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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Sarandë with other popular and interesting places of Albania, for example: Durrës, Sarandë, Tirana, Himarë, Vlorë, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Sarandë
In order to book an accommodation in Sarandë enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Sarandë hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Sarandë map to estimate the distance from the main Sarandë attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Sarandë hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Sarandë is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Sarandë is waiting for you!
Hotels of Sarandë
A hotel in Sarandë is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Sarandë hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Sarandë are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Sarandë hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Sarandë hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Sarandë have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Sarandë
An upscale full service hotel facility in Sarandë that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Sarandë hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Sarandë
Full service Sarandë hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Sarandë
Boutique hotels of Sarandë are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Sarandë boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Sarandë may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Sarandë
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Sarandë travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Sarandë focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Sarandë
Small to medium-sized Sarandë hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Sarandë traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Sarandë hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Sarandë
A bed and breakfast in Sarandë is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Sarandë bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Sarandë B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Sarandë
Sarandë hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Sarandë hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Sarandë
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Sarandë hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Sarandë lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Sarandë
Sarandë timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Sarandë often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Sarandë on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Sarandë
A Sarandë motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Sarandë for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Sarandë motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Saranda or Sarandë (Greek: Άγιοι Σαράντα, Agioi Saranda, Italian: Santiquaranta) is a coastal town in Vlorë County, southern of Albania. Geographically, it is situated on an open sea gulf of the Ionian Sea in the central Mediterranean, about 14 km (8.7 mi) east of the north end of the Greek island of Corfu. Saranda typically has over 300 sunny days a year.
The city is known for its blue deep waters of the Mediterranean. Near Sarandë are the remains of the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In recent years, Saranda has seen a steady increase in tourists, many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted both by the natural beauty of Saranda and its archaeological attractions. Sarandë has a Greek minority and is considered one of the two centers of the Greek community in Albania.
Saranda is from the name of the Byzantine monastery of the Agioi Saranda (Greek: Άγιοι Σαράντα), meaning the "Forty Saints" and honoring the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Under Turkish rule, this became Aya Sarandi and then Sarandoz. Owing to Venetian influence in the region, it often appeared under its Italian name Santi Quaranta on Western maps. This usage continued even after the establishment of the Principality of Albania, owing to the first Italian occupation of the region. During the second occupation in World War II, Benito Mussolini changed the name to Porto Edda, in honor of his eldest daughter. Following the restoration of Albanian independence, the city employed its Albanian name Saranda.
In antiquity the city was known by the ancient Greek name of Onchesmos or Anchiasmos and was inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. Onchesmos flourished as the port of the Chaonian capital Phoenice (modern-day Finiq).
The city was probably raided by the Ostrogoths in 551 AD, while during this period it became also the target of piratic raids by Gothic ships. In a medieval chronicle of 1191 the settlement appears to be abandoned, while its former medieval name (Anchiasmos) isn't mentioned any more. From that year, the toponym borrows the name of the nearby Orthodox basilica church of Agioi Saranta, erected in the 6th century, ca. 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of the modern town.
In 1878, a Greek rebellion broke out, with revolutionaries taking control of Sarandë and Delvinë. This was suppressed by the Ottoman troops, who burned twenty villages in the region.
Italian occupied Sarande in 1917
The town was included in the newly formed Albanian state in 1913 under the terms of the Protocol of Florence. It was occupied twice by Greece in 1913 and from 1914 to 1916, the second time by Greek insurgents from the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus. In May 1914, negotiations were started in Sarande between representative of the provisional government of Northern Epirus and that of Albania which continued in nearby Corfu and ended up with the recognition of the Northern Epirote autonomy inside the newly established Albanian state.
It was then occupied by Italy between 1916 and 1920 as part of the Italian Protectorate on southern Albania. Sarandë was again occupied by Italian forces in 1939 and was a strategic port during the Italian invasion of Greece. During this occupation, it was called "Porto Edda" in honor of the eldest daughter of Benito Mussolini.
