With the pandemic shelter-in-place orders lifting worldwide, you might feel that itch to travel again. But, maybe you’re asking yourself, where should you visit?
Traveling can be a very rewarding undertaking whether you travel alone or with others. Seeing the world can open one up to new cultures and experiences, so making time to travel is always worthwhile. If you can’t afford to travel overseas, become a tourist in your country and see what your city offers.
If you haven’t heard about Himare in Albania, keep reading to find out why you should visit this beautiful, quiet beach town on your next trip.
Himare, or Himarë, is found in Vlorë County in Southern Albania, surrounded by 1243-mile-high mountains on one side and the Ionian Sea on the other. It originally evolved from an ancient city called Chimaera and was set to be a trading outpost on the Chaonian shore. Other cities that were part of Chaonia were Phoenike, Paleaste, Maeandreia, Orikon, and others.
It was one of the most important cities of Choania and was initially named for the creature called a Chimarea, which was a mythical, three-headed monster. It has the body and head of a lion, a goat’s head, udders, and a serpent for the tail. It was slain by Bellerophon, who rode into battle on a pegasus.
The city was later renamed Himara after the region was accepted into the Albanian state.
The city has been used for over three thousand years and is now a beautiful and peaceful tourist destination, growing in popularity.
Reasons to Visit Himare
There are so many reasons to visit Himare, Albania; we’ll take a look at some of the best things to do in and around Himare Beach.
If you ask yourself “what to do in Himare Beach, Albania,” you won’t be disappointed. Himare is a town rich with many things to do, both on the sea and on land. Below are some activities that you may enjoy during your visit.
There are so many things to do in Himare; you certainly won’t be left with anything to do (unless that’s why you’re on holiday, that’s ok too!). From mountain biking to hiking to sightseeing and even bunker exploration!
The Himara region is rich with castles, chapels, monasteries, and fortresses for you to visit. However, a must-see you shouldn’t miss is the ruins of the Monastery of St. Theodore in Ilias. It’s a 2600-year-old Castle city with walls reaching 66 feet.
Another not-to-be-missed attraction is in the village of Palasa: a beautiful church that houses unique altar paintings and ceilings painted by local artists. You can also find similar churches in the neighboring villages of Vuno, Old Town of Himara, and Drymades.
The exact numbers of bunkers found around Albania are uncertain. Some say it’s around 175,000, and some even go as high as 750,000. The military built the bunkers to protect the country on the Balkan Peninsula back in the 1970s and 1980s.
You do not need a boat to get to some of the beautiful snorkeling spots; however, you can explore a bit further if you choose to hire one.
While out on the water, you can explore some hidden caves and secluded beaches. One of them is Sazan Island, where you can swim at Shen Nicolo Bay (also known as Saint Nicolo Bay). It’s a perfect and quiet place to relax.
Paddling around by kayak is undoubtedly a unique way to see the local area. Forge your own route as you paddle through the bay. Sea kayaks are available for rent on most beaches and will set you back a mere $70 for a day trip.
Himare is an excellent place for fishing and offers a few options when it comes to fishing activities. A few companies offer fishing charters, and all are within a modest budget, making these trips something the whole family can enjoy. The trips last between 3 to 5 hours.
Best Time to Visit
It’s always best to plan your trips so that the weather doesn’t ruin your holiday. That said, the best time to visit Himare is in the summer months; however, you can visit either the Spring or the Fall for a more comfortable temperature if you’re sensitive to hot weather.
Summer is from June to September and can reach temperatures of 87 degrees Fahrenheit. July is the hottest month of the year, so plan your trip accordingly.
Jetsetting to Albania
You will want to book a flight if you’re looking to get to Himare, Albania, from the USA. Once you have arrived, you will land at Tirana International Airport, and from there, you can hire transportation to Himare Beach.
