Best Beaches in Albania

With nearly 300 miles of coastline along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is a true beach lover’s paradise. From secluded coves to lively party beaches, Albania’s beaches are truly one of the best-kept secrets in Europe.

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What are the Best Beaches in Albania?

The best beaches in Albania reward those who seek out its prized shores along the Adriatic and Ionian coasts—from Ksamil’s crystalline turquoise waters reminiscent of postcards to Gjipe’s blissful seclusion reachable only on foot, Dhërmi’s summer parties vibrating late into the night, Jala’s beach clubs neighboring hidden coves, and the endless golden sands of Velipoja set against wetlands bursting with birds. Only by discovering these diverse coastal marvels for yourself can you fully experience Albania’s spectacular beaches.

Landscape with beach and Adriatic Sea views at sunset in Durres
Golden Hour illuminates Durrës beach on the Adriatic Sea

Northern Albania

In northern Albania, the calm azure waters of the Adriatic lap against pristine sandy and pebbled beaches, often with mountainous backdrops that sweep dramatically down to the sea.

Shkodër Region

Stretching for nearly 3 miles along the coast, Velipoja Beach is a nature lover’s dream, with protected wetlands perfect for birdwatching. Stroll for hours along this seemingly endless golden sandy shoreline near the Buna River delta, which attracts flocks of migrating birds. Beachfront restaurants serve up fresh seafood with views of the sun setting behind the mountains.

The lesser-known Viluni Beach, accessible via winding backroads, offers unspoiled relaxation in total tranquility—rugged hills and thickets of Mediterranean brush fringe its secluded sands. Venture here to spend a day disconnected from the world, wading through crystal waters undisturbed except for the occasional hawk overhead.

Similarly, Baks-Rrjoll Beach’s untouched beauty makes it the ideal peaceful escape. Traverse the hillside path down to stone and shell-scattered coves bordered by limestone cliffs to claim your own private beach.

Lezhë Region

Kunë Beach impresses with its serene atmosphere and pristine natural environment. Sink into the soft sands against a scenic backdrop of rolling hills and farmland. Well-maintained local roads provide easy access to basic amenities in the nearby village.

Just 15 minutes south, Shëngjin Beach mixes golden sands with historic charm in a popular coastal town setting. Lined with beach clubs, it bustles with activity during the summer months. Visit the nearby Porto Romano ruins to glimpse the area’s ancient history. The 13th-century Venetian-built Shëngjin Castle towers photogenically on an island just offshore.

Adventurous travelers will love Rana e Hedhun Beach’s crescent-shaped cove and sprawling windswept dunes, surrounded by lush hillsides. Hike or drive down through bushy vegetation to this tucked-away gem, perfect for beachcombing and sunset views.

For more seclusion, head to Talë Beach’s hidden pebbled cove enclosed by rocky cliffs. Access it via a short walking path to make this little paradise feel far removed from civilization. Families should visit the calm, shallow waters and sandy bottom of Patok Beach, set scenically within a coastal lagoon.

Durrës Region

The beaches of Gjiri i Lalzit, including Shen Pjeter, Hamallaj, and Rrushkull, offer scenic tranquility with their pebbled bays and crystal waters, all within a short drive of Durrës or Tirana. Relax in the peaceful surroundings of olive groves and grazing livestock.

Kepi i Bishtit të Pallës Beach, south of Durrës, rewards sunset walkers with sweeping views from its dramatic cliffscape. Step down to secluded pebble coves to sunbathe and dip into the calm blue waters.

Just north of Durrës city, Kallmi Beach’s shallow, calm waters are perfect for families with kids. Lounging under pine trees in the quiet surroundings of the olive groves and green hills makes it easy to forget you’re just minutes from the city.

Within Durrës itself, the golden sands of Durrës Beach bustle with activities during the summer months. By day, sunbathers pack the beach and lively promenade lined with restaurants and clubs. By night, beachfront bars keep the energy pumping into the early morning hours.

Just 15 minutes up the coast, Currila Beach provides a quiet escape amid its picturesque rocky coves and peaceful environs. Savor the day’s fresh catch at a seaside restaurant on the pebbled shores.

Kavajë Region

Golem Beach has gained popularity recently for its lively resorts and range of activities catering to sunseekers. Dance the day away at beach clubs, or try your hand at watersports like jet skiing and parasailing. Families appreciate the kid-friendly amenities.

In contrast, Mali i Robit Beach, south of Golem, offers a peaceful escape into nature. Trails wind through pine forests, sweeping serenely down to meet the azure sea. Find a quiet spot to relax atop the blanket of fallen pine needles and take in the fresh scent of the trees.

Qerret Beach nearby provides additional family-friendly amenities like playgrounds and watersports in a tranquil setting away from Golem’s crowds. Its pebbled shores and calm coves are perfect for swimming with little ones.

Further south, a string of isolated beaches awaits those seeking unspoiled natural settings away from tourist crowds. Carina Beach impresses visitors with its crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the Karaburun Peninsula. The area offers rich biodiversity waiting to be discovered in the sea and in birdlife within its coastal wetlands.

