Saranda, the gateway to the southern Albania is a small town located between high mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Santi Quaranta ( Forty Saints).
Located on the shores of Ionian Sea, in front of Greek island of Corfu, Saranda is characterized by a Mediterranean climate and warm sea waters. Due to its location and warm weather Saranda is one of the most attractive tourist town in Albanian Riviera, where honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays.
Located in front of the sea and along the main promenade there are some hotels and restaurants which offer you catering facilities and accommodation. Daily ferryboat link Saranda with the nearby Greek island of Corfu.
After arriving in Saranda, a scenic narrow overlooking the sea and marshes leads you to the ancient city of Butrint, through a landscape of olive trees and plantations. Butrint, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was first inhabited by the Illyrians and took its name from the wounded of Buthrotos which the prince Aeneas of Troy sacrificed for his safe entry into the temple of Dodona in Epirus.
Among the most interesting archaeological ruins are: the old amphitheatre, the temple of Aesculapius, the baptistery with colourful mosaics and the ancient city walls. An old fortress housing a small museum watches over the entire site, which is one of the last unspoilt natural and ancient historical areas remaining in Mediterranean.
Another attractive, historical site is the castle of Lekursi on the top of a dominant hill over Saranda, only 2 km far from the town. The castle of Lekursi was built up during XVI – XV centuries, by Sultan Suleymani in his campaign to conquer Corfu.
From the walls of the castle the tourist can catch by eye an area of 60 km.
while you are in Saranda, the magical place of “Blue Eye” spring is also worth visiting (18 km northeast of Saranda). At this beautiful spot, shaded by centuries old oak trees, a twelve headed dragon, according to the legend, guarded and held back the spring waters from the villagers. Consequently, pagan rituals were carried out by sacrificing young voluptuous maidens to the gods of the same waters.
Your stay in Saranda will be an even more enriching experience if you also visit the nearby traditional villages of Lukova, Piqerasi and Borshi where unique panoramic sea views, beautiful mountain and olive grove landscapes are combined with the charm of village environment and the most dramatic and magnificent scenery along the whole length of Ionian sea.