"Dhërmi and the Albanian Riviera" Dhermi by JLBG

Dhermi Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 146 photos

This page is under Dhërmi as it is the place where we slept and we visited partly the village, but it follows actually our itinerary from Saranda to Vlora, as can be seen on the third picture.
I always build my pages following our paces and I advise you to view it in author’s order (as usually with my pages but it is even more important here).

The main part of this page was built after our 2007 travel. I have added several new tips after our May 2009 travel.

From Saranda to Dhërmi, a great part of this road, was in 2007 narrow and in bad condition. However, this is one of the must drive in Albania. In many parts, the landscape is outstanding. We had not enough time to visit each village, to take each road going towards the see, and I suppose that it will be the same for you, but you must know that you might spend several days (and even more) on this route.

The road clings to the mountain slope and is almost a single track. Fortunately, the traffic is very low, and one has seldom problems to cross another vehicle (especially if it is a bus!). I found that the most difficult part was across Dhërmi as the road is tight between the houses and that you cannot view in advance oncoming traffic. Be ready to some rear driving! Trailors are not advisable!

The following villages will be found on the way. Between the name of two villages, I have added the distance between them :
Saranda -11 km- Shënvasije -8 km- Lukovo -6 km- Piqeras -9 km- Borsh -2 km- Qeparo -11 km- Spillës -2 km- Himarë -4.5 km- Vuno -4.5 km- Dhërmi -3 km- Palasë -11 km- Llogara pass.

The coast between Saranda and Llogara pass is also known as the Albanian Riviera.
For a long time it has been very isolated from the rest of the country. It explains why these villages, especially Himarë, Vuno and Dhërmi, have developed a specific character. A great part of the population uses Greek in daily life while all of their traditional songs and dances are in Albanian. This is a hot political issue but, though disputed, it seems that the most likely explanation is that, unlike the Greek minority in the southernmost part of the country, the inhabitants were at one time Albanian speakers. Given the insulation of this part of the country, they were able to resist to Ottoman domination for a long time and to cherish their religious belonging. As they were split from mainland Albania, they developed by sea tight links with nearby Corfu and the Ionian islands, which lead them to develop their singleness and to speak Greek instead of Albanian. They are not included in the official Greek minority of Albania but have been granted the double nationality by Greece and awarded pensions (which helps to feel Greek, of course!)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:almost no foreign tourists
  • Cons:bad road in 2007. New road in 2009, should be finished soon
  • In a nutshell:A must see
  • Last visit to Dhermi: May 2007
  • Intro Updated Jul 23, 2009
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Reviews (37)

Comments (9)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Such steeped history for this country and area. You did another great job of showing the travel sites

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    The roaming donkeys are charming. The view from Hotel Luciano is fantastic. The landscapes here are beautiful. Thank you for the tour!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    I envy you have had such a cheap accomodation in such a wonderful place far from tourist crowds! I can imagine how beautiful it was to swim in pure waters and sunbathe being almost alone on a beach.

  • May 19, 2009 at 6:31 AM

    Intersting information!!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2009 at 1:03 AM

    Thanks for the tour J-L!Looks like an excellent driving trip I would enjoy!

  • budapest8's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2008 at 7:33 PM

    Sadly our Balkan trip was delayed to a 4 day delay in my daughters departure to Brussels, so we didn't get further south than Vlora, but this place was on my list to visit. I'm returning asap to Albania....Great tips and info & beautiful pics!...

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2008 at 4:04 AM

    Wonderful views, pristine beaches, narrow scenic dirt roads - what a place to explore! Thanks for sharing.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2007 at 5:45 PM

    J-L, your Restaurant tip made me chuckle - I've done that a few times myself! This is a beautiful country and the fate of the terraces of Lukove was also interesting. Be careful when carrying out submarine espionage though!

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2007 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks for being a perfect virtual guide in Dhermi, the pictures and the info - greetz

JLBG

“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

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