Ksamil, Albania: A Travel Guide to Your Perfect Trip

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.


Ksamil in Albania is a small paradise on the Albanian Riviera. This travel guide to Ksamil will help you find the best beaches and things to do!

That’s not Italy, and no, it’s not Greece either. It’s Ksamil, Albania!

Often overlooked by mainstream travel brochures, Ksamil is a great destination with everything you need for a perfect vacation…and you ditch the crowds that come with other tourist hotspots.

From stunning beaches to seaside restaurants to Roman ruins, this guide to visiting Ksamil, Albania, has all the best things to do and see on your trip.

So, let’s dive in.

An introduction to Ksamil in Albania

Have you ever dreamed of crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and breathtaking island views that make you think, “Is this even real?”

Well, Ksamil offers exactly that and more! This hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the Albanian Riviera, is the perfect destination for every beach lover, food aficionado, and adventure seeker. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Albania? Really?”

An Albanian flag flies in Butrint National Park

Trust me, it surprised me, too!

But Albania is one of those delightfully under-the-radar countries quietly hiding its Mediterranean splendor from the world.

And Ksamil? Well, you better get there before the crowds do. That’s all I’m sayin’.

With its natural beauty, captivating culture, and irresistible cuisine, Ksamil will make you rethink everything you knew about European beach destinations.

But you’ll see what I mean. For now, let’s dive into some specifics.

What to know before visiting Ksamil

Firstly, let’s talk money. 

The currency here is the Albanian lek (ALL). Credit cards are widely accepted in most places, but it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand for small purchases, tips, or places that don’t accept cards. 

If you’re a language enthusiast, you might be curious about the local tongue.

The official language is Albanian, but don’t fret if you’re not fluent (or even remotely versed) in it. Many locals speak English, Italian, and Greek, especially in the service industry. 

And, of course, we can’t forget about safety.

Ksamil is generally a very safe place to visit. However, it’s always smart to take precautions like anywhere in the world. Keep an eye on your belongings, don’t flash expensive items, and avoid deserted areas at night. 

Best time to visit Ksamil, Albania

Arguably, the best time to visit Ksamil is between June and September.

The Mediterranean climate of Ksamil offers warm, sunny days and cool nights during these months, ideal for beach fun and exploring the town. It’s perfect when you want to soak up the sun while lying on sandy beaches and taking occasional dips in the cool, turquoise sea.

An overlook of Ksamil

And who turns that down?

But even though summer is fantastic, it can get pretty crowded.

If you prefer serenity over the hustle and bustle, try visiting in the shoulder seasons; there’s nothing like Ksamil in May or October. The weather’s still pretty great, and you’ll have the beaches mostly to yourself. Win-win, right? 

And what about the off-season?

Ksamil’s winters are mild, but most beachside businesses close shop from November to April. So, unless you’re planning a quiet, solitary retreat, it’s probably best to stick to the warmer months.

As a personal preference, I enjoy visiting destinations on the shoulder months. Sure, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, but avoiding many crowds makes up for it, in my opinion.

It’s all about finding what suits your needs.

Getting to Ksamil, Albania

Traveling to Ksamil, especially for first-time visitors, can seem daunting.

But it’s not as difficult as it may seem. First, let’s talk about the options.

The way to reach Ksamil is by car, bus, or ferry. There are no direct flights to Ksamil. The closest airport is Corfu International Airport in Greece, where you can take a ferry from Corfu to Albania and then a bus or taxi to Ksamil.

Now, who said getting there wasn’t part of the adventure?

But if you’re like many people, you’ll probably spend at least one day in Tirana or nearby.

So here are some options:

  • By bus: Direct buses run from Tirana, Albania’s capital, to Saranda. Then, Saranda to Ksamil is just a 20-minute bus or taxi ride. The total journey time is around 5 hours. Not bad, right?
  • By car: If you’re into road trips, this is your chance! The drive from Tirana to Ksamil is scenic and stunning (especially if you take the coast). Wind in your hair, your favorite tunes, and stunning coastal landscapes? Sounds like a movie scene.
  • By ferry: From Corfu, Greece, ferries run daily to Saranda, then buses run regularly between Saranda and Ksamil. The ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours.

I think renting a car is the best way to get to Ksamil. You get the freedom of going at your own pace, and you can visit anywhere that’s a short drive from Ksamil.

You could also hire a taxi to drive you from Tirana to Ksamil but know that this would be VERY expensive. 

So I’d choose one of the above options first.

Things to do in Ksamil

1. Visit Butrint National Park 

Ever imagined yourself time-traveling back to the Bronze Age?

A visit to the ruins of Butrint can make that dream come true. (Okay, maybe not literally, but close enough!)

The ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just a stone’s throw away from Ksamil and is one of the best things to do during your visit. It has seen everything from a Bronze Age settlement to a Roman colony. And the best part? It’s right there, waiting for you to explore! 

Greek Ampitheatre in Butrint

Start your day at the Greek amphitheater, where you can almost hear the echoes of ancient thespians. Don’t forget to check out the Roman baths — talk about a spa day with a historical twist! You’ll also find a Byzantine basilica and a Venetian tower, each telling tales of the city’s rich and varied past.

Be sure to stop by the museum to check out some ancient artifacts recovered in the area.

Roman statues in Butrint

And as if the historical awesomeness wasn’t enough, the setting is just as magical.

Sandwiched between a tranquil lake and a verdant forest, Butrint could be the poster child for ‘natural beauty meets historical charm.’

So, don’t forget your camera, or you’ll risk missing out on some Instagram-worthy shots! 

2. Stroll around Ksamil Town 

The town of Ksamil is the perfect place for a slow stroll.

This quaint, picturesque village is a treat for every traveler looking for a taste of authentic Albanian life. 

Feeling hungry from your travels?

No worries, Ksamil Village is dotted with small family-run eateries serving sumptuous local dishes. Don’t miss out on trying the mouthwatering seafood caught fresh from the Ionian Sea. And yes, the village’s olive groves are as prolific as the rumors suggest. Olive oil here isn’t just a cooking staple. It’s a way of life.

Next, Stroll down the village’s main street, and you’ll find a variety of small shops selling locally produced goods. From handmade crafts and olive wood kitchen utensils to traditional Albanian clothing. You’re bound to find a unique souvenir or two. 

And let’s not forget the best part — the people!

Ksamil locals are known for their warmth and hospitality. Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a hearty “Mirëdita” (Good Day) as you walk around.

Just be sure to return the greeting!

3. Visit the Blue Eye

A visit to the Blue Eye should be on your bucket list.

A natural phenomenon, the Blue Eye is a freshwater spring that plunges into the heart of a densely forested landscape. Its name derives from its deep blue center that resembles an iris, surrounded by light blue hues of the spring, creating an image of a mesmerizing giant blue eye. 

You might wonder, “How deep is this thing?”

Well, that’s part of the mystery! The true depth of the Blue Eye remains unknown despite several divers having attempted to find the bottom. But don’t worry. You won’t need to dive to the unknown depths to enjoy this natural wonder. 

Surrounded by verdant forests, this location is perfect for a relaxing picnic.

It’s a bit of a journey from Ksamil, about an hour by car, but the sight that greets you is worth every moment spent on the road.

4. Stop by Corfu

Ever heard of the phrase, “two birds with one stone?”

In Ksamil, you have the perfect opportunity to do just that! Why confine yourself to one country when you can also visit the Greek island of Corfu?

It’s right across the Ionian Sea. You can even see it from Ksamil!

Did you know that Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? You can bask in its rich history, visit the Old Town with its well-preserved architecture, and explore the imposing Old Fortress. Oh, and let’s not forget the scenic beaches, laid-back tavernas, and a vibrant nightlife scene, too! 

The best part? Frequent ferries between Saranda, Albania, and Corfu make your island-hopping adventure a breeze. Travel times can be as short as 30 minutes!

Now, who said international travel had to be a hassle? 

Just don’t forget your passport!

5. Explore the four Ksamil Islands 

Are you even a true beach bum if you don’t visit the Ksamil Islands?

And who turns down the islands of Ksamil playfully scattered off the coast of Ksamil, pulling you in with their unspoiled nature and crystal-clear waters? 

You might wonder, “But how do I get there?”

You can swim to the nearest island or catch a boat ride to the farther ones. Either way, it’s an adventure in the making! 

Each island is a pearl in its own right. The lush green vegetation, the pristine sandy beaches, the azure blue waters… It’s like walking into a postcard! Perfect for sunbathing, swimming, or just chilling with a good book.

Or, if you’re a fan of snorkeling, you’re in for a treat.

The surrounding waters are brimming with vibrant marine life. Dive in and check out the local marine life for a fun afternoon.

And remember, these are uninhabited islands. So, pack your beach essentials, snacks, and plenty of water. And don’t forget to take your trash back with you.

We want to keep this place as immaculate as we found it.

Exploring the beaches of Ksamil, Albania

Bet you didn’t know this was one of the best beach destinations in Europe, did you?

Southern Albania is known for its beautiful beaches. And Ksamil is no different. So choosing the best beach in Ksamil is almost impossible.

And I won’t try.

Instead, here are some of the most beautiful Ksamil beaches.

1. Ksamil Beach

Ksamil Beach is the star of the show, the diamond in the rough, and the main beach in Ksamil!

