Himare in Albanië

Himare in Albania: 8 x things to do on the Albanian Riviera

Himare in Albania

Himare in Albania is a cozy coastal town on the Albanian Riviera. Situated between the azure waters of the Ionian Sea and the impressive Ceraunina Mountains, this is one of Albania’s best kept secrets. Stroll through the cozy streets, go snorkeling in the Ionian Sea or just enjoy the relaxed Mediterranean life. Here you can read about the best things to do in Himare, the best restaurants and where to stay. Himare should not be missed during your vacation in Albania!

8 x the best things to do in Himare

Himare, also called Himara or Himarë, is one of our favorite places in Albania. This beautiful coastal town has the perfect blend of pristine beaches, fascinating history and surprisingly good food. The town is still unspoiled and surrounded by hills with ancient castle ruins and olive groves. People come here to relax and unwind. If you like more vibrant places, then Ksamil is more for you!

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1) Himare Castle & Old Town

Located on a hill you will find the ruins of Himare Castle dating back to the5th century BCE. Chr. All around is the “Old Town” and here you can really feel the history of the area. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and walk up to the highest point among the ruins. Here you have a fantastic view of Himare and its many beautiful beaches. If you can, be sure to go during sunset! As you watch the sun slowly set behind the mountains, everything takes on a beautiful, orange glow. You can walk to the castle from Himare along a fairly steep trail that takes about an hour. Or drive there or take a cab up to the castle. Parking is provided.

Opening hours Himarë castle: daily from sunrise to sunset | price per person: 100 LEK (~ €1)

Himare castle
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Himare Old Town
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2) Beach hopping around Himare

Around Himare you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Albania. Its azure waters and pearly white beaches make it perfect for a relaxing beach vacation. And unlike Ksamil or Sarande, the beaches here are still quiet. In Himare itself you will find two beaches, where you will find cozy restaurants and hotels. The most beautiful beaches are not far from Himare, ideal for a day of beach hopping.

To get the most out of your vacation in Albania, it is best to rent a car. At Sunny Cars you can find great options including insurance!

Himare Beach (Plazhi i Himarës)

This is the beach located in Himare itself. You will find a cozy promenade full of stores and delicious restaurants. Go for ice cream during the day or settle down for a delicious dinner while the sun sets in the evening. The beach itself can get quite crowded in the summer and a lot of boats dock there. We found nearby Potami Beach a nicer alternative. When facing the sea, walk down the beach to the left. At the end you come to this little beach, where it is quieter and you have a nice view of Himarë Bay.

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Himare Beach
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Filikuri Bay

This beach is truly another hidden gem in Himare and chances are you will have the beach all to yourself. We found this beach by chance via a hidden walkway near our hotel Argileos Rooms. You have to be somewhat adventurous for it, as the trail requires some rock climbing at the end until you reach the beach. Once there, you have a fantastic bay all to yourself with incredibly clear water. Be sure to bring a lunch and snorkel, and spend several hours here! Those who want can also rent a kayak in Himare and kayak up to the bay.

Filikuri Bay Albania
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Gjipe Beach (Plazhi i Gjipesë)

Gjipe Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Albanian Riviera. This sandy beach is located on Gjipe Canyon, which is what makes it so special. To get here, you first drive from Himare in 30 minutes to Gjipe Car Park. From there you have to walk another 2 km to the beach on a tough gravel road. Still, we thought this was well worth it, because along the way you have fantastic views of the beach and the canyon behind! On the beach itself you can rent a sun bed with umbrella and you have some restaurants. Ideal for lazing around all day!

TRAVEL TIP : Go early in the morning to get ahead of the heat because there is no shade along the hiking trail. Those who want can also jump in a jeep and be taken to the beach. For this, though, you have to agree on a good price with the locals.

gjipe canyon
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gjipe beach albania
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Livadi beach (Plazhi i Livadhit)

Just a 10-minute drive from Himare you will find Livadi Beach. This pebbly beach is long and expansive, so it does not feel crowded even in the summer months. From this beach also begin some nice walks, such as to Aquarium Beach. This hidden beach among the rocks has water so clear you feel like you are swimming in an aquarium. Like most beaches in Albania, Livadi Beach allows you to rent a sunbed and umbrella for the day so you don’t have to lie on the pebbles.

