Ksamil is located south of Sarande , off the coast of Corfu .Its privileged position, the beauty of its beaches, and the fact that the Butrint Nature Park is less than five kilometres away, make it one of the most sought-after destinations on the Albanian Riviera (although strictly speaking it is somewhat further south).
Beaches and turquoise waters of Ksamil
During communism, the area became known for the production of olive oil, lemons and mandarins. In 2010, the national authorities demolished more than 200 illegal structures that violated the Coastal Law and the integrity of the UNESCO-protected Butrint National Park. Some remains of the demolished buildings have not yet been removed by the authorities.
What to see in Ksamil
There are four islands that make up the Ksamili environment, around 9 hectares of green vegetation and crystal clear water. Some call it the ‘Caribbean of Albania’, others the ‘blue coast’ of Albania, or even ‘the Pearl of the Ionian Sea’, and it is true that its turquoise waters have nothing to envy to beaches elsewhere in the world. Its shallow waters are perfect for family holidaymakers who come to spend their holidays in Ksamil with children.
This paradise is no stranger to tourism and in recent years the number of travellers has grown, with the consequent appearance of more flats, shops and restaurants, ideal for tasting the Ionian seafood, or the mussels from the Butrint lagoon. Nevertheless, prices are still affordable compared to other Mediterranean destinations such as Croatia , Provence in France, or Italy ( Tuscany , Sardinia and Sicily )
There are several fine white sandy beaches in Ksamil, although most are private and the stretch of coastline is managed by the restaurants. In summer it gets so crowded that it looks like there’s no sand, so choose June or September for sunbathing, umbrella and sun lounger.
Its four islands are called: the Twin Islands, the Emerald Island, the Small Island and the Stone Island. They can be reached by swimming, cycling, or by boat. Being uninhabited, their landscape is protected and it is a good activity to “escape” from the crowded beaches.
Excursions from Ksamil
Besides the beaches, the other main attractions are the Blue Eye (Syri i Kalter) , a spring from which a continuous stream of blue water flows, and of course the Butrint Nature Park , consisting of the ancient city (a Unesco World Heritage Site), and remains of the Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman past.
Theatre of Butrint- Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock
Accommodation in Ksamil
Ksamil is an important holiday resort, especially in summer. With the increase in tourism, most of the hotels in Ksamil are well equipped, with price ranges to suit all budgets. There is also cheaper accommodation such as flats, private houses and Bed & Breakfasts. As it gets busy in August, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance.