Some of the best beaches in Albania are in and around the town of Himarë. This peaceful beach town in southern Albania is the perfect place to come for a relaxed beach holiday. Spend your days lazing at one of the many beaches up and down the coast. Enjoy some water sports such as fishing or kayaking. For those that like hiking, there are some spectacular coastal walks in the area. And once you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in fresh local produce at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area. Find out everything you need to know to plan your next Albania trip in this Himarë Destination Guide.
What is Himarë Albania known for?
Himarë is a beautiful beach town on the Albanian Riviera that is known for its stunning beaches. The main town area of Himarë overlooks the crystal clear water of Spile Beach. Further north of the town are the popular Albanian tourist beaches Livadi Beach as well as Jale Beach. There are also some gorgeous beaches south of Himarë town. Himarë has a wide range of places to stay, from campsites and hostels to furnished rentals and beachfront resorts. Additionally, the sea port in Himarë has ferries to Greece. Greek influences can be seen in the food and the architecture of the town.
Why you should visit Himarë Albania
Himarë was one of our favourite places in Albania. This charming beach town is gifted with an abundance of natural beauty. Approaching the town, you drive through windy roads around the Ceraunian Mountains. This coastal drive is one of the most scenic drives in Albania and affords you spectacular views over the Ionian Sea. Himarë forms part of the Albanian Riviera, and has a great selection of beaches to choose from. There are popular tourist beaches sporting rows of lounge chairs and beach umbrellas. For those after a more secluded spot, there are many quiet coves dotted along the coastline. Apart from the outdoor activities, the area also has some interesting historical buildings as well as a great selection of cafes and restaurants.
Himarë Destination Guide: Know before you go
Basic info about Himarë Albania
- City name in Albanian – Himarë. It is also known as Himara in English.
- Language – Albanian. There are two dialects in the Albanian language – Tosk, which is spoken to the south as well as Gheg which is spoken in the north. The Tosk subdialect of Lab (or Labërisht) is spoken in Himarë. Due to its proximity to Greece, Greek is commonly spoken in Himarë. English is becoming more widely spoken in the country, particularly amongst younger people. However not everyone you meet will be able to speak English.
- Currency – Albanian lek (ALL). This has been the currency of the country since 1926. Currency exchanges can be found in most cities and ATMs are available widely throughout the country.
- Population – 8,000 (2021)
- Area – 14 km2 (35 sq mi)
- County – Vlorë
- Region – Southern Albania (also known as Toskëria).
- Emergency number – 112
- Police number – 112
Utilities in Himarë Albania
- Electricity – Albania uses Types C and F power plugs. The country operates on a 230v supply voltage at 50Hz. Power outages are common in Albania.
- Water – the tap water in Albania is not safe to drink. However as the water is chlorinated, it is safe to use tap water for brushing your teeth. We recommend bringing a water purifier such as a life straw on your trip. Alternatively you can buy bottled water.
- Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in Albania, although Turkish style squat toilets can be found in some places. Don’t flush your toilet paper – use the bins provided. Bidets can be found in many bathrooms in Albania. Public toilets are common in the larger cities in Albania. Public toilets are common and are also free to use.
- Telephone country code: +355
Where is Himarë Albania?
Himarë is in the county of Vlorë in the Southern Region of Albania. Additionally, it is less than 2 hours drive from the Greek border.
How to get to Himarë Albania
Himarë destination guide: Arriving by land
Himarë Albania intercity land transport
The main transport options for travelling overland to Himarë Albania are:
- Private vehicle
- Private transport operator
Driving to Himarë from within Albania
If you are driving to Himarë from within Albania, here are the travel times and distances:
- Vlorë – 1 hour 50 minutes (77km, 48miles) without tolls
- Gjirokaster – 2 hours 7 minutes (102km, 63miles) without tolls
- Sarandë – 3 hours 13 minutes (195km, 121miles) without tolls
- Berat – 3 hours 19 minutes (176km, 109miles) without tolls
- Durrës – 3 hours 26 minutes (194km, 121miles) without tolls
- Elbasan – 3 hours 44 minutes (205km, 127miles) without tolls
- Tirana – 4 hours 2 minutes (229km, 142miles) without tolls
- Shkodër – 5 hours 10 minutes (296km, 184miles) without tolls
Intercity trains to Himarë Albania
Himarë is does not have a train station.
