I begin to tell you about Ksamil with a “practical” post for a family holiday in Albania. In fact, of all the destinations on the Albanian coast this is one of the most suitable for children, which is why we chose it, returning several times.
The goal is to give some useful information to those who want to organize a beach holiday in southern Albania. For this reason the post is organized as a mini guide of Ksamil , just click on the titles to read the paragraph of your interest.
- Where is it and how to get to Ksamil
- Ksamil hotels
- Useful information
- The sea of Ksamil
- The most beautiful beaches of Ksamil
- The most beautiful beaches near Ksamil
- What to see near Ksamil
- Where to eat in Ksamil
- Ksamil with children
How to get to Ksamil in Albania
Ksamil is located in southern Albania, right in front of the island of Corfu , and is one of the most famous places for those looking for a beach holiday in the Land of Eagles. Its name means “six miles” or the distance that separates this town from Corfu and has become famous for its small sandy beaches.
In reality, Ksamil was, until recently, a small fishing village, built near the Archaeological Park of Butrint . Almost unknown when compared to nearby and much more famous Saranda , one of the best known tourist destinations for those who choose to organize a holiday in Albania.
For some years, however, things have changed and the fame of the beauty of this seaside town and its “ three ishujt ”, three islets that are very close to the beach, has spread. Thus the fishing boats have made room for brand new hotels and the many “ dhoma plazhi ”, or the houses for rent on the sea of Ksamil, which every summer welcome many tourists, Albanians and foreigners.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE : Albania still has a poor health system, especially outside Tirana. For this reason, the Farnesina website recommends taking out travel insurance that also covers medical expenses. If you don’t already have one, we would like to point out ours which, in addition to being reliable, also offers a 10% discount to blog readers. Follow the link to make a free quote and see the costs .
Reaching Ksamil from Italy
To get to Ksamil directly you have several options:
- By ferry from Brindisi to Saranda (to check the costs of the ferries you can check this comparison portal )
- By ferry to Igoumenitsa in Greece and then by car
- By plane to Corfu and then by ferry / hydrofoil to Saranda (then by bus or private transfer to Ksamil)
If, on the other hand, you want to take the opportunity to make a traveling trip to Albania you could get to Vlora or Durres by ferry or to Tirana by plane. From there you can then reach Ksamil by going down the road that runs along the southern Albanian Riviera.
Where sleeping in Ksamil
We stayed at the Kosta Baci Apartment , at the beginning of Ksamil . We booked with booking: the reviews were excellent and truly deserved. It is a new building a few steps from the sea, divided into several apartments which are rented by the owners who also live nearby.
These Ksamil apartments are a comfortable and economical solution: our house was well furnished, clean, with two rooms and a beautiful terrace where to have lunch. The very kind owners: they even made the washing machine for us, since at a certain point we had no changes for the baby! The only flaw for me is the shower curtain which wasn’t there resulting in flooding of the bathroom but nothing unsurpassed. If you want you can have lunch or dinner with the owners, there is wifi that works and the daughter speaks English.
Useful information to go to Ksamil
In general, keep in mind that August is the busiest and most expensive month to go on holiday in Albania. Since Ksamil is one of the most beautiful places, make two and two and… If you can, don’t go this month.
In any case, even going to Ksamil in August allows you to find a wonderful sea and more advantageous prices than in Italy. But be prepared to have to get up early in the morning to find a front row seat on the beach and pay a little more for everything!
In this area you will find fewer people capable of speaking Italian than in the rest of Albania. Here they are in fact much closer to Greece so you will get by everywhere with Greek or… A little English ! 🙂
ADVICE : to visit Albania we advise you to get a good travel guide (or even more than one!). In circulation there are not many in Italian: this Albania guide is detailed with itineraries to follow and advice, this provides a lot of historical information and insights on culture while this is well done for the north and Tirana (but lacking for the south).
The sea of Ksamil
Before leaving I had read that Ksamil is today the most beautiful seaside resort in all of Albania , and I must say that this reputation is more than deserved. The sea is enchanting, with beaches of different types and sizes, all united by one thing: the beauty of their waters.
The beaches of Ksamil are so many , some are tiny coves of soft white sand, others are wider beaches of golden grains or white pebbles, but everywhere the sea is the same, with transparent water that takes on all shades from green to turquoise.
Below so I try to give you some suggestions to go to Ksamil based on our experience. Keep in mind, however, that if in general in Albania things change very quickly here, perhaps this change is even faster! This is because tourism has invested this location as a cyclone !
