Trying to pick the very best seaside town for your trip to Albania? If relaxation and an escape from the massive crowds of other beach towns is your goal, Borsh might just be the ticket!
Why You Want to Go to Borsh:
It’s quieter than other towns in the Albanian Riviera
Borsh is a great place to visit in Albania, particularly if you have to travel in high season. The bigger towns of Saranda, Ksamil, and Vlora will all be packed with tourists, but Borsh stays a little quieter.
The beach is big enough for everyone
The beach in Borsh is one big long continuous stretch of beach. Even much bigger towns don’t have as much beach space as Borsh.
Borsh is surrounded by beautiful green hills. It reminds me of the jungle. Borsh feels much more like being in nature than surrounding beach towns.
Where is Borsh?
Borsh is sandwiched between the bigger beach towns of Vlora and Saranda. More specifically, between Himara and Saranda.
How to Get to Borsh
While you can take a bus from Saranda or Vlora, you may want to rent a car for this trip.
Borsh is nestled in a pretty steep hill, so to get from the beach to most restaurants and accommodation is quite a far walk.
If you do decide to take a bus, make sure it drives through Borsh. Not every bus from Saranda to Vlora (and the reverse) will take the coastal route that travels through Borsh.
Things to Do in Borsh
Borsh is big on beach and small on other activities (it’s a little town) but here are a few things to do:
Visit the Castle of Borsh
The castle of Borsh once guarded the mountain pass between the hills around Borsh. It is a short drive from the town plus a 15ish minute hike.
A castle has been on this site since the 4th century BC. There are a lot more ruins at the top than you realize, but most of these will be from medieval times. The area is abandoned and entrance is free.
A mosque from the 18th century still stands. From the castle you can enjoy spectacular views of the mountains, valley, and seaside!
Head to the Beach of Borsh (Plazhi i Borshit)
Of course you came to this part of Albania for the beaches!
The beach at Borsh is a rocky beach, but the stones are mostly smooth and round. When the waves hit the beach you can hear thousands of little stones being pushed around.
The water here is pretty clear for swimming. It does drop off much sooner than other swimming areas, so this is not the most kid-friendly beach.
The water in Borsh is also not as calm as Saranda or some other places, because it is quite open to the ocean.
During the summer there are a couple of beach bars, but outside of July and August services will be limited.
Mostly the beach at Borsh is incredible because it is surrounded by beautiful green mountains. It truly feels like a hidden paradise.
Have a Cappuccino at Ujvara
Ujvara Restaurant is famous in this little part of Albania. It is a restaurant with it’s back patio built into a hill where a natural spring cascades through.
You can stop for your morning cappuccino, or to have a meal. Ujvara receives a number of tour groups every single day, so expect it to be a little bit busy.
If you are visiting in the off season, this is one of the rare times that you want to be somewhere at the same time as a tour group. If there are only one or two people, they don’t serve in the waterfall area.
This restaurant is not to be missed! It is one of my favorite places in Albania.
Where to Stay in Borsh
Both times that we stayed in Borsh, we stayed at OniRana Apartments. They are open from about May to October and have a stunning view over the beach and valley of Borsh.
Parking is free and the apartments have a good amount of kitchen equipment. You can also order a homemade dinner and wine! (In low season options are a little limited.)
Even the garden view rooms are very nice. You get a great view of the beautiful hills.
We loved this little family run hotel!
For something closer to the beach Luna Mare Seaside Suites has adorable cottages that we drove by.
Other Places to Visit Near Borsh
The Albanian Riviera is dotted with little perfect beach towns! Here are some nearby places to see on your trip to Borsh.
Qeparo offers a surprisingly good range of accommodations and restaurants beside a waterfront promenade. Just driving through the highway-side part of town you would never guess!
The best part: A mostly sandy beach with a huge shallow swimming area.
If you’re feeling brave, Upper Qeparo is an abandoned historical village. The road is sketchy, so we haven’t made it up there yet. A hike for a cooler day.
Himara boasts its own castle that is equally as interesting and scenic to the Castle of Borsh. It also has a large sandy beach and a small number of year-round restaurants.
It is a bit more touristy than Borsh, which might be a good thing if you are planning a winter visit.
Porto Palermo Castle
Nestled between Qeparo and Himara, is the picturesque little bay and castle of Porto Palermo. The restaurant across the street with a view of the castle is worth the visit alone.
The castle itself is not in ruins like many, and is a photographer’s dream. The light inside is so unique!
Saranda is our home for part of the year! We love this seaside town and hope you will too. Saranda is a good off-season choice as many restaurants stay open. The bay here is super calm and perfect for swimming. In the summer it’s a bit crazy.