Overlooking the turquoise blue Ionian Sea, Albania’s most southerly harbour is a short 20-minute boat ride from Corfu, and bathes in the glow of more than 300 sunny days each year. Revel in Albania’s best beach life, or explore historic ancient cities and fortresses embedded with immense archaeological interest. Clear turquoise waters lap the city's beaches, and there's always something to see along the lively Boulevard Hasan Tahsini - which traces the seafront and is stacked with bars, restaurants and shops.
The hardy, 16th-century Lekuresi Castle has been battered by weather and war over the years but it offers a fantastic lookout point to survey Sarande's expanse, Corfu's island, and the turquoise sea beyond. From here, you can head to the Blue Eye Spring, a rejuvenating natural landmark where a groundswell of the purest water gushes up 50 metres to surface amid the forest. Bathe in the immaculate waters, which are intensely refreshing on sunny days.
The majestic ruins of Butrint's ancient city stand nearby, unearthed from the leafy site, after the city was abandoned in medieval times. Albania's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint was an ancient Greek and Roman stronghold - and you can walk back in time along stone-paved streets to discover the immense history here. Roam between the compact Roman theatre and the impressive arched-windows of the basilica, before admiring the stunning floor mosaics that have been left behind.