During the Greco-Italian War, the city came under the control of the advancing Greek forces, on 6 December 1940. The capture of this strategic port further accelerated the Greek penetration to the north. As a result of the German invasion in Greece in April 1941, the town returned to Italian control. On 9 October 1944 the town was captured by a group of British commandos under Brigadier Tom Churchill and local partisans of LANÇ under Islam Radovicka. The involvement of the British troops was considered problematic by LANÇ as they considered that they would use the town as their base and install their allies from Greece in the area as British documents indicate that EDES forces also joined the operation. However, the British troops soon withdrew from the region, leaving the region to the Albanian communist forces.
The present municipality was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Ksamil and Sarandë, that became municipal units. The seat of the municipality is the town Sarandë.
The district of Saranda lies in the most southern extremity of Albania. It is bordered with Vlora to the north, Delvina and Gjirokastër to the east and with Greece to the south of Ionian Sea. Saranda is a place in the most southern part of Albania. It lies between the hills that descend and reach the Ionian Sea. The district of Saranda has a plain relief which is composed of southern seashore mountains that lie from Borsh to the bay of Ftelia, Vrina Fields and the hills of Saranda, Lëkurësi, Ksamil, Butrint and Konispol. All these units make up the southern part of the Albanian Riviera where the eye catches the countless bays, beaches, the rocky coastline, hills with olives and citrus, mountains that surround the landscape. Saranda is traversed by Kalasa, Bistrica and Pavlla rivers which flow in the Ionian Sea. In Saranda's hydrograph belongs even Butrinti Lake which is one of the biggest sea lakes in Albania. The Butrint Lake is very rich in sea species and in their waters now are being growing mussels. Its relief, geographical location and subtropical climate create favorable conditions for planting citrus trees and olives.
Sarandë has a typical Mediterranean climate and has over 300 sunny days a year. During the summer temperatures may rise as high as 30 degrees Celsius. However, a refreshing sea breeze constantly blows. Winters are mild and subzero temperatures are uncommon. The wettest months of the year are November and December. Summers are very dry.
Climate data for Sarande (1991–2010)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
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Average precipitation days
Source: METEOALB Weather Station
The total population is 20,227 (2011 census), in a total area of 58.96 km. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 17,233, however the population according to the civil offices is 41,173 (2013 estimate).
In 1912, right after the Albanian Declaration of Independence, the settlement had only 110 inhabitants. At the 1927 census, it had 810 inhabitants, but was not yet a town. In the 1930s, it had a good demographic development, and it is in this period that the first public buildings and the main roads were constructed.
In 1957, the city had 8,700 inhabitants and was made the center of a district. According to a survey by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, in 1990 Sarandë numbered 17,000 inhabitants, of whom 7,500 belonged to the Greek minority. The members of the Greek minority of the city, prior to the collapse of the socialist regime (1991), were deprived from their minority rights, since Sarande did not belong to the "minority areas". In fieldwork undertaken by Greek scholar Leonidas Kallivretakis in the area during 1992 noted that Saranda’s mixed ethno-linguistic composition (total population in 1992: 17.555) consisted of 8055 Muslim Albanians, 6500 Greeks and an Orthodox Albanian population of 3000. In the early 1990s, the local Orthodox Albanian population mainly voted for political parties of the Greek minority based in the Saranda area.
At present, the population of Sarandë has nearly doubled. According to official estimation in 2013, the population of the city is 41,173. According to a survey conducted by the Albanian Committee of Helsinki, in 2001, the Albanian population numbered about 26,500, while Greeks formed the rest with about 3,400 alongside a small number of Vlachs and Roma. The city, according to the Albanian Committee of Helsinki, has lost more than half of its ethnic Greeks from 1991 to 2001, because of heavy emigration to Greece. Sarandë is considered one of the two centers of the Greek minority in Albania, Gjirokastër being the other. According to Human Rights Watch, the Greek community is large enough to warrant a Greek school, according to the local state legislation about minorities, but one still does not exist. According to the representatives of the Greek minority, 42% of the town's population belong to the local Greek community.
