Saranda, City : Interesting facts, Information & Tourist Attractions

Saranda, City : Interesting facts, Information & Tourist Attractions

18th May 2023 0 By Aparna Patel

Welcome to our post where we dive into the captivating city of Saranda! Situated in the mesmerizing country of Albania, Saranda is a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its rich history, enchanting landscapes, and remarkable attractions.

From ancient ruins to breathtaking beaches, this coastal city offers a myriad of experiences for every visitor. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to explore Saranda’s interesting facts, valuable information, and must-visit tourist attractions that will leave you awe-inspired.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Saranda has something extraordinary to offer.

Interesting  & Unknown facts about Saranda, City

Saranda is a beautiful coastal city located in southern Albania, known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich history. Here are some lesser-known facts about Saranda:

  1. Ancient Name: Saranda, also spelled Sarandë, is derived from the Greek word “Agioi Saranda” (Άγιοι Σαράντα), meaning “Forty Saints.” It was named after the early Christian monastery dedicated to the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, a popular religious site in the region.
  2. Roman Ruins: The area around Saranda is home to several ancient Roman ruins. One notable site is the archaeological park of Butrint, located just a short distance away. Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains remnants of a Roman theater, baths, a forum, and other structures.
  3. Influence of Greek Mythology: The region of Saranda has ties to Greek mythology. According to legend, Saranda was founded by the Greek hero Achilles, who sought refuge in the area after the Trojan War. The nearby islands of Ksamil are said to be the remnants of his sunken fleet.
  4. Bilingual City: Due to its proximity to Greece, Saranda has a significant Greek influence. Greek is widely spoken in the city, and many signs and menus are written in both Albanian and Greek.
  5. Blue Eye Spring: The Blue Eye (Syri i Kaltër) is a natural phenomenon located near Saranda. It is a freshwater spring with incredibly clear and blue water that creates the illusion of a human eye. The spring is known for its vibrant colors and is a popular tourist attraction.
  6. Saranda Islands: Saranda is surrounded by several small islands that are easily accessible by boat. These islands include Ksamil Islands, including Ksamil, a popular tourist destination with beautiful beaches, and the untouched islands of Kakome and St. George.
  7. Lekursi Castle: Lekursi Castle is a fortress located on a hill just outside Saranda. It offers panoramic views of the city, the Ionian Sea, and the nearby Greek island of Corfu. The castle has a restaurant and is a popular spot to enjoy the sunset.
  8. Summer Festival: Saranda hosts an annual Summer Festival, typically held in July, featuring live music, dance performances, cultural events, and fireworks. The festival attracts both locals and tourists and is a vibrant celebration of the city’s culture and traditions.
  9. Submarine Pens: During the communist era in Albania, Saranda served as a strategic military base. The city was home to a network of underground submarine pens and military facilities, some of which are still visible today. They serve as a reminder of Albania’s Cold War history.
  10. Butrint National Park: Besides its ancient ruins, Butrint is also part of a larger national park. Butrint National Park encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and coastal areas. It is home to various wildlife species, making it an important site for conservation.

These facts offer a glimpse into the unique history, culture, and natural beauty that Saranda possesses, making it an appealing destination for visitors from around the world.

Best Tourist Attractions in Saranda city

Saranda is a city in Albania that offers a range of tourist attractions. Here are some of the best attractions to visit in Saranda:
  1. Butrint National Park: Located just outside Saranda, Butrint National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant archaeological site. It showcases ancient ruins from Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian civilizations. Explore the ancient theater, Roman baths, and the impressive Lion Gate.
  2. Blue Eye Spring (Syri i Kaltër): This natural phenomenon is a must-visit attraction near Saranda. The Blue Eye is a freshwater spring with incredibly clear and vibrant blue water. It is named after its deep blue center, resembling a giant eye. Admire the beauty of the spring and the surrounding lush greenery.
  3. Lekursi Castle: Situated on a hill overlooking Saranda, Lekursi Castle offers panoramic views of the city, the Ionian Sea, and the neighboring Greek island of Corfu. Enjoy a meal or a drink at the castle’s restaurant while taking in the stunning vistas.
  4. Mirror Beach (Pasqyra Beach): Located about 10 kilometers south of Saranda, Mirror Beach is a hidden gem with pristine turquoise waters and a tranquil atmosphere. Relax on the white sandy beach and enjoy the scenic surroundings.
  5. Ksamil Islands: Just a short distance from Saranda, the Ksamil Islands are a group of small, picturesque islands. Take a boat tour to explore the islands, relax on their sandy beaches, and swim in the clear waters. The islands offer a peaceful and idyllic getaway.
  6. Saranda City Promenade: Stroll along the Saranda City Promenade, which stretches along the coastline, offering beautiful views of the sea. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, visit shops, cafes, and restaurants, and experience the lively energy of the city.
  7. Saranda Archaeological Museum: Learn more about the history and culture of the Saranda region by visiting the Archaeological Museum. The museum exhibits artifacts from ancient sites, including Butrint, providing insights into the area’s rich past.
  8. Buntrint National Park: This park encompasses the ancient city of Butrint, but it also offers opportunities for outdoor activities and nature exploration. Enjoy walking trails, birdwatching, and immersing yourself in the park’s diverse ecosystems.
  9. Synagogue Complex: Saranda is home to an ancient Jewish Synagogue Complex dating back to the 5th century. Explore the ruins of the synagogue and gain a glimpse into the city’s historical religious diversity.
  10. Monastery of the Forty Saints: Visit the Monastery of the Forty Saints, which has a significant religious and historical importance in Saranda. Admire the beautiful architecture and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere of this ancient religious site.

