The Blue Eye, ” Syri i kaltër” – and often referred to as Blue Eye in English – is next to the Butrint Nature Park one of the most visited places in Albania. Only 25 km from Saranda , near the traditional stone village of Musina, the freshwater spring consists of a small lake that resembles a swimming pool with beautiful shades of green and blue.
The Blue Eye -“Syri i kaltër”
On the slopes of Mount Mali i Gjere, enveloped in forests of hazel, walnut, cherry, pine and spruce trees, there are as many as 18 springs gushing from the earth like underwater volcanoes. They are known as the famous “Blue Eye”, which is a geological phenomenon. Because of its oval shape and the colour of the water, deep blue in the centre and light blue on the sides.
The crystal clear waters of the Blue Eye have become an attraction and it is impossible to resist taking pictures of these colours that do not need saturation in photographs. The colours are real. The name Syri i kaltër – Blue Eye describes the feeling of looking at a human eye with polychrome shades of a bluish or green iris.
Why does the water gush out of the blue eye?
The water is believed to be a seepage from the karst rock of the Drinos valley. This type of spring is called “The Vaucluse Spring” because of its origin of emanation through karst rocks, and is one of the largest in southern Europe. Numerous divers have tried to reach the bottom but, due to the pressure, they have only managed to reach a depth of 45 metres, so its depth is unknown.It has a flow rate of 18,400 litres of water per second and a water temperature of 10-13 degrees Celsius. Visitors often throw a stone into the centre of this spring, and after a while they see the same stone rise to the surface again.
Blue Eye Colourful Waters
The springs provide water to the 25 km long river “Bistrica” and through an artificial channel built in 1958, its waters flow into the Ionian Sea. In the area around “Blue Eye”, the wildlife is rich and varied, with wild animals such as foxes, reptiles and martens.
From the wooden platform built to observe the Blue Eye, it is possible to enjoy the mesmerising view….
What to do at the Blue Eye
In addition to enjoying the natural surroundings, visitors on an organised day trip can relax in its tranquil landscape. Next to a picturesque waterfall in front of the “Blue Eye” spring, there is a traditional restaurant built of wood and stone where you can enjoy a Balkan brandy, called “Raki”.
From the springs there are routes that lead into the surroundings, sometimes leading to other smaller springs.
Information and advice about the visit
There is a nominal entrance fee to visit the Blu Eye, but the price of a car is a little higher. In summer there are many tourists visiting it, as well as bus tours, so it is preferable to visit it in low season.
Ticket prices Blue Eye of Albania
It is strictly forbidden to swim and dive in the Blue Eye and even if you see people who do not respect the indications, please take them into account. Please bear in mind that this is a natural environment with a high tourist pressure and if all the people contravene the warnings, they will put the beautiful site at risk.
In the same way, respect the environment and if you generate rubbish, deposit it in the bins or even better take it with you so that it is not left scattered in the forest.
The Blue Eye is open from 7:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m. every day.
Places to visit near the Blue Eye
The Blue Eye Albania is close to several other attractions: the city of Saranda, the beaches of Ksamil , the UNESCO heritage city of Gjirokastra , the UNESCO Butrint viewpoint and the beaches of the Albanian Riviera
HOW TO GET TO THE BLUE EYE
From Gjirokastra simply follow the SH4 road and when you reach the village of Jorgucat, turn right following the signs to Blue Eye. Then continue along SH99 until you reach a dirt road turn-off leading to the Blue Eye. The drive is 45 minutes (36 km). From Sarande it is about 20 km (30 minutes) by car along the SH99, through the village of Bistricë to the same dirt road turn-off as above. After paying at the entrance we can leave the car in the parking place at the end of the road, next to the spring.
By public transport it is possible to get there by bus from Gjirokastra to Saranda and back. It is advisable to ask the driver to meet you at the Syri I Kalter or Blue Eye bus stop. Buses leave approximately every hour. The bus stop is on the road and from there it is about a fifteen to twenty minute walk to the spring, although before that you will reach the streams.
EXCURSIONS AND TOURS TO THE BLUE EYE
Guided tours to the Blue Eye are available from Sarande. Book the tour in advance: