Syri i kaltër, Albania – Dive into the Blue Eye!


If you’re in Albania, don’t miss out diving into the ice-cold Blue Eye – a dive to remember!

Syri i kaltër

Why should I go to the Blue Eye?

Only a 20min drive from Sarande on the Albanian Riviera, Syri i kaltër (also known as Blue Eye) is a stunning turquoise karst hole water spring where its freezing water is equivalent to its beauty. Cannot leave this paradise without taking a dive (check the video at the end of the post) but be careful, it’s more than 50m deep!

How do I get there?

There are regular buses from Sarande going to Girakaster. The Blue Eye is just 22km from Sarande so tell the driver to leave you at the entrance. From there, you need to walk around 2km to the spring itself. On the way back try hitch-hiking, a practice quite popular in Albania.

Where do I sleep overnight?

Go to Sarande, you’ll have a wide range of options and you can plan your way to Butrint (an UNESCO World Heritage Site) or to the village resort of Ksamil on the Albanian Riviera. We stayed at the Sunny Side Up Hostel, which at that time had just opened (2014). Guys there are great, the hostel is new, spacious and tidy and the price is very good. Plus they have a balcony with a great view, a comfortable living room and they prepare a tasty breakfast.

Where do I eat & drink?

There is a bar/terrace/restaurant right next to the spring but you might just bring a packed lunch with you and have your breakfast/dinner in Sarande, in one of the restaurants at the boardwalk (they are inexpensive and they serve decent food).

What we liked//What we didn’t like

(+) the karst hole is amazing, the water is crystal clear and cold as ice – visually impressive!

(+) we could just jump in and dive (well actually just jump in and pretend diving as the water is too cold)

(+) from the entrance you need to walk some 2km to get to the spring, but the view is quite nice and it’s worth doing it

(-) quite a lot of tourists and the core attraction is quite small (maybe 100 sq m)

Where do I go next? 

Make sure you don’t miss Ksamil or, if you had enough of the Albanian Riviera head inland to two of Albania’s gems: Berat (we covered it here) and Osum Canyon (read more here).

The spring making its way downstream
The spring making its way downstream
Panoramic view of the road from the entrance to the karst hole
Panoramic view of the road from the entrance to the karst hole
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