3) Boat trip along pristine beaches

Some beaches around Himare require some effort to get there, like Aquarium Beach or can only be reached by boat like Grama Bay. Therefore, a boat trip is one of the most fun things to do in Himare in Albania. Enjoy a day on the Ionian Sea and cruise the coastline of the Albanian Riviera. Along the way you will pass beautiful secluded beaches with white sand and small coves. At Himare Beach you will find several organizations that offer boat trips or ask your hotel if they can arrange an excursion for you.

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4) Porto Palermo Castle

Porto Palermo Castle is a 15-minute drive from Himare. This castle, which also served as a fortress in the 19th century, is located on a peninsula and was once completely separated from the mainland. You can visit the castle, which is shaped like a triangle, where you can learn more about Albania’s Ottoman history. At the top of the fort you have a fantastic view of the sea and surrounding mountains. Afterwards, be sure to take a refreshing dip in the beautiful Porto Palermo Bay!

Opening hours Porto Palermo castle: daily from 09:00 to 18:00 | price per person: 300 LEK (~ €3)

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porto palermo drone
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5) Visit Dhermi

The small town of Dhermi is one of the most charming places along the Albanian Riviera. Here you stroll through cobblestone streets, passing picturesque buildings and cozy cafes where locals enjoy a cup of coffee. Explore the town on foot and take a look at the Santa Maria Monastery atop the hill in Dhermi. Afterwards, sink down to beautiful Dhermi Beach and catch the sunset. We ate here at the cozy, Italian restaurant Luciano overlooking the sea. Definitely highly recommended!

Dhermi Albania
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streets in Dhermi
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6) Day trip to Ksamil

Albania is not very large, which makes it a great destination to take a tour. Or situate yourself in one place and make several day trips, such as to Ksamil. Located in the South along the Albanian coast you will find this bustling coastal city. Ksamil is also called the “Maldives of Europe” because of its many pearly white beaches and turquoise blue ocean. You reach Ksamil from Himare after a scenic drive along the coast of 1h45min. Or spend several days there for the best experience!

ksamil in Albania
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sunset Albania
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7) Butrint National Park

A 10-minute drive from Ksamil you will find the Butrint National Park. Those who want to learn more about the region’s impressive history have come to the right place. This archaeological site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and you will find numerous ruins from the Greek, Ottoman and Roman empires. Go explore Butrint National Park in the morning and count on 2 to 3 hours as there is a lot to see! Afterwards, you can cool off at one of the beautiful beaches in Ksamil before driving back towards Himarë.

Opening hours Butrint National Park: daily from 9 am to 7 pm | price per person: 1000 LEK (~ € 10)

Butrint National Park
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Butrint National Park Albania
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8) Taste the local food

In Himare you will find numerous restaurants operated by Albanian families. Food made with love, and you can taste it! Albanian cuisine is a nice mix between Italian and Greek cuisine, but has some unique dishes of its own. Since Himare is by the sea, you can also eat fresh seafood and fish here! Lefteri’s Tavern and Restaurant “Merkur Merkuri” are known for their delicious seafood and cozy atmosphere. Or dine outside the center at restaurant Fane, a small family restaurant on the beach. Undoubtedly the restaurant with the best view in all of Himare.

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Where to stay in Himare

The range of nice hotels is growing with Himare in Albania also becoming increasingly popular. You can visit Himare as a day trip, but for the best experience spend 1 or 2 nights here. On Himare’s boulevard, you’ll find some nice options like Soñar en el Mar or Rea Boutique Hotel. We ourselves slept inArgileos Rooms. This new hotel is located on a cliff, giving you an insane view of Himare Bay. And you get those beautiful sunsets for free!

Argileos rooms himare
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How to get there

The best way to discover Albania is to rent a car. When you land at the Tirana International Airport, it is a good 3-hour drive to Himare. The roads in Albania are in great condition! Albania also has plenty of campsites, so if you are traveling with a tent or camper, this is certainly possible as well. Afterwards, you can drive on to UNESCO city of Berat or go hiking in the Albanian Alps.

Best travel time Himare

The best travel time for Himare, and Albania in general, is from April through October. In the summer months of July and August, however, it can get very crowded and temperatures run very high, sometimes reaching 40°C. The months of June and September seem ideal for us to explore this diverse country, when the weather is pleasant but not yet too crowded.

himare in Albania
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Have you also been to Himare and Albania? Let us know in the comments what you thought of it! Still have questions about Albania or looking for more information for your next trip? Please do not hesitate to contact us contact or send an email to snoezelsontheroad@gmail.com

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit Albania, and this article has definitely made me more interested in exploring the Albanian Riviera. Himare sounds like a beautiful and relaxing place to spend a vacation.

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