Saranda or Sarandë is a town and municipality in Vlorë County, southern Albania. It is one of the most important tourist attractions of the Albanian Riviera. It is situated on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea in the central Mediterranean, about 14 km (8.7 mi) east of the north end of the Greek island of Corfu.

Near Sarandë is the remains of the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Saranda is from the name of the Byzantine monastery of the Agioi Saranda meaning the “Forty Saints” and honouring the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Under Turkish rule, this became Aya Sarandi and then Sarandoz. Owing to Venetian influence in the region, it often appeared under its Italian name Santi Quaranta on Western maps. This usage continued even after the establishment of the Principality of Albania, owing to the first Italian occupation of the region. During the second occupation in World War IIBenito Mussolini changed the name to Porto Edda, in honour of his eldest daughter. Following the restoration of Albanian independence, the city employed its Albanian name Saranda.

The town was included in the newly formed Albanian state in 1913 under the terms of the Protocol of Florence. It was occupied twice by Greece in 1913 and from 1914 to 1916, the second time by Greek insurgents from the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus. In May 1914, negotiations were started in Sarande between the representative of the provisional government of Northern Epirus and that of Albania which continued in nearby Corfu and ended up with the recognition of the Northern Epirote autonomy inside the newly established Albanian state.

The district of Saranda lies in the most southern extremity of Albania. It is bordered with Vlora to the north, Delvina and Gjirokastër to the east and with Greece to the south of Ionian Sea. Saranda is a place in the most southern part of Albania. It lies between the hills that descend and reach the Ionian Sea. The district of Saranda has a plain relief which is composed of southern seashore mountains that lie from Borsh to the bay of Ftelia, Vrina Fields and the hills of Saranda, Lëkurësi, KsamilButrint and Konispol. All these units make up the southern part of the Albanian Riviera where the eye catches the countless bays, beaches, the rocky coastline, hills with olives and citrus, mountains that surround the landscape. Saranda is traversed by Kalasa, Bistrica and Pavlla rivers which flow in the Ionian Sea. In Saranda’s hydrograph belongs even Butrinti Lake which is one of the biggest sea lakes in Albania. The Butrint Lake is very rich in sea species and in their waters now are being grown mussels. Its relief, geographical location and subtropical climate create favourable conditions for planting citrus trees and olives.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION San Francisco International Airport
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
INCLUDED
Airfare Accommodations
Local transportation Professional guide
NOT INCLUDED
Entrance fees
Guide gratuity

 

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Day 1: Departure

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

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Day 6: Return

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