Discover the top things to do in Himarë, a serene small coastal town on the Albanian Riviera, where the blissful harmony of the turquoise water of the Ionian Sea and nature await your arrival.
As you plan to visit Himarë, prepare to be delighted by azure bays and gastronomic delights. Please keep reading for our essential Himarë guide, your perfect companion to navigating this enchanting seaside town’s must-visit spots.
There is no question about it: Albania has been an up-and-coming beach destination for a few years now, but as the world hopes to open its travel doors once more this summer, more people are thinking about this beautiful country as their next chill-out go-to.
The closest airport to Himare is on the Greek Island of Corfu, though most people choose to fly into Tirana in the north and travel down through the country, arriving at the southern beach resort in a leisurely manner. The drive is around 3.5 hours, and it’s undoubtedly scenic!
So, what is there to do in the beautiful beach town of Himare, Albania? Below, we give you a few ideas of what is on offer in Himare and how you could spend your days.
Let’s explore Himare!
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1. Enjoy Some of The Best Beaches Of Himare
Of course, if you’re going to a beach resort, you’ll want to know which is the best beach to spend your time on! The good thing about Himare is that there are several to choose from, and you can even hop from one to another if you want to.
The main stretch of the beach, and therefore the busiest, is Himare Beach. This is located in the middle of town and is walkable, usually from wherever you’re staying. During the summer months, locals and tourists mingle here, enjoying the azure waters at this small pebbly beach.
Other beaches that I love are Marachi and Prinos. These smaller beaches are, therefore, less crowded but no less beautiful. The green mountain backdrop is dramatic and super beautiful to look at, and you’ll want to spend more than just a day soaking up the sun.
Beaches that I always have a good time at
- Spile Beach: located in the center of Himare city, popular with kids as it is a sandy beach
- Prinos Beach: a well-known public beach in Himare offering a picturesque setting and free access
- Potami Beach: part of the Himare area, this beach is known for its natural beauty and is free to use
- Livadhi Beach: about 15 km north of Himare, a secluded beach surrounded by tall cliffs and pine trees, offering a quiet beach experience
- Gjipe Beach: easily accessible from Himare, known for its spectacular setting and variety of activities and attractions
- Jale Beach: provides a range of attractions and activities, ensuring a lively beach experience
- Filikuri Beach: ideal for those seeking a more secluded beach experience, known for being less crowded
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2. Explore Himare Old Town
Right above the main beach is Himare Old Town. If you’re up for a bit of a climb, walking there is a solid option – just be ready for a steep path, especially under the hot sun. If that’s not your cup of tea, grab a taxi.
Up top, you’ll find yourself wandering through old streets, checking out cool old buildings and a bunch of small shops and cafes. Don’t miss the Castle of Himare – the view of the sea from there is something else. For those into history, the old churches are a must-see and give a real sense of Albania’s past.”
3. Take A Boat Trip
Right, being by the sea in Himare means you’ve got loads of boat trip options – and you’d be missing out if you didn’t hop on one. Seeing Himare from the water is a whole different kind of awesome, and it’s your ticket to hidden coves that you can’t reach on foot. Plus, there are plenty of chances to jump in for a snorkel or swim and meet some local sea life in the Adriatic.
You’re spoiled for choice with boat trips here. Whether you’re after a private ride or a group tour, there’s something for everyone. Just pick what works for you and set sail!”
4. Visit Himare Castle
So, you’ve got this cool old castle just up the hill from the beaches. It’s been around since the 5th century BC, so yeah, it’s pretty ancient. The history of the place is deep, but let’s be real, the views are the real showstopper.
Now, getting there is a bit of a hike from the beach – it takes about an hour, and it’s not the easiest in the heat. My tip? Save yourself the sweat and grab a taxi up there. You can always walk down after or just taxi back. Up at the castle, give yourself some time to wander around the ruins and old buildings. There are some shops and cafes to chill at, too. And if you can hang around for sunset, do it – it’s unreal!”
5. Try Some Freshly Caught Seafood
There are many seafood restaurants in Himare, but if you want dinner with a view, head up along the cliffs, where you’ll find the best restaurants. These upmarket restaurants serve freshly caught fare for you to try. You could even time your meal to catch the sunset, making it a truly romantic and memorable evening.
