Welcome to the Albanian coastal city of Vlorë. This was such a delightful find after our disappointment in the city of Durrës. Not that Durrës was awful, it is just a classic port city, enough said. We stayed a couple of nights in a lovely hotel run entirely by women. It is what you would expect. Clean, efficient, and a pleasure to stay in. In my eyes Vlorë benefits from the fact that the more popular coastal destination in Albania is 160km south of them. It feels a bit more authentic and much less intense than Sarandë. And it has a castle! Then again not many places in Albania don’t.
We headed south toward the city of Sarandë with high hopes. We had been told the coastal road and the Llogara Pass were absolutely breathtaking to drive through. Unfortunately our first day of crappy weather in Albania descended on us on our travel day.
We were initially booked into an apartment for 3 days in Sarandë. However, after poking around we felt it needed more time so we tacked on an extra couple of days.
One of the reasons we chose to extend our stay in Sarandë is that it has easy access to the Greek island of Corfu. We have never been to Corfu, so off we went on a day trip.
Corfu was fun, and for us was the equvailant of a shore day from a cruise ship. But when it was done I was glad to be heading back to Albania. There was a bunch more to investigate. One item on our list was to drive back to Llogara Pass on a clear day and check it out.
I am going to wrap things up here for part 2 of our journey in Albania. There is one more part coming which I’ll get done once we have crossed over into North Macedonia. Truly this country is amazing. There is no denying the challenges they face in catching up to the rest of the world after their forced isolation, but the words Hope and Promise come to mind.