i’ve spent nearly two weeks traveling around Albania. i’ve started and ended the journey on a Greek island – Corfu [ i could not find any reasonably-priced flight from Berlin to Tirana ] and from there travelled with a ferry to Sarandë.
there are few ferry connections between the Corfu Port and Sarande pier run by ionian-cruises.com and finikas-lines.com [ note that the tickets have to be bought ~1km away from the ferry terminal in Corfu – near this place.
the ferry ride was smooth and fast – nearly 50km/h. 30 min after the departure we’ve been already walking towards the Albanian border control. first impression of Albania: Sarandë looked pretty well, better than i expected: plenty of new buildings, quite touristy, full of visitors.
from Sarandë we’ve taken a mini-bus [ called by soe a furgon ] from city’s main bus stop towards Vlore and took a ride to our next stop – Orikum. the road was full of sharp turns and climbing up to 1km above the sea level. views – stunning and scary at the same time.
Orikum turned out to be a smallish town with bunch of recently finished flat blocks ~800m away from pretty nice beaches. there was also a naval base that – sadly – limited options of taking a longer walk along the seashore, but we’ve found something interesting [ruins of an ancient Marmiroi church ] anyway:
from Orikum’s bus stop we’ve taken another furgon to Vlore [btw – don’t expect any time tables, bus lines or even reliable information about departures from the locals – take something to read, and wait; possibly come a day earlier and ask the drivers].
Vlore was largish, with worse beaches yet full of life. for us it was just a ‘hop’ on the way towards Berat. it took us a while to find the right bus stop ; at least in 2015-09 there were buses departing at 7 and 10 am.
the way back from Berat to Vlore was simpler – we already knew where to find the bus and – from the driver – departure time – 13:00.
after 2nd visit in Vlore we’ve headed to Himare and took picturesque hike starting from the Llaman beach up to the hills towards Himare – following abandoned supply line to series of smaller and larger bunkers. we’ve seen plenty of them on the way – both from buses and while hiking – mushroom-like concrete structures.