6. Go For A Coastal Hike
Grab your comfortable shoes, hat, and some sunscreen, and head off to enjoy the Albanian coast and its spectacular views on foot. You can walk over the cliffs and even head down to some slightly further afield beaches, including Livadhi Beach, which has a tropical vibe.
Here we’re talking bright blue sea and white sand to die for. It takes just under an hour to hike at a regular pace from the town center to this beach, but it’s a fantastic walk, and you’ll be able to check out some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful views along the way.
7. Spend The Day In Dhermi
A short distance from Himare, you’ll find the beautiful small town of Dhermi, which is an ideal spot to visit for the day. You’ll find plenty of history here, with old churches and houses to explore. The old streets are perfect for walking and getting a little lost, and there are small cafes to enjoy tea or coffee.
Up the hill, you’ll find the Monastery of St Mary and a beautiful beach, too. The sunsets here are stunning, so make sure you stick around to watch them and take some fantastic photographs.
8. Visit Ksamil
Ksamil is another beach spot nearby that’s worth a visit. Picture this: crystal clear waters, sun-loungers, and parasols up for grabs from various beach clubs right along the water’s edge. It’s the perfect place to chill out and catch some rays. And don’t skip the promenade – it’s great for a stroll, especially if you’re into stunning sunsets. Plus, there are some top-notch restaurants to try out.
Whether you’re into lounging on a private stretch or mixing it up on a public beach, you can easily rent a sunbed from one of those stylish beach clubs during the day.
9. Explore Butrint National Park
If you’re up for a bit of history mixed with nature, Butrint National Park is your go-to spot. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with ancient ruins dating way back to 1200 BC. Think old temples, theaters, and city walls – it’s like walking through a history book.
The park’s not just about ruins, though; some pretty cool wetlands surround it. These give you a bunch of hiking trails to wander, with loads of wildlife and greenery to spot along the way.
Now, getting there from Himare is a breeze. I usually hop on a bus, but you can also drive towards Saranda – it’s about an hour’s journey. Once you’re in Saranda, follow the signs to Butrint – it’s just a short drive away. Make sure you’ve got comfy walking shoes and a hat because there’s lots to explore. While the park’s a fab place for sunsets, keep an eye on the time as it does close in the evenings.
So, plan your visit to soak in all the natural beauty and historical vibes during the day.
10. A Day Trip To The Bay Of Porto Palermo
The beauty of Himare is that it’s easy to visit other places nearby. Porto Palermo is one of them. Here, you’ll find a stunning bay that will take your breath away, with several smaller beaches inviting you to chill out for an hour or two.
Afterward, be sure to walk up to the Castle of Porto Palermo, which has some stunning views and plenty of history to explore. There are even underground corridors to explore – if you’re brave enough!
While there you can also relax on Porto Palermo beach.
11. Walk With The Locals At Sunset
Don’t be surprised if you notice a larger crowd around sunset time. This is because locals often have their afternoon nap and then head off for a walk with friends at this time, locally known as ‘xhiro.’ Why not join them and grab some exercise, culture, and, of course, some fantastic sunset photographs?
12. Go On A Kayaking Adventure To Gjiri I Filikurit
Gjiri I Filikurit is a secret beach that isn’t quite the secret during the high season when the summer is at its peak! You can take a boat and reach this phenomenal beach or hire a kayak and go at your own leisurely pace. However, this is a stunning spot, and it’s never too crowded, as it takes some effort to get there. Soaring mountains surround the beach, and you’ll feel like you’re on your own castaway island.
13. Take A Day Trip From Himarë
From Himare, you’ve got a bunch of day trip options that are easy to pull off and totally worth it.
First up, consider Saranda – it’s about an hour’s drive and is a bustling little city with a great beach vibe. You can stroll along the promenade, hit up some local eateries, and if you’re into history, the ancient ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are just a short drive away.
Another cool spot is the Blue Eye Spring – a natural water spring with insanely clear blue water, about an hour and a half from Himare. It’s a nice change of scenery with its lush surroundings.
For a more laid-back day, head to Porto Palermo, as I already mentioned; it’s closer, just half an hour away.
Each of these spots offers something different, so depending on what you’re in the mood for – be it beach lounging, historical exploration, or just a scenic drive – you’ve got choices.
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Himare isn’t a party destination, but it does have more than its fair share of things to keep visitors occupied, as well as plenty of beach bars and restaurants to enjoy a laid-back evening. For summer chills, Himare is the ideal choice.