Where until a few years ago there were only centenary olive trees today there are hotels and restaurants, there are many houses under construction or waiting to be finished while the structures that this year have a “sea view” next year may not her anymore, because others have built even closer to the beach. So always check before you leave and get informed before choosing where to stay! 🙂
The most beautiful beaches of Ksamil
We start from the beaches of Ksamil which are one of the reasons for going to southern Albania. There are many beaches in Ksamil, I try to show you the ones we liked the most with some advice to go there with the children.
TO UNDERSTAND ALBANIA : Another tip to better understand the country prepare yourself for the trip by reading some books on Albania . If you are passionate about interesting history is ” History of the brave Albanian people “, a classic are the books of Kadarè , the most famous writer in the country (if you don’t know where to start, read ” The drums in the rain ” while a light reading under the umbrella is ” Albania in furgon ” travel book on Albania.
The beaches of Ksamil
A long walk starts from the beginning of the town and runs along the sea. There you will find. one after the other, many small beaches with clear water and you will be spoiled for choice.
Among the many beaches of Ksamil in the village I recommend the Beach of the Hotel Artur , right at the beginning of the promenade on the side of Saranda, which has sand and where the sea slopes gently. There is also enough space between the umbrellas, there are showers and toilets and even some games for the children. Continuing you will find many others, I advise you to choose based on the volume of the music and the space between the beds.
Bora Bora Beach
One of the best known beaches in Ksamil and therefore the most popular is Bora Bora Beach . Here too the sea is very beautiful, with the particularity that the islets are very close. The beach is quite large and on the left side there is a small area of free beach, from the pier the boats that lead to the islets leave.
Tre Ishujt Beach
Tre Ishujt beach is also one of the most beautiful beaches in Ksamil and therefore more crowded, so much so that every time we have been there we have had to insist to be able to find a place. Here the view of the islets is even more beautiful and one of the islets can be reached by swimming. In addition, the water remains calm even in the afternoon and is, as always, beautiful.
The beaches of the islands of Ksamil
With a few euros (more or less 12 € for a family of three) you can be taken by boat to one of the beaches of the islets of Ksamil . One is very close, you will see it from the shore and if you want you can also reach it by swimming or by pedal boat, we were taken to another one whose name I don’t remember a little further away.
There are some umbrellas to rent there (but not sunbeds) and the most beautiful sea in Ksamil. If you go there, however, remember to bring lunch because there are no bars on the islets and keep in mind that it is better to arrive early in the morning also because they become very crowded (at least in August).
If you want you can also rent a boat to go around all the islets of Ksamil and then choose the one you prefer to go there the next day!
The beaches of Ksamil outside the center
In addition to the beaches of Ksamil that you will find in the center there are many others not far away, which however require a car to reach them . Here are our favorites between Ksamil and Saranda:
- Fladeno Beach: It is a quiet beach with coarse gray sand and pebbles, just outside the center. It is in a deep inlet so the sea is quite calm even in the afternoon when we often find a bit of wind.
- Lori Beach: A quiet beach, with calm, shallow seas and well-spaced umbrellas. You can find it by following the road that leads to Pema and Thate.
- Pema and Thate : These are the beaches of Ksamil with children par excellence. These are two tiny, twin coves with only two rows of umbrellas. Although it is not in my opinion the most beautiful sea in Ksamil, the sand is soft and gray and the sea slopes very slowly. Get there early to get a seat!
- Gjiri the Hartes : Ksamil This is the first beach you come out in the direction of Saranda. It is reached by an asphalted road, the beach has gray sand and the sea slopes gently.
- Pulebardha: It is called the beach of the seagulls, it can be reached by a dirt road, following the sign on the road that connects Ksamil to Saranda. The beach is reached by going down a long staircase, the water is transparent and made of white stones. On the left there is a part of the free beach and the sunbeds are not too attached to each other.
- Pasqyrat : Immediately after the Beach of the Seagulls, coming from Ksamil in the direction of Saranda, another dirt road will take you to this sandy and pebble beach actually made up of two twin coves. The first is equipped with umbrellas, showers, toilets, changing cabins and a restaurant bar. The second instead is a beautiful free white sand beach accessible only by passing into the sea. If you go there, bring an umbrella and the necessary for lunch and, if you are with small children, use a life jacket because in the morning you will have to walk in the sea that reaches the belly of an adult.
