Porto Palermo

The Albanian Riviera

In a picturesque bay just south of Himara, this 19th-century fortress, also known as the Castle of Ali Pasha, makes for an interesting stop-off along the coastal road. The fortress itself is eerily dark inside, but it's well worth paying to wander around and explore the battlements, which have superb sea views.

There's no beach as such here, but the bay in which the castle stands is a classic natural harbour that has been used since antiquity. The rocky and sheltered coastline would probably make for good snorkelling.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Albanian Riviera attractions

1. Borsch

3.27 MILES

Borsch is a huge, sweeping white-stone beach that is several kilometres long. While it's still far from over-run with development, it's hardly…

2. Himara Beach

3.65 MILES

There are two main beaches in Himara. The northern one is the main town beach and has a promenade lined with cafes and bars. Around the headland to the…

3. Himara Castle

4.61 MILES

Himara is mainly known for its beaches, but its Old Town on the hills high above the seafront is an interesting place to stroll around. One highlight is…

4. Livadhi Beach

4.73 MILES

Himara's longest stretch of beach is Livadhi, just north of the town. It's certainly very attractive but development hasn't been kind, with a slew of…

5. Jal

6.15 MILES

Jal beach, a 5km drive down a decent side-road from the village of Vumoni, has been well and truly 'discovered' in the last few years and an ever…

6. Bunec

6.63 MILES

The last relatively undeveloped spot on the Albanian Riviera, before the urban sprawl of Saranda begins, is Bunec. The pebbly beach is divided in two by a…

7. Vuno

7.37 MILES

Vuno is a tiny hillside village above picturesque Jal beach. Each summer Vuno's primary school is filled with blow-up beds and it becomes Shkolla Hostel…

8. Gjipe Beach

7.77 MILES

Between Dhërmi and Vuno is the turn-off for this little-known gem, a gorgeous stretch of isolated white sand and rock backed by big cliffs – and as yet…