Stand Up Paddle along Ionian coastline.
8 days / 7 nights
Stand up Paddle is a 16ft-giant-inflatable board that can float up to 8 people. All you have to do is stand up, paddle and have a lot of fun! Perfect for team spirit, grab a group of friends and get ready for some big laughs! Paddle into the waves or explore our stunning coastline, caves and virgin beaches. No matter whether you are an experienced water person or a beginner, this guarantees great times and lasting memories.
“Mother Theresa” International airport - National Park of Llogara
You will be meeting our guides at “Mother Theresa” International airport. Afterwards we will be headed the southwards of Albania. Proceeding with our way there, we will visit the antique city of Apollonia, the largest in the Adriatic basin and the most mentioned among 30 other cities with the same name from ancient times. It was established around the beginning of the IV century BC. Apollonia’s ruins were discovered in the early nineteenth century. After this visit we will continue our journey to the National Park of Llogara, which was declared as such in 1966 by the Albanian government.
The accommodation and dinner will be reserved at a hotel restaurant inside the park.
Stand up Paddle itinerary: White Road beach - Drimadhes beach - Dhermi beach
Distance: 6,5 km
By using our vehicles, we drive down to “White Road” beach. Once arriving to the marvelous so - called “White Roads” beach, we will be admiring the breathtaking panorama of boundless crystal clear waters springing up the mountains and flowing into the sea. The delta of Palasa Stream is another natural attraction. It collects limestone and other mineral deposits picked up in the mountains. The delta as a whole appears white and is called the “Stream of White Roads”.
It is worth mentioning here the 15-minute introduction in order to become familiar with the correct use of Stand Up Paddle and the required equipment for this adventure. It is time to begin our exploring adventure towards wild bay once we have put on the vests.
Throughout this awesome adventure, we will be given the opportunity to be marveled at a variety of pebbled beaches with deep blue waters. One of them is Drimadhe beach where holiday-makers enjoy the peace and quiet this earthly paradise offers. Sitting on the shore is beyond description, feeling the touch of sea foamy waters you will certainly be lost in the endless sea and clear blue sky.
After having left Drimadhe beach we progress with our itinerary. Our next destination is the coastal village of Dhermi. The village lies 42 kilometers south of the city of Vlore and about the same distance north of the southern city of Sarande. The village is established on a rugged slope at approximately 200 meters above sea level. Considered as one of the oldest villages of the area, its characteristic buildings, of which ‘Tour’ style, are distinguished. For tourists who feel like they want to expand their cultural bacground St. Stefani’s church, St.Mary’s church and monstery landmarks are worth a visit.
Dhermi beach is one of the largest of the Ionian coastline. Alongside with the peace and quiet, crystal blue waters and vegetation in some parts, it can certainly be said that this beach is the perfect tourist destination for each type of holiday-maker.
Stand up Paddle itinerary: Dhermi - Dhermi Caves - Pirat Cave - Gjipe Canyon - Jala bay
Distance: 6,5 km
After leaving Dhermi, depending on your preference, on our way to Gjipe tiny beaches and caves will be visited. Finally, we arrive at the famous Pirates’ Cave. This cave,whose name derives from pirates who used to shelter in this hiding spot, is positioned in St. Todri’ s hill. At the cave’s entrance there is a rocky lump shaped in the form of a pillar, dividing it in two parts. The cave, approximately 30 m long, has significant historic and touristic values. The beach and canyon of Gjipe, which is otherwise called as “The Gods Garden” or it can certainly be nominated as one of the pearls of the Albanian coastline, is another destination of ours. The sandy beach of Gjipe is one of the most stunning ones which progresses further with a complete rocky coast. It is a great opportunity for adventure lovers to practice sports like rock climbing, stand up paddle, kayak or scuba diving. Albania Adventure has created over 70 rock climbing itineraries in the canyon of Gjipe, which are suitable for people living their first experience as well as professional climbers.
In the afternoon we will further continue with our Stand up Paddle adventure towards Jala Bay. Our first stop will be at the small village of Jala, one of the most beautiful and frequented one of the Ionian coastline.
Stand up Paddle itinerary: Jala bay - Aquarium beach - Livadh beach
Distance: 5 km
The next morning we leave Jala bay by Stand up Paddle to be headed to Aquarium beach. A tiny beach, which can be accessed only by sea or on foot. Here tourists enjoy the immense foamy sea which lies ahead as it is bordered by rocks on both sides and can only be seen by sailing or by being close to it. This isolated beach, not far from Jala beach, is not highly frequented.
We depart from Aquarium beach to be directed to Livadh beach. Livadh sandy beach extends nearly 1.2 km. Being a highly frequented beach you can relax at a hotel or at a campsite. Furthermore, Livadh beach offers a variety of bars, restaurants and hotels of which you can choose from.
