Posts Tagged ‘Himara’

The southern beaches in Albania are hyperbolically amazing. I really don’t know how to describe them adequately, and my photos just can’t do justice to them. Of course I have seen crystal blue sea water and mountains together in one spot before, but everything is just a bit more here. The mountains are higher and more majestic, the sea is brighter turquoise while remaining completely clear. I’ve been to beaches Croatia and Turkey this summer, and all I can say is Albania’s southern beaches were more spectacular.

At the top of the Llogora Pass

Dhermi Beach

Palais Beach

The drive through the Llogora Pass is pretty hair-raising and not for the faint of heart. I had the great pleasure (or misfortune, I’m not sure which) of riding up and down the mountain 4 times. The views from the heights are pretty marvelous, and you can see all the way out to Corfu, a Greek Isle near Saranda at the very southern edge of Albania. The first village after you reach the bottom of the mountain is Palaisa beach, where Julius Caesar landed with quite a few legions during his war with Pompey in 49 or 48 B.C.E., depending on which source you find. Next is Dhermi, which has very nice beaches, and then a windy drive of about 30 minutes through more mountains will take you to Himara. There are lots of spots on the side of the road where a beekeeper sits under an umbrella selling honey (which was so tempting, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to take it home), and the drive often also takes you past many beehives right by the side of the road. You also will notice many Orthodox churches and roadside shrines in this area, and unlike in Tirana, you will usually find that the older generation’s second language is Greek (instead of Italian). In fact, for many people in this part of Albania who are Greek, this is their first language, with Albanian actually being their second language. This was more or less irrelevant, since I speak neither Greek nor Italian!

The view from my hotel balcony in Himara--it was right over the water.

One more view of the epic Llogora Mountains. I wish my photos had all the depth of real life so they would accurately show just how massive these mountains are...


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