Just imagine sinking your toes into pristine, powder-soft sand while gazing out at the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Sounds nice, right?

What’s great about this beach is its perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Photo: Matthew Cann

Fancy a lazy day sunbathing on the beach? Go for it. Want to add a bit of thrill to your day? There are plenty of water sports to try out. From paddle boarding to jet skiing, it’s all right there. 

The beach is also dotted with several charming bars and restaurants.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing cocktail or craving some delicious seafood, you’re covered! And let’s not forget about the stunning view of the three Ksamil Islands that you can enjoy right from the beach.

Now, that’s a beach with benefits! 

Despite its popularity, Ksamil Beach has plenty of room for everyone to enjoy their piece of paradise. So you won’t typically feel too crowded on a visit.

2. Monastery Beach

Monastery Beach is a beauty waiting to be discovered, tucked away from the bustling tourist hotspots. 

Named after the Monastery of Saint George, it’s one of Ksamil’s best-kept secrets. The beach is smaller than others, but it’s beautifully framed by cliffs and lush greenery, creating a secluded and intimate atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to unwind and breathe in the crisp Albanian air.

And let’s not forget the water! You might forget you’re not in a swimming pool. Make sure to pack your snorkeling gear. The underwater world here is just as captivating as the scenery above. 

Also, Monastery Beach offers some great picnic spots. Why not pack a lunch and enjoy a serene picnic by the water’s edge? Just remember to pack out what you pack in!

3. Paradise Beach

This spot earns its name with a tantalizing combo of crystal clear water, fine white sand, and an uncrowded atmosphere.

Noticing a theme here?

The water here is shallow, perfect for families with little ones. Your kids can have a great time building sandcastles while you work on that tan. And let’s not forget the spectacular views of the Ksamil Islands! Don’t stare too long, or you’ll ruin your trip with a sunburn.

And guess what? There’s more to this beach than just sunbathing and swimming. You’ll find a range of water sports to keep your adrenaline pumping! Or how about a boat ride to the nearby islands?

Eating out is a breeze, with several beach bars and restaurants nearby.

Fresh seafood, cool cocktails, and mesmerizing sunset views — life doesn’t get much better! 

So pack your beach bag, apply sunscreen, and get ready for a memorable day at Paradise Beach.

4. Mirror Beach

Mirror Beach’s clear and calm water mirrors the surrounding cliffs and sky, and that’s why it’s one of the best beaches Ksamil has.

So much so that you’ll pinch yourself to check if you’re still in reality or have somehow slipped into a dream.

Mirror Beach

It’s a bit off the beaten path, making it the perfect hideaway for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy peace and tranquility. How about a romantic picnic with your special someone or a serene solo trip with a good book?

But don’t forget your snorkeling gear! The crystal-clear waters are ideal for spotting some colorful underwater life. 

And here’s a little secret: this beach offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in Ksamil.

So why not end your day with a splash in the sea while the sky puts on a show for you?

5. Puerto Rico Beach

Don’t let the name fool you.

You’re still in the heart of the Albanian Riviera but with a twist. 

This beach is far less crowded than the main Ksamil Beach, giving you plenty of space to spread your towel, kick back, and soak up that glorious Albanian sun. And the water here? Crystal clear, as always, inviting you in for a refreshing dip. 

You can also enjoy stunning views of the nearby islands while you’re there!

But let’s not forget about the beach bars that dot the shoreline, waiting to serve you delicious, ice-cold drinks. After all, what’s a beach day without a refreshing mojito in hand? 

It may not be in Puerto Rico, but you’ll feel like it.

6. Pema e Thate Beach

Hidden away from the usual touristic hustle and bustle, this beach is perfect for relaxing.

And that’s because it’s the only private beach on this list.

Its name translates to “Dry Stone,” but don’t let that fool you. Pema e Thate Beach is anything but dry regarding its natural charm! 

Pema e Thate Beach

Surrounded by beautiful rocky cliffs and blessed with crystal clear waters, this beach is a paradise for adventurous souls. And you know what’s the best part? It’s often quieter than the more popular beaches in Ksamil. So, if you fancy having a whole beach, Pema e Thate might just be your place! 

Snorkeling here is a must-do!

With its clear waters and fascinating marine life, you’ll feel like you’ve plunged into a different world. And hey, why not bring a picnic too? It’s the perfect spot for a seaside lunch with a peaceful ambiance and stunning views. You can also buy drinks from the beach bar and rent a chair.

Remember, though, that this beach is harder to reach than others.

But did you think it would be easy to reach one of the best Ksamil beaches?

Located slightly further from the main cluster, Lori Beach is an escape amidst your jam-packed vacation.