At Kalaja e Turrës Beach, a picturesque 15th-century castle stands photogenically on a small offshore island, linked to the beach by a narrow landbridge. Wade out to explore the historic site up close after sunbathing on the quiet shores. Many petite coves and beaches scattered along this stretch include Plazhi i Gjeneralit, Skelë Beach, and Gjiri i Ujit të Ftohtë Beach.

The Ionian Riviera

Stretching along Albania’s southwest coast, the sapphire waters and the Ionian Sea pebbled beaches create a Mediterranean paradise. Exploring the beaches along this coastal route, you’ll encounter everything from ancient historic sites to trendy beach clubs.

Vlorë Region

Our Ionian voyage starts just south of bustling Vlorë city in Zvërnec Village. Here, the 13th-century Zvërnec Monastery stands photogenically on an offshore island, linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway. After touring this historic site, dip in the neighboring tranquil waters of Zvërnec Beach before continuing south.

The next stop is Palasë Beach, where the road turns to follow a rocky coastline with beaches nestled in scenic coves and river valleys. This peaceful beach marks the official start of the Albanian Riviera, known locally as Bregdeti. Sink into serenity on its unspoiled shores backed by hills covered in olive groves and vineyards.

Further along, the energy amps up at Dhërmi Beach as cafes and beach clubs line its pebbled golden shore. By day, beachgoers flock here to soak up the lively social scene. After dark, Dhërmi comes even more alive with thumping beach parties late into the night.

Just north, Drymades Beach offers a more peaceful alternative with its sheltered bay and laid-back vibe. Sink into serenity on its soft pebbled shoreline backed by dramatic limestone cliffs.

Adventurous travelers can take the spectacular hike down to Gjipe Beach’s secluded stone cove, encircled by verdant cliffs and accessible only on foot or by sea. This isolated paradise is perfect for leaving behind the modern world and returning to nature.

Jala Beach strikes an ideal balance between social and solitary. During summer, its main strip bustles with vibrant beach clubs, while wooden boardwalks lead to tucked-away rocky coves ideal for swimming in crystalline waters. The rest of the year, it returns to a sleepy fishing village.

Himarë Region

The excitement continues as we reach vibrant Himarë. Its sweeping sandy bay bustles with al fresco diners and sunbathers by day and late-night beach clubs in the summer.

Neighboring Livadhi Beach provides more space to spread out on its lengthy pebbled shore lined with beachfront tavernas.

At picturesque Llamani Beach just south, an unusual mix of freshwater springs and seawater creates excellent swimming and snorkeling. Diving below the refreshing surface reveals schools of fish, starfish, and sea urchins. Soak up tranquility on this stretch of pebbles tucked beneath hills covered in olive groves.

Llaman Beach on the Albanian Riviera
Llaman Beach on the Albanian Riviera

Outdoor enthusiasts will also appreciate the natural beauty and biodiversity of Potam Beach, set amidst lush Mediterranean vegetation and accessed via a scenic hiking path. Its stone cliffs, crystal waters, and lack of development give it an unspoiled, hidden paradise feel.

The massive uninterrupted length of Borsh Beach allows for endless seaside exploration with hardly another soul in sight, even during peak season. Beachcombers delight in stumbling upon seashells and smoothly polished pebbles along this shore. Stop for a bite at one of the scattered tavernas with epic ocean views.

Borsh beach with beautiful landscape on the Albanian Riviera

Those up for an adventurous scramble can access charming Fterra Beach from steep hillside stairs leading down to this hidden gem of a cove—Wade from the pebbled shore into a sheltered turquoise lagoon protected by rocky islets.

Sarandë Region

The final stretch of the Albanian Riviera dazzles as we reach Sarandë. The tropical paradise of Ksamil Beach, with three enticing islands offshore, offers some of the most stunning scenery in the Ionian. Its postcard-perfect turquoise waters and white pebbled shores look almost too beautiful to be real.

Nearby, the aptly named Mirror Beach offers glass-like reflective waters that flawlessly duplicate the sky on calm days. Stroll this quiet shoreline to enjoy mesmerizing views above and below the surface. For more privacy, seek Monastery Beach, home to ancient historic relics and perfectly tranquil surroundings.

Mirrors beach
Mirror beach on the Albanian Riviera

At the fringe of Sarandë town, Vurgu Beach bustles with summertime activity with its strip of lively bars, restaurants, and lodging. Just 10 minutes south, Santa Quaranta Beach offers a less crowded alternative with a peaceful atmosphere. Further south, Bunec Beach lies empty most of the year, attracting just a scattering of sunbathers and swimmers to its remote cove.

Bunec Beach Albania
Bunec Beach in southern Albania boasts fine pebble sand perfect for sunbathing and swimming

With this diverse mix of lively hotspots and isolated havens, Albania’s Ionian Coast entices beachgoers to keep exploring around every mesmerizing bend. Discover your piece of coastal perfection with our guide to these spectacular shores.

Although I was born in Albania, I've spent my adult life traveling there as a tourist. Being a native who visits frequently, I can give you an insider's view of Europe's best-kept secret.
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