Photos from Albania

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Southern Albania's Ionian coast

The coastal route leading from Vlorë to Sarandë is very scenic. From Vlorë the road climbs up through dense forests over the Llogaraja Pass, more than 1000 metres high. Coming out of the forest there are fantastic views across the blue Ionian Sea towards the Greek island of Corfu. After 57 kilometres the road leads past the small village of Dhërmi, clinging to the Ceraunian Mountains, at an altitude of approximately 200 metres. The village is inhabited by mainly ethnic Greeks who call it "Drymades" and speak an archaic Greek dialect.

Village of Dhërmi
 
Concrete bunker, Dhërmi
 
Environmental poster
 
Small bunkers, Dhërmi
 
Dhërmi beach
 
Bunker complex
 
Bunkers on the beach
 
Small bunkers, Dhërmi
 
Dhërmi beach
 
Stuck in the sand
 
Beach tourists
 
Jolly Hotel, Dhërmi
 
From Jolly Hotel, Dhërmi
 
Mountain view, Dhërmi
 
View to Dhërmi beach
 
Himara beach
 
Road into Himara
 
Bus passengers
 
View to Himara
 
Between Himara and Sarandë
 
Bay of Palermos
 
Bay of Palermos
 
Near Qeparo
 
Qeparo view
 

A side road leads down towards Dhërmi beach, wonderfully quiet and largely unspoilt (apart from the ubiquitous small round concrete bunkers dating back to the Communist regime of Enver Hoxha). The sea is crystal clear here and there are small hotels to stay.

From Dhërmi the road continues further towards Sarandë, 71 kilometres further south. It leads to the small town of Himara (or Himarë), with its old town, Kastro, situated on and around the old castle and the coastal region of Spilea, with an attractive promenade. It is also inhabited mainly by ethnic Greeks. South of Himara the road ascends again, offering stunning views over a unspoilt coastline with its deserted beaches. After descending to Qeparo the road remains close to the coast, heading to Sarandë.