The Albanian national railway company is called Hekurudha Shqiptare (HSH). This is also known as Albanian Railways.
Intercity buses to Himarë Albania
A common way to get around Albania is by using intercity buses. A bus company called Olgeno runs some intercity bus services within Albania. Other buses that we used within Albania weren’t marked by a transport company name. Buses depart from the main road SH8 near the cross street that takes you to Spile Beach. There is no marked bus stop, but if you wait there you can flag down passing buses.
Popular bus destinations from Himarë include:
- Sarandë Albania – travel time 1.5 hours.
- Vlorë Albania – travel time 2 hours. Tickets cost approximately 400 lek one way.
- Tirana Albania – travel time 4 hours. Tickets cost 1000 lek one way.
Bus prices have risen recently for some destinations, so please use these prices as a guide only.
Himarë destination guide: Arriving by air
The nearest major airport to Himarë is Corfu International Airport, Greece (Airport code CFU). This international airport is also known as Ioannis Kapodistrias (Capodistrias) International Airport. It is 57km (36miles) from the city.
Other nearby airports include:
- Ioannina National Airport, Greece (Airport code IOA). This airport is 102km (64miles) away.
- Kastoria National Airport, Greece (Airport code KSO). This airport is 136km (85miles) away.
- Tirana Intational Airport Nënë Tereza, Albania (Airport code TIA). This airport is 146km (91miles) away.
The national airline of Albania is Air Albania.
Himarë destination guide: Arriving by boat
The city of Himarë is in the Ionian Sea, which is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. The Port of Himarë has ferries between Himarë and Corfu Greece.
There are around 2 ferries a week in each direction between Himarë Albania and Corfu Greece. The sailing time is 1.25 hours. A one-way ticket for a foot passenger is around 50 euro (price as at 2022). There is one ferry company that operates between Himarë and Corfu – Finikas Lines.
Himarë destination guide: How to get around Himarë Albania
Walking in Himarë Albania
By far the easiest and cheapest way to get around Himarë is to walk. Most of the main attractions in the city area are within easy walking distance.
Local buses in Himarë Albania
We didn’t see any local buses in Himarë – only intercity buses.
Mini buses (furgons) in Himarë Albania
Mini buses known as furgons operate in Himarë. Furgons are a popular public transport option in Albania as an alternative to buses.
Himarë Cable Car
There is no cable car in Himarë.
Himarë Sightseeing Bus
Himarë does not have a Hop On Hop Off sightseeing bus.
Trams in Himarë Albania
Himarë does not currently have a tram system.
Local trains in Himarë Albania
Himarë does not have a local train service.
Metro trains (subway or underground) in Himarë Albania
Himarë does not have an underground train line.
Vehicle hire in Himarë Albania
A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Albania. This includes:
- Bicycles – you can hire a bike from Himara Hostel.
- Electric scooters
In Albania, you drive on the right side of the road.
Taxis in Albania
Taxis are common in Albania. Both official taxis with metered pricing as well as more informal taxis where a fixed fare is agreed beforehand are available. Official taxis will generally have prices displayed inside the vehicle. For longer journeys you can agree on a fixed price before you commence your trip. However in general your fare will include the following costs:
- The pickup fee or minimum fee – this is charged as soon as you get into the vehicle. This is generally around 300 lek.
- Price per kilometre.
- Price per hour – this is a price that gets charged when the taxi is stuck in heavy traffic.
Ride-share services in Himarë Albania
Uber, Lyft and Grab and other rider-share services do not operate in Albania.
Himarë Albania destination guide: Is Himarë Albania worth visiting?
