksamil when they have booked their trip after seeing the pure blue waters surrounding the area.

Read on to find out.

Top Things To Do in Ksamil, Albania

Visit the beaches

Ksamil is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe let alone Albania. With a number of hidden beaches around coves and on islands, there will be one that is perfect for you.

There are plenty of pictures online of stunning white sand and crystal blue seas and it really does look like that in real life with sun beds available to relax on to enjoy the views even more.

The main beaches are on a small peninsula with bars and coffee shops surrounding Rilinda Beach but there are many in the surrounds.

Beach in , Ksamil, Albania

Boat trip around the islands

Just off the coast of Ksamil are three beautiful islands that can be visited on a boat trip from any of the beaches located around the main town. These islands are even more remote than the beaches of Ksamil.

Boat trips are available from a variety of vendors that line the beaches with boats and kayaks for rent and guided tours also an option.

The secret Lori Beach

Lori beach isn’t the main beach that you see in all the images of Ksamil, but it is equally as beautiful, still has crystal clear water and when I went, had nobody else around.

The main reasons you’re heading to Ksamil is to visit the amazing beaches (plural) so whilst the main beach is stunning, Lori beach is worth a visit as is all the other smaller beaches hidden in coves around Ksamil.

Dan on Lori Beach, Ksamil, Albania
Sunbathing on Lori Beach

Visit near by Butrint

Butrint National Park is not only a national treasure of Albania but also a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it prodigious on the world stage. Not many other national parks have Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman ruins on one site. Whilst you’re staying in Ksamil, it is well worth taking a half a day trip Butrint which is just a 10 minute drive, a short bus journey or a 90 minute hike to an incredible location.

I have a complete guide on visiting Butrint HERE.

Dan at Butrint National Park, Albania

Take a day trip into Saranda

Saranda is another pearl of southern Albania, a tourist destination that is booming so get in quick before everyone else does.

The major resort city in the south of Albania, it is a gateway to Ksamil and has a much wider variety of bars and restaurants available than in Ksamil. There is also more history with Lëkurësi Castle and plenty of bunkers and an old synagogue to learn about. There are plenty of reasons to visit Saranda.

View over Saranda from Leukresi castle, Albania
View of Saranda from the Leukresi castle

Enjoy Albania’s coffee culture

Albania has a fantastic coffee culture that has been imported from Italy. The coffee in Ksamil is very good adn can be had at many times of day, don’t be surprised to see a bunch of men having espressos at 9pm at night!

Grab a nice strong espresso, a slice of tres leche cake and take in the beauty that’s around you.

Coffee and tres leche,, Ksamil, Albania

Rent a kayak

Kayaks are available to rent in Ksamil and make a great way to explore some of the smaller coves and beaches, the three islands which are just a short distance away.

Often cheaper than a boat tour, starting at €20 for 1 hour, it makes a cost effective option for solo or couple travellers.

Watch sunset from a beach bar

Sunset is the most beautiful time of day and the sunsets from Ksamil are stunning. What better way to watch a beautiful sunset than to sit in one of the many beach bars, grab a beer or cocktail and watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Visit the Blue Eye near Saranda

Another incredible natural phenomenom is a short distance away and can easily be reached from Ksamil, Albania. The Blue Eye, or Syri i kaltër in Albanian, is a short drive from teh city of Saranda. There are tours available or I have written a guide on how to get to the Blue Eye without a tour.

Blue Eye, Saranda, Albania
The Blue Eye near Saranda

How to get to Ksamil, Albania

Getting to the Maldives of Europe takes a bit more effort than other places, but it shouldn’t put anyone off as the rewards are well worth it. You cannot fly direct to Ksamil as there is no airport in Ksamil.

There are two main ways to get to Ksamil from abroad. The first is to fly into Tirana Airport in Albania or to fly to Corfu airport in Greece. Both airport have budget airlines flying to many airport across Europe.

Flying to Tirana

From Tirana take a bus to Saranda which takes 5-6 hours. There are 6 buses per day departing from the south and north bus station and cost around €14 (1000-1700LEK). From Saranda a local bus can take you 30 minutes to Ksamil that depart every hour.

Private transfers can be made from €40 per person and are available in advance.

A taxi may take you from Tirana airport to Ksamil but it might be difficult to find and costly.

Flying to Corfu

If you fly into the Greek island of Corfu, you can then get a ferry across to Saranda and then get the bus or a private transfer to Ksamil. Corfu has many more flight options, especially during the peak summer period.

Beach, mountains, islands, Ksamil, Albania

Where to stay in Ksamil, Albania

There are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from in and around Ksamil. From simple guesthouses that provide budget accommodation with little more than a bed, to 4 star resorts with pools.

Tips for your Visit to Ksamil

In summer you’ll have to pay for a sun bed or umbrella, make sure to get in early if you want a particular spot.

Ksamil is a cash based place. Whilst some places do accept card, all prefer cash and many smaller shops and restaurants will only accept Albanian Lek.

Many of the roads around Ksamil are narrow and roads leading to some hotels and resorts may just be a single track. Consider this is you are hiring a car.

FAQs on Ksamil

Is Ksamil worth visiting?

Ksamil is definitely worth visiting as I believe it is one of the last hidden gems in Europe! Much more affordable than neighbouring countries, beautiful beaches and friendly people, Ksamil is a great place to visit in Albania.

Is Ksamil safe for tourists?

Ksamil is very safe. Albania on the whole is a safe country to visit for all types of travellers. There is little petty crime but as always, normal precautions should be taken. Check travel insurance if you plan to do any adventurous activities such as jet ski, boating or kayaking.

 

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