To the islands of Ksamil, Albania


A beach hideout just opposite its bigger, more famous Greek brother Corfu, Ksamil is a place for locals, backpackers and adventure seekers. If you think of checking on the Albanian Riviera, think Ksamil!

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Why should I go to Ksamil?

Ksamil is one of the main beach resorts in Albania’s Ionian Coast, which according to Rough Guides is #3 attraction not to be missed while visiting the country. Why Ksamil in particular? You can swim to some three fantastic islands located very close to the shore! The village is quite packed with tourists, however, you’ll surely find some spot for yourself and what’s better, you can take control of one of the islands as well. If you’re a late afternoon person, you’ll find that after 5-6pm the whole beach is yours. Ksamil is also just opposite to the Greek island of Corfu so…why not?

How do I get there?

From Sarande there are regular buses/minibuses taking you from the centre to Ksamil. It’s only 14km between the two places and it takes around half hour to reach Ksamil. Once you know where you’ll stay, tell the driver where you want to stop – they can stop for you anywhere.

Where do I sleep overnight?

There are plenty of camping sites, hostels and hotels in Ksamil. We pitched our tent in Ksamil Karavan Camping for very cheap and we were extremely happy about the choice. The camping ground is 15-20min walk from the main beach in Ksamil but the place had great facilities and an amazing English-speaking host ready to help you with everything. They are actually part of a network of caravan camping sites so chances are if you’re going further in Albanian territory, they might be able to recommend a good next place to sleep over. They also have rooms to rent and everything is extremely clean and tidy.

Where do I eat & drink?

Ksamil is extremely touristic. You will find plenty of places to eat and drink – just bear in mind those places around the main beach are quite expensive. Try a terrace which is at least 5-7 minutes from the main human crowd, you’ll be amazed. For a good and cheap pizza, try Restaurant Pizza Malasi.

What did we like/what we didn’t like

(+) the beach and views were nice

(+) islands within swimming distance!

(-) beaches very crowded during the day

(-) it can be very pricy around the “central beach”

Where do I go next?

The region has a lot to offer. We were in Sarande, which is a nice riviera town for a day. You can try to go explore the ruins of Butrint or do what we did: take a dive into the ice cold Blue Eye spring!

Ksamil shore after sunset - this is the time when the beach is all yours
Ksamil shore after sunset – this is the time when the beach is all yours
One of the 3 islands guarding Ksamil
One of the 3 islands guarding Ksamil
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