Albania has 362 km of seacoast, with the Adriatic running from the Montenegro border south to the Bay of Vlora, where the Ionian sea begins.
Adriatic coast is excellent for family vacations. Much of it is composed of pine forest and there are also several lagoons, what offers a great potential for leisure The main sandy beaches of Adriatic coast are Velipoja, Shengjini, Durres, Golemi, Divjaka and old sandy beach of Vlora.
On the other hand, the Ionian coast is very rugged with rocky coves along the narrow coastal strip and steep mountains rising almost straight up almost much of its length. The highest point along this stretch is at the Llogara Pass, over 1.000m high. Geologic activity and erosion have created many caves at the base of these cliffs, some of which were inhabited in prehistoric times.
Ionian coast is known among tourists for its small isolated beaches and deep sea waters. It is preferred destination of young people and water activity lovers since it offers great environments for diving. The main beaches on the Ionian coast are Dhermi, Jala, Himara, Qeparoi, Borsh, Saranda and Ksamil. This area is also known as the Albanian riviera. The unspoilt Albanian Riviera is a snapshot of the Mediterranean as it used to be – idyllic beaches, glorious sunshine and an unhurried pace of life.
- Shengjin – It is located about an hour drive north of Tirana. It is a beach town and one of the country’s largest port. After the construction of a new road the access to the beach is easier nor and some ferries from nearby Italy are operating.
- Vlora Beach – This is an industrial and touristic port on the shores where the Adriatic and Ionian Seas meet. It has majestic mountains surrounding the town. Swimming is great here on this sandy beach.
- Saranda Beach – Saranda Beach is located on the southern part of the country, directly opposite to the Greek Island of Corfu. It takes half an hour by ferry to ride between the two countries. Saranda is a neat sand and pebble beach with crystal clear waters. Since the prices of Greece and Italy keep skyrocketing, Saranda Beach is being discovered by Tour Operators and is becoming very popular lately.
- Ksamil Beach – Some say that Ksamil Beach belongs among the Caribbean islands because of its powdery white sands and clear waters. It is located about 25 minutes drive south of Saranda Beach making it even closer to the Island of Corfu, Greece. Very close to this beach is located the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrinti.
- Dhermi Beach – It is located south of Vlora over the Llogora Pass National Park. It is a small piece of paradise and people are starting to talk about it and it is also getting coverage from important travel publications.
- Himara Beach – It is located half an hour south of Dhermi and offers the same clear waters and shale beaches. The small town is surrounded by olive and citrus.