Albanian Riviera (Albanian: Riviera shqiptare/Bregu) is a coastal area in the County of Vlorë running along the Ionian Sea under the Ceraunian Mountains in Southern Albania. It should not be confused with the Albanian coastline as a whole, which includes both the Riviera, and the flat coastline of central and north Albania. Traditionally, the region begins south of Llogara National Park, continues down along the coast through the villages of Borsh, Himara, Qeparo, Piqeras, and ends at Lukovë. The Albanian Riviera was proclaimed as the 2012 Top Value Destination by Frommer's.
The region gained international attention after the 2009 reconstruction of the coastal road SH8, the 2010 tour stop of DJ Tiesto in Dhermi, and the filming of a Top Gear episode featuring a breath-taking car pursuit along the winding coastal road.
The area is a major nightlife, ecotourist, and elite retreat destination in Albania. It features traditional Mediterranean villages, ancient castles, Orthodox churches, secluded turquoise beaches, mountain passes, seaside canyons, coves, free flowing rivers, underwater fauna, caves, and orange, lemon, and olive groves.
In 48 BC during his pursuit of Pompey, Julius Caesar set foot and rested his legion at Palase. He continued onto Llogara Pass in a place later named Caesar's Pass. As part of the regional master plan, the World Bank and other institutions are financing local infrastructure projects, including the renovation of roofs and facades of traditional houses overlooking the Riviera, town squares redesign, and the construction of water supply and treatment plants. The whole coastline of Albania is over 476 km (296 mi) long and administered by the National Coastal Agency.
The area has been host to several international music festivals such as Soundwave Albania and Turtle Fest, while becoming known for its long standing nightclubs such as Havana Beach Club near Dhermi and recently opened Folie Marine in Jale beach.
The Riviera includes the following beaches:
Accommodation along the riviera consists mainly of guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and wood cabin complexes. There are many camping areas, beach clubs, and some small resorts, while the rest of the coast is mostly unspoiled. Some owners of these facilities organize tours along the coast and the nearby area as part of their accommodation packages. These include visits to cultural sites, and sailing, paragliding, hiking, kayaking, and underwater diving activities.
During the peak summer months, some of Tirana's most notable nightclubs such as Folie Terrace (known as Folie Marine in Jale), and the trendy bars of the Blloku entertainment district transfer along the Albanian Riviera.
Below are some historical and natural landmarks:
- Ali Pasha Castle
- Borshi Castle
- Kaninë Castle
- Lëkurësi Castle
- Porto Palermo Castle
- Castle of Gjon Boçari
- Ceraunian Mountains
- Ksamil Islands
- Gjipe Canyon
- Kakome Bay
- Llogara National Park
- Butrint National Park
- Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park encompassing part of the surrounding waters of Karaburun Peninsula and Sazan Island near the Bay of Vlora. In 2014, the Regina Blue Ferry was established with trips in the marine park and stops along secluded beaches.
Ports and Marinas
- Geography of Albania
- Karaburun Peninsula, Albania
- Tourism in Albania
- Riviera, featuring links to articles on the many coastal strips around the world which are known as Riviera
- Gloyer, Gillian (2008). The Bradt Travel Guide Albania. Bradt Publications UK. p. 199. ISBN 1-84162-246-X.
- Driving in Albania – Top Gear – BBC YouTube (8 June 2011). Retrieved on 19 October 2011.
- High Speed Albanian Police Chase – Top Gear Series 16 Episode 3 – BBC Two. YouTube (8 February 2011). Retrieved on 19 October 2011
- R. Eftimi. "SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON SEAWATER-FRESHWATER RELATIONSHIP IN ALBANIAN COASTAL AREA" (PDF). ITA Consult.
Albanian Riviera Gallery
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albanian Riviera.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Albanian Riviera.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Coastal Albania.|
- Official Himara Travel Portal
- Sail Albania Yacht Charter
- AKB - National Coastal Agency of Albania (Albanian)
- Till'late Albania Facebook Page
- Albanian Riviera Travel Guide by Luxury Travel Spots
- Albanian Riviera by Blocal Travel Blog
- Albanian Riviera on Yomadic
- Beautiful Beaches in Albania Mini Guide by Triposo
- Kugel, Seth (29 June 2011). "On the Albanian Riviera, a Frugal Paradise". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Baumeister, Jared S (10 September 2014). "Invading Albania's Party Beaches". The Huffington Post.
- Eason, Nick (22 May 2008). "The beaches that time forgot". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- For other articles, see References section above.