See also: Economy of Albania and Transport in Albania
Holland America Eurodam ship in Sarandë
The Star Breeze Cruise ship in the Port of Sarandë
Given its coastal access and Mediterranean climate, Sarandë has become an important tourist attraction since the fall of communism in Albania. Saranda as well as the rest of the Albanian Riviera, according to The Guardian, "is set to become the new undiscovered gem of the overcrowded Med." Tourism is thus the major economic resource, while other resources include services, fisheries and construction. The unemployment rate according to the population census of 2008 was 8.32%. It has been suggested that family tourism and seasonal work during the summer period help mitigate the real unemployment rate. Recently, the town has experienced an uncontrolled construction boom which may hamper the city's future tourism potential. Since 2012, the Port of Saranda is undergoing an expansion to accommodate cruise ships at its terminal.
See also: Tourism in Albania, Albanian Riviera, Butrint, and Ksamil
Tourism is the main driver of the economy of Sarandë. It is a significant tourist destination on the Ionian Sea, and by far one of the most popular destination in Albania.
It's a prosperous region with varied attractions, plants and mountains, rivers and lakes, springs and virgin beaches, citrus plantations, olive groves and vineyards, pastures and woods, fish and shellfish farming, desirable hunting places. In short, the right place for the development of tourism. Saranda's stony beaches are quite decent and there are plenty of sights in and around town, including the mesmerising ancient archaeological site of Butrint and the hypnotic Blue Eye Spring. Between Saranda and Butrint, the lovely beaches and islands of Ksamil are perfect for a dip after a day of exploring.
The Blue Eye Spring
The view over the city and the Port of Sarandë
Promenade with the beach
Sarandë: Notable people
Further information: Category:People from Sarandë
Italian singers Albano and Romina Power dedicated a song to Saranda entitled Saranda Okinawa.
Sarandë: International relations
Sarandë is twinned with:
Suva Reka, Kosovo
Sarandë: See also
Port of Sarande
Tourism in Albania
Pettifer, James. The Greek Minority in Albania – In the Aftermath of Communism. Conflict Studies Research Center, July 2001 Buy book ISBN 1-903584-35-3 – p. 12, "The concentration of ethnic Greeks in and around centres of Hellenism such as Saranda and Gjirokastra could guarantee their election there, but nowhere else in the country is success for an Omonia-based candidate possible."
E.g., Walker, J. & C. "Turkey II: Containing the Northern Part of Greece." Published 1 November 1829 by Baldwin & Cradock, 47 Paternoster Row, London. (London: Chapman & Hall, 1844). Accessed 24 Aug 2011.
Murzaku, Ines Angeli (2009). Returning Home to Rome – The Basilian Monks of Grottaferrata in Albania. Analekta Kryptoferris. p. 220. ISBN 978-88-89345-04-7. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
Pearson, Owen (2004). Albania and King Zog: independence, republic and monarchy 1908–1939. I.B.Tauris. p. 470. ISBN 978-1-84511-013-0. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
Hammond, N.G.L. Philip of Macedon. London, UK: Duckworth, 1994. "Epirus was a land of milk and animal products...The social unit was a small tribe, consisting of several nomadic or semi-nomadic groups, and these tribes, of which more than seventy names are known, coalesced into large tribal coalitions, three in number: Thesprotians, Molossians and Chaonians...We know from the discovery of inscriptions that these tribes were speaking the Greek language (in a West-Greek dialect)."
Talbert, Richard J.A. and Bagnall, Roger S. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, 2000, p. 815. "harbor, cape or town in Epirus between Onchesmos and Bouthroton."
