Sarande Cruise

Butrint Archaeological Site
Ali Pasha of Tepelenë Castle 
Villages on the Albanian coast

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A destination to be discovered

Sarandë, an Albanian tourist destination waiting to be discovered. An MSC Mediterranean Cruise will take you to a location sunny for the most part of the year, white beaches, crystal-clear water with a seabed abundant in ancient shipwrecks and guaranteed fun for young and old.

Your MSC Cruise will dock at the recently expanded port of Sarandë in the Ionian Sea. The city, with a glorious past testified by architectural beauties dating back to the ancient Greek and Arabic periods but also to the more recent Italian one, where for five years it took the name of Porto Edda, will be a welcoming and hospitable host.
An MSC Excursion will take you to the archaeological site of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, incorporated in the National Park of the same name. Here you can lose yourself in the Greek acropolis, still well preserved, and discover in the dense vegetation a little below a Greek theatre of the third century BC, public baths finely decorated with geometrical mosaics and a baptistery, dating back to the 6th century AD. Additionally, the remarkable Palazzo Tricorno used for a long time as a market.
The Ali Pasha Castle is one of the destinations of an MSC Excursion. A fortress with the characteristic equilateral triangle shape with three corner towers, which stands on a small peninsula surrounded by the sea. 
Built by Ali Pasha in 1818 to restrain the attacks of the Ottoman Empire and guard his treasures, it was later converted into a prison and then into a military site. 
Today it is a historical monument immersed in fabled surroundings.
You can't forget one thing about Albania: how the coast over the Ionian Sea is just mar-vellous. A succession of picturesque villages overlooks it, thus making the littoral around Sarandë something special. Another MSC Excursion will take you to Borsh, one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Albania. The country is also abounding with historical sights such as the Sopot Castle. Nearby stands Porto Palermo with its beautiful bay dominated by the fort, positioned in the open sea, surrounded by thick and wild Mediterranean scrub. The tour between these small villages, finally reaches Himarë, a blend of seaside relaxation and historical heritage. With a very ancient Greek spirit, the town offers a landscape of beautiful architecture, such as the Orthodox Church.

Must see places in Sarande

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    One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners
    One of the Mediterranean’s unspoiled corners

    Following decades of isolationist rule, Albania still doesn’t seem to fit into the grand continental jigsaw, with distinctly exotic notes emanating from its language, customs and cuisine.

    With its jumble of rugged mountains fringed by pristine curls of beach, Albania’s south is the most appealing part of the country. The interior route boasts the rewarding towns of Berat and Gjirokastra, each home to whole swathes of Ottoman buildings.
    Heading on down the Ionian Coast instead, you’ll find one of Europe’s few unspoilt sections of Mediterranean shore, a near-permanently sunny spot where the twin blues of sea and sky are ripped asunder by a ribbon of grey mountains – on a clear day you’ll be able to see Italy from the 1027m-high Llogaraja Pass.

    Staring straight at Corfu, and even within day-trip territory of the Greek island, sunny Sarande is perhaps Albania’s most appealing entry point, it’s a great place to kick back, stroll along the promenade and watch the sun set over cocktails. There are beaches in town, but better are those near the archaeological treasure-trove of Butrint, some 25km to the south.