- I Manastirit Beach: The “beach of the monastery” is another beach along the road to Saranda, also of white pebbles, very quiet and with a part of free beach on the left. Bring your rock shoes and keep in mind that the sea can be rough in the afternoon.
- Heaven Beach: This is actually a beach in Saranda but still close to Ksamil if you have a car. It is a very quiet cove and not at all crowded even in mid-August, with stones and rocks. There you will find a restaurant, bring your rock shoes and keep in mind that the water gets deep quickly.
When we were there, all the beaches were equipped and only some had a free beach area , an umbrella and two sunbeds, however, cost 500 lekh (more or less 3 euros). If you plan to go to the free beach, however, get an umbrella because the sun beats down hard and don’t forget your sunscreen!
What to see in Ksamil and surroundings
In addition to the beaches there are other things to see in and around Ksamil even if, in our experience, it is very difficult to break away from the sea! 😉 However, there are some unmissable trips if you spend a holiday in southern Albania, I try to show you some of those we did.
The Archaeological Park of Butrint
The first thing to see near Ksamil is definitely the Butrint Archaeological Park included in the UNESCO World Heritage List . If you love history Butrint is one of the most interesting sites in all of Albania, which among other things is located in a very suggestive setting, surrounded by the lagoon.
The park is open until sunset, so if you want you can go there even after spending the day at the beach, but in this case, remember to bring mosquito repellent. If you want to read our story about Butrint and see some pictures you can follow this link.
Blue Eye, the Blue Eye Source
Another very easy trip from Ksamil is the Blu Eye – Syri i Kalter in Albanian – a spring located inland , the depth of which is still dark which generates a very cold deep blue pool in which the most brave leap from a platform.
To reach it, follow the road to Gjirokaster and then turn left following the sign, you will go along a dirt road and you will have to pay a ticket to access the site. Once there you will find a parking lot, a couple of bars-restaurants and even some bungalows to spend the night.
Continuing beyond the Blue Eye, with a road between the mountains you will arrive at one of the most beautiful cities of southern Albania: Gjirokastra . This city, known in Italian as Argirocastra is also known as “the silver city” because it seems that after a storm its stone roofs shine like metal. This city is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage list and if you go there, be sure to visit the Castle with its museums. Following the link you will find our experience.
Very close to Ksamil, so much so that many prefer to sleep in the city and then go to the sea there, there is Saranda , the white city, one of the best known tourist destinations for holidays in Albania. In my opinion, a trip to the city is a must, perhaps in the evening, to enjoy the promenade, the stalls and a bit of social life.
However, keep in mind that the traffic in Saranda can be quite chaotic and that parking is not so easy. Following the link we have told better.
Ksamil is very close to the island of Corfu and from Saranda you can take a hydrofoil that in about half an hour will take you to Greece, for a day trip or, why not, for a few more days. Corfu is really very fascinating, full of things to see as well as beautiful beaches, I told about it with a separate post that you can read following the link.
If you go there, however, remember your identity card and euros! 🙂
Where to eat in Ksamil
In the village there are many restaurants of all kinds and according to our experience in Albania you eat very well almost everywhere and, if you wish, you can find pasta and risotto cooked to perfection … Like in Italy! Also because many chefs worked for a few years in Italy before returning to open their own restaurant in their homeland.
Every time we have been to Ksamil we have rented an apartment with a kitchen. This is because with the child in the evening we have almost always preferred to have dinner at home, while for lunch we often stopped at the beach. In fact, each beach in Ksamil has its own bar-restaurant where you can find everything , including fresh fish cooked in a delicious way (at a cost of 10/15 euros for 3 people).
If you want more information on typical Albanian dishes you can read a dedicated article by following the link.
Plan a holiday in Ksamil with children
If you intend to go to the sea in Ksamil with the children, put mask and fins in your suitcase and resign yourself to being able to pull your children out of the sea only when their fingers are curled up like dried plums! As soon as our son saw the sea he threw himself happy and every time the drama was the moment to go out!
Also remember that many beaches in Ksamil have light and soft sand but some, very beautiful but outside the town, have white stones, so if you have them, bring your shoes , you will certainly be more comfortable.
If you go to Ksamil with small children, don’t worry, the markets in the country sell many Italian products and at Conad you will find everything you need (even if Conad is the most expensive market!). If you are looking for some ideas to visit Saranda with children, given the proximity you will find everything in the post.
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