Palasë offers the chance for first-time encounters.
Located right after the Llogara Pass on the road to Dhërmi in the beautiful Albanian Riviera is the picturesque village of Palasë.
The settlement is said to have originally been located on the coast, but because of pirate attacks in the 12th-13th century, it was moved inland.
This quaint beachside village is constructed around a 400-year-old tree, the village’s pride, at the center of village life. The narrow stone roads and quaint white houses add to the place’s charm.
Palasë is one of around 50 villages that once dotted Himarë up into the mid-18th century. Today, just a handful remain to showcase the rich history and culture of the region.
Originally, Palasë was part of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus but was incorporated into the Albanian state in 1946. Hence Palasë locals speak a mix of a Greek dialect and Albanian.
Palase is an excellent destination for those seeking something new. The coastline in this part of Albania is relatively untouched by tourism, and the natural landscapes remain unspoiled and underexplored.
If you love swimming in crystal clear blue waters, plan a day trip to Palase beach. You can easily spend some time on this beach on your way to other popular destinations further down the coastline.
If you visit, there’s a secret bay called Gramma, accessible by boat, where ancient sailors carved their epigraphs into the cliffs.
Besides the beach, you can hike through the towering Thunderbolt Mountains, part of the iconic Ceraunian Mountain chain.
History buffs should know that Caesar first set foot at Palase beach while pursuing Pompey.
There’s something for everyone regarding what to see in Palasë, Albania. If you love to sunbathe with a good book, head to Palase beach. If you’re an adrenaline junky, there’s trekking and paragliding.
Of course, most tourists end up in Palasë for the swimming beach, which boasts more azure seawater than nearby Italy or Greece.
The beach is made of pebbles, so it’s best to bring water shoes if you can, though a pair of sturdy sandals will do the job, too. You can hire beach loungers and umbrellas for the day cheaply, and there’s a beach bar packed with food, drinks, and music.
Legend has it that this is the same beach that 1st-century Roman emperor Julius Caesar landed on when he and his troops were pursuing a fleeing Pompey during the four-year Ceaser’s Civil War. As such, a local nickname for Palasë is “Caesar’s Path” since the emperor himself likely marched through the area.
The beach is home to a luxury resort with rooms and residencies. Stay here to visit neighboring UNESCO-listed sites, including Gjipe Beach and Canyon, the Blue Eye and Borsh Springs, and Butrint and Llogora national parks.
Parasailing and Paragliding
If you’re into adventure sports, sign up for a parasailing or paragliding adventure. It’s one of the best (and most heart-pumping) ways to see the region’s dramatic mountain-to-ocean views. There are one-day or multi-day options available through local tour providers.
Palasë is also next door to the Llogara National Park, which skirts the Ionian Coast on one side and the mountains on the other. Hike or drive up to the Llogara Pass for stunning views out over the ocean and coast–bear in mind the road is steep in some parts. Visitors recommend purchasing local honey and mountain tea from vendors at the top.
Dedicated mountaineers and alpine skiers won’t want to miss the opportunity to scale the peak of nearby Mount Çika. At over 2,000 meters, it’s the highest peak in the epic Ceraunian Mountains.
The mountain is known for its incredible biodiversity of native flora and fauna–wildlife lovers may spot various pine species. Mount Çika is so majestic that it inspired British poet Lord Byron, who once hiked its trails.
Church of St. Demetrius
This quaint but compelling stone church, which sits beside an enormous old oak tree, is a fixture in the village of Palasë. Look carefully, and you’ll spot delicate carvings, some still pigmented, on the walls. The church still has an active Orthodox congregation, so be respectful during your visit.
Planning Your Trip
Once you’ve locked in your list of what to do at Palasë Beach, Albania, it’s time to work out the logistics.
Most websites say to travel between April and June or September and October. You’ll avoid the chill of winter and the scorching summer sun, and the mild weather is perfect for everything from hiking to swimming.
You can always hire a car to drive to Palasë (the views from the coastal roads are magical). The cheapest and easiest public transport option is a private shuttle.
A Truly Unique Albanian Experience
If you’re the kind of traveler who loves getting off the beaten track and exploring incredible beaches, towering mountain ranges, and uncrowded nature trails, then Albania should be on your bucket list.