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The small beach town of Himare, sometimes referred to as Himara, is one of the top destinations for beach lovers in Albania. Found along the Albanian Riviera, the town is close to some of the best beaches in the country, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway. Himare isn’t blessed with lots of different things to do, but sometimes all you need is some time to chill out on the beach, and the town is great for that! There is a bit more to it than just beaches though, with some lovely coastal walks to do, as well as the chance to visit a castle with spectacular views. Find out the best things to do in Himare Beach, Albania, with this guide!
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Things to do in Himare, Albania
Relax by Himare beach
The main thing to do in Himare is simply chill out and relax by the beach. It’s a relatively small town, but it’s blessed with some of the nicest beaches in Albania.
Three of the best beaches in the area are Spile beach, Prinos beach and Potami beach. All three are public beaches, which means they’re completely free to use.
Of these beaches, our personal favourite was Spile beach, which is a long-stretching pebble beach located at the front of the town. This beach is quite popular with tourists as it’s within easy walking distance of the centre of town.
Prinos beach and Potami beach are more generally more frequented by locals, but they’re also well worth visiting if you have a few days in Himare. We recommend visiting all three beaches during your stay to see which you like the most!
During July and August the beaches can get quite busy due to the increase in tourism, but they generally shouldn’t be as busy as the beaches in Sarande.
If you have a car, or even if you’re just happy to travel further afield, then there are a number of other beaches worth exploring in the area. Find out the best beaches to visit from Himare below!
Located in between Himare and Dhermi village, Gjipe beach is home to truly stunning blue sea, making it the perfect place for a refreshing swim. It’s a fine pebbly beach, so if you’re looking for sand you will need to go elsewhere, but it’s still lovely for relaxing on.
To the east of the beach there is a rock face where you can go cliff jumping if you’re feeling adventurous. It’s also worth taking the time to walk inland a bit, as we managed to see a snake when we visited.
Peak season in Himare is during July and August, and so at this time Gjipe Beach can get very busy. The area is gradually getting more built up, and there are a number of campsites nearby as well as a couple of restaurants and bars.
Gjipe beach is around a 40-minute drive from Himare, so it’s relatively easy to reach if you’ve rented a car. There is a well paved road leading down to the car park, where there is a charge of 200 Lek for parking. From the car park it’s around a half hour walk down to the beach.
If you haven’t rented a car then it is possible to reach the beach by bus. Take the bus heading in the direction of Vlora, and ask the driver to drop you at the turn off to Gjipe Beach. Timetables aren’t that reliable in Albania, so your best bet is to ask locals in Himare what time buses depart.
Another option is to take a speedboat from Himare to Gjipe Beach. If you want to go down this route we recommend asking your accommodation for advice on arranging a boat.
For more information on getting to Gjipe Beach read this guide.
Livadhi Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Himare, located just north of the town. It’s the biggest beach in the area and is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. The beach is so big that you should be able to find a relatively quiet spot for yourself, even during the peak summer months.
There are a few nice hotels and restaurants in the area, so it’s a nice place to stay in its own right. Alternatively, it’s very easy to get to the beach from Himare. The easiest way to get from Himare to Livadhi Beach is to drive, which should only take around 5-10 minutes.
If you want to take the more scenic route, it’s also possible to hike from Himare to Livadhi Beach, which takes around 30-60 minutes. It’s a lovely coastal walk so it’s well worth doing if you have the time.
Gjiri i Filikurit Beach
Also know as Filikuri Bay, this beach is definitely a hidden gem. It’s a bit tough to get to, so we recommend finding the location on google maps and then walking through the bushes towards the edge of the cliff. From here you get stunning views of the beach from above.
Getting down to the beach itself is extremely tough on foot, so we personally wouldn’t recommend it as we didn’t do it ourselves. The route down involves rock climbing and using a rope to support yourself as it’s so steep. If you do want to visit the beach then some boat trips will take you there, so ask around in Himare and you should be able to arrange it.
