For the more adventurous travelers, this cruise to Albania is ideal. Discover an unknown country. We travel along the coasts of Albania and reach the port of Saranda. The name of Agii Saranda comes from the Christian times of the 15th century, when 40 monks, soldiers, were decapitated by the Turks because they wouldn’t change their religion. So, the citizens and the church declared them as Saints. The original name is Agioi Saranda which means Saint 40 but nowadays they just call the city Saranda(40). A must-see monument in Butrint. Butrint was an ancient Greek and later Roman city and bishopric in Epirus. Perhaps inhabited since prehistoric times, Buthrotum was a city of the Epirote tribe of the Chaonians, later a Roman colony and a bishopric. It entered into decline in Late Antiquity, before being abandoned during the Middle Ages after a major earthquake flooded most of the city. In modern times it is an archeological site in Vlorë County, Albania, and close to the Greek border. It is located on a hill overlooking the Vivari Channel and is part of the Butrint National Park. Today Bouthrotum is a Latin Catholic titular see and also features the Ali Pasha Castle. The city is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Albania. On the strength of the immense wealth of cultural, historical, and natural value with a considerable history, Butrint has declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992 and further a National Park in 2000.
Another interesting area you must visit is Argyrokastro. The city of Argyrokastro is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most attractive tourist sites in the country. The main characteristic of the city is the intensive use of stone in building the houses, which look like small fortresses, the streets of cobblestone, which all lead to BazaarDue to all these features, Argyrokastro is also known as the “The Stone City”.
The most important structure of the city is the castle, which is the biggest castle in Albania. Inside the castle, you can visit the Museum of Weapons, which opened in 1971. Weapons from prehistoric times up to World War II are exhibited here.
In a forest of hazelnut, walnut, cherry, pine, and fir trees, some 177 meters above sea level. You will find 18 springs that come out of the earth with such a great and rare beauty, they will leave you speechless. They are known as the famous “Blue Eye”, which is a geological phenomenon.
Because of its oval shape and the color of the water, deep blue in the center and the light blue at the sides, it looks like a human eye.
Nobody knows how deep it is. Many divers who tried to reach the bottom but because of the pressure have only managed to go 45 meters deep. It has a flow rate of 6 cubic meters of water per second and a water temperature of 13 degrees Celsius. Visitors often throw a stone into the center of this spring, and after a while they see the same stone coming up again to the surface.
This geological phenomenon is of tectonic origin. The water is believed to be a filtration from Drinos valley. These 18 springs provide water to the “Bistrica” river which is 25 km long and by an artificial channel built-in 1958, its waters flow into the Ionian Sea.
In the area around “Blue Eye”, the wildlife is rich and varied, with wild animals like foxes, reptiles, and pine martens.
The “Blue Eye” is Albania’s small treasure. Visitors on a one-day organized trip can relax into its peaceful landscape. Next to a picturesque waterfall opposite the “Blue Eye” spring, there is a traditional wood and stone-built restaurant where you can enjoy an Albanian schnapps, named “Raki”.