If you’re planning a trip to Albania and can only visit one place, make sure it’s Himarë. This charming seaside town is located on the Albanian Riviera and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. With its delicious Greek-influenced cuisine and laid-back atmosphere, Himarë is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Whether you’re looking for long stretches of sandy beaches or secluded coves and hiking trails, this town has something for everyone. Nestled below tall mountains that offer breathtaking panoramic views of the area, Himarë is also home to a number of interesting historical buildings that are worth visiting. And with its central location on the Albanian coast, it’s an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.
Himarë destination guide: How long to spend in Himarë Albania
Himarë is a great place to come for a weekend or a leisurely week. Stunning beaches, beautiful hiking trails as well as a number of interesting ruins surround the town. There are also plenty of great restaurants and cafes in the area. We spent 2 nights in Himarë and enjoyed taking time to enjoy the various activities available in this beautiful area.
Himarë destination guide: What to do in Himarë Albania
Himarë is a beautiful Albanian city with many activities on offer. It has a range of great free activities as well as paid activities.
Himarë destination guide: Free things to do in Himarë Albania
There are enough free activities in Himarë Albania to keep you entertained for a weekend or even a leisurely week:
- Gjipe Beach
- Livadhi Beach
- Jale Beach
- Monastery of Saint Mary Athaliotisa
- Aquarium Beach
- Filikuri Beach
- Marachi Beach
- Spile Beach
- Porto Palermo Beach
- Sfageio Beach
- Potami Beach
For more details, see our Himarë travel guide on the 11 Best Free Things To Do in Himarë Albania.
Himarë destination guide: Paid activities in Himarë Albania
A number of attractions in Himarë Albania charge an entry fee:
- Penisola Di Porto Palermo e Castello (Porto Palermo Castle, Ali Pasha Tepelena Fortress) – entry fee is 300 lek for adults (as at 2023).
- Himara Castle – entry fee is 300 lek for adults (as at 2023).
Weather in Himarë Albania
Himarë enjoys a warm temperate climate. Its climate is heavily influenced by the nearby Mediterranean area. It has cold winters, with average temperature range between 5°C and 12°C in the coldest month of January. Summers last from June to September and are hot and sunny, with the average temperature range between 20°C and 30°C in the hottest month of July. The month with the most rainfall is November with 10.8 days of rain on average and the driest month is July with an average of 1.7 rainy days.
Best time to visit Himarë Albania
The best time to visit Himarë for a beach vacation is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny. However, keep in mind that during the peak tourist season of July and August Himarë gets crowded and accommodation is more expensive. Therefore, for fewer crowds and better prices, we recommend visiting Himarë during the shoulder season of May-June and September-October.
Internet and mobile phones in Albania
There are four major internet and phone companies in Albania – Vodafone Albania, One Telecommunications Albania (formerly Telekom Albania), ALBTelekom (formerly Eagle Mobile Albania) and Plus.
Albania is yet to get 5G. 2G is expected to be switched off in Albania in December 2025, however no date has been set for when 3G will be switched off.
Albania is ranked 47th fastest in the world for mobile internet speeds and 92nd fastest for fixed broadband. For Fixed Broadband the average download speed is 48mbps and upload is 24mbps (as at June 2023).
Cell phone SIM cards can be bought in a numbers of places throughout Albania. These include phone stores as well as at Himarë International Airport.
How much to budget for Himarë Albania?
Is Himarë Albania expensive?
Himarë is one of the most popular destinations in Albania thanks to its stunning seaside location. As such, prices here tend to be higher than in other parts of the country. However, Albania is still an affordable destination overall, with prices that are much lower than those in other European countries. While there are plenty of luxury resorts in the area, it’s also possible to visit Himarë on a budget. There are several campsites and hostels in the area that offer affordable accommodation options. Additionally, there are plenty of other types of accommodation available to suit all budgets. There are also plenty of free activities in the area such as beach hopping and hiking. Food and transport costs are also very reasonable.