Is Saranda Albania worth visiting?

Absolutely! Saranda, Albania is definitely worth visiting for several reasons. Here are a few compelling factors that make Saranda a destination you shouldn’t miss:
  1. Breathtaking Natural Beauty: Nestled along the Albanian Riviera, Saranda boasts stunning coastal landscapes and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The city is surrounded by majestic mountains, offering panoramic views and picturesque scenery that will take your breath away.
  2. Rich History and Culture: Saranda is steeped in history, with remnants of ancient civilizations scattered throughout the region. The nearby archaeological site of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins dating back to the 4th century BC. Exploring these historical sites provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past.
  3. Idyllic Beaches: Saranda is known for its pristine beaches, making it a haven for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. The most famous beach, Ksamil, is a short distance from the city and features golden sands and turquoise waters. The surrounding islands and secluded coves offer tranquility and a chance to unwind in a paradisiacal setting.
  4. Vibrant Nightlife and Entertainment: Saranda comes alive after dark, with a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to all tastes. From trendy bars and beach clubs to traditional taverns, the city offers a diverse range of options for entertainment and dining. Enjoy live music, dance the night away, or savor delicious local cuisine while soaking in the lively atmosphere.
  5. Warm Hospitality: Albanians are renowned for their hospitality and friendliness, and Saranda is no exception. The locals welcome visitors with open arms, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that adds to the overall charm of the city.

In conclusion, Saranda, Albania offers a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality, making it a destination that is definitely worth visiting. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Saranda has it all. So pack your bags and prepare to be captivated by this enchanting coastal gem.

History & information about Saranda, City

Saranda, also known as Sarandë, is a coastal city located in the Vlorë County of southern Albania. Here is an overview of its history and key information:
  1. Ancient Origins: Saranda has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The area was inhabited by various civilizations, including the Greeks, Illyrians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. The city’s strategic location along the Ionian Sea made it a significant port and trading hub throughout history.
  2. Greek Influence: Due to its proximity to Greece, Saranda has had a strong Greek influence. It was part of the Byzantine Empire and later came under the control of various Greek states, including the Despotate of Epirus and the Kingdom of Thessaloniki. The city’s population has traditionally been ethnically diverse, with both Albanians and Greeks living in the area.
  3. Ottoman Rule: Saranda, like much of Albania, came under Ottoman rule in the 15th century. The Ottomans held control over the region for several centuries, leaving behind architectural and cultural influences that can still be seen today.
  4. Independence and Modern Era: Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Saranda became part of the newly formed Albanian state. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced political and social changes under different regimes, including the monarchy, communist rule, and subsequent democratic reforms.
  5. Tourism and Development: Saranda has emerged as a popular tourist destination in recent decades. The city’s beautiful coastline, pristine beaches, and favorable Mediterranean climate attract visitors from Albania and abroad. The tourism industry has played a significant role in the economic development of Saranda, contributing to infrastructure improvements, hotel construction, and the growth of services and entertainment options.
  6. Butrint: One of the main historical attractions near Saranda is the ancient city of Butrint. Located around 20 kilometers south of the city, Butrint is an archaeological site recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It showcases remains of various civilizations, including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian periods, providing insights into the region’s history.
  7. Geography and Surroundings: Saranda is situated on a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay along the Ionian Sea. Its location offers breathtaking views of the sea, nearby islands, and mountains. The city is also close to other natural attractions, such as the Blue Eye Spring and the Lekursi Castle, which provide additional reasons for tourists to visit the area.
  8. Cultural Heritage: Saranda is known for its vibrant cultural scene and traditions. The city hosts various festivals, including music, dance, and art events, which showcase local talent and celebrate Albanian culture. Folk dances, traditional costumes, and music play an essential role in preserving and promoting the region’s cultural heritage.
  9. Infrastructure and Transportation: Saranda has seen significant improvements in its infrastructure in recent years. The city has a well-developed road network, connecting it to other major Albanian cities and neighboring countries. Additionally, Saranda has a port that serves as a gateway for ferries connecting it to the Greek island of Corfu.
  10. Population and Tourism Season: Saranda has a population of around 30,000 inhabitants. During the summer season, the city experiences an influx of tourists, both domestic and international, who come to enjoy its beaches, water sports, historical sites, and lively atmosphere.

Saranda’s rich history, stunning natural surroundings, and thriving tourism industry make it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a mix of cultural heritage, relaxation, and seaside charm.