At the moment there are
hardly any organised trips to Sarande; especially when you are not
travelling by group. That is why you have to book just a flight. This
could be to Tirana, to Korfu or to Yioannina.
A direct flight (from Holland) to Tirnana is about 100 euro more expensive
as a flight to Greece. Additional you have to travel about 280 km
from Tirana by bus to Sarande. By car it takes at least 5 hours and
by bus about 8 hours. As the busses don't have air-conditioning and
the roads are still in bad or very bad conditions for big parts I
advise you to leave this possibility out of consideration (as yet).
At the moment they are busy fixing the road from Sarande to the main-road
Tirana-Greece. In September 2004 only 5 km were ready, which means
that the other 25 km of winding mountain-road is still in a very bad
But we made this trip once
in December 2004. Take a look at "by car".
A flight to Yioannina (via
Athens) means from this Greek airport first by taxi (or bus) to the
border which takes about 1 hour. From there just pray there is a bus
or taxi ready to bring you to Sarande. The Greek taxi is not allowed
to cross the border. From the border it takes about 2 hours to get
to Sarande (by car) on the same road as mentioned above (there is
only 1 road leading from Sarande to the hinterland).
The best connection by
far is via Korfu. In August 2004 we had the problem only one ferry
was going. When we arrived at the harbour in the morning, the boat
just left, so we had to stay in Kerkyra for one day. We booked a hotel
near the harbour and enjoyed the beautiful weather and nice food in
The ferry leaves every morning at 9.15 p.m. to Sarande. Just to be
sure we were at the harbour at 8 o'clock so we had plenty of time
to buy a one way ticket (15 euro). Then you have to report to the
custom-house were you have to leave behind your passport. They bring
it aboard afterwards for a check by the Albanian custom-officers.
Finally the boat departs at 9.45 p.m. That day we had the hydrofoil
so it took us less than half an hour to get to Sarande. There the
Albanian custom-officers come aboard, calling each name on the passports
and return them to the owner so they can leave the boat. Foreigners
are always the last ones, because you have to buy a visa (10 euro).
Leaving Sarande is much easier. Foreigners are the first who get their
passports in Korfu, while the Albanians sometimes have to wait very
long. In our case they had to stay aboard for almost half an hour
before the Greek custom-officers had checked and stamped all their
To be short: don't expect efficiency as you are used to in Western-Europe
and be patience.