Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park

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Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Gjiri Skaloma Beget. Karaburun.jpg
Gjiri i Skalomës
Location Vlorë District
Nearest city Vlorë, Orikum
Area 12,570.82 hectares (31,063.2 acres) Total
9,848.95 hectares (24,337.3 acres) Karaburun Peninsula
2,721.87 hectares (6,725.9 acres) Sazan Island
Designation National Marine Park
Established 28 April 2010[1]
Governing body Ministry of Environment

Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park (Albanian: Parku Kombëtar Detar Karaburun-Sazan) is a national park that encompasses portions of marine area of the Karaburun Peninsula and the Sazan Island in southwest Albania, spanning an area of 125.70 km2 (48.53 sq mi).[2] It is the only national marine park of Albania, established in 2010 to protect several ecosystems of national importance.[3] The Karaburun Peninsula itself is a nature reserve, while Sazan Island is a military zone in Albania, opened to the public in 2015.

The terrain is mountainous with numerous caves, pits, gorges, depressions, canyons and bays. The park falls entirely within the Illyrian deciduous forests terrestrial ecoregion of the Palearctic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub. Forests occupy the majority of the territories. Due to its climatic, hydrological and geological conditions, the marine park is characterized by its unique vegetation and biodiversity.[4] The mediterranean tapeweed hosts macrofauna such as sponges, cnidarias, bryozoas, molluscas and many others.[5] Sea turtles are home in the marine park such as the loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, and the leatherback sea turtle. But also Dolphines has been reported in these waters such as the short-beaked common dolphin, common bottlenose dolphin and the sperm whale.[6] Sazan is home to 7 species of amphibians, and 15 species of reptiles.

Satellite imagery illustrating southwestern Albania.

The Karaburun Peninsula is situated in southwestern Albania, being the northern part of the Albanian Riviera at the eastern side of the Strait of Otranto, specifically at the Kepi Gjuhëzë Cape, which is the westernmost point of Albania and where the Adriatic sea meets the Ionian sea. Geologically, the coastal landscape is characterized by a rough relief and calcareous limestone cliffs[7], that dips vertically into the Ionian sea, it features several solitary peaks, large canyons, bays, caves and gulfs. Sazan Island, its climate is not mediterranean but rather subtropical on account of its warm winters and hot summers, resembling those of the south of Crete, Tunisia and Egypt.

Geologically, the Karaburun Peninsula belongs also to the coastal mountain range of the Ceraunian Mountains. The climate is mediterranean, having hot summers and generally warm to cool, dry winters. The peninsula is made up of carbonic limestone, from the Mesozoic era, while in the northwest, it is composed of terrigenous sediment.[8] The relief comprises a number of hills with a average altitude of about 800 metres (2,600 ft) above the sea level. The highest summits are Maja e Ilqes 733 metres (2,405 ft), Maja e Flamurit 826 metres (2,710 ft) and Maja Çadëri 839 metres (2,753 ft).[9] Sazan is the largest island of Albania, having a length of 4.8 km (3.0 mi) and a width of 2.7 km (1.7 mi), with a surface area of 5.7 km2 (2.2 sq mi). On the western shore, there are cliffs descending up to 40 metres (130 ft) underwater.

In 2014, the Regina Blu ferry was established by a Radhime based hotel owner making trips to the above area and stopping along the secluded beaches.[10] The marine park features ruins of sunken Greek, Roman and World War II ships, rich underwater fauna, steep cliffs and giant caves, ancient inscriptions of sailors on shore, secluded beaches, and scenic views of the coastline. Be advised that the park is located nearby military bases so permission may be required from local authorities first. The hiring of a professional local diver for serving as tour guide is strongly recommended. Roads are in inaccessible and the only ways to reach the above areas is by sea or through all day hiking.

Dafina Cave
The short-beaked common dolphin is often seen in the region

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 10. National Park of the marine natural ecosystem has been proclaimed on 28 April 2010 
  2. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 10. The total area of National Park Karaburun-Sazan is 12,570.82 ha, with marine area near Karaburuni having 9,848.95 ha and marine area near Sazani island having 2,721.87 ha. 
  3. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 10. National Park of the marine natural ecosystem near Karaburuni Peninsula and Sazani Island has been proclaimed on 28 April 2010 by the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration. 
  4. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 28 & 29. The biological diversity is relatively high in the marine waters of the area with rare species and the littoral benthos much developed with a typical 29 Mediterranean physiognomy characterized by the abundance of Mediterraneo-Atlantic species. 
  5. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 28. Posidonia oceanica meadows host a relatively high biodiversity of benthic macrofauna including sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, annelids, crustaceans, echinoderms and ascidians (Beqiraj et al., 2008). 
  6. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan" (PDF). mcpa.iwlearn.org. p. 29. Five species of cetaceans are reported in Albanian waters among which the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) which have been identified by ACCOBAMS as being in the greatest danger of disappearing from the Mediterranean. 
  7. ^ "Management Plan for National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan". mcpa.iwlearn.org (PDF). p. 28. Except for the wetlands, the coastal area is mainly rocky with, in some places, important calcareous limestone cliffs covered by typical Mediterranean vegetation and locally along the coast, pocket beaches of pebbles and sand. 
  8. ^ "Llogora-Rreza e Kanalit-Dukat -Orikum-TragjasRadhime-Karaburun Complex Site" (PDF). vinc.s.free.fr. p. 24. From the geological point of view it is made up of carbonic limestone of Kretac era, while in the northewestern part of it, Bay of Shën Jani, it is composed of terigenic deposits. 
  9. ^ "Llogora-Rreza e Kanalit-Dukat -Orikum-TragjasRadhime-Karaburun Complex Site" (PDF). vinc.s.free.fr. The relief comprises a number of hills. The average altitude from the sea levels 800 m with a number of peaks. The highest peaks are the so-called Maja e Ilqes (733 m), Maja e Flamurit (826 m) and Çadëri (839 m). 
  10. ^ http://hotelregina.al/en/services

Coordinates: 40°26′0″N 19°18′0″E / 40.43333°N 19.30000°E / 40.43333; 19.30000