Stand up Paddle itinerary: Llaman beach - Porto Palermo Peninsula
Distance: 7 km
In the very next morning we restart our adventure by driving nearly 20 minutes. We will drive through Himara town to arrive at Llaman beach. Himara is a strip of approximately 20 km long by 5 km wide, bordered by the 2000 metre high Llogara mountains to the northeast and the Ionian sea to the southwest. There are long white sandy beaches and the few hills close to the sea are terraced and planted with olive and citrus trees. The area has a great potential for tourism, with the major characteristics of the town being its seaside promenade. Llaman beach, which is one of the noted beaches of Himara coastline, will be our starting point of our Stand up Paddle itinerary. On the way to our final Stand up Paddle destination, which is Porto Palermo peninsula, we will be marveled by Albanian Riviera. A perfect combination of hills, cliffs and shores is an inevitable part of this route. By paddling close to the military base we will have the chance to know a small part of Albanian history together with visits to some truly amazing beaches, which are highly distinguished from other beaches because of their unique position.
Porto Palermo is the destination to continue with. It is the peninsula in which the castle of Ali Pasha is located. This castle was built to honor his wife, Vasiliqia, whose he gifted it. It is situated in the bay with the same name, on the coast of Ionian Sea in southern Albania. It is beautifully positioned in Porto Palermo’s tectonic peninsula (known in antiquity as Panorma Bay). This triangle-shaped castle is positioned not far distant from Qeparo village. The castle occupies an area of 150m x 400m and its walls reach up to 20 m height. During the communist regime Porto Palermo was a highly restricted military zone with a naval base. Today it is surrounded by gravel trail which lead back to the asphalt road. We are going to visit Ali Pasha’s castle during our Stand up Paddle adventure and in the late afternoon we are leaving towards the coastal city of Saranda where we will be accommodated for the night. Saranda is widely known as the south getaway, situated between high mountains and the blue Ionian sea. Facing the Greek island of Corfu, Saranda is one of the most appealing tourist destination in Albania. Apart from these reasons, it has historic and archeological importance. The city has always served as a port for the Mediterranean countries.
Stand Up Paddle around the islands of Ksamil
We continue our Stand Up Paddle adventure with an approximately 20 minute drive toward the village of Ksamil where four small islands are located. Ksamil is a small town located about 15km (9 miles) south of Saranda and is known for having some of the only sand beaches in the area and small islands within swimming distance. The breathtaking scenery and the abundance of fresh seafood make it one of the best places to visit whilst you’re in Saranda. In the summer this is the main south beach for tourists and locals. We proceed our daily tour with a visit to Butrint.
During our drive to Butrint we will enjoy the marvelous scenery of the Ionian coastline where the profound blue waters are beyond imagination. Leaving behind the brilliant view of Ksamil’s islands, we carry on with our tour to Butrint. Butrint is undoubtedly one of the most attractive cities of antiquity. A narrow stretch of sea separates the city from the Greek island of Corfu. The city is an archaeological jewel, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1992. Its surroundings between the lake and the sea provide an exceptional view. Once having enjoyed the tour in the ancient city of Butrint, we will return to Saranda where we will be accommodated in a comfortable hotel. At night we will enjoy with the city’s seaside promenade.
Saranda city - Blue Eye - Gjirokastra city - Tirane
This morning we head to Blue Eye. This magical place is called as such due to the blue groundwater source. Found in the middle of the woods, this stunning natural resource is a tourist attraction. It is a picturesque spot whose profound source springs crystal water and is transformed in blue under the sunrays.
The city of Gjirokastra is our next destination for the day. It is one of the most important touristic cities of southern Albania. The culture of Gjirokastra district is characterized by wealth of folk and regional costumes, musical traditions. It is famous for its wood and stone carving. This city of "a thousand stairs", with hundreds of ottoman-style houses with stone roof and of wooden balconies, can be called a magical city with a glorious past. The city of Gjirokastra was included on the list of World Heritage UNESCO in 2005. Gjirokastra lies downhill from the 13th century castle. We will enjoy the walk through typical cobbled streets to continue with our visit in Gjirokastra’s castle, undoubtedly one of the most magnificent structures.
In the afternoon we will return to Tirana and visit the broad boulevards, the monumental mosaic that decorates the National Museum walls, the glory of Albanian Independence. A small deviation toward the Block zone, referred to the previous nomenclature of the communist regime in Albania, and a visit in the house of the ex-dictator Enver Hoxha. This is the most vibrant area in the city, with many bars, clubs, restaurants, etc. We will certainly be accommodated in a 3* hotel near the center.
Tirana city – “Mother Theresa” International Airport
Depending on your flying timetable we head to “Mother Theresa” International airport.