Sarande

Butrint Archaeological Site
Ali Pasha Tepeleni Castle
Mesopotam Monastery

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Sarande

Your Guide to Southern Albania

Thanks to one of the most beautiful natural environments of the entire Albanian coast, with its beaches of small natural stones and a wonderful blue sea, Sarande – near the border with Greece, from its seaside you can see Corfù – has become one of the most appreciated tourist destinations in the Ionian Sea.

One of your MSC Cruises destinations in the Mediterranean, this coastal city is one of the most modern in the entire region, and offers its visitors, in addition to the sea, many historical and environmental beauties to be admired.

Among the most relevant points of interest are the ruins of ancient Onchesmos (as Sarande used to be called), the remains of the city of Foinike, the Roman archaeological site of Butrint that was recently renovated and restored to its former glory and the nineteenth-century Ali Pasha Tepeleni Castle, one of Albania's landmark buildings, an imposing square structure overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Walking through the streets of Sarande, you will experience the typical atmosphere of a popular tourist attraction with numerous hotels.

An MSC Cruises excursion will take you on a visit to the karst spring of Syri Kalter with its famous Blue Eye, a blue pond reminiscent of the iris of a human eye. This watering hole is at the center of a splendid oak forest, perfect for having a picnic and enjoying the cool embrace of Mother Nature. In this area there is also the Mesopotam monastery, which dates from the thirteenth century and is the only Byzantine church in a good state of conservation in all of Albania.
Characterized by a special plan of a single nave with two apses, this ancient place of worship is dedicated to St. Nicholas (Shën Kolle).

Must see places in Sarande

Discover our excursions

5 resultat hittades

  • THE ANCIENT RUINS OF BUTRINTI

    KULTUR OCH HISTORIA
    • Ingen guide tillgänglig

    • Svårighetsgrad: Svår: Aktiva utflykter som endast rekommenderas för gäster vid god fysisk hälsa

      Svårighetsgrad
      Svårighetsgrad: Svår: Aktiva utflykter som endast rekommenderas för gäster vid god fysisk hälsa

    • Längd
      5 h

    • Frånpris för vuxenSEK469per person

    • Frånpris för barn 2-13 årSEK352per person

    SAR03

    Take yourself off the ship and prepare to peel back the layers of time on a visit to the ancient site of Butrint, situated a short narrated coach ride southwards of Saranda. First settled in prehistoric times, Butrint went on to spend eras under Greek, Roman, Byzantine and even Venetian rule, all adding up to a fascinating trip through the history of the city illustrated by ruins left by each successive civilisation. You’ll be taken on a guided walk through the site, including a visit to the Acropolis that overlooks the area and the museum, which reopened in 2005 following refurbishment. The site was first excavated by an Italian-led team from 1928 until 1939, then continued after WWII under the Albanian Institute of Archaeology and was ultimately added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1992. This look back in time ends with your return journey to Saranda and your ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility. Guests may join the group and visit the lower part of the archaeological site.;
  • BLUE EYE SPRING

    NATURLIGA UNDERVERK
    • Ingen guide tillgänglig

    • Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

      Svårighetsgrad
      Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

    • Längd
      4:30 h

    • Frånpris för vuxenSEK405per person

    • Frånpris för barn 2-13 årSEK289per person

    SAR02

    This appealing and varied half-day tour begins with a coach ride up to Lëkurës Hill, which not only affords superb views of Saranda, Vurgu i Ri, Lake Butrint and even Corfu on clear days, but is also home to the 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle. A 40-minute drive inland then follows to the so-called Blue Eye Spring, the source of the River Bistricë and one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in Albania. With its midnight blue core surrounded by a corona of paler blue, the spring is indeed worthy of its name! However, the depth of this karstic spring is still unknown – divers got as far down as about 50 m, but were nowhere near the bottom. Throw in a stone, then watch it sink and finally reappear again a little while later, buoyed by the gushing water that feeds the river. While at the pool, also look out for local wildlife such as foxes, birds, martens and even reptiles. Once back in Saranda, you’ll have time to explore on your own before you head back to the pier and your ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair.;
  • ALBANIAN RIVIERA & ITS VILLAGES

    NATURSKÖNA VÄGAR
    • Ingen guide tillgänglig

    • Möjlighet att simma

    • Begränsat antal platser

    • Svårighetsgrad: Lätt – Kan innehålla ett mindre antal trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

      Svårighetsgrad
      Svårighetsgrad: Lätt – Kan innehålla ett mindre antal trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

