Lonely Planet Writer

Albania to open ex-military island for tourists

Sunset over Sazan Island.
Sunset over Sazan Island. Image by godo godaj / CC BY 2.0

Albania’s National Coastal Agency has announced that the ghost island of Sazan will open for tourists this summer. Sazan island is located on the Strait of Otranto in southern Albania, where the Adriatic and Ionian seas meet. It is technically still a military base, with two sailors and a night shelter for navy patrols. It has around 3600 bunkers and many tunnels, built with nuclear attacks in mind during  the country’s communist dictatorship era. Sazan island also has significant biodiversity and Albania’s tourism officials are hoping it can become a birdwatching and diving destination. There are also ideas to use the anti-nuclear tunnels as wine cellars. The island’s abandoned buildings used to house over 3000 troops and there is also a ruined school which was attended by the military families’ children. Sazan can be accessed by a half-hour speedboat from Vlora, with a daily shuttle planned to start in June. Read more: bigstory.ap.org