Last updated: August 10, 2019
It has been quite a while since Europe got a new tourist destination, most are classics that people have traveled to for years. But Ksamil just started to gain more visitors in recent years.
This hidden gem is located on the Albanian Riviera, and it sure is one of the best beach destinations in Europe.
What to expect? Once in Ksamil, you can enjoy Paradise beaches offering white sand and crystal clear water with a Mediterranean climate year round.
I went here earlier this summer and instantly fell in love. Below you can see some photos and tips on accommodation, how to get here and the top things to do in Ksamil.
Below you can see some photos and tips on accommodation, how to get here and the top things to do in Ksamil.
This photo below is taken at a secluded place just around the corner from the busier beach are above. We found this little place with two sunbeds and two pedals.
In short – The perfect way to have a romantic and joyful day on the beach.
More info about Ksamil
Ksamil is a small village in southern Albania. Locals have long gone here in the summer for sunbathing and swimming, but it is only now in recent years that foreign tourists have found their way here. Several charter companies offer trips to Ksamil, but it’s just as easy to get here on your own.
Ksamil is primarily known for its fine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Especially on the four islands located a bit out in the water. These four islands are uninhabited, and you get to them via boat.
In the village lives about 4000-5000 people and tourism is increasing every passing year. However, there are still plenty of secluded places left if you are looking for peace and quiet on your holiday.
The village has also retained the charm to some extent, and there are plenty of cozy little restaurants serving Albanian cuisine.
The hotels are also no big resorts and are instead most part family-owned hotels.
Get the Revolut App and save money by avoiding atm fees and expensive currency exchange
If you’re living in Europe and travel to Albania or other countries in the world. Then you should get the free Revolut card that gives you free ATM withdrawals abroad and the same exchange rate that banks get without an extra surcharge that normally applies to regular debit and credit cards.
This will save you a lot of money, which is much better spent on fun stuff instead of rubbish exchange rates and expensive ATM fees! When you withdraw money abroad it’s quite common with fees between €5-10 each time + bad exchange rate, which might make you lose €10 euro more.
This can also apply when you pay with your card because then your bank or the vendor’s will do the exchange for you, which usually means a markup of 1-2% depending on your card. With Revolut, you don’t have to worry about this because you don’t pay anything for exchanging currency, and you get the best possible rate directly from the foreign exchange market.
How to get here
The trip to Ksamil is smooth and easy. The flights go to Corfu in Greece, located approximately 30 minutes away from Albania by boat. To land at Corfu airport when traveling to Ksamil is really like a regular shuttle since it’s just a short transfer.
The boat stops in Saranda and from there you either take a taxi or bus. A taxi from Saranda to Ksamili costs about 10 Euros, and the bus costs 100 LEK (approx 0.70 €). The boat trip costs about 10 Euros.
Several charter companies offer trips to Ksamil, but it’s just as easy to book your trip to Ksamil on your own. Direct flights go to Corfu from many destinations around Europe and from there it is, as I said just a short boat ride before you have arrived in Albania.
Whether you go charter or on your own, you still fly to Corfu airport.
Another option is to fly to Tirana and from there take a cab or bus. But this is more expensive and also takes a longer time.
Recommended hotels in Ksamil
Two mermaids hotel
A three-star hotel in central Ksamil that has everything one could possibly need for a nice vacation. Two Mermaids Hotel has nice rooms with air con, and the staff is friendly as well. A restaurant is available at the hotel.
If you’re looking for a genuine stay and a family owned hotel, then Villa Ideal is indeed the ideal accommodation in Ksamil. The family who owns this hotel are so friendly and helpful. The rooms are also nice and the price per night is really affordable.
Other attractions and things to do near Ksamil
Saranda is the largest city in the southern part of Albania. This is where the boat from Corfu stops and many locals are living here. It is not a typical tourist destination such as Ksamil, but here you get the chance to experience daily life and Albanian culture.
To stroll along the harbor and the seaside is also nice. Along the boardwalk, one will also find a couple of cozy restaurants and bars that serve good drinks.
Syri i Kalter
A beautiful natural phenomenon which is about 50 minutes drive from Ksamil. Syri I Kalter is also known as the blue eye and here await crystal clear waters in turquoise and green.
What characterizes the site and that gave rise to the name, however, is that part of the lake where the bubbles from the water create a dark blue color. This contrast makes it look like an eye, and hence the name “the blue eye.”
The easiest way to get here is by car, but there are also guided tours. However, by car, you can also visit other attractions in the same day such as Butrint or Gjirokaster.
An ancient city in well-preserved ruins that are also on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. In Butrint, one can look at an old amphitheater, monastery, watchtowers and a fort.
Butrint is about 20 minutes away by bus Ksamil. For those who feel hearty, you can also stroll along the olive groves – A walk that takes about 1 hour.
Approximately 2 hours by car from Ksamil lies the historic town of Gjirokaster. This city is as well on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The main reason for this is the old fort perched on top of the town and the traditional stone houses.
Gjirokaster is a nice day trip where you can stroll around the ancient alleys and learn more about the Albanian culture and history. The easiest way to get here is by car, but there are also daily minibusses from Saranda.
Good restaurants in Ksamil
- Beach Bar Restaurant Korali – Luxurious and good food.
- Brother’s Taverna – Good food and low prices.
- 3 Gjiret – Nice restaurant.
- Guvat – A bit expensive, yet delicious.
|Restaurant||In the store|
|Lunch: 5 €||Coca-Cola: 0.5 €|
|Three-course dinner for two: 18-20 €||Local beer: 0.7 € (50cl)|
|Local beer: 1 € (50cl)||Water: 0.4 € (1.5 liter)|
|Bottle of wine: 8-15 €||Bottle of wine: 4-5 € (75cl)|