Vlorë to Sarandë

Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 21:00

We had another easy day today as we did some scenic driving further down the Adriatic coastline of Albania to Sarandë. This ended up taking nearly 3 hours to do just 68 miles, but that was because the entire route was around and over the extremely mountainous coastline.

Not long after leaving our hotel from last night, we started the Llogara Pass over the Ceraunian Mountains. This was a drive I had read a lot about before the trip and comes up in any travel guide about Albania as a must-do. It certainly did not disappoint, with the initial stretch through a valley with mountains all around followed by winding roads to the top, a viewpoint which felt surprisingly high up, and then a steep set of chicanes down the other side back to sea level at Dhermi. The last part on the chicanes certainly wasn't for the fainthearted, but it was a fantastic drive overall.

Once at Dhermi we stopped for lunch at a beach club to rest up, charge the car, and take a dip in the crystal-clear sea. Dhermi itself is a picturesque village in the mountains, reminiscent of something from the south of Italy, but they are also developing a stretch of the nearby coastline with lots of construction going on (a common theme in Albania), and a few 5 star resorts already finished. After lunch we got back in the car and finished the drive down to Sarande. The route took us around a number of mountains and we didn't see a single stretch of straight road for the full two hours of the drive - Melisa was feeling rather queasy by the end unfortunately.

In the evening we had a walk around Sarande and dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Adriatic. Sarande is a very densely populated city right on the edge of the mountains. It reminds us a bit of Malta, being the kind of place which really wasn't designed with cars in mind; there is traffic everywhere on the winding roads, and cars parked (and awkwardly double parked) along every stretch of road and pavement. Despite this, it has a great holiday vibe, and there are beautiful views out over the Adriatic, with the Greek island of Corfu so close, you can almost make out houses in the distance. Funny to think just a few miles away they are part of the EU and full of British tourists with multiple flights landing daily, while no one seems to have caught on about Albania yet.

Tomorrow we are heading to the Unesco village of Djirokaster.

Aside: we've seen cars from all over Europe here in Albania, but strangely we hadn't seen any cars from Greece until today. I was surprised by this since they are so close by!

Electric Vehicle EV Notes: 

We stopped for a top-up over lunch at the E-mobility charger at the Hotel Splendor in Dhermi.
- Located in the hotel underground car park on the right side as you drive in. Need to get RFID card at reception and pay 500Lek flat rate, with no time or KW limit on how much you charge.

Miles Driven: 
Apartments Romario


Whatch out for Clarkson. Sounds like his kind of drive

Those mountain roads sound like fun.

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