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Your Guide to Visiting Borsh in Albania (It has a Massive Beach!)

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!

Mountains in the distance behind the long rocky beach at Borsh

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.

The beach and turquoise waters far below the hills of Borsh

It’s beautiful

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.

Borsh marked with red arrows on a map between Saranda and Vlora
Copyright Google Maps 2023

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.

A sign for Borsh below a ruined brick house

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 with an Albanian flag, high in the mountains

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.

The walk up to the castle of Borsh

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 pebbly beach of Borsh with bright colored waters and hills in the background

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.

Plazhi i Borshit (beach of Borsh) close to sunset with the hills in the background

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.

A wide angle shot of Ujvara restaurant patio where a waterfall cascades through a multi terraced dining area.

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.

the terraces at Ujvara restaurant with the spring flowing by in the background

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.

The sunset behind the hills above Borsh from Onirana apartments
View from Onirana Apartments

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.

A look out the patio doors from a garden view room in Onirana apartments

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 promenade at lower Qeparo above the blue water of the ocean and the sandy beach

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.

The beach at Himara on a cloudy day. A wide stretch of sand with turquoise waters

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.

Porto Palermo castle from the roof with beautiful clouds and the sun peeking through.

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.

A girl looks out a window far above the bay of Saranda