The beach is located around a 30-minute walk outside of Himare, so it’s easy to get to the area on foot to at least admire the views from above.
Jala Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Albania, but in our personal experience many of the others listed above are nicer. It used to be a relatively unspoiled beach, but due to its popularity businesses have started to build up in the area. The water at the beach is now sometimes unclean, and it’s become over-commercialised in our opinion.
There are a number of bars that play relatively loud music, so if that’s the kind of thing you’re after then it might be the right place for you. It’s possible to rent sunbeds and parasols along the beach, or alternatively just put your towel down if you can find space. As it’s quite busy, finding a space can be tough though so you may end up having to rent a sunbed.
The best way to get from Himare to Jala Beach is to drive, but we’d recommend prioritising other beaches as we think this one is quite overrated.
If you’re feeling a bit more active then there’s a lovely coastal walk from Himare all the way to Dhermi. Although the route isn’t fully paved the whole way, it’s still a nice walk if you want to find some more secluded spots and visit some beaches along the way.
Walking the entire route without stopping takes around 5 hours, but in the summer heat it can be a tough ask. Instead, it’s probably best only to do a smaller section of the walk on a hot day. Thankfully, even if you just walk 30-60 minutes of the route and then back again you will still get to see some beautiful spots with barely anyone else around!
If you want a break from the beaches then take the chance to visit Himare Castle. Perched on a hilltop, the castle provides some lovely views of the area, and on a clear day it’s even possible to see as far as the Greek island of Corfu.
The view of Livadhi beach is particularly impressive, as you can see the various shades of beautiful blue sea. Aside from the views, what we found most interesting is that some people actually still live in houses within the castle.
Unfortunately, the castle has not been well-maintained or properly restored, but even so it’s still worth a visit if you like history. There is an entrance fee of 100 Lek at Himare Castle, but when we visited there was no-one there to enforce this so we were able to visit for free.
The easiest way to get to Himare Castle is to drive from town, but if you want to stretch your legs then it’s also possible to hike there. It takes around an hour to hike uphill to the castle, with the way back down only taking around 40 minutes.
If you’re there in the peak of summer then we recommend doing the hike early in the day to avoid the higher temperatures. It’s also important to make sure you take some water with you so you don’t get dehydrated!
How to get to Himare, Albania
As there is no airport in Himare, the easiest way to get to the town is to rent a car and drive. The closest major airport is actually on the nearby Greek island of Corfu, so one option is to fly there and take the ferry to Sarande.
From Sarande you can rent a car and drive along the coast to Himare. Alternatively, if you plan to travel more of Albania, you can fly into Tirana airport and rent a car from there.
Renting a car is the best option as it makes it easier to explore the beaches and areas surrounding Himare. Car rental isn’t too expensive in Albania, and in most instances is a lot more convenient than using public transport as you can work to your own schedule.
If you don’t want to rent a car then you will need to either take a bus or a taxi. Bus schedules will vary depending on where you are coming from, but there are direct buses running from Tirana to Himare every day from the south bus terminal. The bus from Tirana to Himare takes 5-7 hours, and should cost around 1,000 Lek.
It’s also possible to get a bus from Athens to Himare. Direct buses should be available, but schedules are very hard to find online. If there are no direct buses you should be able to take a bus to Sarande and then travel onwards to Himare.
The cheapest way to get from Sarande to Himare is to take a furgon, which is essentially a minibus. There are no set schedules for the furgons, but if you ask any of the locals they should be able to help with timings. A furgon from Sarande to Himare should cost around 300 Lek.
If you’re travelling from other Albanian cities, such as Berat and Shkoder, it’s possible to reach Himare by bus, but you will need to change at least once – most likely in Tirana or Berat.
Best time to visit Himare, Albania
As Himare is primarily a beach destination, the best time to visit is during the summer. The weather in Himare is at its best during July and August, with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius to be expected. These months are peak season in the town, which means prices will increase and you’ll have to deal with the crowds.
