Saturday, November 5, 2011

Itinerar albanez 11. Saranda / Albanian Itinerary 11. Saranda

I spent few hours in Saranda, one of the most appreciated resorts on the Albanian Riviera. When entering from Ksamil direction, the new hotels are one after another. The best of them seems to be the 5 stars "Butrint" hotel. It's difficult to find a parking place as the constructors have left no place. The few existing, belong all to the restaurants.


An alley of palm trees come along with the promenade. You may have a short glimpse to the beach. The sun is already preparing to set down. Many restaurants and teraces are lined up on the promenade. An odd construction, looking like a  flying saucer, is the Tourism Information Center. One may buy some town guides there, for the principal locations in the country, at a cost of 5 euro each.


At 12 km over the sea it is the Corfu Island. Tourists may visit from both sides, on a ferry.


Firstly, Saranda was a Greek colony, named Onchesmos. It was renamed as Agioi Saranta (Forty Saints), when it was in the possesion of the Byzantium.


There are some touristic objectives around the resort: the Blue Eye spring, located in a forest at 18 km NE from Saranda, the Lekursi Castle, built in the XVth century by Sultan Suleiman, when he planned to conquer Corfu (now a restaurant), and the amazing Butrint, a UNESCO treasure.



In Saranda am zabovit doar cateva ore, intr-o dupa-amiaza, si doar pe faleza, asa ca nu voi scrie prea mult despre aceasta localitate, considerata una dintre cele mai frumoase de pe Riviera albaneza.

La intrarea dinspre Ksamil, hotelurile noi se insira unul dupa altul, desavarsind forma de amfiteatru a orasului.
Gasesti cu greu o parcare fiindca construirea intensa si fara prea multe planuri urbanistice, presupun, nu a lasat locul necesar. Acolo unde ar fi posibil, parcarile apartin restaurantelor. Aproape de "centru" se afla si hotelul de 5 stele "Butrint", o cladire nu prea inspirata arhitectonic, dupa parerea mea.
 Hotel "Butrint", 5 stele
Palmierii tivesc inceputul falezei, lasand sa se intrevada si plaja.
Ca peste tot in asemenea locuri, restaurantele si terasele se tin lant.
Exista si un trenulet cu care te poti plimba pe acolo dar mai frumoasa este faleza, care iti lasa privirea sa se intinda pana in...Corfu. Soarele se pregatea de apus, trimitand spre noi ultimele sale raze aurii.
Cineva coborat dintr-o masina abandonase pe trotuar, chiar sub privirile noastre, o mica broasca testoasa, pe care am luat-o si am mutat-o pe un loc cu iarba, unde sa se poata adaposti.
Paralel cu faleza sunt cateva banci, cu ATM, de unde puteti lua lek si numeroase magazine.
O biserica ortodoxa mare, de pe balconul careia un preot cu o barba impozanta s-a retras in graba cand a vazut ca fotografiez, priveste si ea spre mare.
De acolo, am zarit o mica constructie ce parea o nava extraterestra aterizata la Saranda si care m-a facut sa cobor din nou pe faleza, curioasa. Era un punct de informare turistica, unde am gasit cateva ghiduri de oras, care mi s-au parut insa cam scumpe la pretul de 500 lek (5 euro).
 Centrul de Informare Turistica
Eu vi-am aratat Saranda dinspre plaja dar, daca vreti sa petreceti acolo cateva zile, mai aveti de vizitat cateva obiective: 
  • izvorul Ochiul Albastru (Syri i Kalter), intr-o padure la 18 km NE de Saranda;
  • castelul Likursi, construit de sultanul Suleiman inaintea campaniei de cucerire a insulei Corfu, sec. XV -  la 2 km de Saranda; acum e transformat in cafenea si restaurant;
  • o excursie de o zi la Kerkyra (Corfu), cu ferry-ul;
  • cel mai interesant obiectiv: tezaurul UNESCO - Butrint.
Initial, asezarea a fost o colonie locuita de un trib grec, numita Onchesmos. Cand a intrat in posesia Imperiului Bizantin, numele sau a fost schimbat in Agioi Saranta (40 de Sfinti), de unde apoi Saranda. Ea a intrat in componenta statului albanez in 1913.




