Top 10 beaches in Albania

Albania was pretty much the last bastion of communism in Eastern Europe and until very recently not even considered as a holiday destination. As such it is one of Europe's last frontiers of tourism with plenty of opportunity to discover unspoiled and relatively undeveloped beaches along its rugged Ionian coastline.

Sitting just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and bordering Greece to the south Albania doesn't disappoint in terms of natural beauty and a rich history. It offers much of what other Mediterranean destinations do yet at a fraction of the price. Admittedly it can be a little rough around the edges but this is a small price to pay to enjoy such beauty without the crowds of mainstream tourism.

The stretch of coast along the southern part of the country is particularly worthy of interest to beach-lovers. The Albanian Riviera (or Bregu as it is known locally) is home to any number of beaches to rival those of the Greek islands. Crystal clear turquoise water and near white fine pebble beaches are the norm here. All backed by olive lined slopes and mountains beyond.

However, things are changing in Albania. Whilst there are still plenty of pockets of undeveloped coast, the Riviera has become something of an investment hotspot and a number of beaches have lost some of their pristine charm. That said it will be a very long time before every little idyllic coastal village and hidden bay have fallen prey to development.

  • Gjipe Beach // Albanian Riviera

    Gjipe Beach - Albania Ross Helen

    Gjipe beach is set along the same stretch of the Albanian coast as some of the other most popular, highly rated beaches on the Riviera. Located between the resort beaches of Drymades and Himara the beach at Gjipe has barely been touched by development.Obscured by the mountainous terrain, the beach here sits at the end of the Gjipe Canyon, an... read more »

  • Grama Bay // Albanian Riviera

    Grama Bay - Albania Silva.arapi / CC BY

    Situated on Albania's Ionian Sea coast Grama Bay is a small but beautiful cove almost surrounded by high, rocky cliffs. This semi-secret little beach is one of the real gems of the Albanian coast and as of yet completely untouched or spoiled by mass tourism. If you do make it here you won't be disappointed; the crystal clear azure water... read more »

  • Dhërmi Beach // Albanian Riviera

    Dhermi beach - Albania Linda Saitos

    Dhërmi beach is often cited as the finest beach in Albania - hard to argue with this when this is where Albaninian prime ministers allegedly come to holiday! It isn't hard to see why. Set in a small bay, the village clings to the high sloping cliffs which rise up from the beach.The beach here is everything you would expect from the Ionian... read more »

  • Ksamil Beach // Albanian Riviera

    Ksamil Beach - Albania

    You will often hear the beaches of Albania's Riviera coast compared to the Ionian islands of Greece, and for obvious reasons. Ksamil is located just across the border from Greece and within a stone's throw of the beach-lovers paradise of Corfu.

  • Borsh Beach // Albanian Riviera

    Borsh Beach Joergsam / CC BY

    Situated on the southern end of Albania's Riviera coast is the impressively long stretch of Borsh beach. There are around 7 kilometres of fine white pebbles facing into the turquoise-blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

  • Jalë Beach // Albanian Riviera

    Jale Beach - Albania

    Call it Jale, Jali or Jala - whichever you choose - this certainly was one of the finest little beaches along the Riviera coast. The water here is crystal clear with a vivid azure hue. In fact it is said that this is some of the clearset water on the coast owing to the bay's currents which makes it perfect for a spot of snorkelling or diving.... read more »