Shëngjin (Albanian pronunciation: [ʃənˈɟin]; Albanian for St. John, Italian: San Giovanni di Medua) Serbian: Свети Јован, Sveti Jovan) is a coastal town and a former municipality in the Lezhë County, northwestern Albania. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Lezhë. The population at the 2011 census was 8,091. Shëngjin is a growing tourist destination, well known for its beaches and resort accommodations. Shëngjin is one of many cities within the District of Lezhë and is home to one of Albania's entry ports, Port of Shëngjin.
Shëngjin is a part of the Lezhë District, which has thousands of years of ancient history and unique culture. According to historians, Lezhë is considered as the site of the League of Lezhë where Skanderbeg united the Albanian princes in the fight against the Ottoman Empire. Skanderbeg is recognized as a national hero for his efforts to unite the region against the Turks. Shëngjin’s coastline has always provided a key geographic asset to the area for over a thousand years. In 1924, the Albanian government renamed Shengjin as Wilson, in honor of the American President Woodrow Wilson for backing Albania's independence.
The Municipal Unit implements national legislation and local ordinances, while trying to promote the general welfare of its citizens. Over the past years, Shengjin has become an important tourist destination in Albania. Shëngjin's former Komuna has had the privilege of welcoming national leaders as well as foreign dignitaries to the city.
Shëngjin is located approximately 100 meters away from the waters of the Adriatic Sea, and below a mountain side called Rrenci that is approximately 159 meters in height. Shëngjin is also located approximately 60 km from the Tirana Mother Teresa International Airport.
Rana e Hedhun, a type of coastal dune
Shëngjin offers a wide arrange of environmentally friendly activities. To the south of the city is a nature preserves called “Pylli me pisha dhe Lagune Kunes” and “Laguna e Vainit”, which offers a beautiful and undisturbed place to enjoy the natural surroundings of wetlands and seafront. Similarly, just north of city center is “Rana e Hedhun” in Gheg Albanian or "Rera e Hedhur" in standard Albanian, which also offers a wonderful experience of rural and undeveloped sand dunes along the coastline.
According to EssentialAlbania.com, “Being an ecological city, Shengjin Albania offers some of the best fishing grounds that ensure that there is a balance between the rate of fishing and the frequent of fishing so that to ensure that there is no too much loss of fish from the sea. They respect the fact that the fish need to breed in order to maintain their population.”
Shëngjn’s economy is focused around two major industries: seaport and tourism. The Port of Shëngjin, or Shëngjin Harbor, is the northern most seaport in Albania and is frequently accessed by cargo and fishing vessels. The Port of Shëngjin provides the area with a strong industrial foundation. Shëngjin has the third largest port in Albania and the Harbor’s access point is located on the northwest part of the city. The port is protected by lengthy rock walls that extend into the sea.