Eidinow, Esther. Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks. Oxford University Press, 2007. Buy book ISBN 0-19-927778-8 "Onchesmos was the principal port of Phoinike, the capital of Chaonia,..."
Kondis, Basil (1976). Greece and Albania: 1908–1914. Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies, New York University. Zographos and Karapanos met at Santi Quaranda with the Commission but upon the request of Zographos the final negotiations took place in the island of Corfu... Protocol of Corfu
Edith Pierpont Stickney. Southern Albania or northern Epirus in European international affairs, 1912–1923 Stanford University Press, 1926.
Carr, John (2013). The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940–1941. Pen and Sword. pp. 78–79. ISBN 9781473828308. This made the Greek war effort immeasurably easier ... overland route.
Sarande Municipality. "Historiku i Qytetit" (in Albanian). Retrieved 28 July 2010.
Council of Europe. "Report Submitted by Albania" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2010. According to a survey held last year by the Albanian Helsinki Committee, until 1990, the city of Saranda had about 17 thousand inhabitants, with nearly 7,500 of them belonging to Greek national minority.
Paik, Charles M. Vance, Yongsun (2006). Managing a global workforce challenges and opportunities in international human resource management. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe. p. 682. ISBN 9780765620163.
Kallivretakis, Leonidas (1995). "Η ελληνική κοινότητα της Αλβανίας υπό το πρίσμα της ιστορικής γεωγραφίας και δημογραφίας [The Greek Community of Albania in terms of historical geography and demography." In Nikolakopoulos, Ilias, Kouloubis Theodoros A. & Thanos M. Veremis (eds). Ο Ελληνισμός της Αλβανίας [The Greeks of Albania]. University of Athens. p. 34. "Στα πλαίσια της επιτόπιας έρευνας που πραγματοποιήσαμε στην Αλβανία (Νοέμβριος-Δεκέμβριος 1992), μελετήσαμε το ζήτημα των εθνοπολιτισμικών ομάδων, όπως αυτές συνειδητοποιούνται σήμερα επί τόπου. [As part of the fieldwork we held in Albania (November–December 1992), we studied the issue of ethnocultural groups, as they are realized today on the spot.] "; pp. 42–43. "Οι πιθανοί συνδυασμοί αναδεικνύουν την κομβική θέση των Αλβανών Χριστίανών, γεγονός που έχει γίνει αντιληπτό από μερίδα της μειονοτικής ηγεσίας. [Οι πιθανοί συνδυασμοί αναδεικνύουν την κομβική θέση των Αλβανών Χριστίανών, γεγονός που έχει γίνει αντιληπτό από μερίδα της μειονοτικής ηγεσίας.]"; p. 43. "Το ίδιο ισχύει και στην περίπτωση των Αγίων Σαράντα, αν και ο Δήμος πέρασε στα χέρια της μειονότητας, χάρις στις ψήφους των Αλβανών Χριστιανών. [The same applies in the case of Saranda, though the municipality passed into the hands of the minority, thanks to the votes of Albanian Christians.]"; p. 51. "Ε Έλληνες, ΑΧ Αλβανοί Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί, AM Αλβανοί Μουσουλμάνοι, Μ Μικτός πληθυσμός.... SARANDE ΣΑΡΑΧΤΙ (ΑΓ. ΣΑΡΑΝΤΑ) 17555 Μ(8055 AM + 6500 Ε + 3000 ΑΧ)."
Pettifer, James. The Greek Minority in Albania – In the Aftermath of Communism. Conflict Studies Research Center, July 2001 Buy book ISBN 1-903584-35-3 – p. 11, "In 1991, Greek shops were attacked in the coastal town of Saranda, home to a large minority population, and inter-ethnic relations throughout Albania worsened."
Human rights in post-communist Albania, Fred Abrahams, Human Rights Watch, p.119 "The town of Saranda has an ethnic Greek population large enough to warrant a school, but one still does not exist".
2009's hot new beach destination: Albania, www.guardian.co.uk