If you want to avoid the crowds but still want good weather, then the best months to visit are June and September. These months still normally have warm weather, but there shouldn’t be as many tourists around as during July and August. That being said, crowds are still possible during June and September.
To really avoid the crowds you can take a gamble and visit during May or October, but as these months are further from summer you may be unlucky with the weather.
We wouldn’t recommend visiting Himare outside of the months above, as the main reason for visiting is to enjoy the beaches. If you visit at other times of year it’s unlikely you’ll have good enough weather for many, if any, beach days.
Where to stay in Himare, Albania
The centrally located Stone House is one of the best budget accommodation options in Himare. Although the rooms are relatively basic they all have a private bathroom, which represents extremely good value given how cheap it is!
It’s an especially great place to stay thanks to the hosts, who are extremely kind and helpful. Prices at the property start from $28 USD (3,080 Lek) per night.
If you’re renting a car and don’t mind being a little bit outside of Himare, then Llaka Hotel is a brilliant budget option. The hotel offers beautiful views along the coast of the Albanian Riviera, and is located close to the beautiful Filikuri Bay beach – known in Albanian as Gjiri i Filikurit beach. If you’re feeling brave it’s possible to hike down to the beach, but thankfully you can still admire its beauty from above.
The area surrounding the hotel is reasonably quiet due to its location outside of the main town. It only takes approximately 10 minutes to drive to Himare itself, and there is free parking available at the hotel if you’ve rented a car. Prices at the hotel start from $32 USD (3,520 Lek) per night.
The Rondos Hotel is brilliantly located just outside the centre of town, and offers affordable rooms with balconies and sea views. Staying at the hotel gives you access to a private pebbly beach in front of the property, with sunbeds and parasols completely free to use for guests.
Rooms are comfortable and air-conditioned, which is particularly important during the hot summer months! To top if off, the staff at the hotel are incredibly friendly and helpful, so you’re sure to have a great stay. Prices start from $50 USD (5,500 Lek) per night.
Geo & Art Boutique Hotel
The Geo & Art Boutique Hotel is a lovely mid-range option located by the Himare beachfront. All of the rooms have air conditioning as well as a balcony, which gives you the chance to enjoy beach views from the comfort of the hotel.
One of the best things about the property is the friendly Greek owner, who will do everything she can to make your stay as pleasant as possible. To top it off, the location really couldn’t be better as the hotel is just a few metres away from the beach! Prices at the hotel start from $61 USD (6,710 Lek) per night.
Palermiti Luxury Rooms
Located around 5 kilometres outside of Himare, the Palermiti Luxury Rooms offer spacious and comfortable rooms with a sea view. The property is conveniently located near to Llamani beach and Andreas beach.
The owners and staff are extremely helpful, and will do anything they can to ensure you have an enjoyable stay. Free parking is available at the property, which is ideal if you’ve rented a car for your trip.
Prices at the property start from $85 USD (9,350 Lek) per night, with breakfast included in the price.
Arxontiko is undeniably one of the best places to stay in Himare. The property is perfectly located in the town, just a few steps away from Spile beach. It’s a mini paradise, with beautiful sea views from many rooms, and a lovely modern interior.
If you’re looking for luxury and a great location, then this is the place for you! Rooms start from $89 USD (9,800 Lek) per night.
Where to eat in Himare
Taverna Lefteri – Although it’s one of the more expensive placed to eat in Himare, it’s still well worth a visit. The food is of good quality, and there is a decent variety on the menu – from fresh seafood to pasta to salads.
I Love Souvlaki – I Love Souvlaki is one of the cheapest places to eat in Himare, serving a variety of souvlaki, grilled meats and salads. The food is delicious, and it’s great value considering how cheap it is too!
Merluc Fish Shop and Taverna – Specialising in seafood, the Merluc Fish Shop and Taverna offers a variety of tasty dishes. It’s one of the more expensive restaurants in Himare, but it’s well worth it for some of the best food you’ll have in Albania!
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