26 comments:

magda said...

Wonderful photos and so nice place!!!
I like the turist informations!!!
Have a nice weekend!
Many greetings

Traveling Hawk said...

You are very kind, Magda, thank you!

Joop Zand said...

Nice pleces and good pictures.....well done again.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Joop! I wish you a nice Sunday!

Randy said...

These are great. I love the beach shots!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks, Randy!

Doug Hickok said...

Another fascinating tour which your show us! I love the atmosphere of this coastal city, the sea, the palm trees, the attractive architecture. Wonderful!

Liliana said...

Albania e inca ne-comerciala si ne-turistica, din cate vad. Nu va dura mult si toate acestea se vor schimba.

cartim said...

Imi place ce am vazut in fotografii, cred ca frumos si chiar rustic pe alocuri ...

Poate ca si ei ar trebui sa isi promoveze mai mult turismul, far ca atunci va totul mai comercial.

Helma said...

Traveling Hello Hawk,

I read that as the five star hotels to the best hotels are there, only one parking space is hard to find. An alley of palms come together with the promenade and perhaps Close to beach.

You have beautiful pictures posted so that we can see how it is there. Also find many information is very good about.

Greetings, Helma

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Doug!

Traveling Hawk said...

Liliana, in Albania sunt multi turisti...albanezi. Cei care lucreaza in strainatate vin vara acasa in numar foarte mare. Sunt insa si turisti straini, chiar daca nu foarte multi. Datorita faptului ca au deja o infrastructura destul de buna si lucreaza in continuare si ca incepe sa se auda/vada cum e pe acolo, sigur ca vor veni turistii. In plus, am intees ca au o campanie de promovare interesanta, sub sloganul "Albania, cel mai bine pastrat secret al Europei". Inteligenta miscare, zic.

Traveling Hawk said...

Cartim, vezi mai sus ce i-am raspuns Lilianei despre promovare. Cum insa cea mai buna este cea din om in om, sper ca si ce am scris eu aici sa duca acolo cativa turisti, care nu se vor mai teme si nu vor mai evita tara asta:)

Traveling Hawk said...

Thank you, Helma! My goal is to show people the places where I travel and, may be they will feel inspired...

Ron aka TheOldGeezer said...

Very nice photos! I like the little turtle :-)

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks a lot, Ron!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Amazing place and photos too!!

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks for the opinion, Phivos!

Liliana said...

Eu am fost foarte uimita cand Albania a fost aleasa anul trecut ca fiind una din cele 10 tari de vizitat in 2011, de catre LonelyPlanet. Mi-a ridicat un pic spranceana gandind.

Traveling Hawk said...

De ce, Liliana? Probabil LP dorea sa demonstreze ca e ceva de vazut acolo si ca nu trebuie ocolita. Cele cateva situri arheologice mari, cateva orase interesante (Kruja, Gjirokaster, Berat) si Riviera albaneza chiar merita si daca hotelurile nu sunt grozave.

VP said...

This time you surprised us with a wide variety of pictures. This place look so familiar than most of them could be here...

Traveling Hawk said...

Yes, it's familiar, VP. because they also belong to Europe:) There are many cultural common elements.

Life Ramblings said...

this looks like a wonderful place to relax and unwind. the beach looks extremely inviting. :)

Traveling Hawk said...

Yes, it's a nice place, LR!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Wonderful photos and tour around Saranda. I do like very much your framing with the trees.
It looks like the Orthodox church has had a bad dose of invasion of privacy in more ways than one :-)
It's a shame that the planners forgot about the car parks, but with the varying architecture it shows what the place is all about. There's a big market out there for people who like this kind of thing, lets hope that they don't just try it once and move on to the next place ... or putting it another way, 2012 looks like being a difficult year for business !!

Traveling Hawk said...

You are right, J_on _tour! But as people struggle always to go beyond the crucial moments, let's hope that even with new, unknown (yet) forms of economy or society, all our countries will succeed to enter a new era.