Photos from Albania

 

Southern Albania's Ionian coast

The coastal route leading from Vlora to Saranda is very scenic. From Vlora 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. 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 Saranda, 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 Saranda.


Village of Dhërmi
Village of Dhërmi

Concrete bunker, Dhërmi
Concrete bunker, Dhërmi

Small bunkers, Dhërmi
Small bunkers, Dhërmi

Dhërmi beach
Dhërmi beach

Bunker complex
Bunker complex

Bunkers on the beach
Bunkers on the beach

Dhërmi beach
Dhërmi beach

Stuck in the sand
Stuck in the sand

Beach tourists
Beach tourists

From Jolly Hotel, Dhërmi
From Jolly Hotel, Dhërmi

Mountain view, Dhërmi
Mountain view, Dhërmi

View to Dhërmi beach
View to Dhërmi beach

Himara beach
Himara beach

Road into Himara
Road into Himara

Bus passengers
Bus passengers

View to Himara
View to Himara

Between Himara and Saranda
Between Himara and Saranda

Bay of Palermos
Bay of Palermos

Near Qeparo
Near Qeparo

Qeparo view
Qeparo view

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