Himarë destination guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Himarë Albania
As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:
- Low-budget daily spend – 60 euro per day for a couple will get you hostel accommodation, meals from bakeries and markets, local transport and free or cheap activities such as visiting museums and parks
- Mid-range daily spend – 250 euro per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, local transport, restaurant meals and a few paid activities
- Luxury spend – 600 euro per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in Albania, staying at luxury resorts, travelling by private transport, doing a range of paid activities and eating at high end restaurants
Himarë destination guide: Accommodation in Himarë Albania
There is a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets in Himarë Albania. Airbnb operates in Albania and we were impressed with the range of options available in Himarë.
Where to stay in Himarë Albania
We recommend the following accommodation in Himarë Albania:
- Best camping in Himarë Albania – The Sea Cave Camping is a family run campground with tents, comfortable mattresses and also a well-equipped outdoor kitchen. The campsite is in small forest area under the shade of pine trees. Just a few steps from the sea, it has amazing sea views.
- Best hostel in Himarë Albania – Himara Downtown Hostel is a peaceful, homely hostel close to the beach. The host family provide excellent hospitality. Breakfasts are varied and delicious and rooms are clean, comfortable and air-conditioned.
- Best budget beachfront hotel in Himarë Albania – Corallo Rooms has modern décor, comfortable beds and excellent facilities. It is close to the beach and also only a short walk from town. There are also breathtaking views from the balcony.
- Best beachfront hotel in Himarë Albania – across the road from the beach, the Ionian Terrace offers stunning sea views. Despite its peaceful location, it’s only a short walk from town. The rooms are spotless and comfortable, and guests can enjoy the sound of the waves from their rooms.
- Best mid-range hotel in Himarë Albania – Aphrodite Garden Rooms & Apartment is a hilltop hotel with stunning views. Breakfasts are outstanding. The hotel is clean and comfortable with a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
- Stay in a castle in Himarë Albania – the Castle of Himara is a homestay in the actual castle ruins of Himara Castle. This hilltop property has fantastic views over Himare and the Ionian Sea. The hosts also provide a delicious Greek breakfast each morning.
- Best value apartment rental in Himarë Albania – we stayed in a City Center Apartment in Himara. It is conveniently close to restaurants and the beach. Spacious and well appointed, the kitchen in particular was well stocked.
How much is accommodation in Himarë Albania?
For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:
- Budget accommodation – 10-13 euro for a dorm
- Mid-range accommodation – 25-100 euro for a private room
- Luxury accommodation – 100-150 euro a night for a luxury hotel
- Rental property – 80-150 euro a night for a fully furnished 3-4 bedroom home
Himarë destination guide: Food in Himarë Albania
The area’s large Greek population has influenced the cuisine of the area, with many traditional Greek restaurants to choose from. Being on the coast, seafood is also very popular in Himarë.
How much does food cost in Himarë Albania?
Our price guide for your food budget in Himarë Albania is as follows (prices as at 2022):
- Restaurant meal – 600-2000 lek for a main dish
- Local eatery – 600-1200 lek for a main dish
- Bakery food – 100-240 lek euro for byrek, a slice of pizza as well as other bakery items
- Glass of wine – 300 lek
- Shot of Raki – 70-100 lek
- Coffee – 50-150 lek
Regional dishes in Himarë Albania
Popular traditional Albanian dishes can be found throughout the country. There are not too many dishes that trace their roots to specific regions of Albania.
Albanian dishes that are not specific to Himarë
- Byrek – popular in the Balkans, byrek is a filo pastry stuffed with items such as spinach, cheese, meat and potatoes.
- Pollo alla Cotoletta – similar to chicken parmigiana.
- Qofte te ferguara – Albanian meatball
- Flija – this dough based dish is popular in Albania as well as Kosovo.
- Shapkat – this is a casserol that is made with cornmeal and greens.
- Tave Mishi – grilled meat.
- Perime në Zgarë – grilled vegetables.
- Speça me gjize – stuffed bell peppers.