The crystal-clear waters here are as inviting as ever, and the natural setting, with minimal commercial distractions, lets the raw beauty of Ksamil shine through. A day at Lori Beach is like a fresh breath in the middle of a marathon — recharging and rejuvenating! 

And let’s not forget about the stunning sunsets this beach offers.

Lori Beach has some incredible sunsets you won’t want to miss.

Best hotels in Ksamil

Where to stay in Ksamil, Albania

From cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts, here’s a run-through of the best hotels in Ksamil. 

Luxury Resorts 

If you’re willing to spend, Ksamil’s luxury resorts are ready to spoil you. From private beaches to rooms with breathtaking sea views, you’ll live the high life in no time! 

  • Poda Boutique Hotel: A top-notch luxury option in Ksamil where sophistication meets the sea.
  • Duka’s Hotel: If you’re looking for a mix of comfort, convenience, and luxury, look no further than Duka’s Hotel.
  • Hotel Olive: Nestled between lush green olive trees, boasts a panoramic view of the Ionian Sea, and each room comes with a private balcony!

Mid-Range Options 

Looking for comfort without breaking the bank? Ksamil’s got plenty of mid-range options that offer great value for money. How about that? 

  • Summer Point Hotel: The hotel has a private beach area, a restaurant serving lip-smacking delicacies, and rooms with gorgeous views.
  • Hotel Sunway: This is the perfect place to rest your weary head. It offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.

Budget Stays 

Traveling on a shoestring? Don’t sweat it! Ksamil’s budget accommodations are clean and comfortable and come with great hospitality.

  • Hotel Almar: It offers everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay, including air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a minibar.  
  • Vila Anxhelo: Less than a kilometer from the pristine Ksamil Beach, this villa offers apartments with a fully equipped kitchen and private balconies with stunning views.

Where to eat in Ksamil, Albania

What are the best restaurants in Ksamil?

The culinary scene in Ksamil is a delightful mix of traditional Albanian fare and Mediterranean cuisine. Think fresh seafood, juicy fruits, and aromatic herbs.

Sounds tempting, right? 

  • Bar Restaurant Vila: Traditional Albanian cuisine fills this menu. You can enjoy it in large quantities as well as the beautiful view. The Ksamil coastline stretches before you, providing an excellent backdrop for your meal.
  • Mussel House: Want all the mussels you can eat with a gorgeous view over the lake? Mussel House is well-known for its delicious seafood and catches all of it locally, so you know it’s fresh. I think it’s one of the best places to eat in Ksamil.
  • Taverna No Name: Mediterranean dishes of all types are available here. You can’t go wrong with a cozy vibe, delicious food, and friendly staff.
  • GuvatThis restaurant, perched right on the sea’s edge, offers stunning views as scrumptious as the food. The grilled octopus is a must-try.
  • Restaurant Poda: This family-run establishment thrives on delivering hearty Albanian dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss out on their seafood pasta.

Ksamil, Albania frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is Ksamil in Albania worth visiting?

Yes, Ksamil in Albania is worth visiting!

Nestled in the heart of the Albanian Riviera, Ksamil is still an off-the-radar destination. With its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and mouthwatering local cuisine, it’s a destination sure to have you wanting more.

What sea is Ksamil on?

Ksamil is on the Ionian Sea.

Bordered by Greece to the South, Italy to the West, and Albania to the East, this sea is known for its crystal-clear, blue-green waters that will have you swimming for hours.

And the best part? You don’t have to share it with the masses, making it a perfect getaway.

What is the weather like in Ksamil, Albania?

Ksamil, Albania, enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.

From June to August, the summer months see average high temperatures of 28 to 31 degrees Celsius (82 to 88 Fahrenheit). That’s hot enough to get your beach tan on but not so hot that you’ll melt into your gelato! There’s plenty of sunshine, too, just waiting to light up your Instagram-worthy holiday snaps. 

Come winter, from December to February, the mercury drops to a more comfortable range of 9 to 15 degrees Celsius (48 to 59 Fahrenheit). It’s not exactly bikini weather, but it’s still perfect for a refreshing coastal walk. The cooler temperatures make it a great time to explore Ksamil’s historic sites without the crowds.

You’re all set with this Ksamil guide

And there you have it, folks! The ultimate guide to Ksamil, Albania.

With this Ksamil travel guide, you’re set to embark on an unforgettable journey of sun-soaked beaches, breathtaking ancient ruins, mouth-watering cuisine, and exhilarating water sports. 

And remember, whether you’re a seasoned traveler seeking out the next hidden spot or a first-time adventurer eager to dip your toes into something new and exciting, Ksamil is just the ticket. This charming coastal town, with its blend of rich history, diverse landscapes, and friendly locals, is sure to steal your heart and leave you yearning for more. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get packing and book that ticket to visit Albania!

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.