    • Längd
      6 h

    • Frånpris för vuxenSEK405per person

    • Frånpris för barn 2-13 årSEK289per person

    SAR05

    Do yourself a favour and take yourself off to savour the unspoiled beauty of the Albanian Riviera, replete with gorgeous beaches, friendly people and glorious landscapes. This is an area where picturesque villages nestle in secluded coves carved out of the rugged coastline. You’ll be travelling by coach, with a first stop planned at Borsh, a village powered by the production of olive oil. You’ll get to explore this picture-perfect area along with its beautiful waterfalls, after which you’ll head for Porto Palermo, the only safe harbour between Saranda and Vlorë. The village is also home to Porto Palermo Castle, which you will visit. Controversy surrounds the alleged origins of the edifice, with some scholars disputing it was built in the early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena and instead accrediting its construction to the Venetians. After you’ve had a chance to look around, you’ll move on again to visit nearby Himarë, a village with a distinctive Greek flair, where you can spend some free time. The tour then draws to a close with your return to the ship. Please note: as the visit to the Fortress includes walking up- and downhill as well as some stairs, it is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility.;
  • SARANDA CITY TOUR

    STADSUTFLYKT
    • Ingen guide tillgänglig

    • Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

      Svårighetsgrad
      Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

    • Längd
      4 h

    • Frånpris för vuxenSEK352per person

    • Frånpris för barn 2-13 årSEK262per person

    SAR01

    Situated on the Albania Riviera near the border to Greece in the south of the country, the town of Saranda is your destination on this appealing half-day outing. The tour begins with a scenic coach ride to the city centre to first visit the Byzantine Church and the Synagogue, both of which date back to the 5th century. You’ll then continue through town on foot to reach the museum, where a rich collection of mosaics and archaeological artefacts found in the region await inspection. The following coach ride will give you time to rest your feet and enjoy paSWEamic views of Saranda’s main thoroughfares and key buildings, including the “Hasan Tahsini” secondary school and a branch of Tirana University. As a final highlight before you return to the pier, a photo stop is scheduled on Lëkurës Hill, which overlooks Saranda and on clear days even provides views of nearby Corfu. You will also have time for independent exploration of Saranda, a town named after the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, before you return to the ship. Please note: this tour is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair. Conservative attire is recommended for visiting sites of religious importance.;
  • VISIT GJIROKASTËR, THE STONE CITY

    STADSUTFLYKT
    • Ingen guide tillgänglig

    • Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

      Svårighetsgrad
      Svårighetsgrad: Medel – Kan innehålla uppförsbackar, trappsteg, ojämna ytor och/eller längre perioder där man måste stå upp

    • Längd
      6 h

    • Frånpris för vuxenSEK585per person

    • Frånpris för barn 2-13 årSEK442per person

    SAR04

    Thanks to a period spent under Ottoman rule from 1373 to 1417, the historical city of Gjirokastër boasts an old town that has been called “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of a large estate” and counts as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A scenic 1.5-hour coach ride that includes a stop see you reach Gjirokastër, which lies to the SWEth and inland of Saranda. Enjoy views of the townscape with its streets paved in chunky limestone and shale, pretty houses with slate roofs and paSWEamic vistas of the Drin Valley. You’ll then board minivans and head to higher ground to visit the pre-12th-century Gjirokastër Fortress, located at an elevation of 336 m above mean sea level. Once of key strategic importance, the site features five towers and houses, a church, a prison, a water cistern and now also a museum exhibiting memorabilia of the Communist resistance against German occupation during WWII and even a captured US Air Force aircraft. After visiting the museum, you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the town before returning to Saranda and your ship. Please note: as the visit to the Fortress includes walking up- and downhill as well as some stairs, it is considered to be unsuitable for guests using a wheelchair or of limited mobility.;

Utflyktsprogram och rutter kan ändras beroende på lokala förhållanden och/eller oförutsedda händelser med hänsyn till tidpunkten för utflykten. Information om utflykterna uppdateras löpande på webbsidan men vi reserverar oss för ändringar i programmen. Detaljerat program finns alltid att tillgå på fartyget. Vissa utflykter är mycket populära och därför kan tillgängligheten inte alltid garanteras. Observera att vi endast garanterar engelskspråkig guide. Guidade turer på andra språk än engelska beror på vilka guider som finns tillgängliga. Information om tillgängliga språk för guidade turer kommer att bekräftas ombord under kryssningen. Du rekommenderas att boka din utflykt i förväg. Barnpriser på utflykter gäller för barn upp till 13 år.

Albania

One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners
One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners

Following decades of isolationist rule, Albania still doesn’t seem to fit into the grand continental jigsaw, with distinctly exotic notes emanating from its language, customs and cuisine.


With its jumble of rugged mountains fringed by pristine curls of beach, Albania’s south is the most appealing part of the country. The interior route boasts the rewarding towns of Berat and Gjirokastra, each home to whole swathes of Ottoman buildings.
  
Heading on down the Ionian Coast instead, you’ll find one of Europe’s few unspoilt sections of Mediterranean shore, a near-permanently sunny spot where the twin blues of sea and sky are ripped asunder by a ribbon of grey mountains – on a clear day you’ll be able to see Italy from the 1027m-high Llogaraja Pass.


Staring straight at Corfu, and even within day-trip territory of the Greek island, sunny Sarande is perhaps Albania’s most appealing entry point, it’s a great place to kick back, stroll along the promenade and watch the sun set over cocktails. There are beaches in town, but better are those near the archaeological treasure-trove of Butrint, some 25km to the south.