- Kaçkavall – breaded and fried cheese. This is served as an apetiser.
- Jani me Fasule – bean soup.
- Tarator soup – a cold cucumber soup that is popular in many eastern European countries.
- Qumështor – baked custard.
- Baklava – a sweet pastry.
- Shëndetli – a dessert made from walnuts, honey and cinnamon.
- Trilece – a dough based dessert commonly made in Albania.
- Petulla – fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Cheap Eats in Himarë Albania
- Bakeries are a great place to get cheap and delicious food. Byrek are typically around 100-240 lek. Other common bakery food include pizzas and cakes.
Himarë Albania culture
Albania national holidays
- New Year’s Day – 1-3 January
- Dita e Verës – 14 March
- Nowruz – Spring equinox, March 19, 20 or 21
- Easter Sunday – typically in March or April.
- Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Day, typically in March or April.
- Orthodox Easter Day – typically in April or May.
- Orthodox Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Day, typically in April or May.
- Eid al-Fitr – first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar
- Labour Day – 1 May (public holiday the following Monday if it falls on a weekend)
- Eid al-Adha – 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar
- Saint Teresa Canonisation Day – 5 September
- Flag Day or Independence Day – 28 November
- Liberation Day – 29 November
- National Youth Day – 8 December
- Christmas Day – 25 December (public holiday the following Monday if it falls on a weekend)
National symbols of Albania
- Albania flag – a red flag with a black double headed eagle in the centre.
- Albania coat of arms – a black two-headed eagle with a golden crown. Its wings are raised in flight. It is on a red background with a gold border.
- National flower – red poppy
- National bird – eagle
- National dish – Tavë kosi
- Popular drinks – rakija, coffee, beer, Albanian wine
- National sport – football
- Religion – 59% Islam, 17% Christianity (as at 2020)
Famous people from Himarë Albania
- Famous people born in Himarë Albania – author Christos Armandos Gezos, director and politician Dhimitër Anagnosti, writer Odhise Grillo, politician Paskal Milo, musician Neço Muko, actor Andon Qesari,
- Sports stars from Himarë Albania – Olympic weightlifter Pyrros Dimas, footballer Sotiris Ninis, footballer Andreas Tatos
Is Himarë Albania Safe?
Albania travel guide: Safety in Albania
We travelled through Albania for three weeks and found the country to be extremely safe. Albania ranks 41st safest country on the Global Peace Index (as at 2022). As with any country, there are good areas and bad areas. Watch out for pickpockets particularly at crowded tourist attractions. Make sure no-one is watching whenever you are entering pin codes and never lose sight of your credit card when making a purchase.
A particular risk around the Albania and Kosovo border are unexploded landmines and ordinances. These are a dangerous remnant from the 1999 conflict. Don’t stray from designated hiking paths and take any warning signs very seriously.
General safety considerations in Albania
Other general safety considerations for travel in Albania:
- Drinking water – Tap water is safe to drink almost everywhere in the country.
- Mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito has been found in Albania. This type of mosquito spreads diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikunguya. After being eradicated in 1967, malaria returned to Albania in 1994 and is a re-emerging disease in the country.
- Altitude sickness – Albania has areas of high altitude. This comes with the risk of altitude sickness. If you are planning to visit any high altitude areas in Albania, be sure to allow sufficient time to acclimatise. If you experience any signs of altitude sickness, such as headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, loss of appetite or shortness of breath, get help immediately.
- Road safety – Road accidents are a significant risk on Albania. Road conditions are an issue, particularly in rural areas as well as in winter.
- Water safety – If you visit any of the coastal areas or lakes, take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect.
- Earthquakes – Albania experiences earthquake activity. If you experience an earthquake, stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls and anything that could fall. If you are inside get under a table, desk or solid furniture and hang onto it. Cover your head and torso to protect from falling objects. If you are outside, stay outside and go to an open area away from buildings.
- Sun safety – Exposure to the sun can have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the skin, eyes and immune system. Sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.
As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.
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