Sarandë, Albania and the Beautiful Blue Eye

Sarandë, Albania and the Beautiful Blue Eye

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Albania, Europe

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We headed south to Sarandë (or Saranda in Albanian) which was a large and touristy town right on the boarder of Greece and Albania. Along the way we stopped in a little village just outside Himarë called Qeparo Eshat which was quite beautiful and very local.

The drive in was stunning and we took way too many photos. The roads were cut into the cliff and as we meadered around the coastline, new little bays kept popping up.

Once we were in the town we came across a bunch of wild pigs and horses who had helped themselves to a skip bin. We managed to get quite close and thankfully they weren’t at all interested in us. The town was small and much more local than Himarë, but it was charming and the people still waved (and starred) at us as we stopped to take pictures.

As we were driving along one particular stretch of coastline we came across a large herd of cattle and a few shepherd. It was lovely to see all the cows up close and to be able to slowly drive along side and enjoy the view.

I can’t explain how beautiful the coastline was. It is dry and barren but the mountains plunging into the sea makes it so dramatic and beautiful.

We arrived in Sarandë and had a quick look around. We had thought we might like to stay for a few nights, but after about 30 minutes we realised it was more like a large sea-side city than a beach shack shanty town we were hoping for, and decided to keep going. The harbour is nice to walk along and there are lots of restaurants, ice-cream shops and local people.

This was one of my favouite photos I took in Albania and it sums up the beauty of this area perfectly!

We headed inland from the coast towards a place called The Blue Eye. The land changed signiciantly and quite quickly. All of a sudden we were on the other side of the mountains and looking at farm land and little villages.

Donkey’s are common through the whole country (the whole Baltic area really) and we would often have to slowly overtake a farm and his donkey who was carry a load.

The Blue Eye natural spring

We finally arrived at The Blue Eye after a long drive on yet again bad roads. I think we paid the equivalent of a few Euro’s for all of us to get in and we drove on down to the river.

The Blue Eye (Albanian: Syri i kaltër, Greek: Μπλε μάτι Ble máti) is a water spring and natural phenomenon occurring near Muzinë in Vlorë County,Albania. A popular tourist attraction, the clear blue water of the river bubbles forth from a stunning, more than fifty-metre-deep pool. Divers have descended to fifty metres, but it is still unclear what the actual depth of the karst hole is. Wikipedia

It was a short hike from the car park and restaurant to the Blue Eye. The boys loved running around in the luscious grounds. The temperature was much cooler than the coast, and despite all wanting to swim I figured out early on that it would be way too cold!

It was absolutely beautiful. The photos don’t do it justice. The blue was so clear and so vibrant. Scott and I both waded in and the water was icy cold – possibly some of the coldest water I have come across! It actually hurt our legs to be in the water and I am not actually sure how people swim there! Apparently (in the above top left photo) the water is over 50m deep but you can’t tell because it is so clear.

We had a great time and on the way back stopped for some morning tea in the restaurant. I can highly recommend stopping here if you are in the area!

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