You can hire a car, where costs depend on the type of vehicle you hire, or grab a bus or shuttle. A bus will be the most extended trip at around 6.5 hours, costing between $55 and $75. A shuttle is slightly shorter at just over 4 hours and will cost $47.
Flights from the USA will cost you around $700 for a round trip per adult, and the driving distance from Tirana to Himare is 142 miles.
Guides and Excursions
If being organized is your Thing, then guided excursions will be right up your alley. From single-day tours with an Himare Beach guide to week-long tours, there is something in Himare, Albania, for every budget. Full-day tours can be up to 6+ hours and include lunch. Tours like this one will cost around $103 per adult.
If you’re up for it, there are 14-day bus tours that will allow you to see Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, costing anything up to $2,400 per adult. If you’re looking for something fun to do for an hour or two, you can get a range of sea coast trips for as little as $40 per group.
Himare Beach and Neighboring Beaches
If relaxing on the beach sounds like the perfect vacation, Himare will not disappoint you. If you feel like adventuring to some spectacular beaches, then visit Gjipe Beach, Jale Beach, and Livadhi Beach (though there are many more!).
Each beach has its own tour guides and attractions, so boredom will never be an issue for you. However, if you want a particularly secluded beach, then head over to Filikuri Beach.
Another beach growing in popularity is Aquarium Beach. This secluded, private beach is accessible from Jale and Livade Beaches via a dirt track (hiking, anyone?). Unfortunately, this beach has no facilities, so bring your own food and drinks.
Dining In Himare
For the “foodies” out there, Himare has your back with many delicious places to dine. From the freshest seafood dishes to authentic Greek food, you’ll undoubtedly find something to tickle your tastebuds. Here are some we’ve found enjoyable. So let’s check out where to eat in Himare Beach, Albania.
Known for its amazing desserts and cakes, this is the place to be if you have a sweet tooth. And, of course, no holiday is complete without ice cream, so head on over to this quaint restaurant immediately. They also offer free wifi and off-street parking.
This restaurant should suit any traveler by serving a range of Greek, Mediterranean, BBQ, and Albanian food. According to TripAdvisor reviews, To Steki is considered some of the best food in Himare, and you have to try their original Greek Souvlaki. This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has vegan and gluten-free options.
Taverna Lefteri – Since 1998
The oldest restaurant in Himara, founded in 1998, this family-run dining establishment serves up local cuisine, seafood, and a healthy selection of Mediterranian dishes. Open for lunch and dinner; they also offer takeout if you prefer. However, something to note is this restaurant is listed as cash only, so do make that accommodation if you visit. Taverna Lefteri – Since 1998 is also vegan-friendly.
Staying in Himare
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay in Himare, as there are affordable hotels, guest houses, and Airbnb all along the bay. Some options include the following:
Located on the Potam beachfront, this hotel offers an a la carte restaurant and bar overlooking the sea. The hotel offers free wifi, and there is a bus station with lines to Tirana less than a mile away. This hotel is best in June and September if you’re a couple looking to have a kid-free holiday.
This hotel, located near Prinos beach, boasts a balcony overlooking the sea for every unit and an ironing and laundry service. Free wifi is also available, and there is secure parking on site. In addition, there are water sports facilities on-site; however, these incur an additional charge.
Palermiti Luxury Rooms
This luxury lodge offers a restaurant, Taverna Vasiliqia, which serves a delectable array of Mediterranean dishes and local and international cuisine. There is also a 24-hour front desk, an outdoor pool, and BBQ facilities. Porto As an activity, Palermo Castle is located less than a mile away.
Start Packing Your Bags
With all the wonderful things to do in Himare, you should definitely add this destination to your bucket list. You can’t skip this spectacular location with its pristine, quiet beaches, delectable cuisines worldwide, and amazing attractions. Himare is a great place to take that special someone for a romantic beach holiday.
If this sounds like a holiday destination, contact us to book your flight immediately. We have expert travel assistants waiting to give you the vacation of a lifetime.